For the Mob, murder was an all-too-frequent solution to internal conflicts. Mob bosses used violence to exert power and eliminate enemies. Up-and-comers displayed brute force to prove their mettle. Hit men earned a living by assassination. This culture of brutality and sudden death exacted a terrible toll on individuals, families and — despite Bugsy Siegel’s assertion that “We only kill each other” — innocent bystanders.
Some of the extreme ways mobsters have killed their victims show that it’s not just who you kill but how you kill them.
This .38 Smith and Wesson revolver was confiscated by the police from Al Capone.
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was famously murdered at his girlfriend Virginia Hill’s house in Beverly Hills, California.
Silencers (or suppressors) are popular tools to muffle the noise of a firearm.
Kosta Boda candlesticks like these were on display in a department store when Robert Vaccaro grabbed one and started to beat Peter “Petey Chops” Vicini. Undercover FBI agent Jack Garcia was there and stopped the attack before the candlesticks turned into a murder weapon.
James “Whitey” Bulger was the boss of the largely Irish Mob in Boston from the 1970s through the 1990s. His longevity and success in organized crime can be attributed in part to protection he received as an FBI informant.
Bulger spent 16 years in hiding. He was captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.
This chair was one of two in Nevada’s gas chamber built in 1951. The gas chamber, no longer in use, executed 10 men from 1951-1979.
Some Mob victims are never found and their true ending remains a mystery to this day.