10 Deadliest Mafia Hitmen in History

We don't say we agree with this listing (especially the bit about the Ice Man, pictured below) but we thought readers would find it of interest.

From Criminal-Justice-Major.net:

Sometimes, even the Mafia needs a little extra assistance. When things get messy, the notorious criminal organization has an utterly ruthless and deranged clean-up crew of paid assassins on standby. Whether they need to violently send out a message, or subtly whack a rival with minimum repercussions, the Mob can turn to any number of cold-blooded career professionals. These contract killers are a law enforcement officer’s nightmare – and case studies for criminal justice experts.

It’s an odd profession, killing for a living. Career prerequisites include ruthlessness, aggression, and an icy sense of emotional detachment. And if the cases that follow are anything to go by, some kind of psychological imbalance probably helps as well. The infamous killers on this list plied their trade with the kind of fervor and dedication that might have earned them a golden handshake had their chosen careers been above board. Read on for the 10 most dangerous mafia hitmen in history.

10. Abe “Kid Twist” Reles

Abe Reles was a natural born killer. He was a violent and unpredictable man and an early member of the charmingly named Murder, Inc. This was a notorious “enforcement arm” of the American and Jewish Mafia believed to have killed up to 1,000 people during the 1930s and ‘40s.

Reles was renowned for using an ice pick on his victims, which he would ram into their brains through their ears. Even day-to-day he was unstable and would sometimes attack innocent bystanders; he once murdered a parking lot employee for not bringing his vehicle up fast enough.

This notorious hitman was arrested in 1940, but despite being implicated in “dozens” of killings, he was able to wriggle out of the death penalty by ratting on his boss Louis Buchalter and other key members of Murder, Inc.

Informing didn’t work out well for Reles, though: he was found dead on the pavement outside his hotel room on November 12, 1941. The press called him “the canary who could sing, but couldn’t fly.”

9. Salvatore “Sammy Bull” Gravano

“Sammy Bull” Gravano was another Mob rat who evaded justice by squealing on his colleagues. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1945, Gravano worked his way up from small-time theft and street fighting to become the protégé of crime boss Joe Colombo in the late 1960s.

Under his mentor’s guidance, this cold-blooded criminal committed a number of murders, which won him respect and approval. Eventually, issues arose with another Colombo mobster and Gravano was allowed to leave the family to avoid any conflict.

Continuing his Underworld existence, Gravano joined the Gambino crime family. And as well as making this career move, he also achieved significant influence – and became a multi-millionaire – through construction and trucking business interests. Gravano achieved underboss status working for the head of the Gambino family, John “the Teflon Don” Gotti.

Then, after being arrested along with Gotti in December 1990, Gravano turned stool pigeon and sold his boss down the river. Despite Gravano’s involvement with at least 19 killings, in 1994 the state sentenced him to only five years in prison. And because he’d already served four of them, his sentence amounted to just one year’s jail time.

Read rest