Biography of Gangsters Charles Lucky Luciano Part 2

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

THE GANGSTERS

CHARLES "LUCKY" LUCIANO (1897-1962)

Luciano's downfall started in 1936, when special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey indicated him on charges of compulsory prostitution. Later, the underworld called this a "bum rap," claiming the police case was based on perjured evidence. Handed a 30-to-50-year sentence, Luciano exercised control over syndicate affairs from his cell until he was freed in 1946 and deported to Italy. His controversial release was justified as being a reward for his alleged "war services," especially for his ordering security tightened on the mob-controlled New York waterfront and enlisting the aid of the Mafia in Sicily prior to the Allied invasion. Luciano tried to sneak into Cuba to maintain his reign over American affairs, but he was finally forced back to Italy, where he issued orders and received his cut of racket profits through a stream of gangster couriers.

Leading Crimes: As head of the syndicate, Luciano had his finger in every major underworld murder. His killings were carried out by Albert Anastasia, the chief executioner of Murder, Inc., who worshiped Luciano. Years earlier, when Luciano was plotting the Masseria--Maranzano rubouts, Anastasia was overwhelmed with emotion when he was cut in on the plan. He grabbed Luciano in a bear hug and kissed him on both cheeks, saying, "Charlie, I been waitin' for this day for at least eight years. You're gonna be on top if I have to kill everybody for you."

Major Victims: Ironically, Luciano's most noteworthy crime saved the life of Tom Dewey. When Dewey started making waves, he zeroed in on mobster Dutch Schultz, who demanded that the syndicate "hit" the gangbuster. The idea was rejected on the grounds that Dewey's death would create more problems than it solved. Enraged, Schultz announced he'd carry out his plan alone. For crime's sake, Luciano ordered Schultz killed. Dewey, robbed of his prime target, promptly turned his sights on Luciano.

How Died: Taking a series of mistresses in his later years, the exiled Luciano suffered several heart attacks and was finally ordered by his doctors to refrain from all sexual activity with his current lover, a teenage girl. It is not known whether he followed orders. In 1962 he suffered a fatal heart attack at the Naples airport. Ultimately, Luciano was allowed back into the U.S.--for burial at St. John's Cathedral Cemetery in Queens, N.Y.

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