Chilling Photos Of History's Most Infamous Mob Hits (2023)

Photos from the crime scenes of some of the 20th centuries most brutal murders paints a picture of how organized crime has persisted and flourished throughout history.

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Joe Masseria, 1931

In 1930, a Sicilian faction led by Salvatore Maranzano waged war against a Sicilian-American group led by Joe Masseria for control of Mafia activity in the United States. Ultimately, in 1931, Masseria allies led by Charles "Lucky" Luciano cooperated with Maranzano and betrayed Masseria in order to end the war. Masseria was shot to death in a Coney Island restaurant, the war ended, and Luciano forged the basic structure of the American Mafia as we know it today.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Albert Anastasia, 1957

Detectives take notes and examine the barbershop of New York's Park Sheraton Hotel, where the body of Murder Inc.'s Albert Anastasia lies, partially covered, on the floor after his murder by unknown gunmen. George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, 1929

On February 14, 1929, seven members of the North Side Gang were trapped in a garage, lined up against the wall, and shot to death by members of Al Capone's rival gang, which was at war with the Irish North Siders for control of Chicago. Bettmann/Getty Images

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Carmine Galante, 1979

The body of Carmine "Lilo" Galante (top right), boss of the Bonanno crime family, lies outside of Joe & Mary's Italian-American Restaurant in Brooklyn. Galante was murdered by some of his own men, acting on orders from a collection of rival mob families upset over Galante's power grabs.Frank Castoral/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

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Hymie Weiss, 1926

Earl "Hymie" Weiss was the leader of the Chicago North Side Gang and known as the "only person Al Capone feared." Nevertheless, Weiss was killed when Capone's men opened fire with a submachine gun on him and his associates while they were visiting a courthouse where an ally of his was on trial. Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

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Dutch Schultz, 1935

Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer, a powerful New York mob boss in the 1920s and '30s, was ultimately killed in Newark, New Jersey by an assassin hired by the Mafia Commission, which opposed his attempts to kill a special prosecutor who was coming after Shultz on racketeering charges.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Paul Castellano, 1985

The body of Paul Castellano lies covered with a sheet after he was gunned down on a New York City sidewalk. Castellano, the boss of the Gambino crime family in the late 1970s, was killed by a faction within his own family led by John Gotti, who felt Castellano had disrespected the Mafia by focusing on white-collar crime and by not attending the wake of a senior Gambino figure weeks earlier.Ruby Washington/New York Times Co./Getty Images

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Thomas Bilotti, 1985

The body of Thomas Bilotti, underboss to Paul Castellano, lies on the street after he was gunned down alongside Castellano outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Frank Decicco, 1986

Frank DeCicco was a Gambino family underboss in the 1970s and '80s. He was killed by a car bomb in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn in 1986. His assassination was revenge for DeCicco's murder of mobsters Thomas Bilotti and Paul Castellano.Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

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John Dillinger, 1934

The body of bank robber John Dillinger is put on display in a Chicago morgue after he was shot to death by the FBI and police. Dillinger, one of the most infamous gangsters of the 1920s and '30s, robbed banks across the Midwest with a group that included the likes of "Baby Face" Nelson and Homer Van Meter.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Homer Van Meter, 1934

John Dillinger associate and notorious bank robber Homer Van Meter, was killed after fleeing police in St. Paul, Minnesota.Bettmann/Getty Images

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"Baby Face" Nelson, 1934

George "Baby Face" Nelson, known for his daring bank robberies and murders, is said to have killed more FBI agents in the line of duty than any other person. Ultimately, he was killed in 1934 in a gunfight with the FBI.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Charles Gioe, 1954

Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe, was an associate of Al Capone's notorious for his extortion of movie stars. In the end, Gioe was shot through the head by mafia hitmen hired by a Chicago mob boss whose plans Gioe had unknowingly interfered with. Bettmann/Getty Images

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Walter Sage, 1937

Walter Sage, a hitman and racketeer in the Murder Inc. crime syndicate in the 1930s, was stabbed to death with icepicks by two of his fellow syndicate members, Irving “Big Gangi” Cohen and Jacob “Jack” Drucker while they were driving through New York's Catskill Mountains for skimming money from the organization. They tied his body to a slot machine and threw it into a river.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Frankie Yale, 1928

Frankie Yale was a Brooklyn mob boss known for being the original employer of Al Capone. He was killed when he was lured away from his club with a cryptic phone call about his wife, then gunned down in his car on the way home. Many people suspect that the hit was ordered by Capone himself.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Tony Lombardo, 1928

Antonio "Tony the Scourge" Lombardo, a close associate and consigliere to Al Capone, was gunned down by rival gangsters on the corner of State and Madison Streets in Chicago in retaliation for Capone's supposed involvement in the killing of Frankie Yale.NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

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Jack McGurn, 1936

Jack "Machine Gun Jack" McGurn was a member of Al Capone's gang, the Chicago Outfit, and was suspected to be one of the people who carried out the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. He was himself murdered in 1936 in a Chicago bowling alley on the anniversary of the attack, likely as revenge for the massacre seven years earlier.Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

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Harry Millman, 1937

Powerful Detroit mobster and former "Purple Gang" member, Harry Millman was killed in 1937 at Boesky's, a restaurant-deli in Chicago. He was shot to death by Murder Inc. gunmen hired by the Mafia who he had aggravated with his intense hatred of Italian gangsters.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Bugsy Siegel, 1947

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, whose criminal empire essentially created Las Vegas in the 1940s, was a powerful figure in both the Jewish mob and the Italian Mafia. In the end, he was killed by an unknown assailant who shot him through a window with an M1 Carbine while he was staying at an associate's house in Beverly Hills. Bettmann/Getty Images

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Joseph Colombo, 1971

Joseph Colombo, boss of the Colombo crime family and the founder of the Italian-American Civil Rights League, was shot in 1971 while on a speakers' platform for an Italian-American Unity Day ceremony in New York. Though the bullet didn't kill him, he was left fully paralyzed and died seven years later in a hospital bed. It remains unclear which rival mob family had ordered the hit.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Angelo Bruno, 1980

Philadelphia police carry the body of Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno, Philadelphia's organized crime leader in the 1960s and '70s. The 69-year-old mob boss was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun in his car by one of his own associates as part of a power grab.Bettmann/Getty Images

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Chilling Photos Of History's Most Infamous Mob Hits (25)

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Chilling Photos Of History’s Most Infamous Mob Hits

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On July 12, 1979, diners were eating at Joe & Mary's Italian-American Restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn when three men in ski masks, armed with shotguns and handguns, burst through the front door.

They walked calmly to the sunlit patio, where they opened fire on the patrons who were still in the middle of their meal. Two men were shot in the back of the head and a third received a shotgun blast to the chest that knocked him straight off of his chair and onto the ground. Surprisingly, the blast didn't dislodge his signature cigar from his mouth, and he lay on the ground dead with it still firmly between his teeth.

Two other men sat at the same table, but were left unharmed. The masked men then sprinted off out the back door.

The man who was shot in the chest was once known as "the boss of all bosses," Carmine Galante, the leader of the Bonanno crime family. He was known to most by his nickname, "Lilo," Italian slang for "cigar," because he was never seen without one in his mouth. One of the most feared Mafiosi in New York, this was a man who once said, "No one will ever kill me, they wouldn't dare."

The two other dead men were Galante's associate, Leonard Coppola, as well as the owner of the restaurant and Galante's cousin, Giuseppe Turano.

The two men at the table that were left untouched were the young soldiers in the Bonanno organization that had set Galante up. The killers were also from the Bonanno family, part of a faction led by capo Al Indelicato that sought to kill their boss.

The other Mafia families had become enraged with Galante's brazen power grabs and blatant disrespect. He had amassed a large, highly profitable heroin operation and refused to share his profits with the other families. Finally, the Mafia Commission, the highest rungs of Mafia leadership, ordered a hit on him, and used his own men to do it.

The Galante hit is just one of many like it, yet one more tale of greed, betrayal, violence, and death.

See more of history's most infamous mob hits in the gallery above.

After this look at mob hits of decades past, learn about the most brutal gangs around the world. Then, have a look at these grisly photos of the mafia in the 1980s.


What was the most infamous mob hit? ›

Valentine's Day Massacre (1929) Al “Scarface” Capone may have been in Florida when seven associates of the rival George “Bugs” Moran's North Side Mob were machine-gunned in Chicago — but he'll forever be linked to the most infamous gangland slaying in American history.

Who runs the Chicago outfit today? ›

One man, 83-year-old Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis is considered to be the current leader of the Outfit, according to mob investigators. "It's a business where experience counts for something," Binder said DeLaurentis, who was released from federal prison in 2006 and currently resides in the far northwest suburbs.

Is the mob still in Youngstown Ohio? ›

A former federal prosecutor told Mahoning Matters that mob activity is virtually nonexistent in Ohio today, and federal law enforcement has since turned its attention to Russian and Asian organized crime syndicates.

Who was the most feared mob boss of all time? ›

Al Capone. The first name that everyone thinks of when you say “mob boss” or “gangster” is Al Capone. So, obviously, our list begins with him.

Who is the biggest mob snitch? ›

Joseph “The Ear” Massino

In 2004, Massino made history by becoming the first official Mafia boss to cooperate with federal authorities.

What was the biggest mob in America? ›

It also estimated that the Genovese family consists of about 270 "made" members. The family maintains power and influence in New York, New Jersey, Atlantic City and Florida. It is recognized as the most powerful Mafia family in the U.S., a distinction brought about by their continued devotion to secrecy.

Do mobs still exist? ›

While the Mafia - also known as La Cosa Nostra - may no longer possess the robust national presence and influence it once had, it remains a significant threat in the New York metropolitan area, New England, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit.

Does the Capone family still exist? ›

Does Al Capone Have Any Living Relatives Today? Al Capone's family is still alive today, as the notorious gangster does have a few living relatives still, outside of all the true story changes Capone made.

Are there still mobs today? ›

The Mafia is currently most active in the Northeastern United States, with the heaviest activity in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and New England, in areas such as Boston, Providence, and Hartford.

Who are the 5 mob bosses today? ›

Original and current Five Families bosses
Original family nameFounded byCurrent boss
MaranzanoSalvatore MaranzanoMichael "The Nose" Mancuso
ProfaciJoe ProfaciUnknown
ManganoVincent ManganoDomenico Cefalù
LucianoLucky LucianoLiborio Salvatore "Barney" Bellomo
1 more row

Who runs Philly Mob now? ›

Current leaders and membership. Boss – Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino – became boss in 1999, and is believed to still be the boss of the Philadelphia crime family. Street Boss – Michael "Mikey Lance" Lancelotti – longtime member of the Philadelphia family.

Is the mob still active in Colorado? ›

It is believed by federal authorities that the Denver Mafia went defunct in the 2000s after the death of Clarence Smaldone, however, evidence suggests that they still have a small but significant presence in the Colorado state, particularly in mountain towns.

Who was the smartest gangster ever? ›

Torrio had several nicknames, primarily "The Fox" for his cunning and finesse. The US Treasury official Elmer Irey considered him "the biggest gangster in America" and wrote, "He was the smartest and, I dare say, the best of all the hoodlums. 'Best' referring to talent, not morals".

What mob boss was never found? ›

Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975. It is generally accepted that he was murdered by the Mafia, and in 1982 he was declared legally dead. Hoffa's legacy and the circumstances of his disappearance continue to stir debate.

Who is the most violent gangster? ›

Here are ten of the most violent, prominent and feared mob bosses in history.
  • Al Capone (1899-1947) ...
  • Albert Anastasia (1902 – 1957) ...
  • 'Lucky' Luciano (1897 – 1962) ...
  • Frank Costello (1891 – 1973) ...
  • Carlo Gambino (1902 – 1976) ...
  • Paul Castellano (1915 – 1985) ...
  • Pablo Escobar (1949 – 1993) ...
  • John Gotti (1940 – 2002)
Oct 12, 2021

What were the bloodiest mob wars? ›

The Castellammarese War (Italian pronunciation: [kaˌstɛllammaˈreːze, -eːse]) was a bloody power struggle for control of the Italian-American Mafia that took place in New York City, New York, from February 1930 until April 15, 1931, between partisans of Joe "The Boss" Masseria and those of Salvatore Maranzano.

What was the biggest mob war? ›

The Second Mafia War

The second war took place between 1981 and 1983. Over a thousand homicides occurred during this period which included the assassination of judges, prosecutors and politicians. The second mafia war is sometimes referred to as the Great Mafia War or the Mattanza ( The Slaughter in Italian).

When was the mob at its most powerful? ›

Headquartered in New York, the American Mafia got its start in the '20s and hit its peak during the '40s and '50s, eventually reaching a downfall in the '80s. Throughout that time, the mobsters ran a brutal, bloody, and illegal operation, mostly under the radar.

What was the longest mob trial in history? ›

Anthony Accetturo et al. RICO trial, famous for being the longest federal trial in history (at 21 months). This trial was conducted while DiNorscio was already incarcerated on separate drug charges. He was ultimately found not guilty (along with his fellow co-defendants) after a short deliberation by the jury.

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