The cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano is a large target of organised crime in Italy. From 2013 to 2015 an organised crime gang stole 2039 wheels of it from warehouses in northern and central Italy.
1981 Cadillac Eldorados were fitted with a metal plate under the driver’s seat to fix a balancing problem. This saved mob associate Frank Rosenthal‘s life when the plate shielded him from the force of a car bomb exploding under his Eldorado.
The appropriately dubbed ‘boss of all bosses’ of the Italian Mafia has been on the run for 26 years, and has been so successful at it that not a single picture exists of him from that time, despite being one of the worlds top 10 most wanted criminals.
Roughly 70 percent of Sicilian businesses pay protection money to the Mafia.
The actor who played Luca Brasi in the Godfather was actually a member of the Colombo crime family sent to monitor the set. Coppola kept the cameras rolling as the actor nervously practiced his lines for the scene, scared that he was going to mess up the big Hollywood movie. He later edited that footage into the film so in-universe the actor’s character was nervously practicing what he was going to say to the intimidating mafioso Don Corleone.
Notorious mafia boss “Lucky” Luciano aided the WWII effort from his prison cell by ordering his men to protect the East Coast from foreign invasion and convincing his Italian mafia contacts to help the Allies during their invasion of Sicily.
The “real Mafia” did not allow the producers of “The Godfather” to use the word Mafia in the movie. They even sent “family” members to the set to monitor filming. That’s how producers discovered Lenny Montana aka “Luca Brasi”.
The FBI recruited a Mafia enforcer to use “illegal interrogation techniques” on KKK members to find the bodies of three missing civil rights workers. It worked.
A civil rights group dedicated to ending the stereotypes about Italian-Americans was led by a mafia boss.