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Staten Island is the least urban of the five boroughs that comprise New York City and is perhaps most familiar for the Staten island Ferry that connects it to the rest of the city -- and to a reputation as a bedroom community for the mob. In the early 20th century it was a sparsely populated outback and proved a safe dumping ground for mob victims. Members of "The Black Hand," as the early mob was called, often stuffed the bodies of their victims into barrels and then disposed of them on island farms. Then, as the Island developed, its North Shore docks became important locations for extortion, bootlegging, loansharking, gambling, drug-dealing, and smuggling..Toward the middle of the century leading Mafia figures began living there in summer bungalows or year-round mansions because it provided relative seclusion from the law and murderous rivals Some estimates put the number of Mafiosi who lived here as high as 200. The FBI began to crack down on the island's organized crime in the 1980s, but its reputation as a Mafia stronghold persists, in part because of films such as "The Godfather," "Goodfellas," and "Donnie Brasco." And then -- there is the other Staten Island, the one in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, 25 km northwest of Stockton. This one is the subject of Bob's photo.
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