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"I also don't believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn't do that kind of business. Somebody comes to them and says, «I have powders; if you put up three, four thousand dollar investment - we can make fifty thousand distributing.» So they can't resist. I want to control it as a business, to keep it respectable. I don't want it near schools - I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people - the colored. They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls."
―Giuseppe Zaluchi[src]

Giuseppe "Joe Z" Zaluchi was the head of Detroit's Zaluchi family.


A Sicilian immigrant, Giuseppe Zaluchi settled in Detroit in the early twentieth century. In Detroit, Zaluchi became involved in the local Mafia branch. He took over as Don after the chaos of the Purple Gang and build an empire that became known as the most peaceful in the country. He also established ties with Vito Corleone in New York City.

The mediator

During the Five Families War of the 1940s, he was an ally of the Corleone family, speaking out against the drug trade that was encouraged by Philip Tattaglia. He served as sort of a mediator in the meeting of the Five Families. In 1955, a satchel was sent to him and he used it to sabotage the flight of Anthony Molinari, Frank Falcone, and Nick Geraci. However he was never connected to this incident.

Zaluchi and the Corleones

Zaluchi remained a strong ally to the Corleone family through his entire life, even allowing his daughter Susan to marry Ray Clemenza, which furthered the ties between the two families, as well as helping Fredo Corleone escape a set-up by Louie Russo intended to kill Fredo and humiliate his family. At this time, his other daughter married the scion of an automobile company. One of his sons had also married into a well-known American family.

He also supported Michael Corleone against Carlo Tramonti, who was attempting to gain the Commission's approval on the killing of President James Shea. Tramonti proceeded anyway, and he was killed by either by the CIA or one of the families.

Personality and traits

Zaluchi was described as a moon-faced, amiable-looking man who had a booming American voice with only the slightest trace of an accent. He was conservatively dressed, very businessman, and with a hearty goodwill to match. Zaluchi, like Vito Corleone, was sophisticated and traditional and initially disapproved of traffic in drugs. He was however, a man of his time, and had little concern for the lives of Black people; he considered them "animals", and reasoned that drug trafficking could be kept respectable by limiting it to Black neighborhoods only.


Joseph Zaluchi could possibly be based on gangster Joseph Zerilli, who as the boss of Detroit shared a similar name and was also known as "Joe Z".