The Making Of The Mob: New York (2015) s01e02 Episode Script

Equal Opportunity Gangster

Previously, on "The Making of the Mob New York" At the turn of the century, hundreds of thousands of immigrants pour into New York City.
And as ruthless gangs carve out their turf, a new class of mobster emerges.
Charles Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Frank Costello, and Vito Genovese climb their up the ranks of the New York underworld, working under ruthless Mob boss, Joe Masseria.
The street level group of thugs who shook people down organized into a large number of thugs who were shaking people down, taking bets, even sellin' drugs.
After Masseria's heroin racket lands Luciano in prison, he joins forces with Jewish criminal mastermind, Arnold Rothstein.
There's safety in no one knowing who you are .
And decides it's time for a change.
But, to make it to the top, Luciano and his crew will have to make a bold move If I don't kill him, we're all dead.
and take out the one man standing in their way, Joe Masseria.
You got some big balls comin' over here like this.
You do this There's no goin' back.
I know.
In less than two decades, 30-year-old Charles Luciano and his gang have gone from poor immigrants to successful New York criminals, poised to eliminate the most powerful gangster in New York, Joe Masseria.
Thanks to the guidance of his trusted advisor, notorious Jewish gangster, Arnold Rothstein.
Arnold Rothstein was a mentor to Lucky Luciano.
He was under his wing .
They showed 'em how to-- how to run this business.
There was an alliance, and that stuck in his heart.
To Luciano, Rothstein is a father figure, and everything he aspires to be.
Who does he report to? He reports to.
Rothstein is the epitome of sophistication and self-control but every man has a weakness.
And for Rothstein, it's high stakes gambling.
Without a doubt, the Mob will eat away at your personality and at your soul.
You have this weight that you're carrying around with you.
Now, some guys are able to shed it with alcohol.
They shed it with sex.
They shed it with drugs.
But, eventually, it's gonna wear on you.
For most of his life, Rothstein has been a compulsive gambler, from betting on horses, to being the man believed to have fixed the 1919 world series.
But Rothstein's addiction has finally caught up with him.
How bad is it, Arnold? What happened? It's fine.
Don't-- it's fine.
In September 1928, Arnold Rothstein's luck is starting to run bad.
He's been losing at the track.
He's been losing at cards.
His marriage is also deteriorating badly.
When does he quit? When does he have enough money? I'll raise you 500.
He's invited to a big game .
The big out of town guys are there.
Rothstein goes on, and on, and on, for three days, losing steadily.
Jacks over nines.
He makes a couple of bets at the end and he says, "okay, it's fixed, and I'm not paying.
" Yeah.
Okay.
What? Rothstein's dead.
News of the first assassination of a New York kingpin makes headlines across the country.
On November 4th, 1928, Arnold Rothstein was gunned down in the streets.
And dozens of big name gangsters arrive in New York to attend Rothstein's orthodox Jewish funeral.
Arnold Rothstein taught other people.
He was sort of an equal opportunity, uh, mentor thief.
He didn't mind helping Italian, or Irish, or Jewish gangsters.
So, he had this cloud of appreciation around him that he was such an important guy.
For Luciano, the murder of Arnold Rothstein is a crushing blow.
With his trusted advisor gone He decides to put his plans to take out Joe Masseria on hold.
But while Luciano questions his next move, an even bigger problem is brewing.
The Federal Government begins to crack down on gang activity across the country, and for the first time in years, New York City's mobsters are under fire.
In the spring of 1929, special Government task forces raid speakeasies and Mob headquarters throughout New York.
It's part of a sweeping effort to take down mobsters Triggered by the actions of a notorious gangster over 800 miles away named Al Capone.
Al Capone is a Brooklyn gangster who fled to Chicago, and Chicago was a much rougher city than New York.
Huh? And he operated very well in that environment But, he didn't have the tempering influence of a Meyer Lansky , who could say to Luciano, "this is stupid.
" He would do things very much out in the public.
Very much in the face of law enforcement.
But on February 14th, 1929, Capone goes too far, ordering the brutal execution of rival Chicago gangsters.
More than 150 shots are fired, in what becomes known as one of the bloodiest days in Mafia history, the Saint Valentine's day massacre.
The Saint Valentine's Day massacre is so incredible, it gets attention.
There is more unhappiness in the public that there is this stuff going on.
The Mob tried to fly under the radar.
And when they got people's attention, it could be very bad for them.
With the Feds sweeping the country, New York Mob boss, Joe Masseria, has to act fast to take the heat off of his operation.
He knows he needs to get Capone under control.
It's a shame about your friend.
He picked a bad time to get sloppy.
Knowing Al Capone and Luciano ran in the same New York gangs as teenagers, Masseria is convinced that Luciano is the only one in his organization that can get close enough to Capone.
Luciano must now do something that no one has been able to do before Reign in Al Capone.
With the Feds cracking down on the Mob's activities in the wake of the Saint Valentine's day massacre, Joe Masseria orders Charles Luciano to take care of the most violent gangster in the country, Al Capone.
In may of 1929, Luciano organizes a top secret Mob conference at the Ritz-Carlton, in Atlantic city Owned by the Mob boss of New Jersey, Enoch "Nucky" Johnson.
Up-and-coming Jewish, Irish, and Italian gangsters from across the country are invited, including Capone.
All right I wanna get this started.
Take your seats.
The way I see it, al's made it impossible for us to do business.
Thanks to you, my gambling is down.
My rackets are down.
Every one of my clubs has been raided, twice! You're a popular guy.
I think I speak for all of us, when I say, uh, you're not.
We all know what needs to happen.
Al's gotta give himself up.
I'm not gonna be a sacrificial lamb.
'Cause Christ almighty can come down, walk across the water, and ask me to turn myself in, and I'd still say "no.
" Gentlemen, excuse us.
Let's go for a walk.
Lucky Luciano had a variety of ways of winning people over.
It might be fear.
It-it might be good business techniques.
It might be a willingness to work with other people.
He's a threat.
Uh, he has muscle behind him, and he's willing to put the muscle to work.
The law, it's not letting up on this one.
I don't care.
You better care.
It's about the greater good.
I gotta look out for myself.
And so do I.
You know, i could help you, Al, but if you don't listen to me, i can't protect you.
We got friends in the d.
A.
'S office, in Philly.
You plead to a minor charge.
I look after your business in Chicago, and when you get out, it'll be waiting for you.
In a bold masterstroke, Luciano convinces Capone to take the fall.
And with the Mob's connections, Capone is sentenced to just a year in prison.
Following in Arnold Rothstein's footsteps, Luciano has proven himself a skillful leader and effective negotiator.
Respect to a man like Lucky meant that everybody listened to him.
Almost like a director in a play.
They listened to him.
They trusted him.
He was in control.
Luciano was earned a new level of respect from gangsters around the country, but his criminal abilities are about to be put to the ultimate test.
On October 28th, 1929, the U.
S.
stock market crashes, losing billions of dollars in just one day.
It's the worst economic disaster the country has ever seen.
Nine thousand banks fail, and one in four Americans are unemployed.
But while most people see the great depression as a time of hopelessness, Luciano sees it as a new opportunity.
Together, with Meyer Lansky, he develops a new racket, designed to take advantage of the economic depression.
Using the millions they've made from bootlegging, they begin providing loans to businesses on the verge of bankruptcy, at extremely high interest rates.
Just as Prohibition was good for the Mob, the depression was good for the Mob.
Banks are going under.
People need money.
People need to get loans.
With Meyer Lansky in charge of the finances, Luciano and his crew are using their new racket to make a fortune.
You just couldn't go to a bank and say, "could you loan me some money? "Uh, my rent is due.
" You couldn't say, "loan me some money.
"I gotta get my kid through college," because they weren't gonna give you a loan.
So, you would go to people that they called "loan sharks," and, look, credit cards charge up to 18% interest, and the interest from a loan shark is 20%.
So, what's the difference if you borrowed money from Chase Manhattan bank, or borrowed money from the street? Thought I might find you here.
Bugsy, it was just a misunderstanding.
Misunderstanding? You know, that's okay, because people have misunderstandings all the time.
For instance, i don't understand how you think that you can borrow money from me And not pay me back.
That's a horrible misunderstanding.
Do you mind if i finish this off? You'll remember, next time, to pay me the money! There were the cases where they would break your knees, or they'd break your legs.
And, as a result, people learned, they paid off the Mafia.
They paid off the Mafia before you pay off a bank.
And when they can't, the Mafia would say, "okay, well, then we're gonna own 10% of your business.
" While America's in financial ruin, Luciano and his crew are making a fortune.
The Mob owns a stake in businesses across New York, and Luciano is earning 20% interest, every week.
Still forced to kick money up to Joe Masseria, Luciano believes the time is finally right to remove the only person standing his way of getting to the top of the New York underworld.
But before Luciano can make his move, a new rival strikes first.
A surprise attack leaves one of Joe Masseria's warehouses in ruins.
The man behind the assault is determined to muscle in on Joe Masseria's territory.
He's a rival Mob boss from sicily And he's just started a war with the biggest kingpin in New York, Joe Masseria.
Joe "The Boss" Masseria has ruled the New York underworld for the past decade.
But, in may of 1930, one of his warehouses comes under attack.
Masseria's empire has been targeted by a ruthless, well-funded sicilian Mob boss named Salvatore Maranzano.
In the late 1920's, there was a rival Italian gang headquartered in Brooklyn, known as "The Castellammarese," and they came from sicily.
And their leader was a man by the name of Salvatore Maranzano.
Maranzano has been sent to New York by Mafia bosses in sicily.
The Mafia's power is being crushed by the rise of a tyrannical young dictator, Benito Mussolini.
For the past century, the sicilian Mafia has dominated Italy.
Mussolini saw that one of his big problems was the Mafia.
That they wouldn't bend to his will.
So, he just rounded up what he considered suspected mafiosos and simply imprisoned 'em.
And it led to one of the largest exoduses of future Mafia in America.
So, Mussolini was unintentionally responsible for helping to create the American Mafia.
Salvatore Maranzano has been sent to establish a foothold for the sicilian Mafia in America.
And, in one strike, he's declared war on the largest kingpin in New York, Joe Masseria.
This is a turf war.
We need to come out on top.
I wanna know every single move that he makes, before he makes it.
If you even suspect anybody's with Maranzano, and I mean anybody Kill him.
There's a lotta wise guys compare themselves to soldiers in an army.
When the general says, "you guys gotta go hit that hill and kill the enemy," it's the same as a don in a family saying, "you guys gotta go take these other guys out.
" You're takin' orders.
In may of 1930 An all-out war breaks out As Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano fight for control of New York.
No, no, please.
I swear.
No, god, please don't! The streets are turned into a battlefield, in what will come to be known as "The Castellammarese War.
" The Castellammarese War was the first time you had really a brutal war between rival Italian gangs.
We had never had that before in New York, or in America.
Nobody was safe on the streets.
You had a situation of what they call "going to the mattresses," where they had to hole up in safe places because you never knew.
If you went out on the street, you could be mowed down.
This is how he's doin' it down there.
He's gonna let us in on it.
How many stores got booze in 'em right now? Uh, we've got about four warehouses downtown.
The next step, Charlie, I gotta connect with , okay? We're gonna legally-- what about gere? No, we're gonna be able to legally import scotch.
You understand me, Charlie? What about here? I'm asking you, how many stores here? Hey! Hey! Get in! Go! Go! Go! Damn it! Shit! As a Mob war rages on the streets of New York one of Joe Masseria's top lieutenants, Charles Luciano, is in the hands of ruthless sicilian boss, Salvatore Maranzano.
Julius Caesar once said, "it's easier to find men who are willing to die "Than to find those who are willing "to endure pain with Patience.
Salvatore Maranzano is determined to send a message to Joe Masseria and his crew.
And for the next eight hours, Luciano is beaten and tortured.
Let's go.
Luciano was taken to a remote area in staten island, where he's dumped and left for dead.
Against all odds, Luciano somehow survives.
What's the word on the street? It's not good.
Luciano's unlikely recovery earns him a nickname that will last a lifetime.
"Lucky" Luciano.
I mean, he really was stabbed and left for dead.
People don't take his nickname seriously enough.
The guy was lucky.
Somebody's gonna pay for this, Charlie.
We're ready, Charlie.
Don't do anything yet.
You understand? 'Cause they'll be ready for us.
Luciano saw that Maranzano was not gonna give in.
And he decided that he was not only the equal, but he was the better of Joe "The Boss" Masseria.
This was an all-out war.
And there wasn't gonna be a peace treaty between these guys because they hated each other.
And Luciano decided that Masseria had to be removed.
The time has finally come to kill Joe Masseria.
And Luciano sees potential in forging an alliance with the man who just beat him to within an inch of his life.
You look better than the last time I saw you.
Why are you here? Because I respect you, and I wanna work for you.
I find it hard to believe that the man who killed for Masseria suddenly wants to work for me.
How does a traitor have any honor? Let me prove it to you.
How? I'll kill Joe Masseria myself.
To show you my appreciation, you'll get a cut of Masseria's rackets.
I don't want a cut of Masseria's rackets.
I want 'em all.
One more thing No more boss of bosses.
All right.
Lucky makes a deal with Maranzano.
Lucky said, "I'll take care of Masseria, "and the deal is that this will end the war, "and there will be just two of us, "and business will flourish again.
" What did, uh, Maranzano have to lose? So, he said, "sure, go ahead.
" Luciano has he deal he came for.
If he eliminates Joe "The Boss", he will be one step closer to ending the war, and seizing his own power in the underworld.
Tomorrow, I want you to call up Masseria, and you set up a meeting in coney island.
Determined to put an end to The Castellammarese War, Lucky Luciano and his gang formulate a plan to kill Mob boss, Joe Masseria.
But, first, they have to get close to him.
Though Masseria is surrounded by bodyguards, Luciano knows that their loyalty can be bought for the right price.
That's the part of the chess game.
The loyalty that they profess to have is bullshit.
They're as loyal as they have to be.
And whatever they can get away with, they try to get away with.
Lucky, he knew, uh, what a gargantuan appetite Masseria had.
He invited him to his favorite restaurant in Brooklyn.
Would you excuse me for a second? While they were having dessert, Lucky had said he had to go to the bathroom, and he left Masseria alone at his table.
The man who ruled the New York underworld for ten years, Joe "The Boss" Masseria, is dead.
Luciano's biggest gamble yet has just paid off.
And while he stands to inherit Masseria's criminal empire, he still has to answer to the man who struck the deal.
Thank you for coming, gentlemen.
In may of 1931, Salvatore Maranzano calls a meeting of the most powerful gangsters in New York.
Men like Joe Bonanno, Joe Profaci, and Lucky Luciano, to declare a victory.
The war, it's over now.
Masseria's dead.
Starting today, we are gonna leave all that behind us.
We will do things differently from now on.
I think it's a good idea for all of the bosses to serve under one boss.
I Will serve as Capo di tutti capi the boss of bosses.
Salud.
Maranzano declares that he's really gonna be supreme.
He's doing exactly what Masseria tried to do.
This doesn't go down well with Luciano.
But, soon after declaring himself "boss of bosses," Maranzano becomes convinced that his rivals are plotting to kill him.
The reason it was dangerous to be the Godfather was, you're a target.
You're not only a target from law enforcement, but your own people wanna get rid of you 'cause they wanna be the boss.
Salvatore Maranzano becomes the boss of bosses, and this is even worse than before.
He starts to wanna kill everybody around him he doesn't trust.
(Narrator Maranzano hires his deadliest assassin, mad dog coll, to begin killing all those he suspects might betray him.
And the first man on his list Is Lucky Luciano.
Now that Masseria's out of the way, Maranzano, he's gonna shake things up a bit.
More than they are now? Maranzano isn't done cleanin' house.
Yeah, what does that mean? Means Lucky Luciano, his luck has run out.
Luciano soon learns from Frank Costello that Maranzano has a contract out to kill Lucky.
There's only one thing for him to do.
He has to kill Maranzano before Maranzano gets to him.
He'll be waiting for us.
We know that.
There's gotta be a way to get to Maranzano.
Yeah, but it's gotta be quick, right, in and out.
He's got a lotta muscle.
They'll take out any thug that gets near the place.
No, there's gotta be a way.
There's gotta be a way to get to him.
When Luciano, and Costello, and Lansky went after Maranzano, they knew that they were on his hit list.
Their survival was at stake.
Get rid of this guy, or he's gonna get rid of you.
What if we don't send a thug or a hitman? The IRS has been breathing down everybody's neck, right? Including Maranzano.
Luciano knows the Federal Government has begun investigating high-level mobsters for tax evasion.
And in the past few months, the IRS has been planning to audit Salvatore Maranzano.
The FBI does crack down a bit more.
But, even then, it isn't going to be the FBI that gets mobsters put in jail.
It's going to be the IRS.
The T-men, as opposed to the G-men.
Knowing that Maranzano is an IRS target, Luciano orchestrates a lethal plan.
And he enlists his closest advisor, Meyer Lansky, and his enforcer, Bugsy Siegel, to carry out the operation.
Lansky was a brilliant operator.
He was able to maneuver between some very violent men and some very vile men.
I'd put Meyer Lansky in charge of anything.
He-he could've run the Pentagon.
On September 10th, 1931, with Bugsy Siegel and his men disguised as IRS agents, Luciano orders the hit on the boss of bosses.
IRS! Are you Salvatore Maranzano? I don't know what you're talkin' about.
Let's go.
In less than five months, Lucky Luciano has taken out the two biggest Mob bosses of the New York Mafia And now can take his place as the king of New York.