Crime Gets Organized


In the first decade of the 20th century, the public was unsettled by frequent headlines about the Black Hand, which demanded cash from business owners under threat that their shops would be burned down or their children kidnapped. New York Police detective Joseph Petrosino gained fame for his aggressive pursuit of Black Hand extortionists. Meanwhile, U.S. Secret Service chief William Flynn took down a counterfeiting ring run by New York’s first Mafia family. The rough streets of America’s cities taught harsh lessons to the boys who would become the century’s most notorious mobsters, including Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone.