Skip to main content

New York's Five Cosa Nostra Families

Five Families
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Five Families are the five major Italian-American Mafia crime families which have dominated organized crime in New York City since the 1930s. Prior to this, the Maranzano Family and the Masseria Family ended up fighting each other in a conflict known as the Castellammarese War. The Five Families, under the supervision of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, were responsible for the establishment of The Commission, a council which demarcated territory between the previously warring factions and governs American Mafia activities in the United States. The Five Families in New York remain as the powerhouse of the Italian Mafia in the US.

The names of the Five Families are attributed to Mafia informant Joe Valachi. After his arrest in 1959, Valachi gave the police the names of the current bosses of the Five Families. The names of four of those bosses, Gaetano Lucchese, Vito Genovese, Carlo Gambino, and Joe Bonanno, were used to name their respective families. The fifth family was headed by Joe Profaci in 1959, but it is named after its 1960s era boss, Joseph Colombo.[1]
[edit]Current bosses
Genovese: Boss - Vacant, (Acting Boss - Danny Leo)
Gambino: Boss - Peter Gotti, (Ruling Committee/Panel - Daniel "Danny" Marino, John Gambino, Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace)[2]
Lucchese: Boss - Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, (Ruling Committee/Panel - Aniello "Neil" Migliore, Joseph "Joey Dee" DiNapoli, Matthew Madonna)[2]
Colombo: Boss - Carmine "Junior" Persico [3], (Acting Boss - Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo)
Bonanno: Boss - Vacant, (Acting Boss - Vincent Asaro is also the candidate to become the new official Boss.)[4]


The Five Families operate throughout the New York Metropolitan area, but mainly within New York City's five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island and also in Northern New Jersey. In the state of New York the families have increased their criminal rackets in Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk) and the counties of Westchester, Rocklandand Albany. They have maintained a historical presence in the state of New Jersey since the Prohibition era.[5] The families are also active in South Florida, Connecticut, Massachusettsand Las Vegas.
The Genovese crime family — operates mainly in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn and New Jersey. But the family also maintains influence in Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida.
116th Street Crew — (operates in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx)
Greenwich Village Crew — (operates in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan)
Genovese crime family New Jersey faction — (operates all over New Jersey)[5]
The Gambino crime family — operates mainly in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey. But also maintains influence in The Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester County, Connecticut, Florida and Los Angeles.
The Ozone Park Boys — (operates in Queens and Long Island area)
DeMeo Crew — (operates in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan)
The Lucchese crime family — operates mainly in The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. But also maintains influence in Queens, Long Island, Staten Island, Westchester County, and Florida.
Cutaia Crew — (operates in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island)
The Jersey Crew — (operates in all over New Jersey)
The Tanglewood Boys — (a recruitment gang operating in Westchester County, The Bronx and Manhattan.)
The Bonanno crime family — operates mainly in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. But also maintains influence in Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester County, New Jersey, Florida and Montreal, Quebec Canada.
The Motion Lounge crew — (operates in Brooklyn and Long Island)
The Colombo crime family — operates mainly in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. But also maintains influence in Staten Island, Manhattan, The Bronx, New Jersey and Florida.
Garfield Boys — (operates in the South Brooklyn area)
[edit]Popular culture

 This "In popular culture" section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (June 2010)

In the 1972 mafia-centered novel and movie The Godfather, five crime families dominate the Mafia of New York, but the families have different names from their real life counterparts above. The Corleones, from their compound on Long Island, go to war with the other members of the Five Families: the Tattaglias, the Barzinis, the Cuneos, and the Straccis.
In the HBO series The Sopranos, the DiMeo crime family of New Jersey have close business connections with the Lupertazzi crime family of Brooklyn, one of the five families in New York. Members of the DeCavalcante family believed themselves to be the inspiration for the DiMeo family.[6] Due to its large size, the Lupertazzi crime family likely represents the Gambino crime family. Also, there have been references to four other families in the show: the Paglieri Family, the Mangano Family (the former name of the Gambino Crime Family), the Tarese Family and the DeBenedetto family. Although in episode 8 of the first season, “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti”, Meadow refers to Charles “Lucky” Luciano as the founder of the Mafia and in that context cites the names of the original Five Families.
The Grand Theft Auto video game series represents many of the Five Families in the game with the Leone, Sindacco, and Forelli families. In addition, Grand Theft Auto IV features the Five Families ruling body called "The Commission", consisting of the Messina (Bonnano), Ancelotti (Colombo), Gambetti (Gambino), Pavano (Genovese) and Lupisella (Lucchese) families, with the smaller Alderney (New Jersey) Pegorino family (DeCavalcante) trying to become a sixth entity.
In the episode Chair Model from The Office, Kevin mentions the "Five Families" of the Scranton Business Park, referring to the heads of the five companies which operate out of the business park.
In the 1997 crime drama Hoodlum, there are two scenes where the five families meet to discuss mafia business and strategies.

^ a b Cohen, Stefanie. "[1]" The New York Post, 8 March 2009.
^ a b The Changing Face of Organized in New Jersey A Status Report. May 2004. (pg 105-114) [2]
^ "New Charges for Mob Family as U.S. Indictment Names 20", New York Times April 20, 2001
Raab, Selwyn. The Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empire. New York: St. Martins Press, 2005.
[edit]See also
Organized crime
Chicago Outfit (Al Capone's syndicate)
Rizzuto family (the "Sixth Family")

Popular posts from this blog

The Girl in the Blue Mustang

Just watched a repeat of The Girl in the Blue Mustang, on MSNBC's Dateline.

I am addicted to those shows: Dateline ID, 48 Hours, On the Case With Paula Zahn. It is amazing how popular this genre has become; you can find a murder docudrama on 24/7 these days thanks to all the channels available on cable. I am old enough to remember when 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 were it – and 13 rarely.

Tom Selleck's 'Fitz Special' Brings Reality to Blue Bloods

Is it me or does Tom Selleck's character Frank Reagan (NYC's fictional Police Commissioner) in Blue Bloods
remind you of the character A.J. Cooper, which he played on the now-cancelled but former hit show Las Vegas? Those of you who watched both shows will notice that both character's are wearing the same gun, which I thought was a 1911, but now, after watching an episode of Blue Bloods where it is specifically mentioned, I understand it is called a Fitz Special. (And I have been reading that he may have even worn the same pistol in Magnum P.I.; Selleck is a gun collector, I bet it is his own piece.) The website, a weapons-enthusiast site, offers some interesting insight into Selleck's understanding of guns, and the Fitz Special in particular. I quote:
"Anyways, as you are all aware I am sure Tom is a real gun guy.  I was watching an episode and…

Natasha Herzig Was Kidnapped, Forced into Prostitution

Human trafficking survivor Natasha Herzig tells stories of being kidnapped and forced into working as a prostitute, being moved around the country to service high paying clients and posing for porn.

Herzig also talks of being made to call her family and tell them she was fine.