Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
In 1959, a movie was released called “Inside the Mafia”. The movie was based on a meeting of mob bosses at Joseph Barbara’s home in the town of Apalachin, New York. With around 100 mafia members in attendance, many expensive cars with out-of-state plates were parked at the house. Law enforcement officers became suspicious, and began running the plate numbers. The attendees noticed, and panic ensued. Some fled on foot, some hid, and some tried to drive away. The police caught about 60 attendees attending from all over the country.
Before the Apalachin Meeting, the FBI wouldn’t believe there was a crime organization. Afterwards, however, the FBI started a full-fledged investigation.
Later on, people began theorizing the Apalachin Meeting was a set-up. The theory goes newly-crowned boss Vito Genovese had enemies attempt to take him down by alerting police of the meeting. Three major crime bosses, all of whom were unhappy with Genovese’s rise to power, were absent at the meeting. However, no evidence either way has ever been presented, and could’ve just been a huge mistake to have that many high-ranking mob members in one place at one time.