I had no idea there was at one time an entire enforcement wing of mob killers.
But this is the simple way that crime families enforced their laws.
It sounds odd at first glance, but it makes perfect sense that they would operate this way.
See, the crime families worked like this. So to keep things from descending into tit-for-tat feuds, a third party was needed to keep the peace.
Interestingly, the five major American mob families were Italian. Their enforcement wing of professional hit-men was, however, comprised of Jewish gangsters.
It was an entire group of mob killers that killed other mobsters!
Before anyone could be killed anywhere, the Syndicate had to okay it. In hotel rooms across the country, these men held court, questioned witnesses, passed judgment. If some family member had to die, the board hired the killers. Since having killers from one family kill wrongdoers from another family could lead to a war, Lansky and Luciano decided to create an enforcement wing, a group of gunmen who would kill just for the Syndicate. They looked for these gunmen mostly in Brooklyn. Since the Williamsburg Bridge went up in 1903 and the Manhattan Bridge in 1909, the slums had moved with the subway to the end of the line. The Lower East Side was melting away. Brooklyn was the place for young criminal talent.
-Rich Cohen, Tough Jews