Mafia and Gangsters

Season 1 Episode 4

Joseph "The Rat" Valachi

Aired Unknown Unknown on The Biography Channel
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Episode Summary

Joseph "The Rat" Valachi
This small-time gangster with a big mouth broke the mob's ranks by breaking its code of silence. Attorney General Robert Kennedy called Mafia sergeant Joe "The Rat" Valachi's revelations about Cosa Nostra, the government's "single biggest intelligence breakthrough" in combating organized crime. Joe Valachi cut an unimpressive figure as the squat, chain-smoking, coarse, thug with the crew cut. This low-level mobster was tougher than he was smart and more opportunistic than he was brave. His criminal dalliances included contract killings, loan sharking, racketeering, burglary, narcotics dealing and other marginally successful attempts at a gangster's life. Valachi had been part of the infamous Genovese crime family since its beginning, but it was his role as informant that would propel him to national notoriety and shake the very core of the Mafia's secret and corrupt society.moreless

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