Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Italian Mafia

The reason that this is blog post is not music related is because I think I may have stumbled onto something that sort of interests me. I'm a big history buff, and for some reason, Italian mob history also interests me. So I thought about making this post about the mob.

The Mafia or Cosa Nostra (in Italian) is a criminal organization that started in Sicily. There are many little criminal groups associated with this that have the same structure and order. Following waves of Italian immigrants coming to the US in the 19th century, including some of those immigrants having ties to the mob is how the American Italian Mafia got it's start. In New York, there were five families, almost like the 1971 movie The Godfather, only the real Five Families didn't have the names in the Godfather. The REAL Five Families that ruled New York for years with an iron fist were The Gambinos, The Genovese, Luccese, Bonanno and Columbo. Almost 90% of all Mafia activity is confined to the Northwest, around Chicago and New York.

The word Mafia applies to not just Italians, but also Chinese Mafia(Triads), Japanese Mafia(Yakuza), Russian Mafia, Irish Mafia, Mexican and Jewish Mob. When the Racketerring Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was applied to federal law, this made it easier to prosecute mobsters and mob families. In 1991, when Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano decided to cooperate with the FBI and turn state's evidence, they were able to convict top Mafia leaders in New York.

Boss- Head of the family, reigns as dictator, often called Don or Godfather. Recieves cut of everything on every operation
Underboss. Usually appointed by the boss, the underboss is the 2nd in command. They run the day-to-day stuff
Consigliere. Advisor to the family and often seen as the right hand man. Also seen as a mediator of disputes, representative of family members in meetings with other families.

Caporegime. In charge of a crew. Groups of soldiers report directly to these guys. 

Soldier. Soldato in Italian. Member of the family, and according to tradition, the Soldiers can only be fully Italian, meaning that the family should be able to trace your ancestors back to the old country, Italy. These guys are the workhorses for the family

Associate. Not a member but works for the family none the less. Includes a wide range of people who work for the family

The traditional entrance ceremony for being accepted into a crime family involves a member of the family pricking the finger of the newbie and having them smear their blood all over an image of religious nature, usually a saint and that photo would be burned, making it an official blood oath. 

Drug Trafficking
Illegal Gambling

  1. Omerta- code of silence. Never talk to authorities
  2. Ethnicity- only men of full Italian descent are allowed to become full members. Associates, partners, etc have no ethnic ban
  3. Family Secrets- Members are not allowed to talk about business to non-family members
  4. Blood for Blood- If a family member is killed(by another member) no one can commit murder(for revenge) until the boss gives the go ahead
  5. No fighting among members- from fist fights to knife fights
  6. Tribute- every month, members must pay the boss
  7. Adultery- members are not allowed to commit adultery with another family member's wife
  8. No facial hair- members are not allowed to grow facial hair.
Also homosexuality is bad with in the family. It started when John 'Johnny Boy' D'Amato, boss of the DeCavalcante family,  was killed because of his sexual orientation and sexual relationships with other men. 

Symbolism in murder
  • For allowing Joseph D. Pistone to go undercover in the Bonnano crime family, caporegime Dominic 'Sonny Black' Napolitano had his hands severed after he was killed. 
  • In the murder of Luccese crime family soldier Bruno Facciolo, a dead canary was stuffed into his mouth after he was shot.
By Region
  • New York
    • Bonanno
    • Columbo
    • Luccese
    • Genovese
    • Gambino
  • New Jersey
    • DeCavalcante
  • Pennsylvania
    • Scarfo crime family
    • Bufolina crime family
  • New England
    • Patriarcha crime family
  • Southern US
    • Trafficante crime family- Florida
In Popular culture

-The Godfather and the Godfather pt. II, loosely based on the Genovese crime family
-Casino, who was based loosely on the life of Frank Rosenthal who ran the Stardust Casino for the Chicago Outfit from the 1970s to the 1980s.
-Goodfellas, which was based on the story of the rise and fall of Luccese associate Henry Hill from 1950-1980.
-The Untouchables, based on the true story of government agent Eliot Ness and his group of anti-Prohibition agents out to bust Al 'Scarface' Capone.
-Mobsters, based on the rise of Meyer Lansky, Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, Frank Costello, Charles 'Lucky' Luciano.
-Donnie Brasco- based on the story of FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone and how Dominic 'Sonny Black' Napolitano took him under his wing in the Bonnano crime family.
-The most popular TV show about the mob is HBO's The Sopranos. This family is loosely based on the Jersey-based  DeCavalcante family. And also HBO followed up with Boardwalk Empire which is also based in New Jersey
My favorite is the one 2nd from the left in the gray suit and the one 2nd from the right with the funny hairdo.
List of famous mobsters
-Joseph 'Joey' Abate- Luccese
-Frank 'Fingers' Abbandando Jr- Gambino
-Salvatore 'Sammy Meatballs' Aparo- Genovese
-Joseph 'Piney' Armone- Gambino
-James 'Mad Bomber' Belcastro- Chicago Outfit
-Thomas Bilotti- Gambino. Nicknames include Zombie Bilotti, Tommy
-Joseph 'Joe Bananas' Bonano- leader of the Bonanno family
-Henry 'Dirty Harry' Borelli- Gambino
-Russell 'McGee' Bufolina- head of the Bufolina crime family
-Al 'Scarface' Capone- Chicago Outfit
-Frank 'Buzzy' Carone- Gambino
-Anthony 'Gaspipe' Casso- Luccese
-Louie 'Louie Eggs' Consalvo- DeCavalcante
-Louis 'Louie Bagels' Daidone- Luccese
-Paul 'Big Paul' Castellano- Gambino
Michael 'The Yuppie Don' Franzese- Columbo
-Carmine 'The Doctor' Lombardozzi- Gambino
-Thomas 'Tommy Karate' Pitera- Bonanno
-Benjamin 'Lefty' Ruggiero- Bonanno. Also went by Lefty Two Guns, Lefty Guns
-Gregory 'The Grim Reaper' Scarpa- Columbo
Salvatore 'Good Looking Sal' Vitale

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