Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John Gotti, the last Mafia icon

On January 24, 1989, John Joseph Gotti, Jr., American mobster and boss of the Gambino crime family, was arrested for ordering the 1986 assault on union official John O’Connor. Gotti, who bet the arresting officer that he would beat the charge, was released on $100,000 bail, and was in fact acquitted at trial.

The Kray twins: London’s own Mafia

The most notorious gangsters of London’s East End, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, former boxers known for their violent tendencies, enjoyed mingling with celebrities in their nightclub. Ronnie, a paranoid schizophrenic, was openly bisexual and was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship with a member of the UK’s conservative party.

Slideshow: Ten startling Mafia crime scene photos

In the mafia, one day you’re in and the next day you’re dead. Warning: Contains images of dead bodies.

John Gotti, the last Mafia icon

On March 18, 1980, Frank Gotti, John Gotti’s 12-year-old son, was killed in a tragic car accident by a man, who was abducted, presumed murdered, later that year. Gotti, the last of the Hollywood-style Mafia icons, was New York’s most powerful mob boss in recent history, and for years, the “Teflon Don” seemed above the law.

Today in History: The St. Valentine’s day massacre

It was on Valentine’s day 1929 in a frigid Chicago that seven men were lined up against a garage brick wall and sprayed with 90 bullets. It was Al Capone’s final piece in the puzzle for domination of Chicago.

Crime family epic: The Bonanno family

Joe Bonanno was old school. He had plans to revamp the ranks of rival New York crime families through a series of planned assassinations in order to make himself the “boss of the bosses.” The lure of drugs and drug money was too tempting for the next generation, however, and ultimately led to the undoing of Bonanno’s criminal empire.

The crimes of the Tri-State Gang

The story of the violent gang of Philadelphia mobsters, who terrorized Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, particularly the City of Richmond, in the early 1930s.

The deadly efficiency of Murder Inc.

On November 12, 1941, feared Murder, Inc. hitman-turned-informant Abe "Kid Twist" Reles was found dead from a fall from a hotel window. The evidence suggested that Reles had been pushed, earning him the epithet "The canary who sang, but couldn’t fly." The story of the organization that carried out Mob assassinations.

Mob Molls: The Lovers and Wives of Mafia Bosses

We’re loving the NY Daily News’ gallery of mobster companions today, especially the images of Janice Drake, who seems like a lot of fun but might be a little dangerous.

Bedtime Reading: Fact and Fiction in The Godfather

The Francis Ford Coppola film series is a masterpiece taken from stories of real life gangsters, but softened to show the Mafia as "men of honor" rather than murderous thugs.

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