10 Businesses Supposedly Controlled by the Mafia

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Author's Note: 10 Businesses Supposedly Controlled by the Mafia

Growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs, I always thought of the Mafia as a Hollywood construct. The characters were great, but too boldly drawn to seem real. After living for the past 20 years in New Jersey and New York, I'm here to report that the mob does in fact live among us. Friends talk of growing up with the children of Mafiosi as casually as I might discuss mingling with the children of Hollywood stars. They tell tales of how mild-mannered types running pizza places might suddenly disappear. Or how one kid once claimed to have seen a body stuffed into the back of a trunk. The stories may have been exaggerated or even completely made up, but what's interesting is that, for them, the Mafia is as much a part of America's cultural history as Hollywood or Ford's assembly line.

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