“You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.” – Al Capone
They are the men whose life stories read like the script of a Hollywood gangster movie: made men, Mafiosi… mobsters.It is a profession where promotion can be achieved at the pull of a trigger and where the spoils of success can be unimaginable wealth. Yet, it is also a way of life where your closest allies may prove to be your most dangerous foes, and where the penalties for failure can mean life in prison, or even worse.
Discover the true stories behind the mob legends who have ruthlessly clawed and fought their way to their own precarious versions of the American Dream. This fascinating collection explores the lives of some of the most notorious gangsters in recent history: their rise to power, the rich details of their criminal operations and, inevitably, their downfall.
Explore the sinister history of Murder Inc., the syndicate of assassins that rose to fame in the 1930s, and discover the little-reported world of women in the Mob, including Karen Hill and Arlyne Brickman.
Take a closer look at the true stories behind infamous names such as New York’s John Gotti and Frank “Superfly” Lucas, Boston’s James “Whitey” Bulger, Philadelphia’s Nicky Scarfo and New Orleans Carlos Marcello
Featuring such legendary figures as Whitey Bulger, John Gotti, and Murder, Inc., Mobsters investigates their violent lives, their struggles to grab and hold on to power, wealth, and prestige, as well as their violent deaths as justice prevails.
Produced by Towers Productions, Inc. for The Biography Channel/A&E Network
Part 1: Whitey Bulger
James “Whitey” Bulger is one of Boston’s most notorious gangsters, who reigned supreme in Boston’s underworld for more than 20 years. His rise to power, as part of South Boston’s Irish-American Winter Hill gang, was due in part to a remarkable relationship with the FBI. In exchange for protection, Bulger ratted on mob rivals.
Part 2: Murder Inc.
Murder, Inc. is the name for a ruthless gang that carried out mob hits during the 1930s. When mob leaders formed “The Syndicate,” they became the “judge and jury,” and Murder, Inc. “the executioner.” As the enforcement arm of The Syndicate, members of Murder, Inc. killed an estimated 1,000 people from coast to coast.
Part 3: Tommy Lucchese
He was one of the most successful and notorious members of the Italian-American Mafia. During Tommy’s tenure as underboss and boss of what would come to be known as the Lucchese crime family, he pioneered and perfected labor rackets in New York City’s kosher chicken industry, the garment district, and the world of professional boxing which generated millions of dollars.
Part 4: Nicky Scarfo
The biography of “Nicky Scarfo” reveals the life of one of the most violent American mafia bosses in the past half century. It explores Scarfo’s fast rise within the ranks of the Philadelphia Mob – as soldier, consigliere and finally as boss. It outlines Scarfo’s vicious crimes and his authoritative management style. His paranoia, volatility and treachery ultimately lead to his demise.
Part 5: Paul Castellano
Big Paul Castellano served as boss of the Gambino crime family – the largest in New York during the 1970’s and 80’s. Castellano presented himself as a legitimate businessman and mingled with New York’s upper crust, while running a multi-million dollar racketeering operation. Just before 5:30 on a December evening in 1985, he stepped out of a limo in front of Sparks Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan and was shot to death by four assassins who gunned him down.
Part 6: John Gotti
The fifth child of 13 children, John Joseph Gotti, Jr. was born October 27, 1940 in the South Bronx. From a very young age, John Gotti made a name for himself in the neighborhood as the leader of the Fulton-Rockaway Boys, a group of young thugs. He soon became “capo” of the East New York Crew. He is also known as ‘The Teflon Don’ when becoming head of the Gambino family. Gotti was eventually convicted on multiple criminal counts and sentenced to life in prison.
Part 7: Carlos Marcello
Carlos Marcello grew up in the mysterious milieu of New Orleans in the early 20th Century to become the city’s mafia boss for almost four decades. Despite his modest beginnings, Carlos joined the mafia at age 26 and quickly climbed in the ranks, aided by success in illegal gambling ventures and a talent for making effective payoffs to public officials.
Part 8: Santo Trafficante
In Tampa, Florida, Santo Trafficante Sr. and his son lived as two of America’s most powerful and feared mob bosses. With a criminal empire that stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Caribbean, the Trafficantes were linked to illegal gambling, drug trafficking, plots to kill Fidel Castro, and even the assassination of President Kennedy.
Part 9: Frank Lucas
Frank “Superfly” Lucas was the notorious heroin kingpin who dominated the Harlem drug market from 1968 to 1975 with his high-potency smack called Blue Magic. Lucas used charm, manipulation and intimidation to run his criminal organization, which earned him an estimated 56-million dollar fortune.
Part 10: Mickey Cohen
The life of leading LA gangster Mickey Cohen, who manoeuvred his way to the top by working as an enforcer for a crime ring during the prohibition era. He became the king of West Coast mob rackets in 1947, following Bugsy Siegel’s death. His connections were so wide and deep that although he was brought to trial for all types of offenses, including murder, he was convicted just twice, for income tax evasion.
Part 11: Roy DeMeo
Roy DeMeo was a member of the Gambino Crime Family through the 1960’s to the early 1980’s. Roy was first spotted by Gambino associate Nino Gaggi who tempted him into the family through loanshark projects. Over time he would lead his own crew, known as the DeMeo crew who were suspected of killing over 200 people in a ten year spell from 1973 until 1983. Killings performed by DeMeo and his troop would rival that of Brooklyn’s Murder Inc. of the 1930s.
Part 12: Anthony Spilotro
Anthony Spilotro was the son of a Chicago restaurateur, whose Patsy’s Restaurant became a hangout for local mobsters. He became a “made” man in his early 20s, rose from a soldier in Chicago’s crime family, The Outfit, to become one of the organization’s top enforcers, overseeing the mob’s interests in Las Vegas, until meeting a violent end.
Part 13: Mob Ladies
Men have dominated the history of organized crime as bosses, capos, soldiers and associates. However, some women have broken the glass ceiling and gained a measure of success in organized crime. Virginia Hill, Arlyne Brickman, and Karen Hill were mob ladies with looks that could kill and the connections to take out anyone in their way.