The origins of the ‘Cosa Nostra’ (meaning ‘our thing’) date back to the 19th century when robbers, estate managers, security guards, and rebels in Sicily formed gangs, adhering to a strict code of honour. This gave rise to a single inscrutable entity – the Mafia, which ruled large parts of the island through force, blackmailing entrepreneurs, and corrupting politicians. The influence of the Mafia soon extended to other regions and countries. Referred to as the ‘Honoured Society’ by the organization itself, it cultivated the myth of being fighters for independence, a narrative somewhat at odds with the terror it spread. Today, it symbolizes organized crime par excellence, encompassing protection rackets, drug trafficking, and murder. Unsurprisingly, it plays a prominent role in many conspiracy myths, too.