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Most Notorious US Crime Boss Of All Time


Who's the most notorious?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's the most notorious?

    • Tony ‘Big Tuna’ Accardo
    • Albert ‘Mad Hatter’ Anastasia
    • Joseph ‘Joe Bananas’ Bonnano
    • James ‘Whitey’ Bulger
    • Al ‘Scarface’ Capone
    • Paul ‘Big Paul’ Castellano
    • Meyer ‘Mickey’ Cohen
    • Joseph Colombo
    • Frank ‘The Prime Minister’ Costello
    • Carlo ‘The Godfather’ Gambino
    • Vito ‘The Boss Of All Bosses’ Genovese
    • John ‘The Teflon Don’ Gotti
    • Meyer Lansky
    • Frank Lucas
    • Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano
    • Joe ‘The Boss’ Masseria
    • Frank ‘The Enforcer’ Nitti
    • Dutch Schultz
    • Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel
    • Johnny ‘Papa Johnny’ Torrio

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I've been intrigued by true crime books for about as long as I can remember. For anyone who doubts me, just ask my 5th grade language arts teacher, Mrs. Shannon, who was none too happy with me when I presented a book report on Truman Capote's In Cold Blood to the other 10 year olds in my class.


Anyway, it seems to me that lots of crime boss books/news segments/movies tout whomever they are focusing on as "the greatest", "the most notorious", "the most infamous", etc. So my question is, who do YOU think the most infamous is?


I have a guess at who the winner will be, but I'll reserve that for later.




The list of "Most Notorious" who come to mine for me are:


Tony ‘Big Tuna’ Accardo

Albert ‘Mad Hatter’ Anastasia

Joseph ‘Joe Bananas’ Bonnano

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger

Al ‘Scarface’ Capone

Paul ‘Big Paul’ Castellano

Meyer ‘Mickey’ Cohen

Joseph Colombo

Frank ‘The Prime Minister’ Costello

Carlo ‘The Godfather’ Gambino

Vito ‘The Boss Of All Bosses’ Genovese

John ‘The Teflon Don’ Gotti

Meyer Lansky

Frank Lucas

Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano

Joe ‘The Boss’ Masseria

Frank ‘The Enforcer’ Nitti

Dutch Schultz

Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel

Johnny ‘Papa Johnny’ Torrio

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Luciano basically founded the modern Italian Mafia and created the blue print for most modern criminal organzations.


It's not something to brag about but I would be hard pressed to put anyone ahead of me based on influence alone.


Possibly Bonano or Gambino


Technically wasn't the modern Mafia Family system created by Salvatore Maranzano? Maranzano had just won the Castellammarese War between he and Joe the Boss Massieria and to keep the peace he created Mafia Families, five in NY City and one in each other city the mafia had operations in. He created the structure of a Boss who is assisted by an under Boss and each family would have crews of soldiers lead by Capos. Maranzano got greedy and established himself as the capo di tutti capi or Boss of Bosses and demanded homage and tribute from the other bosses which really ticked off the other bosses. As a result, Luciano along with Vito Genovese and Meyer Lansky had Maranzano executed.


Luciano was smart and knew if he were to take the roll of Boss of Bosses he would be next to be executed so he set up the Commission which would run mafia matters like a board of directors where the bosses were the directors and Luciano assumed the nominal only title of Chairman.

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Biggest one of my generation would be John Gotti. I read a bunch of books about him and Sammy the Bull. They always had my fascination more so any other mobster. Having lived through his reign and seeing him on TV over and over and always seemingly getting away with murder he's the easy choice for me.

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My guess is the winner will be Capone or Gotti.


My thought as well. "Notoriety" to me includes an element of celebrity and fame that a lot of those guys just don't have.


Lansky was probably the greatest of them all but he tried his darndest to make a career out of not being infamous. He never spent a day in jail and was rich as Croesus when he died.

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