The Making Of The Mob: New York (2015) s01e03 Episode Script

King of New York

1 (narrator) Previously on "The Making of the Mob: New York" Charles Luciano and his crew, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel You mind if I finish this off? (groaning) (narrator) Frank Costello, and Vito Genovese, have worked their way up in the New York underworld We're gonna try something out here.
I'll give you a shot, see if you don't screw it up.
(narrator) with the guidance of sophisticated gangster Arnold Rothstein.
There's safety in no one knowing who you are.
Nobody targets a nobody.
(narrator) After a citywide turf war breaks out between rival kingpins Salvatore Maranzano and Joe Masseria If you even suspect anybody's with Maranzano, and I mean anybody, kill him.
(narrator) Luciano is caught in the crossfire and Arnold Rothstein is gunned down in the streets.
(gunshot) Tomorrow I want you to call up Masseria, and you set up a meeting in Coney Island.
(narrator) To end the conflict, Luciano orchestrates the assassinations of Masseria and Maranzano - (knife slicing) - Uh! Uhh! (gunshots) (narrator) and can now take his place at the top of the New York underworld.
This ain't no time To feel sorry for myself I can't help it 'Cause there's nobody else I'll walk these streets With your name on my tongue But I dare not speak Only there it belongs There's got to be a better way Better way (gunshot) (crickets chirping) (keys jangle) (engine starts) (woman singing indistinctly on radio) (grunting) (narrator) After taking out the two most powerful Mob bosses in New York, 34-year-old Charles "Lucky" Luciano sets in motion the next phase of his plan: to seize control of the New York Mafia.
Luciano and his crew Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello, Bugsy Siegel, and Vito Genovese Send an army of hit men to eliminate loyalists of the New York underworld's old regimes.
Find someone.
But it's got to be done.
You tell me what you want me to do.
I'll take care of him.
I think goodfellas rise in the groups because they are ruthless.
They were killers.
I mean, that's a known fact.
It's a competitive game for them.
Aagh (gurgling) (narrator) Over the next few days, gangsters across the country are murdered in the biggest purge the Mafia has ever seen.
Easy, Joe.
Easy.
Jesus, Vito.
Look, don't do anything stupid.
I ain't here to kill you.
Then, what is this? Lucky wants to talk to you.
(narrator) Luciano spares a select few who he feels are more valuable as allies.
With his power secured, Luciano makes his next move, calling a meeting with Maranzano's former underboss Joe Bonanno.
Killing Maranzano was necessary.
It was either gonna be him or me, and it wasn't gonna be me.
The past is the past.
(narrator) Luciano sees potential in Bonanno, a man not tied to the old-school Sicilian ways and decides to offer Bonanno the opportunity to head his own family.
(Gay Talese) Joe Bonanno, he owned garment-centered operations on 34th Street.
He owned trucking businesses, all kinds of businesses.
So he was a man of wealth, a man of influence, a man of reason.
(narrator) With Bonanno on board, Luciano has eliminated his competition, establishing order in his operation.
(Selwyn Raab) Maranzano's gone, Masseria's gone, and Luciano is at the top of the hill.
But Luciano decides the most important thing to be done is to create organizations that won't war with each other.
They need a regimen, rules.
Otherwise they'll be going through this all the time.
(narrator) Luciano turns to his homeland for inspiration.
Unlike in America, the Sicilian Mafia has always been strictly organized.
There are nearly 100 gangs referred to as crime families.
Each family has a boss, and they all work under the capo di tutti capi The boss of bosses.
It's almost like the aristocracy of the underworld.
Men who were family heads needed to establish some rules and boundaries and understanding for the continuation of their way of life.
(narrator) It's a system that has worked for over 100 years and is known as Cosa Nostra, which translates to "Our Thing.
" Luciano bases the structure of his new Mafia on the Cosa Nostra with one big change.
You just got to make sure that when you sell them something new, you make it seem old.
You know Sicilians better than Sicilians, huh? - (chuckles) - Huh? (narrator) To gain the support of the other Mob bosses, Luciano keeps Mafia membership limited to Italians.
But Lansky will remain Luciano's most trusted advisor from outside the Mafia's ranks.
Usually you know it was Especially the Sicilian Mafia, that was it.
Actually, you had to be a Sicilian to be made.
You gotta be Italian.
But Lucky was like, "Hey, "these guys got great business.
I'm gonna deal with them.
" (narrator) Luciano is ready to present the one big change he's made to the Cosa Nostra that he knows will revolutionize the American Mafia forever.
(Raab) Luciano called for a major meeting of the crime bosses in New York and major gangsters elsewhere.
Until this time, there really is no Mafia in America.
You have individual gangs operating in some kind of ad hoc manner.
Luciano saw that this had to be changed.
- Lucky, good to see you.
- It's good to see you.
Al.
The blood on the streets must stop, and the cycles of revenge must end.
We may be criminals, but that doesn't mean we're savages.
We have to run our business like a business.
To begin, we'll start organizing our families like we did in Sicily, with the capos, the crews, the consiglieres all reporting to the head of the family.
But there will be no more boss of bosses.
The days of the capo di tutti capi, they're over.
Instead we'll have a board of directors, a Commission run by the heads of the five New York families.
They will have the final say in all matters, even life and death.
The heads of the five New York families, the members of the Commission, are Giuseppe Profaci Vincent Mangano Tommy Gagliano Joseph Bonanno and Lucky Luciano.
(narrator) Luciano creates the Commission, a board made up of the heads of the five New York families who will run the Mafia instead of a boss of bosses.
(man) Luciano's motivation was power.
He would give a role to all these other guys because he was smart.
He knew how to play people.
And if you share power the right way, you have the power.
In effect, Lucky is writing a constitution for the Mafia.
There will be a boss of each family, there will be a second-in-command An underboss And there will be a consigliere the counselor.
To peace and profit.
(applause) Luciano creates the modern Mafia.
He is the main architect of what would be the American Mafia for the rest of the century.
To peace and profit.
(applause) (narrator) In a matter of months, Lucky Luciano has taken out the two criminal kingpins of New York and brought together the most powerful and violent gangsters in America under a board of directors known as the Commission.
One thing we never want to do is make problems for ourselves.
You understand? (narrator) The Commission has final say on all matters from dividing territory to ordering hits.
(Rich Cohen) They sort of said, "We're not gonna have these random killings "where one guy gets pissed off at another guy "and he goes off and he just kills him.
"So, we're gonna do it like they do it in the real world, "which is if somebody has a problem with somebody else, "he will go to an underworld court, and he will plead his case.
" They were like the Security Council of the U.
N.
And I know that's laughable in many ways, but they used to try to resolve as many of their problems peacefully as possible to stay away from the law.
Disputes would get reported to the Commission, and most of them would get settled.
Of course, when they didn't get settled, then a murder might have to take place.
(narrator) To carry out the Mafia's approved hit list, Luciano knows he will need an enforcement arm with no ties to the Italian Commission.
So he looks outside the Five Families to a group of Jewish gangsters.
In 1931, Luciano orders his most trusted business partner to assemble the lethal team.
(Rich Cohen) Lansky was like a recruiter, you know? At a board meeting for a college.
"Hey, I know who could play free safety.
" You know, he knew who they were and he recommended them as the guys that could fill this new role that was suddenly created by this underworld court.
(narrator) Lansky quickly enlists an elite group of Jewish hit men.
Violent killers who will come to be known as Murder, Inc.
All right, this is how it's gonna work.
The Commission will confirm all hits.
You guys get your orders, you do your job.
Be precise.
You guys'll be like ghosts.
Nothing gets left behind, nothing.
(Meyer Lansky II) It was kind of a sub-company of the new modern Mafia that Luciano designed.
But you have to realize most of the hit men were Jewish.
The reason being, the law enforcement didn't expect Jewish guys to be hit men.
They integrated, so that threw 'em off.
(narrator) Each hit man has his own signature style.
Bugsy Siegel is a loyal member of Luciano's crew who takes pleasure in making his victims suffer.
(grunting) Albert Anastasia is a feared killer with a short fuse and deadly aim who becomes known as the Lord High Executioner.
Abe Reles believes in a hands-on approach, earning the nickname "Kid Twist" for his preferred method of killing.
(gagging) Strangling his victims with wire.
Louis Lepke is a disciplined assassin, isolating his targets to avoid witnesses.
(gunshot) As a little kid, I remember hearing the stories about these Jewish killers the Mobsters had, and the Italians, how they worked with them and how they respected these murderers.
These were guys that were the baddest of bad.
They were cold-blooded murderers that worked for the Mob.
(narrator) They formed the deadliest team of hit men in American history and transformed the art of killing into a science.
Once a contract is handed down, the assassin spends weeks preparing the execution.
Assembling weapons, stealing a getaway car, and trailing his target.
When the moment is right, he makes a clean hit and begins covering his tracks.
Fingerprints are often burned beyond recognition, and the body is dumped in a river or buried with chemicals to eliminate the smell.
In just ten years, Murder, Inc.
will kill more than 1,000 people, averaging one murder every three days.
And because no ties to the assassins are left behind, hundreds of murders remain unsolved for years.
(Rich Cohen) The newspapers did know dead bodies killed in a similar way started turning up all over the country.
And they knew that it was probably one group of guys.
And that's really the story of Murder, Incorporated.
(narrator) With the Commission in place and Murder, Inc.
on call, Lucky Luciano has created an underground government and an invisible army.
(Chazz Palminteri) Lucky Luciano delegated the violence.
He said, "If we all band together," you know, "we could do this thing as an organization.
" So there'd be order.
When you don't have order, then it's chaos.
You get destroyed.
(narrator) Luciano believes his national organization is built to last.
But what he doesn't realize is that the Mob is about to face its biggest threat from within.
(narrator) Lucky Luciano's Commission is organizing the criminal world into an efficient money-making machine.
But one of Luciano's biggest earners is a Jewish gangster who isn't part of the Five Families.
(Selwyn Raab) Dutch Schultz ran a very powerful gang in New York and the Bronx.
In fact, some people used to go around saying, in New York, there was a Big Six, not just a Big Five, because Schultz was so important.
(narrator) Dutch Schultz is known as the Beer Baron of the Bronx.
He muscles his way into the restaurant unions and Harlem's number rackets.
His numbers operation alone brings in $20 million a year.
Schultz is also a vicious gangster with a hair-trigger temper.
- (gunshot) - (screaming) Schultz has been building relationships with politicians for years by fixing their elections.
Come on, boys, all right, let's go.
(indistinct chatter) Right to the front, come on.
(narrator) Schultz pays off voters and brings them to the polls so they can vote for his candidates.
There was no doubt that the American Mafia took advantage of all their connections with corrupt politicians, and when they saw the opportunity to make money, certainly taking it from the federal government, this is what we did.
Can I ask your business here? Tampering with elections is illegal.
Ah I'll keep that in mind.
(narrator) Schultz is unaware that he's just caught the eye of the one man in New York he can't pay off.
A 32-year-old lawyer from Michigan named Thomas E.
Dewey.
Thomas Dewey is an assistant U.
S.
attorney with political aspirations.
In New York City, people are voting multiple times.
Tom Dewey had been a poll-watcher at one point and had seen this, and it probably inspired some of his later prosecutions.
(narrator) He'll go on to become the governor of New York and run for president (Dewey) We are a united party.
Our nation stands tragically in need of that same unity.
(narrator) losing one of the most famous elections in American history.
I learned a lot of lessons about being a lawyer from reading about great lawyers, and Tom Dewey was an inspiration.
I mean, I learned many lessons of leadership from Dewey.
(narrator) Dewey firmly believes in the rule of law.
He also wants to make a name for himself in New York.
(Edward McDonald) When Tom Dewey went after Lucky Luciano, he went after him because he was a major organized crime figure in the United States.
He saw this as a stepping stone, a way that he could burnish his resume so that he would be able to run for political office, and ultimately run for the presidency of the United States.
(narrator) With the New York kingpin protected by corruption, Dewey knows he'll have to start by going after Luciano's known associates, including the man helping to fix local elections, Dutch Schultz.
(phone ringing) - This is the guy.
- What guy? The guy from the polls, Dutch Schultz.
You don't give up, do you? This isn't personal.
Schultz is all over the number rackets, restaurants, the Jersey waterfront.
Schultz works with Lucky Luciano.
Schultz is nothing but a crack.
He's our way in.
We can't get to Luciano, but we can get to Schultz.
How much time do you need? Give me a month.
Get busy.
(narrator) With approval from U.
S.
attorney William Dodge, Thomas Dewey is about to declare war on the Mob.
(narrator) Thomas Dewey is now a special prosecutor who's determined to make a name for himself by going after organized crime.
With Mob boss Lucky Luciano insulated by crooked politicians and an army of thugs Dewey's first target is Jewish gangster Dutch Schultz.
But Schultz has been paying off judges and politicians for years.
(Thomas Dewey III) It's very difficult for people in our time really to understand how widespread corruption in New York City at that time was.
My grandfather was very offended by what he saw.
And he felt that someone should do something about it.
(narrator) To bring down Schultz, Dewey is going to have to find a way to prosecute him.
And a trial from a year earlier may give him the answer.
Al Capone has ruled the violent Chicago underworld for a decade.
(Frankie Valli) If you go all the way back to the time of Al Capone, and you read about it, he hung around with politicians and And judges and police.
He was right in the midst of society at its At its highest level.
(narrator) He's beaten witnesses bribed judges intimidated juries and has ties to over 100 murders including the savage St.
Valentine's Day massacre.
When Capone was finally brought to trial, it wasn't for murder it was for not paying his taxes.
(gavel pounding) I hereby find Mr.
Alphonse Capone guilty of tax evasion on Guilty?! And hereby remand him I'll show you guilty! To the custody of the state for the next 11 years.
(gavel pounding) (narrator) Thanks to an ambitious law enforcement agent named Eliot Ness, the most infamous mobster in America will spend the rest of his life in Alcatraz.
Tom Dewey followed the lead of the people in Chicago who went after Al Capone for tax offenses.
I mean, if you can't get 'em for one thing, you get 'em for something else.
(narrator) Thomas Dewey sees his opportunity and goes after Dutch Schultz on tax evasion charges.
Get him in here.
(thunder rumbling) (jazz music playing) (narrator) But even though he's a wanted man, Schultz is seen partying at Manhattan bars and nightclubs.
(Selwyn Raab) Schultz liked to be a big shot around town.
What's the deal, eh? Hey, let's fill it up, huh? (Selwyn Raab) He was one of the original owners of the famous Cotton Club in Harlem.
So he was a man about town as well as a man of A man about gangsterdom.
Get another bottle of vino over here for the ladies.
That's all.
Cheers, huh? We're all here.
We're all here together.
(narrator) Schultz's exploits start making headlines.
But he manages to stay one step ahead of Thomas Dewey and his investigators.
Months pass without an arrest.
(Dewey) how much overtime it costs.
I don't care if any of you get a day off.
I don't care if you eat or sleep! Nobody rests! (phone ringing) Dewey.
Uh, yes, sir, I hear you loud and clear.
(narrator) Dewey's inability to bring Schultz into custody soon turns from a local tabloid story into a national embarrassment (lighter flicks) landing on the desk of the director of the F.
B.
I.
, J.
Edgar Hoover.
Hoover has made his reputation by taking down some of the most notorious criminals in the country.
But he's refused to let the F.
B.
I.
investigate organized crime in New York.
(sighs) (Selwyn Raab) For most of his reign, Hoover totally ignored the Mafia and claimed it didn't exist.
But he had reasons for not tackling the Mafia.
(narrator) In the 1930s, nearly all of Hoover's agents are clean-cut men from small towns in middle America.
They had no idea about the Mafia culture.
There was no way they could infiltrate the Mafia.
(narrator) Hoover may also have another, more personal reason for not going after the New York Mob.
(Rich Cohen) J.
Edgar Hoover never wanted to take on the Mafia because the mob had a file of him with pictures of him wearing dresses and garter belts.
That's a theory.
(Edward McDonald) Could have been extorted.
They could have said, "Look, we're going to reveal you as a homosexual," something which obviously is very different than it is today.
(narrator) Despite the risks, Hoover decides that his reputation as a crime fighter is at stake.
He can longer let Dutch Schultz make a mockery of law enforcement.
For the first time in history, Hoover names a New York gangster Public Enemy Number One.
(Richard Hammer) Dutch Schultz was violating the dictum of, "Don't put a spotlight on the Mob.
" (narrator) Lucky Luciano has spent years building the perfect criminal organization.
By drawing the attention of the F.
B.
I Dutch Schultz is threatening to tear it all down.
(narrator) After nearly two years of successfully eluding Thomas Dewey and the F.
B.
I.
, the most wanted man in America is turning himself in.
I don't think Lucky Luciano was a genius.
I think he was a very bright guy and the right time and the right situation.
A Sicilian wiseguy once told me, he said, "When you got them by their balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
" (narrator) With Schultz in custody, Thomas Dewey is now closer than ever to clinching his first victory over the New York Mafia.
But what he doesn't know is that Lucky Luciano has already put a plan in motion to make sure Schultz goes free.
(Oscar Goodman) In the old days, when a member of a group got into trouble, the group took care of them as far as a lawyer was concerned.
They didn't go hungry.
They got 'em out on bail.
(narrator) Days after Schultz surrenders, he easily posts bail.
And the Mob's lawyers win a petition to move his trial 400 miles north to Malone, New York.
If the Mafia can't buy off the biggest city in America, they'll settle for something smaller.
(indistinct chatter) The minute Schultz arrives in Malone, he begins spreading money all over town and hosting parties for local officials.
Enjoy it! Enjoy it, enjoy it.
(Schultz) And it's on me.
(Edward McDonald) People often think that the way to succeed in the Mob is to be feared.
(indistinct chatter) Certainly that's important.
But what's more important is just being charming.
(laughing) She's very funny.
She's very funny.
- That's all I can - (laughing) (narrator) A week before his trial, the Jewish mobster takes his public relations campaign a step further.
(Selwyn Raab) Schultz would try to ingratiate himself so much that he actually converted to Catholicism.
(Gay Talese) These ambitious, lawless gangsters, they were cunning.
They were capable of Of presenting themselves as men of respect.
(indistinct chatter) Judge.
The jury has been unable to reach a verdict in this case.
(courtroom chattering) (man) Yeah, he got off! (narrator) Just as Luciano promised, Schultz gets off and is free to get back to business.
(reporters shouting questions) (narrator) Dewey has spent two years of his life building his case against Dutch Schultz.
And once again, Schultz is back on the streets.
There were frustrations in the prosecutions in the cases he made.
But he was a fighter.
And he was never going to back down.
(narrator) Dewey and his team worked tirelessly night and day on a new case against Dutch Schultz.
This one.
Right here.
That's the guy.
Get him in here.
You got some kind of intel? These are the new numbers, just came in.
About $6 million.
(chuckling) Just bring him in.
(narrator) Just six weeks after the trial in Malone, Dewey pinned Schultz as the leader of the largest illegal gambling ring in New York, sending over 60 officers on a citywide raid to shut down Schultz's most lucrative racket.
I don't care what it takes.
I don't care how much it costs! Get me Dutch Schultz! (narrator) With Dewey closing in, Dutch Schultz goes into hiding and decides there's only one way out to kill Thomas Dewey.
(narrator) Now that Thomas Dewey has issued a second warrant for his arrest, Dutch Schultz is once again the most wanted man in America.
Dutch Schultz got very intimidated by Dewey.
He realized Dewey was out for him.
And he decides Dewey has to be assassinated.
(approaching footsteps) This Dewey is a rabid dog.
He's not gonna stop.
He's not the first.
And he's not gonna be the last.
Well, what if he is the last, huh? What if Thomas Dewey takes down you, Luciano? What if he takes down every damn one of you? Is that a chance you're willing to take? We can't just knock guys off every time the law kicks up some dust.
Since when? Since now.
Settle down, Schultz.
It'll all blow over.
Oh, not this time.
Not this bastard! What are you saying? Huh? I'm tellin' ya, this son of a bitch Dewey is not gonna rest one day until every one of you is behind bars.
Maybe Dutch is right.
Maybe we should take him out before he causes any more trouble.
It's gonna wreak havoc on our business.
Business isn't everything.
Yes, it is.
It's not gonna happen.
(Selwyn Raab) When the Commission, and especially Luciano, hear about this, they realize Schultz is bad for business.
You can't kill a prominent prosecutor.
You'd bring the whole wrath of the criminal justice system.
Why risk it? (narrator) After being rejected by the Commission, Dutch Schultz sees no other option than to plan the murder of Thomas Dewey on his own.
So he turns to Murder, Inc.
Hit man Albert Anastasia.
(knocking) Albert! Christ, Dutch, you know the kind of trouble you're in right now? You know how many people are talking about you, watching you? But it's what you do.
That's not how this works.
You gotta get it approved by the Commission.
You scared? I'm not scared of nothin', Dutch, but I'm not stupid.
It'll cost you double.
(seagulls calling) (gun chamber clicking) I open the back of the truck up six cases.
That's all this guy is driving down the road is six cases.
(chuckling) I go to the front, go to this guy and say, "What's wrong with you?" He looks at me, "It's my favorite brand.
" (laughter) Know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna take a leak.
(trickling) (gun cocks) (gunshot) (gunshot) (gagging) (grunting) (grunting and groaning) (grunting) (grunting) (narrator) After he was tipped off by Albert Anastasia of Schultz's plan to kill Thomas Dewey (Schultz gasping) Lucky Luciano has ordered a hit on one of his own.
But what Luciano doesn't realize is that by taking out Thomas Dewey's number one target he's just put himself on the top of Dewey's most wanted list.