Although the Mafia had its beginnings in Sicily, it eventually spread its tentacles all over the world. Organized crime originally owed its success to providing services that appeal to human weakness. Gambling, illegal drugs and alcohol, and trafficking in humans were among its pursuits. To enforce its hold over prized territory, the mob resorted to extortion and violence. Law enforcement has responded with harsh measures, but organized crime, now engaged in a number of respectable activities, still thrives. This episode, which is part of a five-volume series, returns to the roots of organized crime in Sicily, with an informative chronicle of the country's so-called Five Families. Archival film footage, photographs, journals, personal accounts, and commentary by historians tell the story.
THE WORLD HISTORY OF ORGANIZED CRIME travels the globe to get an insider's view of some of the most active, dangerous and diabolical criminal syndicates in existence. They each focus on a different region, examining the conditions that helped create these groups, talking to law enforcement specialists about how they are being fought, and relating true stories of famous cases: