On this day, Sept. 10, in 1931, Charles "Lucky" Luciano took over the New York crime world with an orchestrated series of hits, culminating with the murder of the "Boss of Bosses" Salvatore Maranzano.
Luciano arranged for a gang of hitmen to pose as government tax agents to enter Maranzano's offices in the prestigious Helmsley Building on Park Avenue. Three men stabbed Maranzano and another shot him.
To prevent future mob wars, Luciano formed the Five Families and established a governing commission to replace the Mafia's "boss of bosses" arrangement. He's considered the father of organized crime in the United States.
Under Luciano's ascendancy, the Mafia grew into a national crime syndicate. It focused more on making money than racking up bodies, infiltrating legitimate business, politics and law enforcement.
-- Scott McCabe