90 Brutal Facts about Mobs and Gangs

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51Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen

During the filming of Eastern Promises, Viggo Mortensen's Russian Mafia tattoos were so realistic that when he walked into a Russian Diner in London, everyone fell silent out of fear.

52. Frank Sinatra was a big activist in the civil rights movement, refusing to stay at hotels that didn't allow "blacks". Even using his mafia ties to help get labor unions behind JFK because he knew they shared the same opinions on equal rights.

53. Mafia capo Gregory Scarpa was recruited by the FBI to help find the bodies of three civil rights workers. Scarpa got the locations of the bodies after he kidnapped a Klansman, pistol-whipped him and stuck a gun in his mouth

54. There is a 'ghost town' in New York City - "The Hole", an area of Queens built too close to the water table, is mostly abandoned, usually flooded, and was once a body-dumping ground for the mafia.

55. A mafia boss named Vincent Gigante 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."

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56Sammy Davis Jr

Sammy Davis Jr

The head of Columbia Studios had Sammy Davis Jr. kidnapped by the Mafia to keep him from marrying a white woman.

57. John Willis, the only white member of Ping On, Boston's Chinese mafia. He was introduced to the group by a young Asian man he saved. John later learned Chinese, became the boss' chief bodyguard, and received the nickname "White Devil". He is currently in a federal prison for drug trafficking.

58. Ella Fitzgerald worked for the mafia, got sent to boarding school, ran away, and was living on the streets when she debuted at the Apollo Theater all by the age of 17.

59. The name for the Japanese gangster organization Yakuza comes from the worst hand in the card game Oicho-Kabu: 8-9-3, pronounced "ya-ku-za".

60. American-made cheeses are so expensive in Canada. Corrupt Canadian police officers set up a "Mozzarella Mafia" to smuggle the cheeses in their cars. It paid anywhere from $1000-2000 per cruiser load.

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61Vito Rizzuto

Vito Rizzuto

While a Canadian Mafia boss was incarcerated his father, son, brother in law and a close associate were all murdered. Upon his release, he orchestrated the deaths of 11 people in retaliation and evaded both injuries and re-incarceration before dying of cancer.

62. The Bulgarian mafia has killed the head of the same football team six times

63. Discovery Channel's reality show "Amish Mafia" is an elaborate hoax

64. In the 1940s, the LAPD set up "Gangster Squad", an off the books black ops unit that destroyed mafia businesses and went after corrupt cops. This became the LAPD Intelligence Unit.

65. Italian Mafia has a budget of $225 billion if it was a company, it would be 10th biggest in the world.

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66Craig Jurisevic

Craig Jurisevic

In 1999, a young trainee surgeon named Craig Jurisevic traveled to Kosovo to provide medical help to victims of war. In a strange turn of events, Craig Jurisevic became a Mafia target and played a part in the bombing of 400 Serbian forces.

67. One of the eight rules in the American mafia is that you cannot have facial hair.

68. The CIA released reports in 2007 detailing how it partnered with the Mafia to assassinate Castro

69. Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd was a great depression-era gangster and notorious bank robber, endeared himself to the public by destroying mortgage papers at the banks he robbed, freeing many from their debts.

70. In the early 1900s, French gangsters used a weapon called an Apache Revolver that functioned as a revolver, a knife, and brass knuckles

71Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger, the notorious gangster, had served time in the maximum security prison of Alcatraz for four years. Later, while on the lam as one of America's most wanted federal fugitives, he went back to tour the facility.

72. There was a real-life gangster nicknamed Fat Tony who died in a Springfield.

73. In 1946, a man claiming to be a detective gave a pedestrian a camera and asked her to take a picture of a suspect. The "detective" turned out to be a gangster, the "suspect" turned out to be his ex-wife, and the "camera" turned out to be a concealed shotgun firing via the shutter button.

74. After a Hong Kong gangster named Cheung Tze Keung kidnapped the son of Asia's richest man and extracted a $130 million ransom, he phoned up the tycoon to ask advice on how to invest the money

75. The movies "Goodfellas" and "My Blue Heaven" are based on the same real-life gangster, Henry Hill.


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