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RICO Act: Effectiveness in Curtailing the Irish Mafia, Specifically the Westies in New York City - Essay Example

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RICO Act: Effectiveness in Curtailing the Irish Mafia, Specifically the Westies in New York City

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961-68 as amended in 1999 provided the backbone that law enforcers needed to pin down notorious criminals that went around with the law using tainted and questionable money mostly coming from extortion and blackmail. For, as Kelly, et al (1994) acknowledged, "Good police work narrows the focus of the investigation and, better yet, assigns the investigation to one who knows the territory, the actors on the scene, and their activities. In practice and of necessity, police--and probably prosecutors--develop a powerful sense of autonomy that operates beyond the usual devices for control. The autonomy of law enforcement personnel is a crucial element in a history of organized crime in America, for in defining the target of investigations, the enforcers, in effect, define the subject matter of their efforts and that becomes the subject matter of the history. Because the definition of organized crime has never enjoyed even the semblance of consensus, efforts to control it have similarly been the ad hoc product of those doing the enforcing."
The Irish Mob or Irish Mafia is one of the oldest organized crime groups that dated back to the 1800s (Wikipedia, 2006) although (2006) reports that the Gophers were the earliest gang hailing from Hell's Kitchen in New York in the 1900s not necessarily organized. They were made up of Irish toughs burglarizing shops and pool halls as well as raiding the docks and the Hudson River Railroad. In 1907, their number peaked at around 500 members that lend occasional support to political candidates although most of their times were wasted on gang fights within the area with notable members Monk Eastman, Happy Jack Mullraney, and One Long Curran (, 2006).
They were now mostly believed to have originated from Irish street gangs as featured in the 1926 "Gangs of New York" book. The Irish mob have appeared in major US cities Boston, New York, New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Providence, Kansas, St. Louis, Atlantic and Chicago (Wikipedia 2006).

Hell's Kitchen
Hailing from the west side of the Manhattan in New York City particularly from Hells Kitchen which have ambiguous reference to its area's name origin, Hell's Kitchen was once considered "the most dangerous area on the American Continent" (Wikipedia, 2006).
According to Greenwell (2005), it was referred to "a tenement on 54th as the first Hell's Kitchen." Another points to a building on the 39th while it was also noted that a similar slum exists in London. New York City historian Mary Clark narrated Hell's Kitchen first appeared on print in September 22, 1881 used by a New York Times reporter that covered a multiple murder case with a police guide. He had been referring to a tenement at 39th street and 10th Avenue described as "probably the lowest and filthiest in the city. Another version traces its origin to a German restaurant in the are called Heil's Kitchen while another still referred to a story about Dutch Fred the Cop with his rookie partner commenting "This place is hell itself." And Fred supposedly retorted "Hell's a mild ...Show more


Kelly, et al (11994) wrote that "In the 1930s contradictory public demands for illicit goods and services produced huge profits for gangsters and financed their entry into legitimate business, enabling them to gain some marginal degree of respectability," so that illicit and the legal activities became inseparable as monies from both sides of the industries mixed and were used as one and the same mode of trade.
Author : makennaoconner
RICO Act: Effectiveness in Curtailing the Irish Mafia, Specifically the Westies in New York City essay example
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