Meet The Modern Mob

ROBERTO KOCH/CONTRASTO

Alleged Mafia members standing trial in 1986

In what became known as the Maxi-Trials in the mid-1980s, Sicilian prosecutors tried hundreds of Mafia suspects en masse for crimes ranging from murder to criminal association. The sweeping strategy hit Cosa Nostra in the trenches, marking a critical victory for such crusading magistrates as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. It was also great theater. Crammed together into a custom-made, bunker-like courtroom, the accused seemed straight from a Hollywood casting call for Mob thugs: often unshaven, sweaty and in short-sleeved leisure shirts, the Mafia men pointed fingers and hollered threats from inside steel cages that ringed the back of the...

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