1Handsome Johnny Roselli
Mobster “Handsome Johnny” Roselli infiltrated Hollywood in the 1920s. He rose up the ranks with Al Capone. He knew everybody, dated movie stars, played golf with studio heads, and was buds with Marilyn Monroe. In 1976, he was rubbed out by a mafia hit man and stuffed into an oil drum.
2. Mock Duck was a Chinese-American gangster who became active in the Manhattan Chinatown in the early 1900s. He reportedly squatted down in the street and fired at his attackers with two handguns, all with his eyes closed.
3. A man named Henrie Berry Lowrie led a gang of American Indian, White, and African-American men in 1860s North Carolina. The Lowry Gang fought the Confederates, fought the white establishment during Reconstruction, only robbed people who could afford it, and shared their profits with the poor.
4. Famed hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski earned his nickname from experimenting with freezing the bodies of his victims to obfuscate the time of their death. He learned this technique from fellow hitman Robert Pronge who was also known as “Mister Softee” because he drove an ice cream truck as his cover.
5. In 1921, a Chicago mobster named Sam Cardinelli was to be hanged but refused to walk to the gallows. He was strapped to his chair and carried to the gallows and hanged, chair and all.
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The Johnson Gang was a group of traveling criminals from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom who specialized in stealing fine art and antiques from English country manors over a period of 20 years. The goods they stole were valued at £30-£80 million. The gang was sentenced to a total of 49 years in prison in 2008.
7. A group of gangsters in a Far Easter Russian town filmed themselves doing gang activities and turned it into a 7 part documentary called “Spets”. The show’s writer, producer, director and star, Vitali Dyomochka, was a real life Russian mafia boss. All the blood shown in it is real. The show received a rating of 100%.
8. William Poole a.ka. ‘Bill The Butcher’, who inspired Daniel Day-Lewis’ character in Gangs of New York was head of the Bowery Boys gang. He operated on his territory in Bowery Street in New York. His gang was mostly made up of volunteer firefighters who literally fought with other gangs to have control over putting out fires. Fights between gangs would often break out over fire hydrants and sometimes the fires were never put out.
9. Japanese Yakuza have a unique form of extortion known as sōkaiya. Instead of harassing small businesses for protection money, the yakuza harasses the stockholder meetings of large corporations.
10. The Russian mafia smuggled grain alcohol to Eastern Europe by dying it blue, labeling it s windshield-wiper fluid, cologne, mouthwash, and cleaning solvents, and once overseas removing the dye and selling the alcohol as high-end liquor.
Leonid “Tarzan” Fainberg is a Ukrainian mobster who in the mid-1990s attempted to purchase a Soviet diesel submarine for the Cali cartel to smuggle cocaine. He also owned a strip club named Porky’s.
12. The US Navy, knowing the New York Mafia’s influence over the fish market, enlisted a handful of mob bosses, including Joe “Socks” Lanza, to help track Nazi submarines trying to infiltrate the East Coast.
13. The “Pink Panthers” is an international gang who is responsible for stealing almost $1 billion in jewelry. Many of its members are ex-soldiers. They were most active in the 2000s, and have used disguises, tear gas and even speedboats in their heists.
14. Gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta's "Good Fellas" character was based on him) was put in the Federal Witness Program. However, after multiple relocations, the Feds finally kicked him out because he kept getting drunk and telling his neighbors who he really was.
15. Mobster Aniello Dellacroce would dress around as a priest to confuse law enforcement and once committed a murder in the Priest outfit.
16Ramji Nagar Gang
The Ramji Nagar Gang is a group of thieving families in South India with an annual tradition of robbery in a different state. They pray to the local goddess before the act and vow to never kill nor harm someone who speaks their tongue. Others have since taken up the ‘ancestral profession.’
17. There was a Mafia boss named Vincent Gigante who for 30 years wandered Greenwich Village in his pajamas mumbling incoherently to himself, in an elaborate act to avoid prosecution. They called him the Oddfather.
18. Notorious ‘Mafia Cop’, Louis Eppolito, played a small part as ‘Fat Andy’ in Goodfellas. Eppolito and his partner will later be tried and convicted of committing eight murders for the mafia while being NYPD detectives.
19. A gangster named Cheung Tze-keung from Hong Kong was nicknamed ‘The Big Spender.’ In 1996 he managed to kidnap the son of Li Ka Shing (the richest man from Asia). He then received a paid ransom of HK $1.38 billion (equivalent to $180 million USD).
20. Murder Inc. was a contract killing agency which was led by Jewish and Italian gangsters in the 1930s. It was responsible for between 400 and 1000 deaths. Any mob boss was able to hire them, though some have claimed that regular civilians could hire them as well.
Filippo Marchese was a Sicilian Mafia hitman for the Corleonesi Family who killed his victims by strangling them and then dissolving their bodies in acid. When he was deemed “too violent” and thus a liability, he was killed and disposed off in the same manner as his victims.
22. A Chicago mobster named Sam DeStefano loaned money at interest rates of 25% by week to very high-risk debtors such as drug addicts, in order to torture them in his cellar when they defaulted.
23. The Italian mafia is involved in nuclear waste trafficking. They have bought nuclear power plant waste and dumped it in Somalia.
24. There was an Orthodox Jewish gang named New York divorce coercion who kidnapped Orthodox Jewish men and forced them (sometimes with torture) to grant their wives religious divorces. They operated between 1980s and 2013.
25. Gregory Scarpa Sr., the hitman who helped the FBI solve the 1964 Freedom Summer murders hated black people so much that he refused to take blood from a blood bank, fearing that some of the blood may have come from a black person. He received blood from a fellow mobster, only to contract HIV as a result.