By the middle of the 1950s, tensions between gang leaders escalated abruptly and they were on a verge of developing a brutal turf war. In an effort to calm the escalating situation, the New York boss Vito Genovese organized a meeting with the most important Mafiosi at the time.
The meeting took place at mobster Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara’s home in Apalachin, New York. More than 100 influential mobs were invited to participate at the gathering near the Pennsylvania border. The plan for the day was to establish a common agreement on controlling the gambling, casinos and drug distribution business across the country.
But the mobster’s plans were ruined when a local beat cop had noticed the fleet of luxury cars parked outside Barbara’s home. Having his eye for a while now on the mobster’s domain, the cop proceeded to call other police officers and alerted state troops to come to the location.
The mobsters freaked out and abandoned their guns and cash, running around Barbara’s domain. Others rushed to escape in their cars but got caught by the police roadblock that was waiting for them.
The raid was pretty embarrassing both to the mob clans and to the police as well. Against all that, it raised a growing awareness about mob organizations.
Something that the head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, had repeatedly denied the existence of for years (probably because the Mafia allegedly had some ‘compromising’ photographs of Hoover and his ‘friend’ and second in command Clyde Tolson).