Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The full, unvarnished story of the brilliant and brutal Chicago crime czar. Most people don't realize that if Capone's father hadn't died when he did, Al would not have gone into a life of crime, but would probably have stayed a bookkeeper in a legitimate Baltimore construction company. Capone's father, a respectable Italian immigrant, who worked hard to own his own business, would never have permitted his son to become a gangster.

Being of Neopolitan rather than Sicilian heritage, Capone could never be part of the Mafia. Also, he married a middle-class Irish-American girl. These two factors gave him an independence from the New York Mafia. What better place for an entrepreneurial gangster to get started than the wild and wooly Chicago in the 1920s.

Capone's older brother James was a strong-minded and independent boy who wanted to escape the crowded city and go west where the prospects were better. Strong and muscular, anxious for adventure and wide open spaces, he joined the circus and traveled all over the Midwest. For the first time, he was exposed to American Indians and became fascinated with their culture.

He had changed his name to Richard Hart to fit the Anglo culture of the West and joined the federal Prohibition agency as enforcer on Indian reservations. Known as "Two-Gun Hart," he served as a body guard for President Calvin Coolidge.

Two unbelievably colorful Tony Soprano-type mobsters, Alex Shondor Birns and Irishman Danny Greene, both brutal killers, who courted the press and enjoyed a long powerful reign, helped bring the Mafia to its present demise.

The Dark Genius of The Mob

Read the Al Capone story in French.

Celebrity gangster takes the Mob to Hollywood and Vegas

Colorful Irish gangster took on Capone

The "Beer Baron of the Bronx"

The man for whom Capone arranged the St. Valentine's Day Massacre

The Francis Ford Coppola film series is a masterpiece taken from stories of real life gangsters but softened to show the Mafia as "men of honor" rather than cut-throat thugs.

In the mid-1980s the feds, with the help of local law enforcement, began to dismantle organized crime families across the country. In the midst of this effort, John Gotti stepped forward and captured the public's attention in what seemed like the final gasp for the Hollywood-style gangster to leave his mark in the annals of American criminal history. Gotti became the darling of the New York media. With his habit of coming through criminal trials unscathed and penchant for expensive and fashionable attire, he became the icon of the American gangster.

As Gotti rose to the top he left behind a bloody trail of bodies, as well as an assortment of embarrassed law enforcement agencies. Putting him away became an obsession that would cause the government to go after him with no holds barred .

Looking back at Gotti's reign one can see that his only true achievement as a Mafia chieftain was to captivate the public's attention. At this, Gotti had few equals. But as a leader he was quite lacked the ability that characterized the careers of such mob luminaries as Capone, Luciano, Lansky, Torrio, Costello and Gambino. In the end it was Gotti's ego and carelessness that led to his downfall.

The second generation of the Gotti family is no less newsworthy: After three mistrials, the feds have given up on prosecuting the "Teflon Don's" son, John "Junior" Gotti. It appears as though the Teflon was inherited.

No less flamboyant that her papa, Victoria Gotti Jr. has done her best to capitalize on her family's notoriety as a novelist and one-time TV reality-show star.

The mobster who revealed some of the Mafia's best kept secrets.

Britain's most notorious gangster brothers Reggie and Ronnie Kray, includes the final updated chapter

The first modern gangster executive

A mob wife's operating principle is simple: As long as her husband can bring in enough income to support his family and maintain a respectable lifestyle, the wife doesn't care to know where it all came from. And if she's smart, she won't ask.

Known as the "Mastermind of the Mob"

A tough-guy in Hollywood befriends super-rich William Randolph Hearst when daughter Patty is kidnapped by the African American terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and gets involved when friend Johnny Stompanato is stabbed by movie star Lana Turner's daughter.

Hollywood myths and reality about mob girlfriends are light-years apart. The old "code of honor" was pushed aside in favor of an "every man for himself" mentality, and a wiseguy knows that his friends are just as likely as his enemies to be the ones who take him down. The hands-off policy is gone and a woman who is perceived as a threat because of what she knows is just as likely as her lover to end up dead.

Art imitates life. New Jersey mobsters are flattered that they have become the role models for the hit television series. Popular author Anthony Bruno looks at the real mob bosses and soldiers who inspired the Sopranos characters, from Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso to Anthony "Little Pussy" Russo.

From bankruptcy to millions, from race fixing to murder, the story of "Aussie Bob" Trimbole, one of Australia's most notorious gangsters.

Alleged executioner of some 200 people, his complex life is described very differently by law enforcement, the criminals that were his associates and the people in his family.

The mobster who squealed on John Gotti to save his own skin. New chapter added.

Was this mobster responsible for Marilyn Monroe's death?

Murder, the Mob, and the Notorious Phrase That Wouldn't Go Away.

With unusual cunning and a predator's survival instinct, he ruled the Boston underworld for decades. Thanks to his guardian angels at the Boston FBI, he had a long and violent run.

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