Carlo Gambino was an Italian-American kingpin of the famous Gambino crime family. He took over the Commission of the Mafia after the incarceration of Vito Genovese in 1959. Although he was involved in organized crime for more than five decades, he was imprisoned for only 22 months for a tax evasion charge. Carlo Gambino is often portrayed in crime films.
Italian-American gangster Joe Gallo, nicknamed "Crazy Joe,” was part of New York’s Colombo crime family. Initially an associate of the Profaci crime family, Gallo was later involved in the First Colombo War. He was suspected of launching an attack on Joseph Colombo and was shot dead on his 43rd birthday.
Charles Ponzi was an Italian con artist and swindler who operated in Canada and the USA. He is best remembered for his money-making scheme in which he paid his earlier investors using the money given to him by later investors. Although this type of swindling investment scheme existed before Ponzi's time, it came to be known as a Ponzi scheme.
Frank Nitti was an Italian born-American mobster and one of Al Capone's main henchmen. Renowned for his leadership skills, Nitti succeeded Al Capone to become the boss of the Chicago Outfit. His life and work inspired the 1988 biopic Nitti: The Enforcer.
Leonarda Cianciulli was an Italian serial killer who murdered three women and turned their bodies into soaps and tea cakes. She is also known as the "Soap-Maker of Correggio." Between 1939 and 1940, she killed three of her neighbors--all of them middle-aged women--as part of human sacrifices. She was eventually found guilty of her crimes and sentenced to prison.
Joe Masseria was an Italian-American Mafia boss who controlled the Genovese crime family from 1922 to 1931. He was killed in the Castellammarese War, which was fought for control over illegal activities in New York City. Since his death, Joe Masseria has been portrayed in several films like The Valachi Papers, Lucky Luciano, Mobsters, and Lansky.
Italian-American crime boss Joseph Bonanno was the leader of the Bonanno crime family for almost four decades. Introduced to organized crime as a child, he proceeded to become one of the youngest-ever bosses of a crime family at just 26. He successfully evaded arrest for many decades. He lived a long life and became a writer in his later years.
Ralph Capone, older brother of infamous gangsters Al and Frank Capone, was a mobster in his own right. He followed his brothers to Chicago, where he formed his own legitimate soft drink business, earning the nickname “Bottles.” His business was once second only to Coca-Cola in the non-alcoholic beverage market.
Roger de Flor was an Italian condottiere and military adventurer who was active in Italy, Aragonese Sicily, and the Byzantine Empire. He is remembered for his service as the commander of the Catalan Company. The last days of his life inspired Spanish poet Mariano Capdepón to compose a play, which was later adapted into an opera titled Roger de Flor.
Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni was initially part of the Italian army. He later became determined to kill a member of the elite class and zeroed in on Empress Elisabeth of Austria. He stabbed Elisabeth with a file and was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was eventually found hanged in his cell.
Known as the man who stole the Mona Lisa, La Giaconda was an amateur artist and a worker at the Louvre. Though he hid the painting in his apartment in Paris and then took it to Florence, he failed to sell it, and was eventually caught by the police after 2 years.
Volker Eckert was a German serial killer who murdered at least six women in Spain, France, and East Germany between 1974 and 2006. Although he confessed to only six murders, Eckert is believed to have murdered many other women in countries like the Czech Republic and Italy. He committed suicide on July 2, 2007, during his criminal proceedings.