200 members and the Bonanno and Lucchese families withrnonly about 100 members each.rnGravano, who himself was targeted for prosecution in thernCastellano killing, showed in court that he had direct access tornGotti, knowledge of the family’s illegal business dealings, andrnfirsthand information on Gotti’s achvities. Facing life in prisonrnfor his reputed connection to the Castellano-Bilotti murders,rnthe mobster-turned-informant reportedly cut a deal with federalrnprosecutors in exchange for his testimony. He heads a growingrnlist of high-ranking mobsters who have turned their backsrnon La Cosa Nostra’s infamous code of silence to become governmentrninformants.rn”It used to be unheard of for a made member to turn on thernfamily,” William F. Roemer, )r., who headed the FBI’s organizedrncrime strike force in Ghicago for more than 25 years, saidrnin an interview before his recent death. “But^the code ofrnsilence, the omerta, has been eroded,” he said. “Top Mobrnleaders from around the country are seeking to cooperate as arnviable alternative to spending 30 or 40 years in prison. Manyrnare beginning to find out that, unlike the past, they can get awayrnwith it.”rnJim E. Moody, veteran chief of the FBI’s organized crimernsection in Washington, said La Cosa Nostra members today arern”realists,” and that many of them who agree to testify “see it isrnan option to spending the rest of their lives in prison. Theyrnknow that under the new sentencing guidelines, if they get 88rnyears in prison, they’re going to be there for 88 years—or untilrnthey die.”rnThe willingness of La Cosa Nostra members to go to prisonrnrather than testify against family members began tornchange in 1981 with the advent of the FBI’s “enterprise theoryrnof investigation,” which allowed the bureau to target crimernfamilies instead of individual members. Aided by informantsrnwho could be protected, new criminal and civil racketeeringrnstatutes, and, eventually, tougher sentencing guidelines, thisrnapproach targeted crime bosses and disrupted La Cosa Nostrarnorganizations. Since 1981, more than 1,000 made membersrnand associates have been convicted in federal courts. The hierarchiesrnof the five New York families have been prosecuted,rnand La Cosa Nostra activities in Boston, Cleveland, Denver,rnKansas City, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and St.rnLouis have been targeted.rnProsecutors believe a major reason for the FBI’s successrnagainst La Cosa Nostra has been the witness security program,rnwhich can hide federal informants in or out of prison, and providernprotection for their families. “They still die if they getrncaught, and they understand that,” said Mr. Roemer. “But withrnthe witness securit}’ program, getting caught is much less a certainty.”rnA growing number of mobsters and associates have beenrnwilling to break La Cosa Nostra’s infamous code of silence overrnthe past three decades. They include:rnAlfonse D’Arco: an acting boss of the Lucchese crimernfamily who agreed to cooperate with federal authoritiesrnin a labor-racketeering tiial in New York involving allegedrnbid-rigging in several multimillion-dollar projects.rnAladena Fratianno: a former acting boss of the Los AngelesrnMob and a Mob captain in Cleveland, “Jimmy thernWeasel” Fratianno gave testimony that led to the convictionsrnof five Mob bosses in Los Angeles on charges ofrnracketeering.rnAngela Lonardo: underboss of the Cleveland crime family,rnnow facing a 103-year prison sentence, Lonardo wasrninstrumental in later court cases involving the Mob andrnwas the highest-ranking member ever to defect.rnVincent Teresa: the Number Three man in the NewrnEngland Mob, “Fat Vinny” Teresa—facing imprisonmentrnat a federal prison in Pennsylvania—testifiedrnagainst Mob figures from Florida to Massachusetts, resultingrnin the indictment or conviction of more than 50rnorganized crime bosses, including Meyer Lansky, thernMob’s biggest moneymaker.rnJoseph Valachi: while being questioned by the FBI inrnSeptember 1963, Valachi became the first Mob memberrnto confirm the existence of La Cosa Nostia in the UnitedrnStates. Later, in testimony before the Senate permanentrnsubcommittee on investigations, he described the organization’srninner workings.rnEven Nicholas “The Little Guy” Corozzo, once consideredrnGotti’s heir-apparent, pleaded guilt}’ in 1997 to federal racketeeringrncharges. In a deal with federal authorities for a lesserrnsentence, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring tornviolate racketeering laws. The deal, which required his cooperationrnin other cases, netted him a 15-year reduction on hisrnsentence. frnLIBERAL ARTSrnMOBOCRACYrn”The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangstersrncan rule nations and almost rule cities, in which hotelsrnand apartment houses and celebrated restaurants arernowned by men who made their money out of brothels, inrnwhich a screen star can be the fingerman for a Mob, andrnthe nice man down the hall is a boss of the numbers racket;rna world where a judge with a cellar full of bootlegrnliquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket,rnwhere the mayor of your town may have condonedrnmurder as an instrument of money-making, where nornman can walk down a dark street in safety because lawrnand order are things we talk about but refrain from practising;rna world where you may witness a hold-up in broadrndaylight and see who did it, but you will fade quicklyrnback into the crowd rather than tell anyone, because thernhold-up men may have friends with long guns, or the policernmay not like your testimony, and in any case the shysterrnfor the defense will be allowed to abuse and vilify yournin open court, before a jury of selected morons, withoutrnany but the most perfunctory interference from a politicalrnjudge.”rn—from Raymond Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder”rnOCTOBER 1998/23rnrnrn