To start off, I wasn’t exactly sure of what I wanted my research topic to be. I started simply with crimes such as robbery and theft, and started to Wikipedia. I tried finding specific cases which of course lead me to the Mafia and its activities. Many of the sources that Wikipedia listed were in Italian and Russian, so I really am unable to assess their validity. Therefore, I won’t use that site at all, at least for the Mafia-related information. As a side note, I also entertained the idea of researching brownies. However, the Wikipedia article, which is expected to be very long and full of general information, was barely longer than my computer screen. I quickly dismissed brownies as my topic.
I found the mafia to be a fairly interesting topic. However, I don’t want to write my paper focused solely on one group of criminals. This led me to zoom out yet again, this time to the all-encompassing term of organized crime. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a criminal. In fact, I envision myself as someday being an attorney. But that’s beside the point. I find the history of these organizations and how they function in an orderly society to be interesting. I also like the long list of ways that these groups survive. Their focus is on making money, of course. They accomplish this by hijacking cargo trucks, robbing goods, committing bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, stock fraud, credit card fraud, car theft, burglary, counterfeiting money, smuggling or manufacturing untaxed alcohol or cigarettes, and providing smuggled immigrant workers. Many groups also engage in gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking, gunrunning, providing murder for hire, and illegally dumping toxic waste.
As you can see, there is much to talk about in relation to organized crime. I am unsure exactly what my thesis or the focus of my paper will be exactly at this point, however. Lastly, I have this link for myself, which gives tons of links to government websites and records. It is a large page and takes forever to load, so you don’t have to click it.