How The New York Mafia Actually Works | How Crime Works

Former New York Mafia made member John Pennisi speaks to Insider about how the mob actually works.

John Pennisi was born and raised in an Italian New York neighborhood where the mob had huge influence. He speaks on how he ended up being an associate with the Gambino family through John Gotti Jr. before he became a made member of the Lucchese crime family in 2013. Pennisi says he decided to leave the mob in 2018 after members of his crew falsely accused him of cooperating with law enforcement. Since leaving the mob, Pennisi has been writing blogs on and producing a podcast covering topics of organized crime on

00:00 – Intro
00:33 – The rules
02:51 – The five families
04:21 – The hierarchy
05:34 – The ceremony
07:16 – The responsibility
09:44 – The corruption
10:50 – The origin
11:59 – The rise & fall
13:53 – The NY mob’s future
15:50 – The plugs

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How The New York Mafia Actually Works | How Crime Works


  1. Something that never seems to make sense is that immigrants (in this case, Italian) that are racist against people of color. It's like…..y'all struggled, dealt with bigots, were treated like dog ish….campaigns were launched to discriminate against y'all, etc… White Amerikkka hated (and still hates) you and all immigrants (some more than others of course), and instead of saying "we are brothers and sisters in this fight against the BS", you join the racist Amerikkka agenda. Please make it make sense.

  2. Mad how the American mafia is so far from its roots that it doesn't even remember them. They were began long before the immigrant push and were already well established by the time they arrived in America, all the rules and whatnot came from Sicilian olive farmers. In fact moving to America resulting in the relaxation of those rules in favour of flashy stuff like killing people and putting em in a barrel in the street to create fear. Something the real Cosa nostra would never approve of and is the reason they cut ties with the Americans. This in turn led to the fall of the mafia in America from the powerhouse it used to be. The Americans aren't the Cosa nostra even if they claim to be, they are the mafia a uniquely American organaziation riddled with snotchs and fame hungry fools.

  3. Not sure he's aware that running out of this world is maybe the best thing it ever happened in his life.

  4. The mafia needs to figure out a way of killing themselves without being caught these days & that’s why the rules have diminished…it’s just too hard to make them “disappear”🤷‍♂️

  5. The mob was always a criminal bunch of thugs. They had no code. They were just ruthless criminals who killed their enemies.

  6. Grew up in Sheepshead Bay, 80’s was my teen years
    Worked at Joes Clam bar, El Grado, I’m Italian, been around the Mafia my whole life,
    I joined the Military at 17, That was the direction I took,
    As a kid, the gangster life was Appealing,
    But as I got older, That sense faded for me, plus, I didn’t have a big hook in the life, So I didn’t see a future
    I became a Firefighter instead, and now I work for the freight train line in New Jersey

  7. Lol no bombs no killing no hurting i mean we was basically angels yeea, i believe you buddy

  8. This actually funny my step dad is related to the gambinos. I grew up in Philly and have seen a lot as a kid. I do have to admit the food at family parties were amazing.

  9. This guy seems much to intelligent and level headed to have got himself mixed up with a family

  10. Too bad that all the ex mob guys that do interviews like this are all only free and alive because they snitched and went into witness protection til their trials are over and they got all the other mob guys locked up. The only guy I can think of that is free and alive that was in the mob that didn’t snitch is Michael franzese.

  11. Also sometimes I share this, the Bible says that GOD loves us so much that he sent his son JESUS CHRIST to this earth and HE lived a perfect sinless life.And JESUS went to a cross and gave HIS life for us.And rose again in 3 days and who ever will receive JESUS AS THEIR SAVIOR AND ASK HIM TO COME INTO THEIR HEART AND FORGIVE THEIR SINS,HE WILL TAKE YOU TO HEAVEN.

  12. If you want to see how dangerous Italian mafia is look at the Camorra based in Naples. They are brutal to the degree which is never reported in american media.

  13. The aim of the Social Mind Center is to promote interdisciplinary research that investigates the link between sociality and cognition. The research activities at the center aim at a new understanding of how the human mind enables and constrains social life including coordination and the transmission of ideas and practices, and how human minds are shaped by cultural practices. The interdisciplinary research at the center will integrate cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and robotics approaches to cognition with social sciences approaches and philosophical approaches that target the interplay between biological and cultural determinants of the human mind. 

    The Social Mind Center consists of three research groups:

    Adaptive Cognition and Economics (ACE)OStension, Communication and Relevance (OSCAR)Social Mind and Body (SOMBY)

  14. Ill tell you women and children are fair game if you're REALLY about that lifem In fact they are especially targets. Since the dawn of war if you truly want to cripple a man/ village you go after the women and children. This is why gangs like ms13 have set the bar while the Italian mafias degrading. If you care about your loved ones dont get involved at all or keep your private family secret or get them well hidden/protected.

  15. Another one?!…jeeesh!…"Hi. I'm Giuseppe Tortellini a made member of the Linguine Crime family.."

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