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Underworld Histories is a one-hour documentary series that explores the interaction between a city's social history and its organized crime.

Each program features a single city. A hallmark of the films is that we feature only first hand testimony from individuals – on both sides of the law - directly involved in the story.

This is history that happened the day before yesterday. The stories are told in a compelling present tense: woven into the personal testimony are punchy moments of drama recon, and 'puts you in the moment' archive news clips.


  • Underworld Histories: Miami
    Miami in the 1980s: playground of the rich and famous; America’s premier tourist spot. But behind the fun in the sun, bad guys battle in the streets. The prize: control of a massive cocaine industry. At stake: billions of illicit dollars. Yet these are not Mafia hit men. They come instead from Cuba and South America. And they catch the cops by surprise. This new breed of Mobster will turn the US underworld upside down; and change the face of Miami forever.
  • Underworld Histories: Boston
    Exploring the criminal underworld that lies beneath the surface of Boston, MA.
  • Underworld Histories: London
    London; the 1960s. The city’s two rival crime families are on the edge of a turf war; a deadly battle that sets the stage for the next half century of gangland life. It’s a bloody litany of hits and revenge hits. Enforcers use torture to maintain order within their ranks, while trying to stay one step ahead of the law. Trapped in the middle are the people of London, unwitting victims, caught in the wake of an ever-evolving culture of crime.
  • Underworld Histories: Los Angeles
    Underworld Los Angeles charts the rise of street gangs the Bloods and the Crips as they bring murder and drugs to the streets of South Central.
  • Underworld Histories: San Francisco
    When Hong Kong mobsters, known as a Triad, move into San Francisco’s Chinatown, the traditional Chinese underworld collides with modern American gang culture leading to a brutal turf war.
  • Underworld Histories: Tijuana
    Through the testimony of gangsters we discover how The Arellano-Felix Organization, the world’s largest drug smugglers, recruit an army of American gang members.
  • Underworld Histories: Brooklyn
    During the cold war Soviet émigrés flood Brooklyn, among them hardcore gangsters.
  • Underworld Histories: New York
    High-ranking Mafia Captains come out of hiding to tell us the story of how Vittorio “Little Vic” Amuso and Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso embarked on a bloody rampage through the Lucchese crime family that brought New York’s Mob to its knees.
  • Underworld Histories: Chicago
    From the 1960s to the 1990s the Chicago Mob – known as the Outfit – has the city in a stranglehold. Through violence and corruption it controls politicians, the judiciary, law enforcement and the unions. There is no one to stop the Outfit literally getting away with murder. Until the Mob’s star lawyer decides he’s had enough. The day he turns informer Chicago will never be the same again.
  • Underworld Histories: Montreal
    Montreal is Canada’s second biggest city – and its most colourful. Its geographical location, historical connection with France and language also made it the ideal criminal intermediary between North America and Europe. This programme explores how the Mafia and then biker gangs took advantage of the city’s underworld and how since the 90s forged a business relationship unlike anywhere else in the world.
  • Underworld Histories: Las Vegas
    Las Vegas is famous for having the brightest lights and dirtiest cash. Its rise and fall is told first hand by Howard Hughes’ CEO Robert A Maheu, Casino Mastermind Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal, Former Mob Associate Frank Cullotta and FBI agents Joseph Yablonsky, and Dennis Arnoldy.
  • Underworld Histories: Philadelphia
    By the end of the 20th century, the Philadelphia mafia is in big trouble. For two decades, the rules and traditions which for almost a century held together the darkest and most sinister organisation in America, have been slowly unravelling; and nowhere more so than on the streets of South Philadelphia.