The Castellammarese War 1929 to 1931 was a bloody power struggle. It was the highest profile war in the history of the Mafia, between Joe “The Boss” Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano from the town of Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily. They both were fighting for power and control of the American Mafia. The conflict was responsible for numerous deaths, media coverage and public attention.
In New York City, there are five Mafia Families, the number five was inevitable; Sicilian refugees settled in the five boroughs of NYC.
Lucky Luciano put the end to the war and reformed the way the Mafia would work. He first eliminated Joe the Boss during a card game in a restaurant, and then months later executed Maranzano after learning his own life was vulnerable. Maranzano became capo di tutti capi (Boss of Bosses) after the murder of Joe Masseria, but the power soon went to Maranzano’s head and was obviously his downfall. He was murdered in his Manhattan office in 1931.
Lucky Luciano formed The Commission consisting of, the five New York Mafia bosses and others from around the country who shared identical power, in the hope of avoiding future gang wars.