Bootleggers, smugglers, drug dealers, hitmen — all these occupations are the provenance of mobsters, who operate in ethnic, family and business networks. Mobsters' real-life crimes, and Hollywood's fascination with them, has earned them a special place in the American imagination. Vincent Gigante, also known as "The Chin," was the boss of New York's Genovese crime family for more than 20 years after assuming power in the s. Gigante had a ruthless reputation but was also nicknamed the "Oddfather. Al Capone , also known as "Scarface," was one of the most famous American gangsters who rose to infamy as the leader of the Chicago Outfit during the Prohibition era.
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Check out some of our favorite child stars, including Jennifer Love Hewitt and more. See the entire gallery. Here are four documentaries from with powerful and unique takes on unraveling true crimes.
Americans had seen nothing like it before—not in their own living rooms. Three years before the Army-McCarthy hearings and 22 years before Watergate , the Kefauver Committee hearings in the winter of brought a parade of gamblers, hoodlums, crooked sheriffs and organized-crime figures out from the shadows to sit and testify before the white-hot lights and television cameras. Housewives were glued to their sets day after day, while in barrooms and cafeterias, men gathered on their lunch breaks to witness the proceedings. Stores and offices across the country piped in day-long radio broadcasts. Colorful criminals, sweating and tapping their fingers nervously, seemed to step off the set of Hollywood gangster movies, speaking in broken English, under oath, about their activities.