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Bandits besieged the car of three men from Johnston Limestone Quarry  resulting in a shootout that left one bandit and one young quarry worker dead. One of the surviving victims fled the scene back to town, where he raised a posse of more than a hundred men and proceeded to hunt down one of the bandits and recover $9,700 of the $17,000 stolen from the quarry workers.The bandit, Moyek Zorko, was found hiding at the top of a tree and was shot down by the posse before he could draw his gun.

That story ran in the Nov. 16, 1917, edition of The Vindicator, and is one of many tales of wild happenings in and around the village of Lowellville documented in Roslyn I. Torella’s new book, “Lowellville, Ohio: Murders, Mayhem & More.”Lowellville today is known more for excellent Italian food, car shows and the Baby Doll Dance, but the village at the turn of the 20th century was not lacking in excitement, for better or worse.

Torella, born and raised in Lowellville but now living in Maryland, began working on the book in 2013 as a birthday gift for her father, David Torella.“He was a life-long Lowellville resident, and always told me stories about what it was like when he was a kid, and he’d tell me all the stories he’d heard growing up as well,” Torella said. “He loved history, and I thought it’d be a perfect gift.”

The book in its current form — available on Amazon and at Ross Market in Lowellville — is an expanded version of the book she made for her father. Compiled from newspaper stories, historical and genealogical records, the book’s chapters each focuses on a different kind of dramatic incident; one chapter examines “tales of love, and some gone wrong” while another documents “horrific accidents.” Topics range from the calamitous in “murders and tragic incidents” to the light-hearted — and sometimes salacious — “celebrations.”

One of Torella’s favorite stories in the book — aside from the Johnston Quarry shootout — documented the ill-fated 1904 Lowellville Street Fair, during which Lowellville merchants and the general populace banded together to throw a huge festival on Water Street .The merchants hoped the event would put Lowellville on the map, but instead the celebration generated negative press for its “hoochee-coochee” shows – naked women dancing in tents – prevalence of swindlers running rigged games of skill and gamblers from Youngstown who “fleeced everybody right and left.”

Torella will be in Lowellville today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the car show on Water Street for a book signing. In case of rain, she’ll sign books on the second floor of City Hall.

One last story: In 1910, a freight crew found a man next to a Baltimore and Ohio rail track holding his legs, which had been severed below the knees. The man asked his rescuers for a cigarette and complained about going so long without a smoke while explaining that he’d fallen off a train while stealing a ride. He picked up his legs and crawled a quarter mile before he stopped and “prayed for the light.” He didn’t survive the incident.

Lowellville is just a short distance from the village of HillsviLle where the Notorious ,BLACKHAND  WAS ACTIVE DURING THE EARLY PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY.


Al Capone, by name of Alphonse Capone, also called Scarface, (born January 17, 1899, BrooklynNew York, U.S.—died January 25, 1947, Palm Island, Florida), the most famous American gangster, who dominated organized crime in Chicago from 1925 to 1931.

Capone’s parents immigrated to the United States from Naples in 1893. Al, the fourth of nine children, grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He attended school until the sixth grade, quitting school at age 14 after striking a teacher. He worked a variety of odd jobs—as a candy store clerk, a bowling alley pin boy, a laborer in an ammunition plant, and a cutter in a book bindery—all the while serving in the South Brooklyn Rippers and Forty Thieves Juniors, two “kid gangs”—that is, bands of delinquent children known for vandalism and petty crime that were common in New York at the time.

Capone also became a member of the James Street Boys gang during this period, which was run by Johnny Torrio, the man that would become his lifelong mentor, and associated with the Five Points gang. At age 16 Capone became a member of the Five Points gang and served aspiring mobster Francesco Ioele (Torrio’s associate, more commonly known as Frankie Yale) as a bartender in Yale’s brothel-saloon, the Harvard Inn.

Before Capone turned 21, he was involved in several violent incidents. In a youthful scrape at the Harvard Inn, a young hoodlum named Frank Galluccio slashed Capone with a knife or razor across his left cheek after Capone made a crude comment to Galluccio’s sister, prompting the later nickname “Scarface.” Capone later shot the winner of a neighbourhood craps game to death as he robbed him of his winnings. Despite being questioned by the police, Capone was let go because no one had witnessed the murder. In another incident, Capone brutally assaulted a low-level member of the rival White Hand gang and left him for dead. Since White Hand gang leaders promised retribution, Yale sent Capone, his wife, and his young child to Chicago to work for Torrio.

Torrio had moved from New York to Chicago in 1909 to help run the giant brothel business under Chicago crime boss Big Jim Colosimo. Shortly after Capone’s arrival in the city in 1919, Colosimo was assassinated by either Yale or Capone himself in 1920 to make way for Torrio’s rule. As Prohibitionbegan, new bootlegging operations opened up and drew in immense wealth. In 1924 Capone was responsible for the murder of Joe Howard in retribution for Howard’s earlier assault of one of Capone’s friends. William McSwiggin, an aggressive prosecutor, attempted but failed to indict Capone when the eyewitnesses to the killing, fearing harm, lost their nerve and their memories of the incident. Later that year Torrio and Capone enlisted Yale and other associates to murder gang leader Dion O’Bannion in his flower shop. O’Bannion’s associates Hymie Weiss and George (“Bugs”) Moran were unsuccessful in their attempt to kill Torrio in early 1925.

After a stint in prison, Torrio retired to Italy, and Capone became crime czar of Chicago, running gamblingprostitution, and bootlegging rackets and expanding his territories by gunning down rivals and rival gangs. In 1926 Capone went into hiding for three months after he and some of his gunmen inadvertently killed McSwiggin while attacking other rivals. (That evening McSwiggin had been out drinking with two childhood friends, who were also beer runners, and other criminals when he was gunned down in the street.) Again Capone went unpunished. His wealth in 1927 was estimated at close to $100 million. The most notorious of the bloodlettings was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, in which seven members of Bugs Moran’s gang were machine-gunned in a garage on Chicago’s North Side on February 14, 1929. Also in 1929, Capone served some 10 months in Holmesburg Prison, in Philadelphia, after being convicted of possessing a concealed handgun. Many Americans were fascinated by the larger-than-life image of Capone. Indeed, the motion picture Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932), directed by Howard Hawks, starred Paul Muni in the role of a gangster loosely based on Capone, who reputedly obtained a copy of the film for private screenings.

On June 5, 1931, Capone was indicted for 22 counts of federal income-tax evasion for the years 1925 through 1929. On June 12 Capone and others were charged with conspiracy to violate Prohibition laws for the years 1922 to 1931. In October Capone was tried, found guilty on three of the 23 counts, and sentenced to 11 years in prison and $50,000 in fines and court costs. He entered Atlanta penitentiary in May 1932 but was transferred to the new Alcatraz prison in August 1934. In November 1939, suffering from the general deterioration of paresis (a late stage of syphilis), he was released and entered a Baltimore hospital. Later he retired to his Florida estate, where he died from cardiac arrestin 1947, a powerless recluse.



Joseph “the wolf” Di Carlo

Giuseppe J. “Joseph” DiCarlo, Jr. (November 8, 1899 – October, 1980) known as “Joe the Gyp” and “The Wolf”, was a powerful member of the Buffalo crime family and son of Giuseppe DiCarlo, one of the first bosses of the Buffalo Mafia.


DiCarlo was born in Vallelunga, Sicily. He was once known as “the Al Capone of Buffalo” and as western New York’s “Public Enemy No. 1.” in addition to being the son of the Buffalo region’s first known Sicilian underworld boss, Giuseppe DiCarlo. DiCarlo was rejected as heir to his father’s criminal empire. DiCarlo became the underboss of the Buffalo family in 1922, but became a strong opponent of “the undertaker” Stefano Magaddino in later years. Magaddino kept him on as underboss to keep the peace between his faction and the DiCarlo supporters. But eventually DiCarlo was demoted of his duties almost 23 years later in 1945. His rap sheet included arrests for assault, coercion, intimidating a witness and violation of federal narcotics laws.

After spending many troubled years as a subordinate of the influential Stefano Magaddino, DiCarlo and his underlings wandered, seeking their fortunes in Youngstown, Ohio, and Miami Beach, Florida, before returning home to witness the disintegration of the western New York Mafia. Some say it was the police who forced DiCarlo to leave the Buffalo area. DiCarlo also had operations in the Utica-Rochester area of New York. In Youngstown, DiCarlo and his lieutenant and brother-in-law Sam Pieri ran gambling operations (bookmaking, numbers) from the mid 1940’s until the early 1950’s, but were either run out of town by law enforcement or possibly by the LaRocca/Pittsburgh crime family who also held considerable influence in the area along with the Cleveland crime family.

He would later serve as acting consigliere of the Buffalo mob while remaining the leader of the dissident faction from 1969-1974. DiCarlo was reportedly not sanctioned by the full New York Commission, but recognized by the Genovese crime family leadership, which represented the Buffalo crime family on the Commission. He stepped down in late 1974 when the new regime was sanctioned by the Commission.

In 1975, after his removal as consigliere, DiCarlo retired and died of natural causes in October, 1980.

He would later serve as acting consigliere of the Buffalo mob while remaining the leader of the dissident faction from 1969-1974. DiCarlo was reportedly not sanctioned by the full New York Commission, but recognized by the Genovese crime family leadership, which represented the Buffalo crime family on the Commission. He stepped down in late 1974 when the new regime was sanctioned by the Commission.

In 1975, after his removal as consigliere, DiCarlo retired and died of natural causes in October, 1980.


Frank Nitti
Organized crime figure Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti was a member of Al Capone’s Chicago gang, and the front man for Capone’s empire when Capone was imprisoned.
Born on January 27, 1886, Frank Nitti was an organized crime figure. He was one of Al Capone’s top henchmen and later the front man for the Chicago Outfit, the organized crime syndicate headed by Capone.

Early Years

Frank Nitti came to the United States from Salerno, Italy, in 1893, at the age of 7. His family settled in Brooklyn, but Frank moved to Chicago by 1920. Using his barbershop as a meeting place for small-time hoods, Nitti started fencing stolen jewelry, attracting the attention of big-time mobster Johnny Torrio and one of his strongmen, Al Capone. Nitti joined Al Capone’s criminal empire, called the Chicago Outfit. Rising quickly in the organization, he displayed a talent for business, becoming known for efficiently smuggling Canadian whiskey into Chicago speakeasies, which served as distribution points throughout the city. By the mid-1920s, Nitti was a high ranking member of the Capone mob.

Chicago Outfit Years

Although his nickname was “The Enforcer,” Frank Nitti rarely took part in violent activities, delegating them instead to underlings. In 1931, both Frank Nitti and Al Capone were convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison, but Nitti received an 18-month sentence, while Capone received 11 years. Severely claustrophobic, Nitti served his time in extreme discomfort, an experience that would mark him until the day he died.

When Nitti was released in 1932, the media dubbed him the new boss of Capone’s gang, although it has since been revealed that Nitti was the face, and perhaps brains, of the Outfit, while another man, Paul “The Waiter” Ricca, was its true leader. Aiming to take down the Outfit’s presumed head, in December 1932, Chicago policemen raided Nitti’s office, shooting him in the back and neck. Nitti survived, and during the trial it was revealed that one of the officers had been paid $15,000 to kill Nitti.

later Years

Needing to reinvent the Outfit after the end of Prohibition, Nitti turned the Outfit’s attention to the labor unions and, even more, Hollywood. But in 1943, Nitti and many top members of the Chicago Outfit were indicted for extorting money from some of the largest movie studios in Hollywood, including MGM, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox, and they faced stiff sentences if convicted. Because of his claustrophobia, enhanced during his first prison term, Nitti feared the idea of long-term confinement. So, faced with life in prison or perhaps murder by fellow Outfit members to keep him quiet, Nitti shot himself in the head on March 19, 1943.Since his death, Nitti has at times been portrayed as the nemesis of  Elliot Ness and his band nd his band of federal agents, in one film even falling to his death from the roof of the Chicago courthouse where Al Capone was being tried. History, however, has shown that Frank Nitti’s role in the mob was much quieter—a businessman in wolf’s clothing who got the job done with little flash or confrontation.



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Born in Italy on January 26, 1891, Frank “the Prime Minister” Costello started life a slum kid, but grew up to lead the Luciano crime family, the most powerful crime family in New York, after former mob boss Lucky Luciano went to prison in 1936. Costello retired as mob boss in 1957. That same year, he was imprisoned for contempt of a grand jury. Released from prison in 1961, he served as a Mafia elder statesman until his death in 1973.

Criminal Beginnings

The so-called “Prime Minister of the Underworld,” infamous gangster Frank Costello was born Francesco Castiglia on January 26, 1891, in Cosenza, Italy. When he was 4 years old, Costello moved with his parents, Calabrian immigrants, to New York City. The family settled in East Harlem, where young Frank soon embarked upon a life of crime: He became involved with a local Italian gang known as the 104th Street Gang, and before long, was heading the group.

Mob Boss

Frank Costello eschewed the violence of a gunshot for the diplomacy of a handshake. After Lucky Luciano went to prison in 1936, Costello became the de facto boss of the Luciano crime family (later renamed the Genovese crime family), the most powerful crime family in New York and one of the Five Families of the New York Mafia. Costello considered the job a burden, for what he truly craved in life—and would never acquire—was to escape the stigma of his criminal roots and be considered a respectable businessman.



Bugsy Siegel

Benjamin Buggsy Segal(February 28, 1906  – June 20, 1947) was an American mobster. Siegel was known as one of the most “infamous and feared gangsters of his day”.[2] Described as handsome and charismatic, he became one of the first front-page celebrity gangsters.[3] He was also a driving force behind the development of the Las Vegas Strip.[4] Siegel was not only influential within the Jewish mob but, like his friend and fellow gangster Meyer Lansky, he also held significant influence within the American Mafia and the largely Italian-Jewish National Crime Syndicate.

Siegel was one of the founders and leaders of Murder, Inc.[5] and became a bootlegger during the Prohibition. After the Twenty-first Amendment was passed repealing Prohibition in 1933, he turned to gambling. In 1936, he left New York and moved to California.[6]His time as a mobster (although he eventually ran his own operations) was mainly as a hitman and muscle, as he was noted for his prowess with guns and violence. In 1939, Siegel was tried for the murder of fellow mobster Harry Greenberg. He was acquitted in 1942.

Siegel traveled to Las VegasNevada, where he handled and financed some of the original casinos.[7] He assisted developer William R. Wilkerson‘s Flamingo Hotel after Wilkerson ran out of funds.[8] Siegel took over the project and managed the final stages of construction. The Flamingo opened on December 26, 1946, to poor reception and soon closed. It reopened in March 1947 with a finished hotel. Three months later, on June 20, 1947, Siegel was shot dead at the home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, in Beverly Hills, California.

Benjamin Siegel[9][1] was born on February 28, 1906 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the second of five children of a poor Jewish family that emigrated to the United States from the Galicia region of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[10][11][1] His parents, Jennie (Riechenthal) and Max Siegel, constantly worked for meager wages.[12] As a boy, Siegel left school and joined a gang on Lafayette Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He committed mainly thefts until he met Moe Sedway. With Sedway, Siegel developed a protection racket in which he threatened to incinerate pushcart owners’ merchandise unless they paid him a dollar.[13][14] Siegel had a criminal record, dating from his teenage years, that included armed robberyrape and murder.[15]

The Bugs and Meyer mob[edit]

During adolescence, Siegel befriended Meyer Lansky, who formed a small mob whose activities expanded to gambling and car theft. Lansky, who had already had a run-in with Charles “Lucky” Luciano, saw a need for the Jewish boys of his Brooklyn neighborhood to organize in the same manner as the Italians and Irish. The first person he recruited for his gang was Siegel.[16]

Siegel became involved in bootlegging within several major East Coast cities. He also worked as the mob’s hitman, whom Lansky would hire out to other crime families.[17] The two formed the Bugs and Meyer Mob, which handled hits for the various bootleg gangs operating in New York and New Jersey, doing so almost a decade before Murder, Inc. was formed. The gang kept themselves busy hijacking the liquor cargoes of rival outfits.[18] The Bugs and Meyer mob was known to be responsible for the killing and removal of several rival gangland figures.[19] Siegel’s gang mates included Abner “Longie” ZwillmanLouis “Lepke” Buchalter, and Lansky’s brother, Jake; Joseph “Doc” Stacher, another member of the Bugs and Meyer Mob, recalled to Lansky biographers that Siegel was fearless and saved his friends’ lives as the mob moved into bootlegging: “Bugsy never hesitated when danger threatened,” Stacher told Uri Dan. “While we tried to figure out what the best move was, Bugsy was already shooting. When it came to action there was no one better. I’ve never known a man who had more guts.[20]

Siegel was also a boyhood friend to Al Capone; when there was a warrant for Capone’s arrest on a murder charge, Siegel allowed him to hide out with an aunt.[21] Siegel first smoked opium during his youth and was involved in the drug trade.[22] By age 21, Siegel was making money and flaunted it. He was regarded as handsome with blue eyes[23] and was known to be charismatic and likable.[24] He bought an apartment at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and a Tudor home in Scarsdale, New York. He wore flashy clothes and participated in New York City night life.[11][25]

From May 13 to May 16, 1929, Lansky and Siegel attended the Atlantic City Conference, representing the Bugs and Meyer Mob.[26] Luciano and former Chicago South Side Gangleader Johnny Torrio held the conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the conference, the two men discussed the future of organized crime and the future structure of the Mafia crime families: Siegel stated, “The yids and the dagos will no longer fight each other.”

Marriage and family[edit]

On January 28, 1929, Siegel married Esta Krakower, his childhood sweetheart. They had two daughters.[4] Siegel had a reputation as a womanizer and the marriage ended in 1946.[27] His wife moved with their teenage daughters to New York.

Murder, Incorporated[edit]

By the late 1920s, Lansky and Siegel had ties to Luciano and Frank Costello, future bosses of the Genovese crime family. Siegel, Albert AnastasiaVito Genovese, and Joe Adonis, allegedly were the four gunmen who shot New York mob boss Joe Masseria to death on Luciano’s orders on April 15, 1931, ending the Castellammarese War.[28][29] On September 10 of that year, Luciano hired four gunmen from the Lansky-Siegel gang (some sources identify Siegel being one of the gunmen[30][31]), to murder Salvatore Maranzanoin his New York office, establishing Luciano’s rise to the top of the Mafia and marking the beginning of modern American organized crime.[32]

In 1931, following Maranzano’s death, Luciano and Lansky formed the National Crime Syndicate, an organization of crime families that brought power to the underworld.[5][33] The Commission was established for dividing Mafia territories and preventing future gang wars.[5]With his associates, Siegel formed Murder, Inc. After Siegel and Lansky moved on, control over Murder, Inc. was ceded to Buchalter and Anastasia.[34] Siegel continued working as a hitman.[35] Siegel’s only conviction was in Miami. On February 28, 1932, he was arrested for gambling and vagrancy, and, from a roll of bills, paid a $100 fine.[4]

Siegel had learned from his associates that he was in danger: His hospital alibi had become questionable and his enemies wanted him dead.[41] In the late 1930s, the East Coast mob sent Siegel to California.[42] Since 1933, he had traveled to the West Coast several times,[43] and in California, his mission was to develop syndicate-sanctioned gambling rackets with Los Angeles family boss Jack Dragna.[44] Once in Los Angeles, Siegel recruited gang boss Mickey Cohen as his chief lieutenant.[45] Knowing Siegel’s reputation for violence, and that he was backed by Lansky and Luciano — who, from prison, sent word to Dragna that it was “in [his] best interest to cooperate”[46] Dragna accepted a subordinate role.[47] — Siegel moved Esta and their daughters, Millicent and Barbara, to California. On tax returns, he claimed to earn his living through legal gambling at Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles.[48] In Los Angeles, he took over the numbers racket[49] and used money from the syndicate to help establish a drug trade route from the Mexico to the United States and organized circuits with the Chicago Outfit‘s Trans-America Wire service.[50][51]

By 1942, $500,000 a day was coming from the syndicate’s bookmaking wire operations.[49] In 1946, because of problems with Siegel, the Chicago Outfit took over the Continental Press and gave the percentage of the racing wire to Dragna, infuriating Siegel.[51][52] Despite his complications with the wire services, Siegel controlled several offshore casinos[53]and a major prostitution ring.[17] He also maintained relationships with politicians, businessmen, attorneys, accountants, and lobbyists who fronted for him.[54]


In Hollywood, Siegel was welcomed in the highest circles and befriended movie stars.[3] He was known to associate with George RaftClark GableGary Cooper and Cary Grant,[55] as well as studio executives Louis B. Mayer and Jack L. Warner.[56] Actress Jean Harlow was a friend of Siegel and godmother to his daughter Millicent. Siegel bought real estate and threw lavish parties at his Beverly Hills home.[50] He gained admiration from young celebrities, including Tony Curtis,[57] Phil Silvers, and Frank Sinatra.

Siegel had several relationships with actresses, including socialite Dorothy DiFrasso, the wife of an Italian count. The alliance with the countess took Siegel to Italy in 1938,[58]where he met Benito Mussolini, to whom Siegel tried to sell weapons. He also met Nazi leaders Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels, to whom he took an instant dislike and later offered to kill them.[59][60][61] He relented because of the countess’ anxious pleas.[55]

In Hollywood, Siegel worked with the syndicate to form illegal rackets.[47] He devised a plan of extorting movie studios; he would take over local trade unions (the Screen Extras Guild and the Los Angeles Teamsters) and stage strikes to force studios to pay him off, so that unions would start working again.[51] He borrowed money from celebrities and didn’t pay them back, knowing that they would never ask him for the money.[62][63] During his first year in Hollywood, he received more than $400,000 in loans from movie stars.

Greenberg murder and trial[edit]

On November 22, 1939, Siegel, Whitey KrakowerFrankie Carbo and Albert Tannenbaum killed Harry “Big Greenie” Greenberg outside his apartment. Greenberg had threatened to become a police informant,[64] and Louis Buchalter, boss of Murder, Inc., ordered his killing.[65] Tannenbaum confessed to the murder[66] and agreed to testify against Siegel.[67]Siegel and Carbo were implicated in the killing of Greenberg, and in September 1941, Siegel was tried for the murder.[68] Krakower was killed before he could face trial.[69] Siegel’s trial gained notoriety because of the preferential treatment he received in jail; he refused to eat prison food and was allowed female visitors. He was also granted leave for dental visits.[49][70] Siegel hired attorney Jerry Giesler to defend him. After the deaths of two state witnesses,[49][71] no additional witnesses came forward. Tannenbaum’s testimony was dismissed.[72] In 1942, Siegel and Carbo were acquitted due to insufficient evidence[72] but Siegel’s reputation was damaged. During the trial, newspapers revealed his past and referred to him as “Bugsy”. He hated the nickname (said to be based on the slang term “bugs”, meaning “crazy”, used to describe his erratic behavior), preferring to be called “Ben” or “Mr. Siegel”.[73] On May 25, 1944, Siegel was arrested for bookmaking. Raft and Mack Gray testified on Siegel’s behalf, and in late 1944, Siegel was acquitted again.[74]

Las Vegas[edit]


Siegel’s original Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, 1947

In 1945, Siegel found an opportunity to reinvent his personal image and diverge into legitimate business with William R. Wilkerson‘s Flamingo Hotel.[75] In the 1930s, Siegel had traveled to southern Nevada with Lansky’s lieutenant Moe Sedway to explore expanding operations there. He had found opportunities in providing illicit services to crews constructing the Boulder Dam. Lansky had handed over operations in Nevada to Siegel, who turned it over to Sedway and left for Hollywood.[76][77]

In the mid-1940s, Siegel was lining things up in Las Vegas while his lieutenants worked on a business policy to secure all gambling in Los Angeles.[78] In May 1946, he decided that the agreement with Wilkerson had to be altered to give him control of the Flamingo.[79] With the Flamingo, Siegel would supply the gambling, the best liquor and food, and the biggest entertainers at reasonable prices. He believed that these attractions would lure not only the high rollers but thousands of vacationers willing to gamble $50 or $100.[53] Wilkerson was eventually coerced into selling all stakes in the Flamingo under the threat of death and went into hiding in Paris for a time.[80] From this point the  Flamingo became syndicate-run

On the night of June 20, 1947, as Siegel sat with his associate Allen Smiley in Virginia Hill‘s Beverly Hills home reading the Los Angeles Times, an unknown assailant fired at him through the window with a .30 caliber military M1 carbine, hitting him many times, including twice in the head.[17] No one was charged with killing Siegel, and the crime remains officially unsolved.[4


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Meyer Lansky (born Meier Suchowlański;[2] July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983), known as the “Mob’s Accountant”, was an American[3] major organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles “Lucky” Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the United States.[4]

Associated with the Jewish mob, Lansky developed a gambling empire that stretched across the world. He was said to own points (percentages) in casinos in Las VegasCubaThe Bahamas and London. Although a member of the Jewish mob, Lansky undoubtedly had strong influence with the Italian-American Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld. The full extent of this role has been the subject of some debate, as Lansky himself denied many of the accusations against him.[5]

Despite nearly fifty years as a member-participant in organized crime,[6] Lansky was never found guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling.[7] He has a legacy of being one of the most financially successful gangsters in American history. Before he fled Cuba, he was said to be worth an estimated $20 million (equivalent to $184 million in 2017). However, when he died in 1983, his family was shocked to learn that his estate was worth around $57,000.[1]

Meyer Lansky NYWTS 1 retouched.jpg

Early life

Lansky was born Meier Suchowlański in Grodno,[8] in the Russian Empire (now Belarus) to a Polish-Jewish family who experienced anti-semitic pogroms.[9] He was born in the former lands of Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, which were under Russian rule, and when asked about his native country, Lansky always responded “Poland”.[10] In 1911, he emigrated to the United States through the port of Odessa[11] with his mother and brother, and joined his father, who had immigrated in 1909, and settled on the Lower East Side of ManhattanNew York.[12] Lansky’s brother, Jacob Lansky, managed the Nacional Hotel in HavanaCuba in 1959.

Lansky met Bugsy Siegel when they were children. They became lifelong friends, as well as partners in the bootlegging trade, and together managed the Bugs and Meyer Mob, with its reputation as one of the most violent Prohibition gangs. Lansky was also close friends with Charles “Lucky” Luciano; the two met as teenagers when Luciano attempted to extort Lansky for protection money on his walk home from school. Luciano respected the younger boy’s defiant responses to his threats, and the two formed a lasting partnership thereafter.[13] Lansky was instrumental in Luciano’s rise to power by reportedly organizing the 1931 murders of Mafia bosses Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano.

Gambling operations

After World War II, Luciano was paroled from prison on the condition that he permanently return to Sicily. However, Luciano secretly moved to Cuba, where he worked to resume control over Mafia operations. Luciano also ran a number of casinos in Cuba with the sanction of Cuba’s authoritarian dictator, Fulgencio Batista, though the US government succeeded in pressuring the Batista regime to deport Luciano.

Batista and Lansky formed a renowned friendship and business relationship that lasted for a decade. During a stay at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in the late 1940s, it was mutually agreed upon that, in exchange for kickbacks, Batista would offer Lansky and the Mafia control of Havana’s racetracks and casinos. Batista would open Havana to large scale gambling, and his government would match, dollar for dollar, any hotel investment over $1 million, which would include a casino license. Lansky would place himself at the center of Cuba’s gambling operations. He immediately called on his associates to hold a summit in Havana.

The Havana Conference was held on December 22, 1946, at the Hotel

. This was the first full-scale meeting of American underworld leaders since the Chicago meeting in 1932. Present were such figures as

  Carlos Marcello from New Orleans, and Stefano Magaddino, Bonanno’s cousin from Buffalo. From Chicago there were Accardo and the Fischetti brothers, “Trigger-Happy” Charlie and Rocco, and, representing the Jewish interest, Lansky, Dalitz and “Dandy” Phil Kastel from Florida. The first to arrive was Luciano, who had been deported to Italy, and had to travel to Havana with a false passport. Lansky shared with them his vision of a new Havana, profitable for those willing to invest the right sum of money. According to Luciano, the only attendee who ever recounted the events in any detail, he confirmed that he was appointed as kingpin for the mob, to rule from Cuba until such time as he could find a legitimate way back into the US. Entertainment at the conference was provided by, among others, Frank Sinatra who flew down to Cuba with his friends, the Fischetti brothers.

In 1952, Lansky offered then-President Carlos Prío Socarrás a bribe of US$250,000 to step down so Batista could return to power. Once Batista retook control of the government in a military coup in March 1952, he quickly put gambling back on track. Batista offered Lansky an annual salary of $25,000 to serve as an unofficial gambling minister. By 1955, Batista had changed the gambling laws once again, granting a gaming license to anyone who invested $1 million in a hotel or $200,000 in a new nightclub. Unlike the procedure for acquiring gaming licenses in Vegas, this provision exempted venture capitalists from background checks. As long as they made the required investment, they were provided with public matching funds for construction, a 10-year tax exemption and duty-free importation of equipment and furnishings. The government would get $250,000 for the license, plus a percentage of the profits from each casino. Cuba’s 10,000 slot machines, even the ones that dispensed small prizes for children at country fairs, were to be the province of Batista’s brother-in-law, Roberto Fernandez y Miranda. A Cuban army general and government sports director, Fernandez was also given the parking meters in Havana as a little something extra. Import duties were waived on materials for hotel construction and Cuban contractors with the right “in” made windfalls by importing much more than was needed and selling the surplus to others for hefty profits. It was rumored that besides the $250,000 to get a license, sometimes more was required under the table. Periodic payoffs were requested and received by corrupt politicians.

Lansky set about reforming the Montmartre Club, which soon became the “in” place in Havana. He also long expressed an interest in putting a casino in the elegant Hotel Nacional, which overlooked El Morro, the ancient fortress guarding Havana harbor. Lansky planned to take a wing of the 10-story hotel and create luxury suites for high-stakes players. Batista endorsed Lansky’s idea over the objections of American expatriates such as Ernest Hemingway, and the elegant hotel opened for business in 1955 with a show by Eartha Kitt. The casino was an immediate success.[19][unreliable source?]

Gambling operations 


Image result for lucky luciano

Born November 11, 1896, Lercara Friddi, Sicily, Italy—died January 26, 1962, Naples), the most powerful chief of American organized crime in the early 1930s and a major influence even from prison in 1936–45 and after deportation to Italy in 1946 Luciano emigrated with his parents from Sicily to New York City in 1906 and at the age of 10 was already involved in mugging, shoplifting, and extortion; in 1916 he spent six months in jail for selling heroin. Out of jail, he teamed up with Frank Costello and Meyer Lansky and other young gangsters; he earned his nickname “Lucky” for success at evading arrest and winning craps games. In 1920 he joined the ranks of New York’s rising crime boss, Joe Masseria, and by 1925 he had become Masseria’s chief lieutenant, directing  bootleggingprostitutionnarcotics distribution, and other rackets,.Luciano met Italian ballerina Igea Lissoni in 1948. Despite their 20-year age difference, the couple fell in love, and it was reported the following year that they had married, although others claim that wasn’t the case. Regardless, the couple’s life in Naples was tumultuous, as Luciano continued his womanizing and at times turned abusive. Lissoni later developed breast cancer and died in 1959.

 In October 1929 he became the rare gangster to survive a “one-way ride”; he was abducted by four men in a car, beaten, stabbed repeatedly with an ice pick, had his throat slit from ear to ear, and was left for dead on a Staten Island beach—but survived. He never named his abductors. (Soon after, he changed his name to Luciano.)In 1929 Luciano lived up his nickname “Lucky” by surviving a savage attack. He was abducted by a group of men, who beat and stabbed him. Left for dead on a beach in Staten Island, Luciano was discovered by a police officer and taken to the hospital. It was unclear who had ordered the attack, but some speculated that it was the police or top crime boss Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria. Masseria was in a turf war with rival boss Salvatore Maranzano around this time. Luciano had worked for Masseria for years, but he later supported Marazano. He helped arrange for Masseria to meet a grisly end in April 1931.

The bloody gang war of 1930–31 between Masseria and rival boss Salvatore Maranzano was anathemato Luciano and other young racketeers who decried the publicity and loss of business, money, and efficiency. On April 15, 1931, Luciano lured Masseria to a Coney Island restaurant and had him assassinated by four loyalists—Vito Genovese, Albert AnastasiaJoe Adonis, and Bugsy Siegel. Six months later, on September 10, he had Maranzano murdered by four Jewish gunmen loaned by Meyer Lansky. Luciano had carefully nurtured his contacts with all the young powers in gangdom and had become “boss of all bosses” (capo di tutti capi or capo di tutti i capi), without ever accepting or claiming the title. By 1934 he and the leaders of other crime “families” had developed the national crime syndicate or cartel.

Luciano met Italian ballerina Igea Lissoni in 1948. Despite their 20-year age difference, the couple fell in love, and it was reported the following year that they had married, although others claim that wasn’t the case. Regardless, the couple’s life in Naples was tumultuous, as Luciano continued his womanizing and at times turned abusive. Lissoni later developed breast cancer and died in 1959.

Net Worth

Luciano had a personal net worth of $4 million per year by 1925 — this was after he spent in an additional $8 million of his fortune to pay off law enforcement and politicians.

The ‘Big Six’ of Bootlegging

During the 1920s, the prohibition of alcohol created opportunities for criminals to make a lot of money. Luciano became one of the “Big Six” of bootlegging along with childhood friend Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro and Abner “Longy” Zwillman. These unscrupulous characters dominated the illegal liquor trade on the East Coast. Luciano was also an associate of Arnold Rothstein, also known as the Big Bankroll, who had gambling and bootlegging operations.

 Then, in 1935, New York special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey bore down on Luciano, gathering evidence of his brothel and call-girl empire and related extortion. In 1936 he was indicted, tried, and convicted and was sentenced to Clinton Prison at Dannemora, New York, for a 30-to-50-year term.

From his cell Luciano continued to rule and issue orders. In 1942, after the luxury liner Normandieblew up in New York Harbor, navy intelligence sought Luciano’s help in tightening waterfront security. (The crime syndicate’s power extended to the longshoremen’s union.) Luciano gave the orders, sabotage on the docks ended, and in 1946 his sentence was commuted and he was deported to Italy, where he settled in Rome. In 1947 he moved to Cuba, to which all the syndicate heads came to pay homage and cash. But the pressure of public opinion and the U.S. narcotics bureau forced the embarrassed Cuban regime to deport him. He ended up in Naples, where he continued to direct the drug traffic into the United States and the smuggling of aliens to America. He died of a heart attack at Capodichino Airport in Naples in 1962 and was buried in St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery, Queens, New York.







James Traficant was an outspoken man who loved this country. He may have been unorthodox in the way he addressed the Congress but,he was always able to get his point out to the American people. In return, he was highly criticized and called a strange character  for being offensive to some of his constituents and the names he called them. His speeches would end up with a statement  “BEAM ME UP SCOTTY ”  which is how he got his message across.  I believe he used these words to mean he had been speaking to people from another world who did not respect the country in which we live. I would say he’s sadly looking down on us and saying I told you so. He is definitely missed.


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WORDS OF WISDOM AND GOOD ADVICE from great philosophers


  • Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.

  • Our temper gets us into trouble,but our pride keeps us there

  • What goes out from you will return to you,even if it does hurt someone else along the way.

  • You can’t keep a good man with out staying down with him.

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