Detective Michael Fiaschetti might be forgotten but for a boastful 1928 autobiography entitled, "The Man They Couldn't Escape." (After a printing in England, it was published in the U.S. with the title "You Gotta Be Rough.")
In the book, Fiaschetti describes his adventures as a member of and a commander of New York's Italian Squad.
Fiaschetti served under Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino and provides a window into the tactics of that great crimefighter. He notes his own preference for a collection of knowledgeable stool pigeons over the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes.
He also scoffed at the code of omerta. Criminals on their deathbeds may not inform on the guy who shot them, Fiaschetti argued, but that's only because there's no way that could benefit them (and it could be dangerous for the loved ones they leave behind). But, if given a choice between being sent up the river and ratting on a criminal confederate, Fiaschetti said nearly every underworld character would sing.
Fiaschetti battled kidnappers, black handers and lottery racketeers during his career. While he was not directly involved, the death of the powerful Giosue Gallucci, racket king of Italian East Harlem, occurred during Fiaschetti's tenure.
© 2007 T.Hunt
The American "Mafia"