When Corruption Was King

How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down
Narrated by: Johnny Heller
Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bob Cooley was the Chicago Mafia's "mechanic" - a fixer of court cases. During the 1970s and '80s, Cooley bribed judges, court clerks, and cops to keep his Mob clients - hit men, bookies, racketeers, and crooked pols - out of jail. Paid handsomely for his services, he lived fast and enjoyed the protection of the men he served.

He had enough money to blow on all the vices the Windy City could offer, and enough standing among mobsters to know he would never be caught. Yet, through the '90s, Cooley became the star witness in a series of trials that took down the Chicago outfit, arguably the most powerful Mafia family in the history of organized crime.

This is the story of a Mob lawyer turned mole with a million-dollar contract on his head, a man who has clanged back and forth between sin and sainthood like a church bell clapper - a turbulent youth, a stint on Chicago's police force, law school, and then the inner sanctum of Chicago's leading mobsters and corrupt political officials. With wild abandon he chased crooked acquittals for the likes of Pat Marcy, an Al Capone protégé, who had become the Mob's key political operative; ruthless Mafia capo and gambling czar Marco D'Amico; and notorious hit man Harry Aleman. He dined with Mob bosses and shared "last suppers" with friends before their gangland executions. Cooley watched as Marcy and the Mob controlled the courts, the cops, and the politicians. Then, in a startling act of conscience, he walked into the office of the US Organized Crime Strike Force and, without a pending conviction or a hit man on his tail, agreed to wear a wire on the same Mafia overlords who had made him a player.

Cooley's tapes and testimony would be at the center of nine landmark trials that together exposed and then broke the Mob's unprecedented stranglehold on Chicago's government and court system.

©2004 Robert Cooley and Hillel Levin (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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

I great read about Chicago and the mob

I great tell all book about the corruption inside the Chicago government, judicial system, and the Mob. I highly recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Glue of Chicago History

This book, when read with the proper lens, reveals how corruption, has worked, continues to work, and will work moving forward in Chicago. Keep notes and draw a map. then, in the end, cross out the names but leave the connecting lines, and there you have it. A structure, unique only to Chicago, where bosses don't kill each other and the 'untouchables ' just make minor adjustments and replace the players on the chart, but the stucture and leadership remain strong. their way is, modern, modular, scalable and can be ramped up or pulled back into the shadows at any time.

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great but a snitch still<br />

good book I always find it sad that people will use breaking the law as a way to get ahead then when shit goes wrong . changing how they feel. sad little snitch.

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I believe it...

Not made up, like Eliot Ness, a real person, with just an incredible true story.

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Good if you’re interested in the mob…

This was a good book, but it could have been better because I feel the story was incredible. But it did not include operation family secrets, with Frank Calabres testimony helping these trials. At least that’s what I thought really happened.

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excellent

this is a fantastic book! I've read it twice and I've listened to it twice loved it each and every time. goes through all the details of the corrupt Chicago judicial system!

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Great historic account

I really enjoyed this historic account on the Chicago mob rise and assumed fall. Bob does a fantastic job of creating imagery in your mind and the narrator who sounds a bit like Joe Pesci is the perfect voice for this book