Their names memorized by the story.
The dubious underworld of the mafia struck the imagination of people for many years. Luxurious, but a criminal way of life thieves groups for many was ideal. But why should we bewitch these men and women who, in essence, just gangsters living off those who are not able to defend themselves.
The fact that the mafia is not just any organized crime group. Gangsters are heroes, not the villains they really are. Criminal lifestyle looks like in a Hollywood movie. Sometimes this is a Hollywood movie: many of them are based on real events from the life of mafia. In the movie the crime of the ennobled, and the viewer it seems that these bandits — in vain fallen heroes. As America gradually forgets the days of prohibition, and forget that the gangsters were viewed as liberators who fought with the evil government. They were the Robin Hoods of the working class, oppose themselves to unrealistic and strict laws. Besides, people tend to admire powerful, rich and beautiful people and idealize them.
However, not everyone was given such charisma, and many major politicians all hate, and not love them. Gangsters know how to use his charm to seem more attractive to society. It is based on heritage and family history associated with emigration, poverty and unemployment. A classic story “from rags to riches” for centuries, attracts attention. In the history of the mafia, there are at least fifteen of these characters.
Frank Costello was a native of Italy, like many other famous mobsters. He was the head of the terrifying and famous in the criminal world Luciano family. Frank moved to new York at the age of four and, once grown up, immediately found his place in the world of criminals, leading the gang. When the infamous Charles Luciano named Lucky went to jail in 1936, Costello quickly climbed the “career” ladder, leading the Luciano clan, later known as the Genovese clan.
It was called Prime Minister, because he rules the underworld and really wanted to get into politics, linking the mafia and Tammany hall, the political society of the US Democratic party in new York. The ubiquitous Costello led the casinos and gambling clubs across the country, as well as in Cuba and other Islands of the Caribbean. He enjoyed great popularity and respect among their people. It is believed that the image of Vito Corleone, the protagonist of 1972’s “the Godfather”, based on Costello. Of course, he had enemies: in 1957, he was assassinated in the course of which the mafia was wounded in the head, but miraculously survived. He only died in 1973 of a heart attack.
Jack “Legs” diamond was born in Philadelphia in 1897. He was a significant figure in the prohibition era and the leader of organized crime in the United States. Earning the nickname Legs for the ability to quickly leave the chase and an extravagant style of dance, diamond was also known unprecedented cruelty and murder. His criminal escapades in new York went down in history as the organization for smuggling alcohol in and around the city.
Realizing that it is very lucrative, diamond moved on to larger prey, organizing the robbery of the truck and discovering the underground items for the sale of alcoholic beverages. But the order for the murder of the famous gangster Nathan Kaplan helped it to strengthen its status in the world of crime, putting it on par with such serious guys, like Lucky Luciano and Dutch Schultz, who then stood in his way. Although diamond and was afraid several times he himself had been a target, receiving the nickname Skeet shooting and not killed people because of the ability every time to get away. But once the tide left it, and in 1931 he was shot. Diamond the killer was never found.
Known for having headed the famous and almost invincible new York mafia clan Gambino at the turn of the 1980-ies and 1990-ies, John Joseph Gotti, Jr. was one of the most powerful men in the mafia. He grew up in poverty, being one of thirteen children. He quickly joined the criminal atmosphere, becoming six local gangster and his mentor’agnello Dellacroce. In 1980, 12-year-old son, Frank Gotti was crushed to death a neighbor and family friend John Favara. Though the incident was declared an accident, Favara received a lot of threats and later attacked him with a baseball bat. A few months Favara disappeared under mysterious circumstances and his body still not found.
With impeccable appearance and stereotypical gangsta style, Gotti quickly became a favorite of the tabloids, earning the nickname the Teflon don. He was in prison and out of it, it was difficult to catch red-handed, and every time he was in jail for a short period. However, in 1990, thanks to tapping and insider information, the FBI finally caught up with Gotti and charged him with murder and extortion. Gotti died in prison in 2002 of cancer of the larynx and at the end of his life little resembles that of Teflon don, which was not peeled from the pages of the tabloids.
Yes, Sinatra himself once was the alleged accomplice of a gangster Sam Giancana and even the ubiquitous Lucky Luciano. He once said: “If it wasn’t for my interest in music, I probably would end up in the criminal world”. Sinatra was accused of mob ties, when he became aware of his involvement in the so-called Havana conference — the mafia meeting in 1946. The headlines then screamed: “Shame on Sinatra!”. About the double life Sinatra was known not only to Newspapers, but and the FBI, which followed the singer since the beginning of his career. In his personal case was 2403 page about the interaction with the mafia.
Most excited the public his relationship with John F. Kennedy before he became President. Sinatra allegedly used his contacts in the criminal world to help the future leader’s presidential campaign. Mafia lost faith in Sinatra because of his friendship with Robert Kennedy, who was involved in the fight against organized crime, and the singer turned Giancana. Then the FBI calmed down a bit. Despite the obvious evidence and information linking Sinatra with major mafia figures, the singer often denied any relations with the gangsters, calling such statements a lie.
Meyer Harris Cohen, known Mickey for many years was a pain in the ass from the police of Los Angeles. He had a share in all the branches of organized crime in Los Angeles and some other States. Cohen was born in new York but moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was six years old. Starting a promising career in Boxing, Cohen left the sport to go the way of crime, and ended up in Chicago, where he worked on the famous al Capone.
After several successful years in the era of prohibition Cohen was sent to Los Angeles under the patronage of the famous gangster from Las Vegas Bugsy Siegel. The murder of Siegel touched a sensitive Cohen for a living, and the police began to notice a cruel and hot-tempered bandit. After several attempts to assassinate him, Cohen turned his home into a fortress, installing alarm systems, spotlights, and bullet-proof gate, as well as hiring a bodyguard johnny Stompanato, who then met with the Hollywood actress Lana Turner.
In 1961, when Cohen was still influential, he was convicted for tax evasion and was sent to the famous prison Alcatraz. He was the only prisoner released from the prison on bail. Despite numerous attempts of murder and the constant hunt for him Cohen died in his sleep at the age of 62 years.
Henry hill inspired the makers of one of the best films about the mafia “Goodfellas.” It was he who pronounced the words: “I always wanted to be a gangster”. Hill was born in new York in 1943 in honest hard-working family without any ties with the mafia. Nevertheless in his youth he joined the clan luccese due to the large number of bandits in his neighborhood. He was quickly promoted, but due to the fact that was at once Irish and Italian descent, could not occupy a high position.
Once hill was arrested for beating a player who refused to pay the money he lost, and was sentenced to ten years in prison. It was then that he realized that the lifestyle that he led in the wild, in fact, is similar to that behind bars, and constantly get some preferences. After his release hill was seriously engaged in the sale of drugs, which he was arrested. He passed his whole crew and cast some very powerful gangsters. He came under the Federal witness protection program in 1980, but two years later broke his cover, and the program stopped. Despite this, he managed to live to 69 years. Hill died in 2012 from heart problems.
Another veteran of Alcatraz, James Bulger, nicknamed Whitey. He received this nickname due to the bright silky hair. Bulger grew up in Boston and from the beginning has been a lot of problems with parents, several times running away from home and once even joining a traveling circus. The first time Bulger was arrested in 14 years, but that didn’t stop him, and by the late 1970s he ended up in the criminal underground.
Bulger worked for the mafia clan, but it was a FBI informant and told the police about the cases in his time clan Patriarca. As Bulger extended his own criminal network, the police began to pay more attention on him and not on the information that he provided. In the end, Bulger had to escape from Boston, and he is fifteen years appeared in the list of most wanted criminals.
Bulger was caught in 2011 and was charged with several crimes, including 19 murders, money laundering, extortion and drug trafficking. After the trial, which lasted two months, a famous gang leader was found guilty and sentenced to two life prison terms and five years of imprisonment, and Boston was finally able to sleep peacefully.
Known for its casino in Las Vegas and a criminal Empire, Benjamin Siegelbaum, which in the world of crime was called Bugsy Siegel, one of the most famous gangsters in modern history. Starting with a mediocre Brooklyn gang, young Bugsy met another budding thug, Meir Lansky, and created a group Murder, Inc., specialized in contract killings. It included the gangsters of Jewish origin.
Becoming more known in the world of crime, Siegel tried to kill the old new York gangsters and even had a hand in the elimination of Joe Masseria, nicknamed the Boss. After several years of smuggling and skirmishes on the West coast Siegel began making large sums of money and gained respect in Hollywood. The real star of it was due to his Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas. The project worth $ 1.5 million was funded from gangster obshchak, but in the construction cost estimate was significantly exceeded. Old friend and partner of Lansky, Siegel decided that Siegel was stealing money and partly invests in legitimate business. He was brutally murdered in his own house, isrelative bullets, and Lansky took over the management of the Flamingo hotel, denying his involvement in the murder.
Vito Genovese, who was called don Vito was Italian-American gangster, widely famous during prohibition and in subsequent years. It was also called the boss of the bosses, and he headed the famous Genovese clan. It is famous for being made a massive heroin drug.
Genovese was born in Italy and moved to new York in 1913. Quickly merging into criminal circles, Genovese soon became acquainted with Lucky Luciano, and together they destroyed the rival gangster Salvatore maranzano. Fleeing from police, Genovese was back in his native Italy, where he remained until the end of world war II, made friends with himself, Benito Mussolini. On his return he immediately began to lead the old way of life, capturing the power in the world of crime and once again becoming the man everyone feared. In 1959 he was accused of drug trafficking and was jailed for 15 years. In 1969, Genovese died of a heart attack at the age of 71.
Charles Luciano, known as Lucky, was many times spotted in the criminal escapades with other gangsters. His nickname Luciano was due to the fact that survived the threat of a knife wound. He is called the founder of the modern mafia. During the years of his mafia career, he managed to organize the murder of two large bosses and create a completely new principle of operation of organized crime. He had a hand in the creation of the famous “Five families” of new York and the national crime syndicate.
Long enough living the high life, Lucky became a popular character among the population and the police. Maintaining the image and edgy, Lucky began to attract attention, with the result that he was charged in the organization of prostitution. When he was behind bars, he continued to conduct business both outside and inside. It is believed that he even had there own chef. After his release he was expelled to Italy, but he settled in Havana. Under pressure from the US authorities, the Cuban government was forced to get rid of it, and Lucky forever went to Italy. He died of a heart attack in 1962 at the age of 64 years.
Although the mafia world is mainly a world of men, we cannot say that the mafia didn’t have women. Mary Licciardi was born in Italy in 1951 and was the head of the Licciardi clan, famous for the Camorra, the Neapolitan criminal gang. Licciardi, nicknamed the Godmother is still very famous in Italy, and most of her family is linked to the Neapolitan mafia. Licciardi, specialized on drug trafficking and racketeering. She led the clan when her two brothers and husband were arrested. Although many were dissatisfied, as she became the first female head of a mafia clan, she managed to suppress the unrest and to successfully unite several clans of the city, expanding the drug market.
In addition to its activities in the field of drug trafficking, Licciardi also known trafficking. She used underage girls from neighboring countries, such as Albania, forcing them to work as prostitutes and thus violating the ancient code of honour of the Neapolitan mafia, according to which it is impossible to earn from prostitution. After one of the transactions for the sale of heroin fell, Licciardi made the list of most wanted criminals and was arrested in 2001. Now she’s behind bars, but according to rumors, Mary Licciardi continues to lead a clan that isn’t going to stop.
Known as the face of the crime syndicate of al Capone in Chicago, Frank Nitti, nicknamed the Bouncer was the first person in the Italian-American mafia, once al Capone was behind bars. Nitti was born in Italy and came to USA when he was only seven years old. It wasn’t long before he started to get into trouble, than attracted the attention of al Capone. In his criminal Empire, Nitti quickly succeeded.
As a reward for their impressive achievements during the days of prohibition Nitti was one of the closest associates of al Capone and strengthened the position in the Chicago crime syndicate, which is also called the Chicago Outfit. Although he was called the Enforcer Nitti delegated more tasks than the broken bones themselves, and often organized many approaches during raids and attacks. In 1931, Nitti and Capone was sent to prison for tax evasion, where Nitti has suffered terrible claustrophobia that haunted him the rest of your life.
Coming to freedom, Nitti became the new leader of the Chicago Outfit, having survived the assassination attempt by rival mafia groups and even the police. When things got really bad and Nitti realized that the arrest can not be avoided, he shot himself in the head, never to suffer from claustrophobia.
One more respected in the criminal underworld gangster Sam Giancana nicknamed Muni, who was once the most powerful gangster in Chicago. Starting as a driver of the inner circle of al Capone, Giancana quickly paved its way to the top, tying acquaintance with several politicians, including the Kennedy clan. Giancana even called to testify in the case, when the CIA organized the assassination of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. It was thought that Giancana has the key information.
The case featured not only the name of Giancana, but there were also rumours that the mafia made a huge contribution to the campaign of John F. Kennedy, including ballot stuffing in Chicago. Communication Giancana and Kennedy discussed more and more, and many believed that Frank Sinatra was the mediator, to divert the suspicions of the feds.
Soon things went downhill from assumptions that the mafia had a hand in the assassination of John Kennedy. Having lived the rest of his life in the search of the CIA and rival clans, Giancana was shot in the head when he was cooking in his basement. There have been many versions of the murder, but the contractor was never found.
As powerful as Lucky Luciano, if not more, Meir Lansky, whose real name is Meer Suhomlynskiy, was born in the town of Grodno, which then belonged to the Russian Empire. After moving to America at a young age and Lansky had a taste of street fighting for money. Lansky not only could stand up for himself, but was extremely smart. Becoming an integral part of the emerging world of American organized crime, Lansky at some point was one of the most influential people in the United States, if not the world, conducting business in Cuba and some other countries.
Lansky, who was friends with high-ranking mobsters such as Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano, was also the man who was feared and respected. He was a major player in the smuggling of alcohol during prohibition, leading a very profitable business. When things went better than expected, Lansky became nervous and decided to retire, emigrate to Israel. However, two years later, he was deported back to the U.S., but he still managed to avoid prison, as he died from lung cancer at the age of 80 years.
Alfonso Gabriel Capone, nicknamed the Great al needs no introduction. This is probably the most famous gangster in history, and he is known throughout the world. Capone came from a respected and prosperous family. At the age of 14 he was expelled from school because he punched a teacher, and he decided to go the other way, plunging into the world of organized crime.
Influenced by gangster johnny Torrio, Capone began his journey to fame. He earned a scar for which he was nicknamed Scarface. Doing everything from smuggling of alcohol before the murders, Capone was invulnerable to the police, were free to move around and do what he pleases.
The game ended when the name al Capone was involved in the brutal mass murder that was called the Massacre in Valentine’s Day. The massacre killed several gangsters from rival gangs. The police could not attribute the crime Capone himself, but she had other ideas: he was arrested for tax evasion and sentenced to eleven years in prison. Later, when the health of the gangster has deteriorated because of illness, he was released on bail. He died of a heart attack in 1947, but the world of crime changed forever.