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October 14, 2019 Last updated: November 5, 2019

Podcast #551: Inside the Gangsters’ Code

Lou Ferrante was a mobster who worked for the Gambino crime family and made a trade out of hijacking trucks loaded with expensive goods. Eventually, the law caught up with him and he ended up in prison. There, he discovered a love for reading and writing which set off a personal transformation that led to him leaving the mafia. After his stint in jail, Lou went on to become an author and the host of a Discovery Channel documentary series called Inside the Gangsters’ Code

Today on the show, I first talk to Lou about his early life of crime and the autodidactic education he gave himself in prison. Lou shares the books that had the biggest impact on him, including works of history, philosophy, and fiction. We then shift gears to discuss Lou’s work on Inside the Gangsters’ Code, the idea of honor that the mafia and other gangs share, and what it means to practice omertà. We end our conversation discussing why young men join gangs and the human needs they fill.

Show Highlights

  • How Lou got involved in the mafia in the first place
  • How he got caught jacking trucks and ended up in prison 
  • The experience in prison that made Lou turn his life around 
  • How reading and self-education transformed Lou’s life 
  • The classic authors and books that Lou gravitated to 
  • How Lou improved his vocabulary and taught himself to write 
  • What was Lou’s plan for after he got out of prison?
  • What sorts of gangs did he visit and interact with on Inside the Gangsters’ Code?
  • Is the gangsters’ code similar across the world?
  • What is omertà?
  • Why do young men join gangs? What need are they filling?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

unlocked book cover mob rules Louis Ferrante

Connect With Lou

Lou’s website

Lou on Twitter

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Read the Transcript

Coming soon!