Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family (Paperback)
The chilling true story of how the son of the most violent mobster in Chicago helped bring down the last great American crime syndicate: the one-hundred-year-old Chicago Outfit. In Operation Family Secrets, Frank Calabrese, Jr. reveals for the first time the outfit's "made" ceremony and describes being put to work alongside his father and uncle in loan sharking, gambling, labor racketeering, and extortion. As members of the outfit, they plotted the slaying of a fellow gangster, committed the bombing murder of a trucking executive, the gangland execution of two mobsters--whose burial in an Indiana cornfield was reenacted in Martin Scorsese's blockbuster film Casino--and numerous other hits. The Calabrese Crew's colossal earnings and extreme ruthlessness made them both a dreaded criminal gang and the object of an intense FBi inquiry. When Frank Jr., his father, and Uncle Nick are convicted on racketeering violations, "Junior" and "Senior" are sent to the same federal penitentiary in Michigan. It's there that Frank Jr. makes the life-changing decision to go straight. But he needs to keep his father behind bars in order to regain control of his life and save his family. So Frank Jr. makes a secret deal with prosecutors, and for six months--unmonitored and unprotected--he wears a wire as his father recounts decades of hideous crimes. Frank Jr.'s cooperation with the FBI for virtually no monetary gain or special privileges helped create the government's "Operation Family Secrets" campaign against the Chicago outfit, which reopened eighteen unsolved murders, implicated twelve La Cosa Nostra soldiers and two outfit bosses, and became one of the largest organized crime cases in U.S. history.
Operation Family Secrets intimately portrays how organized crime rots a family from the inside out while detailing Frank Jr.'s deadly prison-yard mission, the FBI's landmark investigation, and the U.S. attorney's office's daring prosecution of America's most dangerous criminal organization.
About the Author
Frank Calabrese, Jr., lived in his native Chicago for thirty-nine years. Mentored by his father and brought into the Chicago outfit at age eighteen, he now resides in Arizona with his ex-wife and two children. Keith and Kent Zimmerman have coauthored many New York Times and London Times bestselling books. Paul Pompian, who has produced more than fifty motion pictures and television productions, was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and came by his interest in the outfit naturally. From the Hardcover edition.
"I couldn’t stop reading this gripping account of Frank Calabrese Jr.’s decision to cooperate with the FBI that took down his father, uncle and the last American crime syndicate."-- Nick Pileggi, author and screenwriter of Wiseguys, Goodfellas and Casino
"An undeniably engaging tale, capturing the nitty-gritty of daily life in the "crews" of the Outfit. A useful and readable addition to Mob Lit." Kirkus reviews