The names, faces and backgrounds vary. The dates span a century or more. The crimes range from bootlegging to betting, drug trafficking to murder. Each story is different, yet there is a common thread. Men, and occasionally women, lured by loot, ensnared in a complex web of crime that offered short-term gratification but seldom brought lasting rewards. A wall of infamy, profiling the most notorious figures from more than 100 years of Mob history.
Marshall Caifano was a high-ranking Chicago mobster who ran illegal gambling operations for the Chicago Outfit. When he moved to Las Vegas, he changed his name to John Marshall and ran casino skimming operations for the Mob.
Mickey Cohen was a mobster in Cleveland and Chicago before he became a leader in the Los Angeles Mob after the demise of Bugsy Siegel. He twice served time in prison for tax evasion.
Carmine Galante was a mobster with the Bonanno crime family in New York who served as an underboss and was known for always having a cigar in his mouth.
Vito Genovese was one of the most powerful Mob lords of his day, but his desire to be named “Boss of Bosses,” or chairman of the Commission, the Mafia’s national governing body, led to the secret society’s unmasking at the infamous Apalachin Summit in 1957.
In the 1950s, Salvatore “Sam” Giancana became the leader of the powerful Chicago Outfit that was built in the 1920s by Al Capone.
Meyer Lanksy was a key figure in the Jewish wing of the Italian-Jewish Mob that grew into a national syndicate. He was known as the “Mob’s accountant” who avoided the limelight and the publicity that came with open violence.
Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo was a Chicago mobster who defrauded the Teamsters Union out of more than a million dollars and is serving a life sentence in prison.
Lucky Luciano led a group of young Italian and Jewish mobsters against the older set of so-called “Moustache Petes,” and in the process set the stage for the Mob to grow beyond the limits of bootlegging profits.
Tony Spilotro was an enforcer for the Chicago Outfit who was assigned to protect the Las Vegas “skim”: the illegal diversion of casino profits to the Mob.
Santo Trafficante Sr. was a Florida mobster who survived a series of vicious gang wars to become the leader of a powerful Mafia crime family based in Tampa. His son, Santo Trafficante Jr., took over the crime family and became tangled in a web of conspiracies.