The Italian Mafia

On this episode we talk about one of the most renowned criminal organisations in the world, that went from a super secret cabal of career criminals to a star studded cavalcade of celebrity gangsters that were splashed across the pages of newspapers and whose stories lit up our cinema screens for the last 50 years, The Italian Mafia.

It began in Sicily

Starting from a small and poverty stricken gaggle of Sicilian local town stewards with a penchant for violence and way with coercion; The Cosa Nostra became one of the most powerful and politically influenctial gangs in the world. Their immigration from Italy to the United States and their keen business sense saw them take advantage of such economic US disasters as prohibition and the oil crisis to make their millions.

Dirty Rats and the FBI

After a slew of rats, narcs and stoolies gave up the most sacred of information and broke the Omertà, the mafia code of silence, the common man got to peer deep into the inner workings of this previously sacred coven of ritual and military precision. The mob boss celebrities that came from this time in crime will be synonymous with brutality and ingenuity and their oppulent spending, gambling and business practices have been envied and even copied by some.

The Rico Act

We also talk about how the US government wrote new laws and put many ineffectual safeguards in place to try to stem the swell of organised crime in the 60s, after the info was released about how the Mafia do business. Wiretaps and other infiltrations were then common place and many arrests were made. This caused an atmosphere of suspicion among the mob community and infighting and power struggle assassinations were commonplace. We also talk about the five families of New York and how their influence spread across America in an indelible and somewhat admirable way, yknow, despite all the crime and murder and stuff!

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