Organized Crime Murders

Though widely used, the terms “organized crime” and “gang” do not have precise meanings. The boundaries between criminal associates and organized crime groups are blurry, drawn around levels of centralization and coordination, making it difficult and ultimately arbitrary to distinguish a group of strong arm robbers from a gang.

I have limited organized crime or gang murders to those committed by groups that displayed a level of coordination and continuity that distinguished them more episodic or individual-centered criminal enterprises.

Included are the Black Hand-hitman murder committed by Quagenti and Graziano in 1906 and the Black Hand killings attributed to Russogulo, Russogulo, and Guastaferro in 1917 and Caliendo in 1921.

Also included are the Blue Bandana gang murder of Philip Flynn in 1923 that Albert Carelli was sentenced to death for before being pardoned and the numerous robbery murders in Pittsburgh, Detroit, and perhaps elsewhere committed by Paul Jaworski and the Flathead Gang.

More recent is the murder of Thomas Sacco by fellow gang member Robert Bricker and hired hitman Miles Gabler in 1979, just one of numerous killings attributable to that syndicate.

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