Episode 97: The Mob: From Meat Hook Murders to Movies!

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

This episode of the Sofa King Podcast looks at the history, rise, fall, and rise again of the Italian Mob in America. We have special guest Rob Van Dam back with us again; indeed, he is the one who suggested the topic, and when you listen to the episode, you will soon learn why. Rob seems like he has a frikking PhD in Mob Studies! Within ten minutes, Brent, Brad, and Dave give up on their notes because Rob knows every single thing we plan to talk about—down to dates and addresses where things happened! It’s pretty mind blowing.

So what do we talk about (or get schooled about by Rob)? Well, we start at the beginning, with the small mafia families that protected Sicily against foreign invaders and helped dole out justice in lawless cities. That of course is followed by the huge surge of Italian immigrants in New York, then Prohibition, where the US Mob really takes off.

We explore Charles “Lucky” Luciano and the way he consolidated the varying families into The Commission in 1931 by killing his rival during the Castellammarese War and establishing the Five Families of New York (which are still there to this day) and the other families in other cities. We look at the Omerta, the code of conduct and silence that governs the mob and keeps it so private. We explore the Federal RICO act of 1971 and how it changed the culture of the mob and gave federal agents powers to arrest mob bosses that they never had before.

Most importantly, Rob drops mad facts about bosses, mob families, and tells stories of hit after hit, death after death in the Mob. He talks about the time he saw a mobster while on a mob tour with a cop, and he even shares a story of a 300 pound man with a meat hook in his butt as a form of torture. If you’re curious about the history and evolution of the mob, how they work, details of specific murders, and even a really cool discussion of the most accurate Mobster films, then this episode is a must! Many thanks to Rob Van Dam for the suggestion and knowledge.

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