The Last in Line
Luciano took a look at the warring factions and decided to play the two sides against each other to his own advantage. Luciano dreamed of establishing a “commission” of crime syndicates on a national level by bringing together the brightest minds in crime regardless of ethnic background, though the Italians would dominate. This was something unimaginable to the narrow-minded Mustache Petes.
Luciano met with Maranzano and some of his agents at the Bronx Zoo. Luciano agreed to take out Masseria in exchange for taking control of his rackets. Lucky set a plan in motion. He invited Masseria for a lunchtime meeting at Scarpato's Restaurant in Coney Island, a section of Brooklyn. Masseria felt safe there. He knew the owner and he knew the turf. When Luciano went to the bathroom, four men entered and blasted Masseria away. The cops questioned Luciano, but he feigned innocence. One Mustache Pete down, one more to go.
Lucky's Power Play
Lucky Luciano had made a secret deal with Maranzano to whack Mas-seria, but he also had plans to take care of the other Mustache Petes. The death of Masseria was only half of Luciano's business plan. Maranzano was now Capo di tutti Capi (the Boss of all Bosses). He summoned mobsters from all over the country for a convention. They decked the halls with religious iconography to fool the feds and any other law enforcement officials who might want to crash the party.
Meeting of the Minds
It was at this meeting that the Mafia flow chart that became “the five families” was hashed out. Maranzano was the CEO, and he appointed five VPs who would each head a “family.” The heads of the criminal households would be Joseph Bonanno, Phil and Vincent Mangano, Charlie Luciano, Joseph Profaci, and Tom Gagliano.
Despite the Mafia's constant claims of honor, the old adage that there is no honor among thieves is a universal truth. Soon after this arrangement was made, Maranzano created a hit list that included most of his top lieutenants, including Lucky Luciano. He knew that one or more of these Young Turks would already be plotting to usurp him. The shooter was to be a particularly nasty killer aptly named Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll. Luciano was as lucky as ever. He got wind of the conspiracy and took preemptive measures.
What mobsters were on what sides during the war?
The Maranzanos had among their ranks future bosses Joseph Bonanno, Joseph Profaci, Thomas Lucchese, Joseph Magliocco, and Gaetano “Tom” Gagliano. The Masseria team had Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Joe Adonis, Vito Genovese, Albert Anastasia, and Carlo Gambino.
Luciano learned that he and Vito Genovese were to be summoned to Maranzano's office, where Coll would be waiting to off them. He also learned that the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service had its sights on Maranzano. His organization was to be the subject of an IRS audit.