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“Pay or Die: A Black Hand Story, ” a seven-part serial, chronicles the rise and fall in Washington County of what may be called the precursor to the Mafia in the United States. It focuses on the Italian community in Canonsburg and how it was terrorized by some of its own members in the 1910s and 1920s, when bullet-riddled corpses were found almost routinely in and around town. The story follows the lives of six people: the three defendants tried for the 1922 murder of Gabriele Fiore and the three main witnesses who had the courage to testified against them. The serial is written by A. Parker Burroughs, retired editor of the Observer-Reporter.

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