American Mafia History Website

The American Mafia history website logo Jump to Menu

Featured Website Article:

CIA joins with Mafia in plot to kill Castro

Castro targetedSome Kennedy assassination-related documents released through the National Archives last week (October 26, 2017) and earlier this year (July 24, 2017) discussed CIA cooperation with American organized criminals in an effort to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The documents revealed little about CIA-underworld interaction that was not already known to historians through other sources, but the release provides an occasion to reflect upon that interaction and its aftermath. They key features of the government-underworld conspiracy appear to be ....

Special Section:

Rat trap image

by Edmond Valin

A collection of articles investigating the identities of underworld informants. Most recent article:

Banana War informant; Did Bill Bonanno cooperate?
Salvatore “Bill” Bonanno's quick rise within the Bonanno Crime Family divided the membership and set off a shooting war that the press dubbed the “Banana War.” The conflict reshaped the New York underworld and took down the last remaining boss of New York’s original five families. The FBI had a front row seat to it all after they developed a secret source at the crime family's highest levels.

Featured Website Biography:

A Brief Biography of Lucky Luciano

Charlie Luciano"Salvatore "Charlie Lucky" Lucania is probably the most talked about New York Mafia boss. He is the subject of numerous legends, many of them false, while his actual underworld career remains largely unknown. He was a pivotal figure in the Castellammarese War of 1930-31, benefited greatly from the assassinations of two who occupied the position of Mafia boss of bosses and participated in the dismantling of the boss of bosses system and the creation of a Commission system for resolving underworld disputes..."

Featured Website Article:

Sinistro: Morello's Underworld Career

Giuseppe Morello"Giuseppe Morello was the first known boss of bosses of the American Mafia. While he was a unifying force initially, he later became a central figure in underworld conflicts and was an early casualty of the Castellammarese War. Morello was born on May 2, 1867, to Calogero and Angela Piazza Morello in Corleone, Sicily. A sister, Maria, was born several years later. Calogero Morello died in the early 1870s, and Angela subsequently married Bernardo Terranova. The couple had three sons, Vincent, Ciro and Nicholas 'Coco,'..."

Featured Website Biography:

Butsey Morelli, Top Man in Providence

Frank Butsey MorelliFrank "Butsey" Morelli was an early leader of Italian organized crime in Rhode Island, mentoring a number of later Mafiosi, including Raymond Patriarca and Henry Tameleo. Morelli and some of his brothers long have been suspected of involvement in the April 1920 South Braintree, Massachusetts, robbery-murders for which Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in August 1927. Historians attempting to pinpoint Morelli's birth and death dates have been misled by statements made by former New England mobster Vincent Teresa in his autobiographical book, My Life in the Mafia...

Featured Website Article:

How Organized Was Calabrian Crime?

Rocco RaccoThere are a number of unanswered questions related to the American Mafia's incorporation of Calabrian gangsters - those who trace their origins to the southernmost portion of the Italian mainland. We may ask: How did this combination occur? Precisely when did it occur? Was it the result of a decision of the American Mafia as a whole or did it result from decisions of individual crime families? Were Calabrian gangsters welcomed on an individual basis or was a Calabrian crime network consumed by the Mafia en masse? ...

Underworld History:

DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime, Western NY Mob History

DiCarlo book A historical biography of Mafioso Joseph DiCarlo, once known as "the Al Capone of Buffalo" and as western New York's "Public Enemy No. 1." Son of the region's first known Sicilian underworld boss, DiCarlo was rejected as heir to his father's criminal empire. After spending troubled years as a vassal 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. The authors use Joseph DiCarlo's life story as a window into the Mafia organization of western New York.

Second Edition:

Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia

Deep Water 2edThis historical biography conveys J.P. Macheca's epic life story, as it details the 1890 Mafia assassination of New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy and the 1891 Crescent City lynchings. A longtime street warrior for the corrupt and ruthless New Orleans Democratic machine known as "The Ring," Macheca also was the patron of the fledgling American Mafia in southern Louisiana. His connections brought him into conflict with Hennessy, involved him in a Mafia civil war and ultimately cost him his life in the largest lynching in American history. Silver Medalist in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Click for information on: Second edition softcover of this book.