Mobsters were made famous by gangster films, like the god father, and this sparked a morbid fascination with the mob. Some of the most notorious mobster have committed unthinkable crimes on their fellow man. The average person may have trouble stomaching some of the details of their crimes. Other notorious mobsters simply became famous because of the sheer size of the organisations they started. Mobsters are defined as criminals who are part of a gang of criminals. Mob bosses are often the most notorious mobsters because of their position at the top, sometimes hit men, or torturers will became just as famous.


Al Capone

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Capone was born in Brooklyn and became a member of a gang known as the Five Points Gang. He worked as a bouncer in a brothel for a while, but left for Chicago in his twenties. He managed to become the bodyguard for a mob boss who sold alcohol illegally. His boss was severely injured during a conflict with another gang, and he handed the reigns to Capone. Capone was a brutal mob boss, and used severely violent means to expand his business.

He bought off the mayor and the police which allowed him to do close to whatever he wanted and get away with it. On 14 February, 1929 Capone massacred an enemy gang in broad daylight. It became known as the Valentines day massacre, and Capone was seen as a villain by the public. Amazingly before then people saw him as a hero because of his philanthropy, and even cheered him when he appeared in public.


John Gotti

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John Gotti was one of the most notorious mobsters in the Gambino family, which he eventually became the head of. He managed to become the family’s best earner, and gained a good reputation among the family. Gotti cunningly took advantage of a leadership problem within the gang. He killed the boss of the Gambino family and took his place. Gotti was popular among the public because of his big personality and fancy clothes. Through a collection of criminal activities the family started making hundreds of millions of dollars a year. He was nicknamed “The Dapper Don”. His underboss was known as “Sammy the Bull”.


Hisayuki Machii

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Also known as the “Ginza Tiger”, Machii founded the Tosei-Kai, one of Japan’s biggest Yakuza. After the second world war Machii moved to Japan and created a gang called Voice of the East Gang, or Tosei-Kai. Japan had a growing black market at the time, and this allowed his group to become one of the biggest in Tokyo. His group became so powerful that they became known as the Ginza police, and even had 1,500 members. Machii became so huge he even started working with the Korean government who allowed him to operate in Korea. Machii even worked with the Korean CIA to help them catch the boss of a Yakuza he was competing with. Due to increasing pressure from the police, he disbanded the Tosei-Kai, and split it into two legitimate businesses. They are now known as the East Asia Friendship Enterprises Association, and the East Asia Enterprises Company.


Dean O’Banion

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Dean started and lead the North Side Gang, which was one of the main rivals of Al Capone. Then Dean started a bootlegging operation shipping in beer from Canada. He did this in response to Prohibition which started in the US, in the 1920’s. After killing off his competitors he gained control of the North Side and Gold Coast. He became one of the most notorious mobsters in Chicago, and started gaining new followers with awesome nicknames like, Louis “Two Gun” Alterie, Samuel “Nails” Morten, and “Handsome” Dan McCarthy. Originally Dean worked with a gang called the Chicago Outfit, which was owned by Al Capone, and Johnny Torrio. Eventually this broke down and they started competing with each other instead. Eventually Dean was killed off because of constant attempts to undermine his rivals.


Bugsy Siegel

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Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was one of America’s most notorious mobsters. He founded a group called Murder, Inc. Siegel was a successful bootlegger during Prohibition. When Prohibition ended he got into gambling instead. Siegel was known to be very talented with guns and violence. Bugsy was killed three months after starting a Hotel named the “Flamingo”. He was killed in his home in Beverly Hill, and nobody knows who did it.


Shinobu Tsukasa

Tsukasa is currently the leader of Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime syndicate. Also known as Kenichi Shinoda, he is currently the Kumicho, which means supreme Kingpin, of the Yamaguchi-gumi. Shinoda took charge in 2005, when the previous head retired. The gang started off as a labour union in Kobe before World War II. 30,000 people are currenly considered members of the Yamaguchi-gumi. This group alone accounts for 45% of the 86,500 Yakuza operating in Japan. It’s made up of one kumicho, 15 shatei, and 86 wakachu. They make billions every year from extortion, gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking. Tsukasa is ambitious and plans on expanding in Tokyo.


Salvatore “Mooney Sam” Giancana

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Giancana was the mob boss of the Chicago Outfit for about 9 years. He started off as part of a gang called the the 42 Gang. While doing jobs he earned a reputation as a quick getaway driver, an apt killer, and a high earner. The 42 Gang became part of the Chicago Outfit, and Giancana rose through the ranks due to his unique skills. Eventually he became one of the gangs most notorious Mobsters. Giancana’s influenced reached many politicians, including the Kennedy’s.


Henry Hill

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Henry Hill, Jr. was a famous gangster from New York City. He had connections to the Lucchese crime family but eventually became an informant for the FBI. Hill helped the FBI secure 50 convictions, and the events of his life were eventually made into the film, Goodfellas. After becoming a rat Hill lived under witness protection but was eventually kicked out for constantly committing crimes. Hill made $15,000 to $40,000 dollars every single week when he was gangster but wasted it all.


Whitey Bulger

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James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger, Jr. became one of America’s most notorious mobsters when he was indicted for the murder of 19 people. He was the boss of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston. The FBI mostly just ignored his gang because he was acting as an informant for the FBI. Eventually the media revealed what was going and Bulger had to into hiding. He managed to stay hidden for 16 years. He was arrested in 2011.


Machine Gun Kelly

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Machine Gun Kelly is an American mobster who became famous when he kidnapped a millionaire oil tycoon, named Charles F. Urschel. Kelly was a brutal mobster, who got his nickname because his favourite weapon was the submachine gun. Urschel wasn’t dumb and managed to bamboozle Kelly’s plan by remembering every piece of evidence he could during the kidnapping. Urschel touched every thing he could in order to leave his fingerprints everywhere. He managed to provide more than enough evidence for the FBI to catch his kidnapper, and did all this despite being blindfolded. Before Kelly was caught he managed to squeeze $200,000 in ransom money out of the FBI, what he didn’t realise was that they were marked bills.

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