Owney Madden bootlegger and owner of the Cotton Club: rumored to be Mae West's lover and chief financial backer for her show "Sex"

Owney Madden, once public enemy No. 1 as a gang leader in New York's Hell's Kitchen (the "Westies"), leaves the district attorney's office in New York City after testifying before a grand jury. Madden, having retired to Hot Springs, Arkansas, returned to face the probe, which was trying to determine the reason for his being on a coal company's payroll at $50 a week. Photographed: July 20, 1934

Mae insisted the title of her play was “Sex.” Her theory? “you’ve got to hit them in eye with it.”  The play was juicy: brothels, bribery, blackmail, crooked cops, jewel theft, suicide, and lots of sex.  One of her boyfriends produced the play in 1926, with some backing from Mae’s other lover, Owney Madden, a bootlegger who owned the famous Cotton Club. They rented out Daly’s theatre and “Sex” opened on April 26, 1926.

Stefano "Don Stefano" "The Undertaker" Magaddino (1891-1974)

Mae West

Mae West: around 1914.

mae west

Mae West.

A photograph of Mae West along with a picture of the reformatory she was sent to in 1927.

Mae West

Mae West

Mae West~you go girl, you with your beautiful curves!

Mae West.

The Gophers: Hell’s Kitchen’s most brutal gang. Owney Madden, fourth from left in this 1910 gang photo, earned a rep as one of the most brutal Gopher leaders. Nicknamed The Killer, he’s responsible for numerous deaths of other gang members, especially from the rival Hudson Dusters. After serving time in Sing Sing, he became a bootlegger and co-owner the Cotton Club, Harlem’s flashy club in the 1920s.

Owney Madden, left, suspected but unconvicted racketeering boss, is escorted by detective Thomas Horan shortly after Madden was ordered on February 13, 1932, to report to Sing Sing as a possible parole violator. He was en route to the Tombs Prison in New York pending a hearing two days later.

Fred "Killer" Burke - Midwestern contract killer

circa 1950, Jack Comer, (known in the London Underworld as Jack Spot) born 1912, who was notorious for running protection rackets, illegal gambling and violence (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Jack Diamond, Aka Legs Diamond ~ John "Legs" Diamond, alias Jack Moran (July 10, 1897-December 18, 1931), aka Gentleman Jack, was a famous Irish-American gangster in New York City during the Prohibition era. A bootlegger and close associate of gambler Arnold Rothstein, Diamond survived a number of attempts on his life between 1919 and 1931, causing him to be known as the "clay pigeon of the underworld."

By the 1920s, Frank Costello had become close with mobsters "Lucky" Luciano and Meyer Lansky and operated in bootlegging and gambling circles.

A year after Vito Rizzuto returned home from a U.S. prison stint, the crime boss has already re-taken the reins of the Mafia, experts tell QMI Agency. It's a feat few would have thought possible after Rizzuto's father, son and several top associates were murdered in a three-year bloodbath by mysterious rivals. Mafia expert Pierre de Champlain tells QMI that Vito Rizzuto has been able to re-assert his authority and bring "relative peace between the various factions" in the underworld.