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Encyclopedia > Black Hand (blackmail)

Black Hand was a type of extortion racket. It was a method of blackmail, not a criminal organization as such, though gangsters of Camorra and Mafia practiced it. Extortion is a criminal offense, which occurs when a person obtains money, behaviour, or other goods and/or services from another by wrongfully threatening or inflicting harm to his person, reputation, or property. ... Blackmail is threatening to reveal substantially true information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a monetary demand is met. ... Gangsters are members of a professional crime organization, such as a gang or a mafia group. ... The Camorra is a Mafia-like criminal organization, or secret society, in the region of Campania and the city of Naples in Italy. ... The Mafia, also referred to as La Cosa Nostra (Italian, variously translated as This Thing Of Ours or Our Thing), is the collective name of various secret organizations in Italy, Sicily, Corsica and the United States. ...

The first rackets began in Sicily in the 1750s. When criminals moved to the USA alongside other Italian immigrants, they continued the practice. They concentrated on Italian immigrants in cities like New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and San Francisco. Although more successful immigrants were usally targeted, possibly as many as 90% of Italian immigrants in New York were threatened. Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ... State nickname: Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York Governor George Pataki Official languages None Area 141,205 km² (27th)  - Land 122,409 km²  - Water 18,795 km² (13. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Chicago (officially named the City of Chicago) is the third largest city in the United States (after New York City and Los Angeles), with an official population of 2,896,016, as of the 2000 census. ... This article is about the city in California. ...

Typical Black Hand tactics involved sending a letter to a victim threatening bodily harm, kidnapping, arson, or murder. The letter demanded a specified amount of money to be delivered to a specific place. It was "decorated" with threatening symbols like a smoking gun or hangman's noose and signed with a hand imprinted in black ink; hence the name La Mano Nera (The Black Hand) which was readily adopted by the American press as "The Black Hand Society". Arson is the crime of setting a fire with intent to cause damage. ...

Gangsters would carry out the threat if the victim did not pay. Ignazio Saietta, a Sicilian gangster in New York's Little Italy, strangled his victims and burned the bodies in the East Harlam neighborhood known as the "Murder Stable". One of the threatened victims was the tenor Enrico Caruso who received a Black Hand letter, on which a black hand and dagger were drawn, demanding $2,000. Although Caruso decided to pay, he again received a demand for $15,000. Realizing the extortionists would continue to demand money, he reported the incident to the police who, arranging for Caruso to drop off the money at a prearranged spot, arrested two Italian-American businessmen who retrieved the money. On occasion, Black Handers threatened other gangsters and usually faced retaliation. Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated (or formerly populated) primarily by Italians. ... Enrico Caruso (February 25, 1873 – August 2, 1921) was one of the most famous tenors in the history of opera. ...

If law enforcement closed in, gangsters answered with their usual style: assassination. Victims include New Orleans police chief Daniel Hennessy and NYPD lieutenant Joseph Petrosino. They intimidated potential witnesses even in the courtroom. New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... The New York City Police Department (NYPD) , the largest police department in the United States, has primary responsibility for law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City. ...

The Black Hand practice practically disappeared when gangsters found the more profitable enterprise of bootlegging during US Prohibition. Bootlegging is the illegal sale or manufacture of cigarettes, liquor, and other consumer goods (such as compact discs or DVDs) subject to taxes for the purposes of evading those taxes, or licensing fees. ... Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Black Hand (blackmail) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (446 words)
Black Hand, or La Mano Nera in Italian, was a type of extortion racket.
The earliest Black Hand activities began in Sicily and throughout the Italian peninsula as early as the 1750s.
By 1900, Black Hand operations were firmly established in the Italian-American communities of major cities including New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Black Hand (disambiguation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (283 words)
Black Hand (Palestine), a terrorist network created by Syrian-born Sheikh Izz Ad-Din El-Kassam (after whom the "military wing" of Hamas is named) in the British Mandate of Palestine.
Black Hand (comics), a fictional DC Comics supervillain.
Black Hand (Inheritance Trilogy), a fictional network of assassins loyal to King Galbatorix based in Surda who are responsible for many deaths in Surda and the Varden.
  More results at FactBites »



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