.. o get the investigator off Luciano’s back for the votes but the deal turned bad (Jacobs, p. 72). As soon as Roosevelt had secured his winning of New York, he immediately turned against the mobsters to win a public appeal. Luciano soon afterwards became public enemy number one. Now he was in the public eye which was against his own wishes.
Luciano then redirected his criminal activities to less violent measures. The mob was soon highly involved with gambling, both legal and illegal. Luciano saw an untapped market in the Caribbean and Cuba where he set up casinos. Until he was ran out of Cuba by a new head of power, Fidel Castro, Luciano was without many troubles (Jacobs, p. 74).
All the while, Special Procecuter Dewey continued to try to tie Luciano with the Syndicate. Although Mafia law refused it, Luciano was quickly being identified as having a part in many of New York’s prostitution cases. In an attempt to get witnesses against Luciano, an offer was made to all criminals that they would receive their freedom if they would testify against Lucky Luciano (Jacobs, p. 75). Soon after, a Grand Jury indicted Luciano for heading a prostitution and criminal ring.
Luciano fled to his resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas where he felt he would be safe. Luciano was eventually picked up by federal marshals but the sheriff of Hot Springs refused to extradict him (Jacobs, p. 75). The sheriff was forced to give Luciano up and he arrived in New York to face 90 counts including being involved with compulsory prostitution. Lucky Luciano had the chance to face up to 1950 years in prison if convicted (Jacobs, p. 75).
There were 68 witnesses against Luciano and their testimony took over three weeks. Upon being questioned at his trial, Lucky Luciano proved himself to be liar. On June 7, 1936 Luciano was found guilty on all counts. Being an immigrant, Luciano was exiled back to his native country of Sicily in 1946 (Jacobs, p. 78). Lucky Luciano’s luck had ran out. His old time partner Vito Genovese wanted Lucky gone but not killed by his men.
Instead Genovese set Luciano up for a huge drug bust by the Sicilian police. The presure of knowing of Genovese’s plan and his problems by the Italian National Police caused Lucky Luciano to have a fatal heart attack on January 25, 1962 (Jacobs, p. 78). An era of bootleging mobsters had drawn to an end. During World War II, the United States were under mob rule.
Many gambling outfits were started to help ease the pain of loved ones going to war. Besided, the police were not effective since many of the best police were fighting Germany. Heroin was rapidly imported from Europe at this time (Waller, p. 65). Vito Genovese was even a close friend of Italy’s dictator, Benito Mussolini.
As a huge way to make money, the mob controlled the black market. They sold everything from blankets to radios. They even sold illegal alcohol because so much was needed for the war (Waller, p. 66). The mob was very thankful for the war because while men were fighting, the mob grew rich.
Also during this time, there was a large expansion of the mob. A nation wide network was developed called the Syndicate. The mob bosses were spread from California to Florida instead of mainly being around New York. They started peddling drugs, mainly herion, against Mafia law. Through their expansion, the head of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover, denied the existance of a coast to coast criminal organization (Waller,p.87).
Also the mob began to move their casinos just miles off the coast of the United States to avoid problems with the police. In 1960 John F. Kennedy was elected president. He appointed his brother, Robert Kennedy as Attorney General. Robert Kennedy then quadrupled the number of Justice Department people assigned to fight organized crime (Waller, p.
91). This was the beginning of a down fall for many of America’s most notorious mobsters. Robert Kennedy received his big break when a man who was scared for his life in prison decided to become a government witness against organized crime. This man, Joe Valachi, soon after had a $100,000 bounty on his head to any mobster able top take him out (Waller, p. 93). Joe Valachi had been involved with the mob for several years and knew enough to put many people away for life.
Between the years of 1960 and 1963, more members of the mob from the New YorkNew Jersey area went to jail than in the thirty years before then(Waller,p.94). Robert Kennedy also went out to get men like Jimmy Hoffa who were involved with the mob through professional organizations like unions. Jimmy Hoffa was truely involved with the mob and his death was the cause of his own stupidity. Jimmy Hoffa was sent to jail for misusing union pension funds that were developed for the use of the Mafia. He was released from prison on a pardon from President Nixon and wished to return to being the head of the Teamsters Union.
This was not possible so he began to cause problems. Hoffa, while in prison, disrespected a mobster by the name of Tony Provenzano, known as Tony Pro, by hitting him in front of inmates. This proved to be the beginning of the end of Jimmy Hoffa. When Hoffa wasn’t allowed to return to power he made a serious threat to the mob. He said, “Before I lose the union..
I’ll go to the Grand Jury” (Hoffman,p.207). Very soon after that Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family, gave the orders to have Hoffa killed. The Deroit mob had told Hoffa to cool it but he kept on coming (Demaris,p.296). As Tony Pro had promised, Jimmy Hoffa was going to disappear. The Detroit mob had to dispose of Jimmy Hoffa quickly before he rose too many questions they didn’t want to answer.
One very large one was about the fact that money from the Teamsters pension fund had helped build Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. At one time it was even stated that Jimmy wouldn’t be running anywhere because he would soon be dead (Hoffman, p. 216). On July 29, Donald Frankos got furlough from prison and was to return on August 1, 1975. Being in prison was a perfect alibi so he was used as a hit man in Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance and death.
The others men involved in the murder were John Sullivan, Jimmy Coonan, Salvatore (Sally Bugs) Briguglio, and Chuckie O’Brien who was Jimmy Hoffa’s adopted son. On July 30, 1975, Chuckie O’Brien and Sally Bugs met Hoffa at the Red Fox in the Bloomfield Township and that was the last time Jimmy Hoffa was seen alive. Jimmy Hoffa was escorted to a house up in the mountains where his killers were waiting. Donald Frankos and Jimmy Coonan were poised and shot Jimmy Hoffa on sight. Hoffa was then carried downstairs and his body was dismembered. Before Hoffa’s head was distroyed, Frankos took a lock and gave it Coonan as a good luck charm. Originally they had planned to take the body to Central Sanitation Services, a garbage disposal company, to be crushed in old cars (Hoffman, p. 221).
When suspition arose of there wereabouts of Hoffa’s body the sanitation company refused to keep the body. In December of 1975, Joe Sullivan moved the remains of James Hoffa in oil drums from Michigan to New Jersey (Hoffman, p. 224). There Hoffa’s body was placed in the Meadowlands in plastic bags, the home of the Giants (Hoffman, p. 225). There was construction being done on the stadium by mob ran companies so it left an easy disposal of Hoffa’s body.
Donald Frankos was paid $60,000, Coonan and John Sullivan were each paid $55,000, and Joe Sullivan was paid $30,000 for burying the body. Maybe in the future this can be shown to be a solid fact instead of several men’s stoties. Organized crime in America has evolved over this century. It now deals more with legal businesses than ever before. There are still killings but with a large crackdown on organized crime there is a new sense of panic.
There is no knowing how many of the businesses we work for are owned by the mob and we may never know. I do not believe that any one person could comprehend the vast empire of organized crime in our country. Organized Crime in America 1. Hoffman, William and Headley, Lake. Contract Killer. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992.
2. Compton’s Interactve Encyclopedia Compton’s New Media, Inc., 1992. 3. Waller, Leslie. The Mob.
New York: Delacork Press, 1973. 4. Demaris, Ovid. The Last Mafioso. NewYork: Times Books, 1981.
5. Gosch, Martin A. and Hammer, Richard. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1974, 1975.
6. Jacobs, Timothy. The Gangsters. New York: Mallard Press, 1990.