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A one square-mile section of New York City named the Five Pointz can be called the birthplace of the American gangster. In Search of History s2e17: The Five Points Gang, History 1997
The 1840s: These tenements and slums were home to what became known as the Five Pointz Gang. ibid.
‘Ruins loom upon the eye. Hideous tenements which take their name from robbery and murder. All that is loathsome, droopy and decayed is here.’ ibid. Dickens
The Plug-Uglies wore stovepipe plug hats … The Dead Rabbit gang rallied around a rabbit impaled on a stake. ibid.
What began as a gang brawl turned into a war … More than 100 people died. ibid.
These social affairs were dubbed rackets by the gangs. ibid.
Among the giants of organised crime in the 1930 Lepke Buchalter quietly built a fortune on the backs of an army of workers, and created the marriage between corruption and labour unions in America. Then the Mob double-crosssed him. Mobsters s1e3: Louis Lepke, Bio 2007
He stepped out of Sing Sing just as Americans were getting used to a new word in their vocabulary – Prohibition. ibid.
The future was not breaking heads on the picket line but in dominating the unions themselves. ibid.
His men simply came into their union headquarters with guns drawn and opened fire. When the shooting was over, a dozen were dead, and Lepke had another union under his belt. ibid.
He planned nothing less than a murder spree to kill every witness that might testify against him. ibid.
Lepke and his associates were found guilty of murder. ibid.
Sammy the Bull Gravano was the Mob’s perfect killer. No questions. No mistakes. No guilt. He built a construction empire in New York City and became underboss to John Gotti, the infamous dapper don. When the Feds closed in, Gravano made a decision that would put his boss behind bars for life and decimate New York’s most important crime family. Mobsters 1e4: Sammy the Bull Gravano
Gravano was 25 when Shorty ordered him to kill another crew member. ibid.
Sammy was just making his mark in a racket … construction. ibid.
He helped arrange the murder of boss big Paul Castellano in December 1985. ibid.
‘I began to cooperate with the government in 1991.’ ibid. testifying
‘Genovese was violent; he liked to have bodies in the street.’ Mobsters s1e7: Genovese: Portrait of a Crime Family
The Genovese family is down but not out. It continues to make millions every year through rackets ranging from labour corruption to extortion to drug trafficking. ibid.
He had finally had enough of the Mob and stepped down as boss. ibid.
It didn’t take long for the drug racket to get Vito into trouble. ibid.
Vito Genovese died in prison of heart failure at the age of 72. ibid.
He would wander the streets for hours yearning to escape the family’s poverty. Mobsters s1e8: Frank Costello
By the late 1920s bootlegging had made Frank Costello rich. ibid.
He made his debut as a Mafia diplomat at a major gathering of gangsters in Atlantic City in 1929. ibid.
His business deals becoming more and more legitimate. ibid.
‘All I know I stole.’ ibid. Costello
He went to a psychiatrist. ibid.
He worked for years as a foot soldier in the New York Mafia. Then he revealed its secrets to the nation. Mobsters s1e9: Joseph the Rat Valachi
His performance was mesmerising. ibid.
‘What do I get out of it? Nothing but misery.’ ibid. Valachi
Between 1919 and 1923 the gang burglarized hundreds of New York businesses. ibid.
‘He would walk the streets in a bathrobe; he would urinate in public.’ Mobsters s1e12: Vinnie the Chin Gigante
Gigante might be very sane and very dangerous. ibid.
Vito Genovese took Vinnie under his wing. ibid.
In 1959 prosecutors convicted the 30-year-old Gigante and his mentor 62-year-old Vito Genovese of heroin trafficking. ibid.
For 30 years Joe Bonanno’s authority in the underworld went unchallenged … He witnessed the rise and fall of the Mob and lived to tell the tale. Mobsters s1e13: Joe Bonanno
Bonanno arrived in New York in 1924. ibid.
By the time he was 25 years old Joe Bonanno was a successful bootlegger and a rising leader in the New York underworld. ibid.
At the age of 26 is a Mafia boss. ibid.
The most respected man in the Mafia. ibid.
Joe agreed to be exiled from New York. ibid.
‘Carlos Gambino was running the largest, most extensive crime empire in the United States at the time.’ Mobsters s1e14: The Gambinos: First Family of Crime
The Gambino crime family stood out: one of the five crime families created in New York in the 1930s. ibid.
Like Capone, John Gotti was a gangsta sent straight from central casting. ibid.
In a five year period he [Gotti] escaped justice three times. ibid.
He [Gambino] expanded the [waterfront] racketeering to gambling, construction, loan-sharking and even more white-collar crimes such as securities fraud on Wall Street. ibid.
Castellano in 1976: many saw him as someone who rose to the top because of his relationship with Gambino not because he had paid his dues on the street. ibid.
Paul Vario hired young Henry to wash and park cars for all the members of his crew. Mobsters s1e15: Henry Hill
He was drawn to the flamboyant Mob lifestyle. ibid.
He was a good conman and he was charming. ibid.
For wise guys prison wasn’t much different from the streets … Henry realised that narcotics were the hottest commodity in prison. ibid.
Between his dealing and drug abuse Hill’s life was spinning out of control. ibid.
His decision made him a marked man. ibid.
Hill helped put as many as thirty wise guys in prison. ibid.
Lucky Luciano: In the early 1930s New York City was a Mob killing field. Out of this bloody chaos emerged one cold-hearted brilliant gangsta named Lucky Luciano. Mobsters s1e16: Lucky Luciano
He was going to literally organise crime. Lucky ordered a sit-down meeting in New York and created a secret commission made up of the leaders of five notorious crime families. ibid.
His made money came from drugs and prostitution. ibid.
At the age of 18 he was busted for possession of heroin and sentenced to a year in jail. ibid.
He was the New York Mob’s new boss. ibid.
His sentence was a whopping 30 - 50 years. ibid.