Apalachin Finally Put the Mafia on the FBI's Radar

About three weeks ago, we passed the 56th anniversary of the infamous meeting at Apalachin, when cops raided Joe Barbara's House. They didn't have the slightest inkling of what they were getting into -- and I refer here to the Mafia....
J. Edgar Hoover could no longer deny the existence of a
national crime ring working in the U.S. He preferred chasing
Communists and destroying people he didn't like.

On Nov. 14, 1957, New York state police official Edgar D. Croswell noticed a suspicious number of expensive cars with out-of-state license plates converging in his small town of Apalachin.*

He and his troopers began jotting down license plates. Croswell, owing to his knowledge of the mob (specifically, Carmine Galante who was in town that November day; Crosswell had arrested him previously and was well aware of who he was) knew something was up. (Croswell also had no illusions about Joseph (Joe the Barber) Barbara (a more appropriate nickname would've been Joe the Butcher), who was hosting the shindig at his large estate.)

When Vito Genovese summoned the National Commission, he was planning to hold the meet in Chicago. For some reason, Stefano Magaddino suggested the Apalachin estate of lieutenant Barbara. )






The troopers quickly learned that the entire leadership of the American Mafia was meeting in the small rural town.

The Apalachin Meeting finally brought under law enforcement's glaring spotlight a vast criminal organization modeled, to an extent, after the Sicilian Mafia.

The FBI finally was forced to admit that the Mafia operated on a national scale.

Now, as Slate.com noted in a story, "even small children know what the Mafia’s all about (funny nicknames, cannoli, and men kissing other men on the cheek)."

Before Apalachin, the FBI (read: J. Edgar Hoover) had refused to admit that a national criminal organization even existed.

Communists and domestic subversives were the major threats, Hoover had determined. (Hoover had a predilection for statistics; he liked to investigate crimes that were open-and-shut, like the Depression-era gangsters such as Bonnie and Clyde.

Once Apalachin was a historical event generating mega-interest from mainstream America, the FBI could no long ignore the Mafia's existence.

The meeting was held to lay down two new Mafia laws: drug dealing and killing law enforcement officials were voted to become death-penalty-qualified crimes.

Also, Genovese and Carlo Gambino likely wanted to explain their sudden promotions. (Supposedly Anastasia was so feared, no one present really cared about what Gambino had done. And in a way, what Gambino had done  could be viewed as "legal." Anastasia had whacked a boss and had allegedly allowed one of his confidants to sell membership buttons.

The bosses viewed that development with disdain and considered it a grave problem. Thought was given to learning the identities of those who paid for memberships so that these infiltrators could be whacked.)


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