The Italian-American mafia is one of the most enduring images of organised crime-and the image often does not distinguish fact from fiction. Consider that the best-selling book about crime in US history is The Godfather, a novel, and the movie version is still one of the top grossing films of all time. Likewise, an HBO television program begun in the late 1990s, The Sopran os, offered another extremely popular depiction of the life of a mafia family. The show spawned a market for video and DVD versions of old episodes, and a 'Sopranos Tour' that takes tourists to cemeteries, docks, and stores featured in the series. A sporting goods store, Ramsey Outdoor, was forced into bankruptcy in an episode of the television show, but the real sporting goods store of that name never went out of business. Nonetheless, its business dropped off

ADefinition of Organised Crime

und er a code of secrecy. As a result, it appears that adefinition of organised crime, based on a consensus of writers over the course of the last 35 years, reads as follows: 'Organised crime is a continuing criminal enterprise that rationally works to profit from illieit activities that are often in great public demand. Its continuing existence is maintained through the use of force, threats, monopoly control, and/or the corruption of public offieials.'