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The Five Families of the New York Mafia

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History: The Five Families of the New York Mafia

Since the1920's the five Italian/Sicilian-American crime families which include the Colombo's, the Genovese's, the Bonanno's, the Gambino's, and the Lucchese's have been dominating New York's organized crime. Each family has their own unique story about how each family made its way to becoming one of the top Five Families in the mafia. We will be taking a journey and learning the history behind each crime family, from what part of New York they controlled to who controlled each family during that time period, and who currently runs the mafia present day.

Before going into the histories of each of these families, below is a hierarchy chart of the organized crime. You will need this to understand how the families were structured, and names that were associated with their titles.

Boss: Also known as the "Don". Has total control over the entire family.

Underboss: They are second in command of the family; they give orders usually that comes from the Boss.

Consigliere: The family advisor, sometimes they're professional attorneys.

Capo: They are captains or lieutenants; they are in charge of the soldiers and associates.

Soldiers: They are the ones that do all the dirty work; they take orders from the Capo's, and sometimes the Underboss.

Associates: Are soldiers who haven't been a "made man" yet.

The Colombo Crime Family

The Colombo crime family was formerly known as the Profaci crime family, originally formed by Joe "The Olive Oil King" Profaci in 1928. Joe controlled the family with a rigid tight fist, and he was loathed by his men in the family. This crime family experienced three family wars. The first war was initiated in the 1950's when a family member Crazy Joe Gallo began rebelling against Profaci for demanding too much tribute. In the early 1960's the war began to die down when Crazy Joe was arrested and Profaci died of cancer. Then control was passed to Joseph "Joe C." Colombo's command; the family then changed to name to the Colombo crime family, to rid the memory of their former boss Joe Profaci. A few years later the second war began to brew when Crazy Joe Gallo was released from prison, and had a hit put on Colombo. Carmine "Junior" Persico helped win the war against Crazy Joe when he had him murdered in a Little Italy restaurant in in 1972. Decades later the third war was born, and this war had more bloodshed than the two previous wars. In 1991 Carmine "Junior" Persico was now boss of the Colombo family, but he was imprisoned. Family member Victor Orena undermined Persico, and the family divided into two factions. The two factions then started going to war with each other. In 1993, there were twelve casualties within the family, Orena ended up being imprisoned, and then the war was finally over (Five Families of New York City ).

The Colombo crime family has operations set up mainly in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. They also have a strong influence in Staten Island, Manhattan, The Bronx, New Jersey, and certain parts of Florida.

The current boss of the Colombo crime family is Carmine "Junior" Persico; he is currently serving a life sentence in North Carolina at a federal prison. Carmine's successor was his son Alphonse "Little Allie Boy" Persico. In December 2007 Alphonse and his underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss were both sentenced to life in prison for ordering a hit against William Cutolo in 1999.

Serving as an acting is Andrew "Mush" Russo, a former street boss and longtime capo in the Colombo family. He assumed the role of the acting boss in 2008; he currently resides in Florida and is semi-retired from the family. Russo assumed the position of acting boss when Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli was arrested in 2008.

John "Sonny" Franzese the current underboss of the Colombo crime family, and a rival to Carmine Persico, has spent most of his life in and out of prison. May 2007, Franzese was arrested for parole violations for meeting with Capo's within the family, and for meeting with other high-ranking members of other crime families. He was released from jail a year later, and in January 2011 he was convicted of extortion and sentenced to eight years in prison.

January 2010, Dino Calabro a Capo was facing a trial for the murder of a New York police officer; he provided a devastating testimony about the Colombo family when he became a government witness.

January 20, 2011 members of the Colombo crime family and other crime family of New York were arrested on various charges that included murder, drug trafficking, and labor racketeering (The 5 Families Of New York).

The Genovese Crime Family

The Genovese crime family saga began with the Morello crime family that originated from East Harlem, New York; they were considered one of the first crime families of New York City. Giuseppe Morello, who ran the family hailed from a village in Corleone, Sicily. Giuseppe and his comrade Ignazio "Lupo the Wolf" Saietta were known around Sicily as being merciless and ruthless. Morello's lieutenants were his brothers Nicholas and Antonio Morello, and their half-brothers Vincenzo "Vincent" Terranova and Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova, they controlled rackets in East Harlem, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Other illegal activities the Morello crime families were in involved in were gambling extortion, theft, and counterfeiting. In 1910, Giuseppe and Ignazio were arrested for counterfeiting that stemmed all the way from Italy to New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. With the two being in prison Giuseppe's brother Nicholas Morello took control over the crime family. In 1914, Nicholas quickly became involved in a war with the Camorra Gang of Brooklyn regarding territorial dispute over Brooklyn and Manhattan rackets. The war last until 1918, when Nicholas Morello and the Camorra Boss Don Pellegrino Morano agreed to a meeting to talk about the war, law enforcement involvement, the profit losses, and each side losing soldiers in shoot outs. Morello and Pellegrino Morano along with lieutenants and bodyguards met at the Brooklyn Navy Street Café to establish a peace treaty, and a possible chance co-operation. Morello was led to believe

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