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.
Feigned insanity is the simulation of mental illness in order to avoid or lessen the consequences of a confrontation or conviction for an alleged crime. One particularly famous example of someone feigning insanity was the case of Mafia boss Vincent Gigante, who pretended for years to be suffering from dementia, and was often seen wandering aimlessly around his neighborhood in his pajamas muttering to himself. However, testimony from informants and surveillance showed that Gigante was in full control of his faculties the whole time, and ruled over his Mafia family with an iron fist.
The Yakuza operate openly in Japan: they have offices, make charitable donations, and even have large investments in mainstream companies.
The bodyguard/enforcer for the head of the West Coast Mafia in the 1950’s was stabbed to death by a 14 year old girl.
Al Capone’s older brother was a policeman in Nebraska.