What is the Mafia? Some believe the word Mafia was the battle cry of an Italian rebellious group- this battle of cry was the following: "Morte all Francia Italia anelia!" (Italian for "death to the French is Italy's cry!") (gambino.com). Others defined the Mafia as, a name for a loose association of criminal groups, sometimes bound by blood oath and sworn to secrecy. (Online Encarta). Despite both of these definitions the Mafia has evolved into a very complex and structured society of crime. Over time they have become the most organized and devious crime syndicate ever.
The history of the Mafia is sketchy but many believe that the Mafia was born in order to protect and help the less fortunate. The methods used to help and protect were, and still remain illegal. Today, the organization still continues to practice these acts or "rituals." The difference between early Mafia and modern Mafia is that during late 1800's to early 1900's, the Mafia used these illicit crimes to help their families and the less fortunate, now they abuse their power and distribute the "dirty money" in abundance amongst themselves. (Organized Crime). (Keep in mind that the Mafia was born in Sicily, in a time where authorities weren't accessible). .
In the 1800's, New Orleans was the largest Mafia site in the United States. It was while investigating the murder of an Italian immigrant that the current Police Chief, David Hennessey discovered the existence of this secret society. Police Chief Hennessey was assassinated before this murder case could go to trial. Twelve men were charged with this assassination but were lynched by a newly formed vigilante group. The Italian Ambassador demanded that the vigilantes be tried. President Harrison, who disproved of the vigilantes, gave a large cash settlement to the families of the lynched men. ("Hennessey revenge lynch mob"). This was a widely publicized case because of its' foreign ramifications and the involvement of the President of the United States.