Everyone knew the Mafia existed. The question was whether they has as much influence as they said and did as much damage as they said. The Mafia probably killed 1/4 of the people they say they killed.
I went to college in a small Appalachian town. We had a restaurant that was owned by a guy who was mobbed up but on the run. They knew where to find him but left him alone as long as he bought his food from them.
A friend worked for a radio station owned by some folks in the NJ mob. They were tied in with a clothing store and a restaurant. The store sold Italian suits and I never saw anyone in it but they ran tons of ads between 1AM and 5AM on that station. The restaurant hired nothing but Sicilians right off the boat. It was a big money-laundering and immigration scheme.
“The Mafia probably killed 1/4 of the people they say they killed.”
I’d be curious about the actual numbers.
I’ve read that mob-related killings in Chicago over the 20th century numbered between 1,000 and 3,000. Not surprisingly, prosecutions were brought for only a couple of dozen of them. No doubt the numbers for New York and New Jersey would be at least comparable to Chicagoland’s if not higher.
Ill bet their food was good. Most of the "Italian" restaurants in my area are owned by Middle Easterners and East Asians and hire Latinos to prepare the food.