March 31, 1933. On a quiet Sunday afternoon in his house on the South Side of Chicago, Mafia capo Joe Bucco is relaxing with his family when a woman named Vittorini begins shouting from the sidewalk accusing him of killing her husband. The husband is a cousin of Bucco's wife. He swears to his wife that he didn't have her cousin killed. Most likely he's laying out dead drunk somewhere.
That night Ness and Flaherty go to Vittorini's restaurant armed with a search warrant for illegal liquor. Mrs. Vittorini encounters them outside the restaurant but won't tell them anything about her husband. Ness and Flaherty enter the restaurant and find Vittorini strung up on a meat hook in the freezer room. When she learns of her husband's gruesome fate, Mrs. Vittorini breaks the Code of Silence regarding the Mafia and gives them Joe Bucco's name.
Ness and Youngfellow then pay Bucco a visit at the apartment of Georgina Jones, his mistress. Bucco's bodyguard, former boxer Abe Garfinkel, is there too. Bucco denies anything to do with the killing of Arturo Vittorini. Ness then theorizes that Bucco's collector, Little Charlie Sebastino, is the one who did the killing. Maybe the Mafia higher-ups don't even tell Bucco the time of day anymore.
Ness happens to be right. The Mafia dons want him retired. Little Charlie is now their man. Bucco doesn't want to quit so as a warning the Mafia has his bodyguard, Abe Garfinkel, gunned down in broad daylight while he's buying a newspaper.
Ness knows that Bucco is no saint. He's responsible for at least six murders but Ness figures that maybe Bucco can help him break the Mafia. He offers Bucco protective custody in return for testimony. Bucco refuses. Then he has his last meal with Little Charlie at the Tivoli restaurant. The noise of death comes chiming and Bucco is shot by the Mafia.
Bucco doesn't die right away. He is rushed to the hospital where his faithful wife is keeping a bedside vigil. But nothing can prevent the inevitable and Bucco passes away without naming his killers. Honoring her husband's final request, Mrs. Bucco hands Ness the key to a safety deposit box. Ness opens the box and finds a 45 record inside. It's a recording made by Bucco. He says, "Now I'm gonna sing." But instead of singing about the Mafia he literally begins singing. Then he warns Ness to get out of the game because he's too honest. Ness turns off the record player. Even in death the Mafia code of silence has been followed. Share this article with your friends