WANTED: Charles "Lucky" Luciano
convicted for 30 - 50 years in jail
Crime # 1
By the time Luciano turned 10, he had been arrested for shoplifting, starting his own gang, and engaging in his first illegal business. He charged Jewish kids one penny for protection walking to and from school. If they refused to pay, he beat them up. Luciano earned an average of 25 cents a week.
Luciano came across a small Jewish boy by the name of Meyer Lansky who fought back and could throw a punch just as well as Luciano. After losing several times, Luciano figured Meyer would best fit on his side and not against. Meyer wanted to be a part of Luciano's illegal business, so he forced Luciano to double the daily protection cost to 2 cents per day, per kid.
When the prohibition movement began, bootlegging became Luciano's most profited business in the early 1920's. By age 28, Luciano obtained over 12 million dollars annually , but he saw little of it from paying politicians, law enforcement, and other mafia leaders. Luciano saw an opportunity to keep more of the wealth for himself and his family when the crime boss Joe Masseria and his rival Salvatore Maranzano became tangled in a war, which is known as the Castellammarese War. Luciano made Masseria and Maranzano both think that he was united with them.
In 1929, Maranzano sent a group of men that abducted, beaten, and slashed Luciano on the New York Beach. He survived and later learned from Meyer Lansky that Maranzano sent them because he feared Luciano's strength and wanted him out of the way. Because of the event, Masseria brought Luciano closer to his side. However, Luciano had secret discussions with Maranzano (in which Maranzano apologized for the attack), and they both agreed to kill Masseria for the second in command position in Marazano's gang.
On April 15, 1931 Luciano hired gunmen to shoot Masseria at a restaurant while he ate dinner. With Masseria dead, the Castellammarese War ended and Maranzano was declared the "Boss of Bosses". Luciano took Masseria's spot as his second in command.
Luciano was appointed as the new boos of the Masseria family which was now called the Luciano Family. Maranzano took control of all the illegal businesses each former gang had built up in order to have his family as the strongest. Luciano figured out what Maranzano was doing and that he had a plan to have Luciano and his second in command killed.
On September 10, 1931 Maranzano asked Luciano and Genovese to meet up with him. Instead of meeting up with Maranzano, Luciano sent 5 Jewish gangsters who were disguised as FBI agents to Maranzano's office. The gangsters stabbed, shot, and threw Maranzano out of the window. Many of Maranzano's soldiers were found dead that same day because Luciano wanted to make sure there were no powerful others that could stand up against him. Luciano became the most powerful mobster in the United States.
Luciano called the leaders of each family in New York and 21 other families across the country to discuss his creation of "The Commission". It was a governing body that would lead all of the families across the country.
During the time that he was in prison, he offered to help the Allies' cause in World War II using his criminal connections in Italy. After the war, he received parole and a deportation order. Luciano was briefly in Italy but soon traveled to Cuba to meet up with some of his old partners in crime.
The Cuban government set Luciano back to Italy in 1947. He was kept under close surveillance and was not permitted to leave Naples. Over the years, Luciano contemplated whether or not he should share the inside details of his life story.
On January 26, 1962, Luciano met with a film and television producer at a Naples Airport. There, he suffered a fatal heart attack.