Code Violation

A Mafioso tapes his boss

The Mafia's tradition of omerta, the code of silence, is explicit: betray the family and pay with your life. But beginning with the televised confessions of Cosa Nostra Songbird Joseph Valachi in 1963, that code has been repeatedly violated. At the racketeering trial of reputed Mafia Boss John Gotti last week in Brooklyn federal court, omerta suffered one of its rudest shocks yet.

Federal Judge Eugene Nickerson disclosed that a trusted member of Gotti's Gambino crime family had secretly taped conversations between the capo and his confederates over a 30-month period. The informant, a self-styled former hit man named Dominick Lofaro,...

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