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Organized Crime

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Sarah DeMatteis

on 19 June 2013

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Transcript of Organized Crime

Why were organized crime gangs so successful in the early 20th century, in the U.S.?
By: Sarah DeMatteis
The Five Points
Organized Crime Gangs
Organized crime is an ongoing conspiratorial enterprise engaged in illicit activities as a means of generating income.
There are many different reasons for an organized crime group. Drugs, weapons, human trafficking are just some examples.
Organized crime really began to grow around 1918
It is really used for personal monetary gain.

Al Capone
Five Points Gang was a 19th-century and early 20th-century criminal organization, primarily of Italian-American origins, based in the Sixth Ward (The Five Points) of Manhattan, New York City
The Italian immigrant and criminal Paolo Antonio Vaccarelli, also known as Paul Kelly, formed the Italian Five Points Gang.
It became one of the most significant street gangs in United States history and changed the way criminal groups operated in America.
During the gang's later years, Kelly's second-in-command was John Torrio, who helped form a national crime syndicate in the United States.
Al Capone was recruited into The Five Points
Capone now controlled speakeasies, bookie joints, gambling houses, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries at a reported income of $100,000,000 a year.
Attempts on Capone's life were never successful. He had an extensive spy network in Chicago, from newspaper boys to policemen, so that any plots were quickly discovered. Also, he had a bullet proof, bomb proof limo.
Capone invested a lot of money on bribing politicians, police officers, and basically anyone in power that could stop him
Much of Capone's success came from trafficking the illegal alcohol
Within 2 years, Capone was earning $60 million a year from alcohol sales alone
After the Saint Valentine's Day massacre law enforcement really pushed to put Capone in jail, although they could never bring him to trial for the murders he was arrested on account of tax evasion in 1931 and was released in 1939 right at the end of his career.

Work Cited
The Purple Gang
Their Success
After analyzing the most successful and iconic gangs during the early 20th century, I have found that every gang has three things in common. Money, Prohibition, and Corruption.
By the 1920's Detroit had become a major port for running and distributing alcohol products from Canada during Prohibition.
Bootlegging netted the Purple Gang millions of dollars
The Purple Gang ruled the Detroit underworld for approximately five years from 1927 to 1932 and had almost complete immunity from police interference as witnesses to crimes were terrified of testifying against any criminal identified as a Purple Gangster.
Many of these organized crime gangs used money to bribe the politicians and police officers in power in order to elude imprisonment.
Al Capone spent $75 million on bribes throughout his career,
Charles Luciano spent millions on bribery as well.
Without the huge amounts of money these gangs had, their success would not be what we all know it to be
This provided the perfect situation for organized crime.
The gangs saw the opportunity to manufacture and sell the alcohol illegally for a huge profit.
The popularity of alcohol and lack of legal competition ensured an endless supply of customers.
As there was still a substantial demand for alcohol, this provided criminals with an added source of income. Many of these mobsters made millions and millions of dollars a year on the alcohol sales alone.
Prohibition was essentially the success of the 20th century organized crime gangs
This caused corruption, when a government is corrupt it is near impossible to enforce any type of law, giving a "free pass" to all the mobsters of the era.
The city's mayor after 1927 was Bill Thompson - one of Capone's men.
Corruption aided to the gang's success by helping them stay out of jail

These three factors are the more prominent reasons for the success of the 20th century organized crime gangs. Al Capone, The Purple Gang, Charles Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, and The Five Points gang all took advantage of the money they had, the Prohibition at the time, and how they could bribe and corrupt the government. This led to the success of the 20th century organized crime gangs
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