Netflix’s ‘Fear City: New York vs the Mafia’ is a docuseries that highlights the five mob families that ruled the city with a bloody first in the 70s and 80s and the federal agents who did the unthinkable and took them down. Yes, it’s a story that has been told time and time again, but the truth is, with a different and unique narrative, this limited series is an engrossing watch. And, fans of mobster programming won’t be disappointed.
While the “families” were making their mark on the city by getting involved in key industries like high-rise construction, garment manufacturing, and restaurants, the federal agents were planning ways to give them a blow from which they could never recover from. And, in 1986, they did succeed in starting to dismantle the notorious mob families. The one person who was at the top of it all was none other than Jim Kossler.
Who Is Jim Kossler?
James M. Kossler was the coordinating supervisor of the organized crime unit of the FBI in New York City when the Mafia was at its prime. The city was plagued by drugs, violence, and murders, and the people, they didn’t believe in the law enforcement anymore. How could they? After all, the FBI itself was stumped and could get nowhere near the families. Yes, they were arresting individuals, and yes, it was better than nothing, but the main players were still on the streets and terrorizing the city.
In 1980, when Jim went to a seminar to properly understand The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, he realized how it was the perfect tool for the FBI to take down the Mafia. It would allow them to incriminate the people who ordered others to commit a crime, thereby, helping in prosecuting the entire hierarchy of the mob families. In his words, it was an “epiphany.” Therefore, as soon as he returned, he put a plan to indict the top bosses in motion.
He asked his own bosses for more manpower so that he could make five separate squads to oversee the activities undertaken by the five separate families, and then, went ahead to start a thorough investigation. By following his instincts and maintaining his need to right the wrongs, he was always at the top of his game. Even towards the end of the mafia case, when he realized that there was a possibility of the perpetrators getting away, he was the one who convinced the higher-ups to immediate go ahead with the arrests, and he was right.
Where Is Jim Kossler Now?
As this all happened back in the 80s, Jim has since retired. The New York Native, as far as we can tell, still resides in the city and has continued to uphold his reputation. He was the person who helped institute a policy that would forever alter the world of investigation, therefore, even now, from time to time, he works as a consultant with other law enforcement agencies. This Netflix limited series is not Jim’s first appearance on our screens either. Back in 2012, he was featured in an episode of the televised documentary series ‘Mafia’s Greatest Hits,’ titled ‘Donnie Brasco.’ which took us on a journey to explore the life of mobsters and depicted their rise and fall. With his narrative, he proves that the New York of today is not what it used to be.
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