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A person who has been fully initiated into the American Mafia is known as a…

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A person who has been fully initiated into the American Mafia is known as a "Made Man". Earning the title was a major step in the life of an aspiring mafioso. Becoming a Made Man has never been easy, though. To do so requires a display of commitment to the values of whichever family the prospective soldier would be joining. It also takes a certain amount of solidarity with Mafia heritage and regiosity. For example, one of the rituals is baptism, which dates back to the Sicilian mafia’s involvement in protecting the church’s interest following the unification of Italy.

The Japanese Mafia is also known as...

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The Yakuza had a ritual called Yubitsume where they would chop off part of one’s pinky finger as punishment. The idea was that removing that part of the finger made gripping a samurai sword impossible and weakened him in battle. You’d think they’d update their rituals after the invention of the gun.

“Capo di tutticapi” is an Italian phrase meaning “boss of all bosses,” the title given to only the most powerful of mafia dons. What is the English equivalent?

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“Capo di tutticapi” is an Italian phrase meaning “boss of all bosses,” the title given to only the most powerful of mafia dons. The English equivalent was “Godfather.”

Which of these words is notably missing from the film classic The Godfather?

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Joseph Colombo managed to get all instances of the word “Mafia” removed from the movie The Godfather. He also managed to get a bunch of his mob buddies into the film as extras.

Which of these is NOT the name of an infamous American mob member?

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Amerigo Vespucci was actually an Italian explorer who traversed the eastern coast of South America.
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In 1986, 30 million people tuned their TV's to Geraldo Rivera’s TV special "The Mystery Of Al Capone's Vault" to witness the opening of one of Al Capone’s secret safes. What turned out to be inside?

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In 1986, 30 million people tuned their TV's to Geraldo Rivera’s TV special "The Mystery Of Al Capone's Vault" to witness the opening of one of Al Capone’s secret safes. To the disappointment of the audience, the only things inside were empty moonshine bottles, dirt, and the end of Geraldo Rivera’s career.

Back in the 1970s, one Detroit street gang became known for their flamboyant outfits, the first widespread use of gang signs, and their own dance. They were known as...

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Back in the 1970s, there was a Detroit street gang called the Errol Flynns who became known for their flamboyant outfits, the first widespread use of gang signs, and their own dance. Unfortunately, they were also known for extortion, robbery, and drug trafficking. Their flamboyancy was thought of as particularly dangerous, as it attracted impoverished youths to a life of crime.

For years, the Yakuza had a ritual called Yubitsume where they would chop off part of one’s pinky finger as punishment. What was the reason?

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For years, the Yakuza had a ritual called Yubitsume where they would chop off part of one’s pinky finger as punishment. The idea was that removing that part of the finger made gripping a samurai sword impossible and weakened him in battle. You’d think they’d update their rituals after the invention of the gun.

Which real-life mobster was nicknamed Scarface?

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Capone’s nickname was “Scarface,” from the scars he earned by telling a woman she had a “nice ass” in front of her violently protective brother.

Which children’s activity was banned for several decades in America, leading the American mafia to offer an underground version on the blackmarket?

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Citing the robbery of American children’s hard-earned dimes and nickels, pinball was illegal in some American cities for over thirty years. As a result, there was a mafia that would operate an illegal pinball machine business.
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When was the US Federal Witness Protection Program established?

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The Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC) was also established in 1970. This allowed the federal government to relocate and protect potential witnesses who might otherwise have suffered unfortunate "accidents".

The term “Mafia” originated in what country?

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While it is still debated, one of the theories as to the origin of the word “Mafia” is from the 9th century when Sicily was ruled by Arabs. The term “mafia” is an Arabic slang term referring to safety.

Which crime kingpin once had a corrupt soccer official assassinated after a team he owned suffered a bad loss?

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After a match between a team that Escobar owned and one of their rivals, it was rumored around town that one of the refs had been bought off, in order to ensure a victory for the rival club. In retaliation, Escobar ordered the supposedly corrupt referee's assassination. The contract killing was dutifully carried out, completing the tale of one the most insane over-reactions in sporting history.

What was the crime that eventually got Al Capone caught?

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Al Capone was one of the most famous mob bosses, ruling the Chicago underworld, and making an estimated $100 million per year. So what brings down a gang-lord like that? Mass murder? Corruption? Some other outrageous crime. Nope. Turns out that Capone's crimes only caught up with him because the IRS looked into his tax situation. He'd gone years without filing, and in the end that's the crime that did him in. He was given an eleven year sentence for tax evasion, the longest tax evasion sentence ever given in the United States.

Which famous singer acted as a liaison between the Chicago mafia and the Kennedy family

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Frank Sinatra was the liaison between the Chicago mafia and the Kennedy family who helped JFK get Union support for his election. After JFK failed to live up to his promises as a president, Sinatra was forced to play 8 straight nights at the crime boss’ club as punishment.
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Even though they only make up <0.1% of the prison population, there is one group that is responsible for 18% - 25% of all homicides in the federal prison system. What are they called?

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Even though they only make up <0.1% of the prison population, the Aryan Brotherhood Gang is responsible for 18% - 25% of all homicides in the federal prison system.

What is the name of the criminal organization that began as a contingent of Mexican Special Forces?

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Los Zetas, known as one of Mexico’s most ruthless cartels, started as a contingent of Mexican Special Forces. Operators were hired by the Gulf Cartel to serve as their death squad. They later decided to go up against their employers as independents, forming Los Zetas.

Gregory Scarpa Sr. was a hitman and enforcer for the Colombo crime family. He was a ruthless man, whose evil, heartless behavior quickly earned him an equally evil nickname. What was it?

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Gregory Scarpa Sr. was a hitman and enforcer for the Colombo crime family. He was a ruthless man, whose evil, heartless behavior quickly earned him the nickname The Grim Reaper. Scarpa Sr. was also a profound racist, and was convinced that black people were an inferior race. In fact, he was so convinced of this that when he was forced to undergo emergency surgery for a stomach ulcer, he refused anonymous blood transfusions... in case the blood may have come from African-Americans. Not a good guy.

Members of the Russian Mafia use what form of personal decoration as a de-facto “resume”?

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Tattoos on a member of the Russian Mafia are like the sections on a resume—they depict specialties and rank.

True or False: Al Capone once kidnapped a jazz pianist and made him perform at his birthday party.

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Capone once kidnapped Jazz pianist Fats Waller and made him perform at his birthday party. Waller left three days later drunk and thousands of dollars richer, which is better than how most kidnapping victims end up.
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In the 1920s, criminal organizations in America began to gain a serious level of power by exploiting which US cultural moment?

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The mafia became a serious problem in the wake of Prohibition. The criminalization of alcohol presented massive business opportunities and resulted in the rise of bootlegging operations and famous names such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano.

Which of these actors appeared in the 2007 American gangster film “Eastern Promises”?

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When filming Eastern Promises, Viggo Mortensen went to dinner at a Russian restaurant while still sporting some of the fake tattoos he had to play his character, a Russian mobster. Apparently, the restaurant fell silent as people noticed his tattoos. After all, to those in the know, the tattoos on a member of the Russian Mafia are like the sections on a resume—they depict specialties and rank.
About This Quiz
Organized crime refers to groups of criminals who create a structured chain of command where each member has a role and contributes to the overall strategic goals of the syndicate. Examples include the Mafia, the Yakuza, drug cartels, and some gangs. Obviously, much of their behavior is meant to be secret… but I’m sure you know what they get up to. Think you know your stuff?


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