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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy

“Joseph Barboza is the most dangerous individual known.” -FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, 1965  

Joe Barboza knew that there were two requirements for getting inducted into the Mafia. You had to be Sicilian. And you had to commit a contract killing. The New Bedford-born mobster was a proud Portuguese, not Sicilian, but his dream to be part of La Cosa Nostra proved so strong that he thought he could create a loophole. If he killed enough men, if he did enough of the Mafia’s dirtiest biddings, then they would have no choice but to make him a Made Man.  

Barboza’s brutal rise during one of the deadliest mob wars in US history became the stuff of legend, both on the bloodied streets of Boston and in the offices of the FBI and the US Attorney General. He took sick joy in his crimes, and it became increasingly difficult for the mob to keep the Animal on his leash. But soon the hunter became the hunted. Betrayed by the mob and now on the run, Boston’s most notorious contract killer forged a Faustian bargain with two unscrupulous FBI agents - a pact that would transform the US criminal justice system. 

From false testimony and manipulated evidence that sent mob leaders to death row, to the creation of the Witness Protection Program so the feds could protect their prized, cold-blooded witness, this was the horrific, dramatic first act in a story of murder and FBI corruption still being played out today in the news and the courtroom with the capture and trial of Whitey Bulger. Barboza’s legacy, buried for years thanks to the murders or deaths of its participants, is finally coming to light and being told in its unvarnished brutality by one of America’s most respected true crime writers.

©2013 Northeastern University (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Animal

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done. 5 stars.

First off, I like the guy who read it. the narrator had a chilling voice and did good impressions as well. he was born for this. Also, I have been digging around and trying to get my hands on as many books on organized crime as I can for a while now, and watching documentaries, and clips of old news broadcasts on YouTube. I have a fascination with all sorts of true crime stories and these kind in particular. If you're like me This will satisfy your hunger while you read it. This is a thorough account of the life and death of Joe Barboza. Until I read this book I only knew from his name occasionally coming up in relation to the top echelon informant program in other books, and an interview he did in 1970 I found on YouTube.

It's not just Barboza's story however, its the story of the Boston mob wars and, the story of the top echelon informant program in Boston. From Jimmy the bear Flemmi, to his brother Steve the rifleman, to Joe Barboza and soon after Whitey Bulger. How far the FBI was willing to go to take down the mafia, and how corrupted some of them became on their mission. Well done and a hard read, not for the faint of heart as nearly everyone in the story is a violent psychopath. 5 stars all the way. I recommend this book to any true crime fans.

5 people found this helpful

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A great story told masterfully

This was a great deep dive into Joe Barboza. The story brings you through the hay day of the mob and one of its most violent associates. I have read, watched or listened to every piece of mafia entertainment. If you have knowledge of the boston area mob you will of course have heard of Joe barboza and all the other names in this book. This was a great addition to the overall story of New England LCN! Great piece of work and the narrator did tremendous.

2 people found this helpful

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pretty good listen

The narrator did a good job. interesting story. There were a ton of avenues that could have been explored more but overall a good listen.

2 people found this helpful

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No Moscow Rules

Not as good as Moscow rules. It lacks the adventure and suspense.This book is more about politics.

2 people found this helpful

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Little hard to follow

Lots of characters with a story line that bounces around. Wish there were more insights to the actual murders and crimes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C
  • 06-26-19

very informative

Very informative audio book I enjoyed it I didn't realize lot of the things that had gone on and it was just interesting good listen.

2 people found this helpful

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excellent!!!

good read! takes you there. really enjoyed all the different angles it is told from!!

1 person found this helpful

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Top notch true crime

As a true crime buff from the SF Bay Area, living in NYC and North Jersey, with friends and family from New England and New York, I found this to be a very compelling and fascinating story. I had never heard this guy before but loved the stories of the Boston and Providence mob that gave a good background to the better-known Boston Bulger/Irish mob and Providence crime exploits with dashes of interactions regarding the NYC mafia. Highly recommended

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stay away from good weed

Joe got arrested & Joe was in a boys home and he was in prison Joe liked to fight Joe was very violent Joe is I mean Joe was an. ""ANIMAL""

3 people found this helpful