Stories abound about legendary New York City gangsters like “Lucky” Luciano, but Buffalo
has housed its fair share of thugs and mobsters too. While many were nothing more than common criminals or bank robbers, a powerful crime family headed by local boss Stefano Magaddino emerged in the 1920s. Close to Canada, Niagara Falls
and Buffalo were perfect avenues through which to transport booze, and Magaddino and his Mafiosi
maintained a stranglehold on the city until his death in 1974. Local mob expert Michael Rizzo takes a tour of Buffalo’s mafia exploits everything from these brutal gangsters’ favorite hangouts to secret underground tunnels to murder.
Buffalo, the westernmost large city in New York State, owes its economic development primarily to the opening of the Erie Canal. Organized crime has operated in America's large cities since the nation's early years and is often structured by ethnic as well as geographical divisions.