How to Become a Mob Boss (2023) s01e01 Episode Script

Land Your Dream Job

[narrator] Look at yourself.
Just another cog in the machine.
[man] A working stiff is stuck in a life.
They play by the rules,
and they get fucked.
[narrator] You've tried doing things
the right way,
but the deck is stacked against you.
I can show you how to get the money,
power, and respect
you've been denied for too long.
It's inside this playbook.
A series of tactics
that the world's most powerful mob bosses
use to become masters
of their own destiny.
One hit
at a time.
[theme music playing]
Sure, this life isn't for everybody.
But follow their examples,
and you can learn how to use these tools
to make a killing.
[narrator] When I say mob boss,
what comes to mind?
Ah, so literal.
A mob boss is someone
who knows how to beat the system.
A mob boss is basically
the CEO of an organization.
And some of these organizations
are very big,
and some of them make
an awful lot of money.
[narrator] And when problems arise
We have different ways
of dealing with them.
We do it with fucking fear.
We're ferocious!
[narrator] The gangland giants
who run the two-trillion-dollar-a-year
organized crime industry
know the value of structure,
public relations,
and a diversified portfolio.
Before you can flex your muscle as a boss,
you need to follow the playbook's guide
to climbing the corporate ladder.
And few elevated themselves
as high or as quickly
as the barber's son from Brooklyn
who would grow up
to become the original gangster.
[reporter] Here he comes!
The big boy himself!
[narrator] Al Capone.
By the time he turned 30,
Al Capone was king
of the Chicago underworld,
running a vast criminal empire
that raked in over $100 million.
While leaving a trail of bodies
across the Windy City.
But it's how he got started
that will be your first lesson
in self-improvement.
You want the success
that comes with being a boss. You do!
[narrator] Ready to begin launching
your own empire?
To be a successful mob boss,
first of all, you have to be driven.
You have to be ambitious.
You have to be smart
and know how to motivate
and, at times, frighten people
to keep them in line.
[narrator] As with any pursuit,
developing this skill set
takes studious practice
and a goal-oriented approach.
Guys who gravitated toward the mob
were looking for a way to succeed.
They didn't have education.
They weren't able to go to college,
and so they thought,
"I can rob somebody.
I can beat somebody up."
Who's gonna value that?
Organized crime does.
[narrator] And as you'll see,
most criminal kingpins
unlock their potential at an early age.
Future New York City mob boss
John Gotti was arrested five times
before his 21st birthday.
And as a kid, he nearly lost his toes
when they were crushed
under a cement mixer
he was trying to steal.
It's how he developed his trademark strut.
Sicilian mob boss Salvatore Riina
assisted in his first murder
at just 18 years old,
helping to kill a trade union official
who had publicly embarrassed Riina's boss.
And as a teen,
Medellín drug cartel founder Pablo Escobar
made his schoolteacher mom proud,
selling fake diplomas before graduating
to falsifying report cards.
Young Al Capone would also prove to be
a gifted student of the criminal arts.
[man 2] Capone's a child of immigrants.
His father came to the country first.
He was a barber in Brooklyn.
They were pasta makers back in Italy.
So Capone wasn't born into this.
It was America that created the mobster.
[man 3] He got pretty good grades
in school while he went there.
But he left in the sixth grade,
possibly because of an altercation
with the teacher.
Possibly, he just got bored
and wanted to go make money.
[narrator] Before long,
Al would discover the ideal outlet
for his entrepreneurial spirit.
One year, for his birthday,
Capone's father gives him the gift
every kid dreams of.
A shoeshine kit.
As young Al waits for customers,
he spots another, more profitable
moneymaking venture in action
at the hands of local mobster
Don Battista Balsamo.
Capone is impressed
and inspired.
[mischievous music plays]
The next day,
he recruits two of his cousins
to give his own business a leg up
by roughing up his competition.
Little Capone tells the boy
that if he wants to avoid further trouble,
he's going to have to pay up.
"Will this be every week?" the kid asks.
"Of course not," says Capone,
"It's gonna be every day."
You can see the street smarts
in the protection racket, for sure.
This shows us that he was resourceful,
that he had ambition, that he had ideas,
and he had the kind of business sense
that would work perfectly
for being a mobster.
[narrator] Of course, it's one thing
to show you have the character to succeed,
but you'll never make it
all the way to mob boss
without the right direction.
Let the playbook show you the way.
[upbeat music plays]
No matter how smart
or tough you think you are,
nobody gets ahead
in the mob game entirely on their own.
You're going to need a mentor.
It's important to have somebody
who believes in you and wants to teach you
because this is a dangerous world
you're getting into.
If you line up on the wrong side,
get in bed with the wrong person,
you won't last long.
[narrator] But finding
the appropriate tutor
is going to take some work.
You can't just go up to somebody
and say, "Hey, I'd like to be like you."
You know, somebody has to say,
"You have what it takes,"
and then, you know,
you do whatever necessary work
to prove yourself,
and that's how it happens.
[narrator] Young Al Capone showed
his dedication to the playbook
by seeking out
not one underworld mentor, but two.
John Torrio is regarded
as an underworld genius.
Criminal, of course, did illegal things,
but in his chosen profession, he's viewed
as a very, very savvy individual.
[Jonathan] And every kid
on the streets of Brooklyn
in Capone's neighborhood
knew who Johnny Torrio was.
So when Capone got to meet Johnny Torrio,
and Johnny Torrio said to him,
"If you ever need a job, come see me."
That was big.
Eventually, Capone started
running errands for him,
like delivering guns in paper bags,
picking up the money
from the night at the local brothels.
Torrio became
almost a father figure to Al Capone.
[narrator] From Torrio,
young Capone learned these rules.
Dress for success.
Keep your mouth shut.
And when it comes to staying on top,
remember, money is power.
These young guys in the mob,
they get pretty chesty.
They think they know everything.
Capone was humble
when it came to Johnny Torrio.
[narrator] As for mentor number two,
Capone also took lessons from this guy.
Brooklyn's top racketeer, Frankie Yale.
Frankie Yale was a very violent man.
[gun shots]
[Jonathan] This was one
of the most dangerous men in New York.
And for Capone not to be scared,
for Capone to want to work for this guy
tells you something about his character.
[narrator] Frankie Yale taught Capone
an alternate set of skills.
Always show you mean business.
Never get outgunned.
And make sure
your reputation precedes you.
And when Capone started
working at Frankie Yale's bar,
the Harvard Inn on Coney Island,
he got that chance
to prove himself as a worthy pupil.
Nineteen-year-old Al Capone
is paying his dues as a busboy.
When one night,
a young woman catches his eye.
[mischievous music plays]
He tries to win her over.
Then he tries again.
When his advances fail,
he goes for a more direct approach.
Her brother, Frank Galluccio,
an associate of New York mob boss
Lucky Luciano, has seen enough.
The much larger Capone
soon gains the upper hand.
Galluccio pulls a knife
and slashes Al's face.
Capone, now scarred for life,
wants revenge,
but Frankie Yale says no.
He won't allow
his pupil's rage to start a war
that could take them both down.
Capone agrees to drop the beef,
but he'll later exact
an even sweeter revenge
making Galluccio his errand boy.
Capone was a good student of his mentors,
picking things up from them,
learning whatever lessons
there were to be learned.
The fact that he had Frankie Yale
on his side probably helps explain
why he survived his teens.
Because he was engaged in risky work,
but he had important people
looking out for him.
[narrator] Now that you've built
a foundation for your future,
it's time to start forging your own path.
I'm on my way to the top,
and I'm gonna get there.
[narrator] To break from the pack,
you're going to need to prove
that you're leadership material.
And nothing says that
like a million-dollar idea.
[soft music plays]
[Renee] You want to rise to the top?
You have to be an earner. Big earner.
You have to know how to make that money.
[narrator] And you can't let anything
get in the way
of bringing your financial vision to life.
Take it from Al Capone.
Capone decided to move to Chicago
because he sees a chance
to do something bigger with his life.
Chicago is a big bustling town,
and he gets there
just as Prohibition's beginning.
[narrator] After World War I,
the best minds in the US Congress
decided that the key to growing
American power and prosperity
was to make alcohol illegal.
But Capone had a more skeptical view
of his countrymen's tolerance
for sobriety.
Capone realized that the masses
are not going to embrace this law.
And that's when you begin
to have to think like a businessman.
How can we take advantage?
That's the key moment.
He realized
that there's millions to be made
because consumers want that product,
and we're gonna provide it for them.
[narrator] That cool glass of opportunity
the government served up
was called bootlegging.
And there were options
to serve every palate.
[mid-tempo music plays]
If whiskey was your drink of choice,
you could sell it as medicine.
With a doctor's prescription,
any lush could get their fix.
Or you could find creative ways
to import your hooch
from across the Canadian border.
If you preferred the sweet stuff,
there was also rum-running,
smuggling in the finest spirits
from overseas right off the boat.
But to make even more money,
beer was the frosty ticket.
Bootleggers took over shuttered breweries.
And when the cops came calling,
they convinced them to look the other way.
Then they added some clever labeling
and watched the cash pour in.
But if you really wanted to make it rain,
you could do it all.
Shortly after arriving in Chicago
and reconnecting
with his old mentor John Torrio,
Capone turned his focus
towards starting a bootlegging operation.
In the beginning,
Capone was mostly muscle for Torrio.
But gradually,
Johnny Torrio began to realize
that Capone was also
an excellent businessman.
That he was a smart, charismatic leader.
That people would work for him.
[narrator] But the path to realizing
Capone's criminal vision
faced a roadblock.
Chicago's top gangster
and Torrio's current boss,
Big Jim Colosimo.
Big Jim Colosimo does not want
to get involved in bootlegging.
He's very happy with his restaurant,
his brothel, and his casino.
He was not willing to embrace
the risk involved in going bigger.
[narrator] Capone wasn't one
to let small minds
get in the way of a great idea.
So he and Torrio had to find a workaround.
At some point,
they decided that Big Jim had to go.
[narrator] With his path
to illicit riches on the line,
Capone isn't going to trust
just anyone to rub out Big Jim.
He knows just the guy to call.
His other mentor and former boss
from New York, Frankie Yale.
Capone organizes the details
and offers Yale $10,000 to do the job.
That's around 150,000 today.
[ominous music plays]
On Capone's instruction,
Yale enters Colosimo's Restaurant
and takes his position.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m.,
Colosimo arrives
to meet with an associate,
but the man never shows.
Colosimo heads to the phone booth
to find out what's going on,
leading him right into the trap.
Big Jim is hit behind his right ear
and dies on the spot.
The murder rocks the Chicago underworld
and allows Capone to turn
his bootlegging vision into reality.
[upbeat music plays]
Within the next three years,
Capone and Torrio take over
nine major breweries.
Very quickly, it becomes clear
that these are the guys.
That they're controlling
the booze business.
That these giant breweries,
once owned by big legitimate companies,
are now being operated by these two guys.
[narrator] Capone's bootlegging strategy
helped grow
Torrio's operation into a criminal empire,
raking in at least
three million dollars a year.
That's 51 million today.
And eliminating their key obstacle
had another benefit,
vaulting John Torrio
to the top of the Chicago underworld,
with Capone as his number two.
As you move up the ranks to heir apparent,
your ultimate path to boss status
is still far from assured.
So, how do you preserve
your place in line?
When you become a mob boss,
you'll get to call the shots.
Don't you ever say that
to me again, ya hear?
[narrator] But to earn that promotion,
you need to show one trait above all.
You have to play your position.
If your position is left fucking field,
you play left field.
If your position is collect money
on Thursdays from the card games,
that's what you do.
You do what you're told.
[dramatic music plays]
[narrator] As Al Capone's date
with destiny neared,
he made sure that his boss
John Torrio knew he had his back.
He was a young man.
He was still learning the trade.
He was making money.
He wasn't someone, at least at that time,
who appeared ready
to take on the reins as the boss.
[narrator] But in the underworld,
life moves fast.
[upbeat music plays]
The Beer Wars in Chicago
were a result of this infighting
among the different bootlegging gangs.
It was a lot of violence
in terms of turf wars.
There were shootings.
There were revenge shootings.
[narrator] One major front saw
Torrio and Capone's South Side outfit
facing off against their bootlegging rival
to the north,
Dean O'Banion,
a florist by day.
[Adam] So, Dean O'Banion started trying
to move into Torrio's territory.
And at this point,
Torrio was starting to get fed up.
[narrator] And being a loyal soldier,
Capone knew what to do and whom to call.
He ordered another hit
from his old mentor, Frankie Yale.
O'Banion was working in his flower shop.
A few guys came in,
nobody that he recognized,
and one of them was Frankie Yale.
And he greeted them warmly,
and they gave him
what's called the Chicago handshake.
They grabbed his hand, pulled forward,
stuck a gun in his guts and fired.
[narrator] That's one threat
out of the way,
but O'Banion had a lot of friends.
After the O'Banion murder,
Capone begins taking more precautions,
surrounding himself
with bodyguards for protection.
Torrio isn't as concerned.
After a shopping spree,
Torrio and his wife return home,
where O'Banion's crew is lying in wait.
They shoot Torrio five times,
but he survives.
As Torrio recovers,
Capone seizes the chance
to prove his devotion.
Capone goes to the hospital,
sits by Torrio's side,
makes sure nobody comes in
to try to finish the job.
He was loyal,
and he showed care for Torrio.
[narrator] Al's patience
and loyalty pay off.
After Torrio recovers,
he tells Capone that he's going back
to New York to retire,
making Capone, at just 26 years old,
the new boss of the Chicago underworld.
Six years after landing in the Windy City,
Al Capone becomes Chicago's top boss,
but his honeymoon won't last long.
By following the playbook's guide
to landing your dream job,
you've unlocked your criminal talent,
absorbed the right lessons,
proved your earning potential,
and positioned yourself for success.
But now that you've got the job,
jealous rivals will be out for blood.
If you want to survive the coming storm,
the playbook's next lesson
will make all the difference.
You've made your way
to the top of the food chain,
but it's only a matter of time
until the vultures start circling.
On the street, everybody wants
to take from you what you have,
and you always got to protect that.
And violence is the best way to do it.
[narrator] These other rookie mob bosses
would certainly agree.
Just two months
into Nicodemo Scarfo's reign
over the Philadelphia Mafia,
he set his sights
on rivals in the city's Greek Mob,
allegedly having boss Chelsais Bouras
and his girlfriend
killed in a popular
south Philly restaurant
so he could take over
the Greeks' drug rackets.
When Yakuza lieutenant Hiroshi Yamamoto
split from Japan's largest
criminal organization, the Yamaguchi-gumi,
to form his own group,
his first boss move was
to assassinate rival, Masahisa Takenaka,
who had edged him out
for the role of Godfather.
And while little Vic Orena
was in his first year
as acting boss
of the Colombo crime family,
he secured the organization's finances
by ordering the murder of Thomas Ocera,
who was accused of skimming profits
from a family-owned sanitation company.
[intense music plays]
[narrator] With the Beer Wars raging
[reporter] More than five hundred
Chicago gangsters
are slain by their own kind.
[narrator] and ambitious competitors
set on undercutting
his bootlegging operation,
Capone's first year as boss
was a constant battle for survival.
Enough guys smell weakness,
they're gonna take you out, kill you,
and they're gonna beat you down
till they take
what they want that you got.
[narrator] When all you've worked for
is under threat,
you have to send a message.
[music crescendos]
[guns firing]
[narrator] It's April 27th, 1926.
Rival bootleggers Myles and Bill O'Donnell
boldly decide to enjoy a night of drinking
on Capone's turf.
They're soon joined by more friends.
For weeks, the O'Donnells
had been trying to tank Capone's sales
by disparaging the quality of his spirits.
[narrator] When Capone learns
they're doing this in his own backyard,
he decides not to take
this challenge lying down.
He orders his men to race to the bar,
and Capone declares the party's over.
[guns firing]
The brothers are hit,
but manage to escape.
One of their friends isn't so lucky.
It's a bad break for Capone as well,
because he's just killed
Assistant State's Attorney,
William McSwiggin.
Capone almost certainly had no idea
that Bill McSwiggin was going out
that night with those guys.
[Adam] When they realized
the state's attorney had been murdered,
everybody kind of panicked.
This was not
just another gangster getting killed.
[narrator] Capone's attempt
to secure his position has backfired
as the entire Chicago police force
is mobilized to bring the new boss down.
The cops turn up the heat
and smoke out every joint in town.
So Capone goes underground.
From afar, Capone follows his own manhunt
and watches as his legend grows.
Finally, Capone decides
it's time to step out of the shadows
and make a stand.
He calls a press conference.
He comes back to Chicago
on the courthouse steps
and announces that Billy McSwiggin,
this state prosecutor, was one of my guys.
He was on my payroll.
[Adam] He said,
"Why would I have killed McSwiggin?"
"I liked McSwiggin. I paid him plenty,
and I got what I paid for."
"And if cops want
to talk to me about it, here I am."
"Reporters have any questions?"
"I'm running the outfit,
and I'm happy to talk to you about it."
[narrator] Capone openly declares
himself the mob king of Chicago.
And in an instant,
Capone's legend is forged.
That's the moment that launches
Capone into the national spotlight.
[narrator] In the spotlight
is where he'll remain
for five bloody and glorious years
until he gets busted for the one thing
the government never tolerates
tax evasion.
Still, Al Capone's mastery
of this chapter of the playbook
brought him up
from the streets to the height of power.
You might have to amass your fortune
without Al Capone's impeccable timing.
And for that, you'll need
an ironclad business plan.
One that revolutionizes an industry
and helps you build an empire.
Your guide for the next chapter.
Heroin tycoon Frank Lucas,
who showed there's more than one way
to make it into the Fortune 500.
Ready to rake in some real cash?
[theme music playing]
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