Mafia In America

Throughout history, crime has existed in many different forms and has been
committed by not only individuals, but by groups as well. Crime is something
that knows no boundaries; it exists in all cultures, is committed by all races,
and has existed in all time periods. Crime exists as a part of the economic
institution and is a lifestyle for many people. Crime also exists in both
organized and un organized forms. Since the early 1900\'s, "organized"
crime has existed in the United States. The following will show where, when, and
why the Mafia came to the United States, who organized it in the United States,
and how it differed from its origins in the European mafia. In the ninth
century, Arab forces occupied Sicily. The native Sicilians were oppressed and
took refuge in the surrounding hills. The Sicilians formed a secret society to
unite the natives against the Arab and Norman invaders. This secret society was
called Mafia after the Arabic word for refuge. The society\'s intentions were to
create a sense of family based on ancestry and Sicilian heritage. In the 1700\'s,
pictures of a black hand were distributed to the wealthy. This was an unspoken
request for an amount of money in return for protection. If the money was not
paid, the recipients could expect violence such as kidnappings, bombings, and
murder. By the nineteenth century, this society grew larger and more criminally
oriented. In 1876, Mafia Don Rafael Palizzolo, ran for political office in

Sicily. He forced the voters to vote for him under gunpoint. After being elected
into office, he promoted Mafia Don Crispi as Prime Minister. Together the two
put Sicily under government control and funneled government funds to the society
known as the Mafia. In the 1800\'s, New Orleans was the largest Mafia site in the

United States. It was while investigating the murder of an Italian immigrant
that the current Police Chief, David Hennessey discovered the existence of this
secret society. Police Chief Hennessey was assassinated before this murder case
could go to trial. Twelve men were charged with this assassination but were
lynched by a newly formed vigilante group. The Italian Ambassador demanded that
the vigilantes be tried. President Harrison who disproved of the vigilantes and
gave a large cash settlement to the families of the lynched men. This was a
widely publicized case because of its\' foreign ramifications and the involvement
of the President of the United States. Don Vito, Vito Cascio Ferro, was the
first Sicilian Capo de Tutti Capi. He fled to the United States in 1901 to
escape arrest and formed a group of the Black Hand. Its\' members were hardened
criminals currently fugitives from Sicily. He is known as the Father of the

American Mafia. In 1924, Mussolini was determined to rid Italy of the Mafia so
many members fled to the United States to avoid persecution. This increased the
numbers of members in the organization. These fleeing Italians were well aware
there was money to be made in the United States through extortion, prostitution,
gambling and bootlegging. Every large city soon had its own Mafia chapter.

Prohibition which was a legal ban on the manufacturer and sale of intoxicating
drinks generated a wave of illegal activity since there was big money to be
made. During this time, gangsters openly flaunted their wealth and power. This
period established many young men as leaders in the New Age American Mafia.


Luciano, born in 1897 in Sicily, came to New York in 1906. He trained in the

Five Points Gang, a Mafia crew, under John Torrio. In this gang, he became
friends with Al Capone and other prominent gangsters. Luciano started his own
prostitution racket in the early 1920\'s and was in total control of prostitution
in Manhattan by 1925. In 1929 he was kidnapped, beaten and stabbed severally
with an icepick. He miraculously survived but maintained "omerta",
which is a vow never to reveal any Mafia secrets or members under penalty of
death or torture. By 1935, Luciano was known as The Boss of Bosses. He had
previously established Murder Inc. with Bugsy Siegel and Myer Lansky, two other
well known gangsters. Luciano\'s wide spread criminal activities led to his being
investigated by District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey. He was eventually sentenced
to thirty to fifty years for extortion and prostitution. Luciano was considered
to be a powerful Mafia member with strong ties to Sicily. After his conviction,
the United States government approached him with a deal. In exchange for his
assistance in the Allied invasion of Sicily, he was offered deportation to Rome.

Luciano contacted