In America, it’s obvious that there are things we never really see. For instance, we don’t know how lots of things are made, what people do behind closed doors, and sometimes we never really even want to find out. However, there is something that happens right in front of our noses and we never even know it. Organized crime is the one thing that we just do not really know about that happens right out in the open. That pizza place people go to that’s been around for years, and then burns down when it starts to go under; or those people that look all innocent and then go and do something a little suspicious. Those are both small things that happen that involve organized crime. Organized crime is all around the world and has a huge effect on how society runs and the way we live our lives.
History of Organized Crime
During the nineteen twenties in America or the roaring twenties as these years are more commonly referred to as, America had experienced a significant amount of change throughout the country. These changes ranged from sports, music, style or fashion, the economy, prohibition, transportation and of course organized crime. Organized crime was a big part of the twenties. Organized crime was at its peak in the nineteen twenties and America hasn’t quite been the same ever since. (((encyclopedia.com)))
Most of the organized crime related activities began due to the newest amendment (the eighteenth amendment) which was the prohibition of alcohol. (((encyclopedia.com))) This amendment came out in January nineteen twenty making the manufacturing and distribution of alcohol illegal in hopes of seizing violence and drunkenness. It did the exact opposite. With the world in economic decline and many people out of work people saw this new “law” as an opportunity- A criminal opportunity. Everything that prohibition was supposed to fix got way worse.
A particularly notorious gang during this time period was Al Capone`s mob in Chicago. Born in 1889 in a poor Italian immigrant family he became the protégé of Johnny Torrieo who was the leader of the “five point gang”. Torrieo retired in 1925 with Capone taking over. His involvements included gambling, bootlegging, prostitution and racketeering. In 1927 he was worth 100 million dollars.(((Mike Chamernik, top 5 gangsters of Chicago))) His most famous involvement was the Valentine’s day massacre. He hired shooters to kill Bugs Moran’s rival gang. In 1931 he was sent to prison for tax evasion and in 1947 he died. (((Mike Chamernik, top 5 gangsters of Chicago)))
There were also many gangs involved in organized crime in Detroit, New York and other cities which participated in different organized crime activities. Wars among gangs, producing gruesome killings, frequently made headlines. (((encyclopedia.com)))
Different types of Organized Crime
Organized crime is defined as, “A criminal activity that is purposely undertaken for the purpose of acquiring profit, power and influence.” (((Finklea, Kristen. Organized Crime))) It involves people who engage in illegal activities. In the United States there are so many different types of organized crime groups. Something people may underestimate and not really know about is the immense size of these gangs, or organizations. In only four of the major crime families there are “250,000 affiliates worldwide.” (((Federal Bureau of Investigation))) There are people all over the world involved in them. Some of these activities that these groups take part in are human trafficking, robbery, fraud, vandalizing, embezzlement, and illegal drugs.(((Matthews, Chris. Fortune.com)))
Effects on Society
Organized crime is growing at such a pace that it has a major threat to American society and to societies all over the world. Crime is a topic in the daily newspaper, often crowding other news off the front pages. Crime and fear of crime are important subjects in political campaigns. Crime is a staple on entertainment programs on television and in books and movies which detail both real and fictional crimes from a wide variety of points of view. Organized crime is only one aspect of the crime problem in America. In the past, organized crime was a more potent and feared force, especially in the cities of the Northeast. Organized crime also really effects the economy. Estimates of the economic impact of crime are difficult to make and run as high as several hundred billion dollars annually. (((Encyclopedia.com)))
People are involved in organized crime all around the world. It greatly effects how society runs and the way people live our lives. While thousands of people have been arrested and prosecuted for being involved in organized crimes there is still a significant amount of work to do to reduce these illegal activities in order to make society a better place.