The Lucchese crime family is one of the Five Families that dominate organised crime activities in New York City, United States.
The family originated in the early 1920s with Gaetano Reina serving as boss up until his murder in 1930. It was taken over by Tommy Gagliano during the Castellammarese War, and led by him until his death in 1951. The family under Gagliano was peaceful and low key, concentrating their criminal activities in the Bronx, Manhattan and New Jersey. The next boss was Tommy Lucchese who served as Gagliano’s underboss for over 20 years, who turned the family around to become one of the most powerful families to sit on the Commission. Lucchese teamed up with Gambino crime family boss Carlo Gambino to control organised crime in New York City. Lucchese had a stronghold on the garment industry in New York and took control of many crime rackets for his crime family. When Lucchese died of a brain tumor in 1967, Carmine Tramunti controlled the family for a brief time; he was arrested in 1973 for funding a major heroin network and died five years later. Anthony Corallo then gained control of the family. Corallo was very secretive and soon became one of the most powerful members of the Commission. He was arrested and convicted in the famous Commission case of 1986.
For most of its history, the Lucchese family was reckoned as one of the most peaceful crime families in the nation. However, that changed when Corallo named Victor Amuso his successor shortly before going to prison. Amuso later promoted one of his longtime partners, Anthony Casso to underboss. Starting with the Windows Case in 1986, they instituted one of the bloodiest reigns in Mafia history, ordering virtually anyone who crossed them to be murdered. It is estimated that Casso himself has murdered between 30-40 people and has ordered over 100 murders during his reign; he was sentenced to 455 years in prison. Casso also had authority over NYPD detectives Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa: both carried out at least 8 murders for him. Amuso was arrested in 1991 and sentenced to life in prison. Several Lucchese wiseguys, fearing for their lives, turned informant. The highest-profile of these was acting boss Alphonse D’Arco, who became the first boss of a New York crime family to testify against the mob. This led to the arrest of the entire Lucchese family hierarchy, with Casso also becoming an informant. Testimony from these informants nearly destroyed the family, with as many as half of its members incarcerated. Amuso has continued to rule the family from prison.