Killing the Mob | Bill O’Reilly

Summary of: Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America (Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Series)
By: Bill O’Reilly


Embark on a riveting journey through the pages of ‘Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America’ as authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard shed light on J. Edgar Hoover’s relentless pursuit to bring down infamous criminals like Bonnie and Clyde, and expose the dark underbelly of America’s organized crime syndicates. In this gripping narrative, you will witness the rise of powerful mafia bosses, their manipulation of various industries, and the dogged determination of law enforcement officers seeking to bring them to justice. The book provides vivid accounts of high-stake confrontations that shaped America’s battle against organized crime and the unique cast of characters caught in its web.

Killing Infamy

In “Killing Infamy,” Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard recount the events leading up to and following the attack on Pearl Harbor. They examine the geopolitical landscape of the time, detailing the conflicts between Japan, the United States, and other world powers. The book also sheds light on the misconceptions and intelligence failures that contributed to the tragic loss of life on that fateful day. Through detailed research and evocative storytelling, “Killing Infamy” provides a compelling insight into one of the most significant events in American history and offers a sobering reminder of the consequences of war.

The Bonnie and Clyde Love Story and Its Brutal End

Meet Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, a young couple in love who became notorious for their string of robberies and murders during the Great Depression. Despite being physically disabled, they managed to steal cars, hold up gas stations, and rob banks. Their photos became an overnight sensation, turning them into celebrities of rebellion against the cruel banks. However, after killing 13 people, the head of America’s national law-enforcement agency, J. Edgar Hoover, was determined to put an end to their crime spree. Eventually, Hoover’s agents tracked them down and killed them. While Bonnie and Clyde’s story portrays a brutal side of love, it has become a legend that continues to fascinate people.

Capture of America’s first “Public Enemy No. 1”

John Dillinger’s notorious crime and escape from Hoover’s agents

In 1934, the head of Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover created the concept of “Public Enemy No.1,” which applied to America’s most wanted and dangerous criminal at any given time until they were caught or ceased to be a threat. That year, Hoover designated notorious bank robber and gangster John Dillinger as the first Public Enemy No.1.

Dillinger had escaped from a jail in Indiana and robbed almost $50,000 from a bank in South Dakota three days later. Federal agents were hot on his trail and tracked him to a popular vacation lodge in freezing Wisconsin, where they waited for him to emerge. However, things went awry when, mistaking three hunters for Dillinger and his gang, the agents opened fire, killing one and critically injuring two others, allowing the actual target to escape.

Unsurprisingly, the mishap was due to the unprofessionalism of the non-police officers Hoover had chosen to fill the Bureau’s ranks, which was his attempt to eradicate corruption. Learning from his mistake, Hoover sent a group of sharp-shooting police officers to the Chicago cinema where Dillinger was watching a movie. They swiftly identified the fugitive who had undergone plastic surgery to alter his facial features. In ten minutes after the movie ended, Dillinger was caught and eliminated.

Despite his deadly crimes, Dillinger’s affable demeanor would have likely deceived anyone. Hollywood even made a film based on his notorious crimes, and it was the last movie he ever saw. Nonetheless, he became a lasting symbol of what constituted a Public Enemy No. 1.

Mafia’s Unexpected Role

During World War II, the Mafia played a crucial role in helping the Allies invade and conquer Sicily. Decades earlier, Fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had waged a war against the Mafia, causing many mafiosi to flee to the United States, where they continued their criminal ways. When the FBI needed to assess the level of risk of Nazi sympathizers committing acts of sabotage along New York’s harbor, they turned to the Mafia, who controlled the harbor, for help. Reluctantly, the FBI struck a deal with the biggest New York mobster, Lucky Luciano, to use his Mafia network of longshoremen to ensure that no attacks took place on the harbor. In return for his freedom, Luciano also gathered strategic information from the Mafia in Sicily to aid the Allies in invading the island and defeating the Fascists.

Mafia’s Big Business

In 1946, the Mafia looked for new ways to make money after the end of the prohibition era. It called a conference with 20 of the most powerful American bosses in Havana, Cuba, to decide whether to enter the illegal drugs trade. Lucky Luciano, the mob’s most senior leader, was skeptical but conceded to the majority’s wishes. However, this decision soon revealed a huge uptick in the amount of drugs entering the US from Cuba, pointing the finger squarely at Luciano. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics asked Cuba to deport Luciano to Italy, where he could not cause any more trouble for American law enforcement.

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