Mob racketeer born in 1904 in New York City. He worked for the Magaddino Family, until in 1959 he and his boss, Vito Genovese were sentenced to 15 years in prison on narcotics charges. During his prison term his boss became convinced that Valachi had turned state's evidence. He arranged conflicts between Valachi and another mafia man in prison, Vito Agueci. One day a man approached Valachi in the prison yard. Valachi, certain the man was a mafia hit man come to kill him, grabbed a pipe and beat the man to death. As he faced a death sentence before the Atlanta courts, he came in contact with the FBI and became the first person associated with any mob family to turn informer.
He was also one of the few who divulged the secrets of the mafia initiation. He described the ritual of pricking your finger and swearing an oath to the Family and burning a Holy Picture, swearing allegiance or surrenduring in death. Many others, even though informing on the organizations would not divulge any ritual. Valachi died in prison in 1971. According to author Peter Maas, who wrote Valachi's story, Valachi's biggest comfort was Vito Genovese died first, but lived to read his story.