Biography of Gangsters Charles Lucky Luciano Part 1

About the famous gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano, biography and history of her crimes, victims and death.

THE GANGSTERS

CHARLES "LUCKY" LUCIANO (1897-1962)

Person: An immaculate dresser, Luciano nevertheless always looked and talked like a thug. In 1929 he was scarred after being taken for a "ride" by kidnappers--identified by him variously as gangland rivals or rogue cops--who used a knife to sever all the muscles in his right cheek right down to the bone, leaving him with a drooping right eye that thereafter gave him a sinister appearance.

Activities: With the possible exception of Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky, Luciano was perhaps the most criminally intelligent gangster in America. Together they created a national crime syndicate which, despite public misconception, is greater than the Mafia. In fact, Luciano can be said to have killed off the Mafia. Brought to America by his family at the age of 9, Luciano didn't get arrested until he was 10, when he was caught shoplifting. In 1916 he was a full-fledged member of the notorious Five Points gang and was suspected of committing several murders. Early in life Luciano developed a contempt for the "Mustache Petes" who ruled the Mafia gangs, and by the late 1920s he was plotting their elimination. By 1930 Luciano was second-in-command under one of the two top Mafioso, "Joe the Boss" Masseria, who was gunned down in a Coney Island restaurant after Luciano had stepped into the toilet, as he said, "to wash my hands."

Luciano then became number two under Masseria's rival, Salvatore Maranzano, who was now the "boss of bosses." Luciano engineered Maranzano's assassination on Sept. 10, 1931, and in the following 24 hours an estimated 40 other Mustache Petes across the country were reportedly murdered in what became known as "the Night of the Sicilian Vespers." This marked the end of the Mafia, at least as a closed criminal society in America, and signaled its replacement with organized crime, made up of all ethnic elements.

The new crime syndicate included among its directors Meyer Lansky, head of the Bug and Meyer gang, which consisted of Bugsy Siegel, Joe Adonis, Dutch Schultz, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Frank Costello, and numerous Mafia crime families, but no boss of bosses. In actual fact, Luciano was the boss in everything but name. The syndicate controlled such operations as bootlegging, gambling, prostitution, narcotics, loansharking, and labor rackets.

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