The World Beneath

The World Beneath

The first-ever series that defines and exposes the true nature of the underworld: a second economy of dirty money, born from the intersection of organized crime and intelligence operations. They are twin heads of this realm, and they have never been separated. This is the world of MOBSTERS & SPIES.

Episodes

May 9, 2022 5 min

Our family members are not always who we think. When Eleonore Richland exposed her father’s dark legacy, she vowed to clean up the family business – and hired her half-brother, Santino Reyes, to help her do it. But old habits die hard. In the shocking new third season, Eleonore reckons with what her father always taught her growing up: medicine is a bloody business. From Wondery, the makers of “The Shrink Next Door” and “Dr. Death,...

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In the summer of 2017, the FBI's Deputy Director stood firm at the helm of that agency, guiding it through an all-out assault from the realm of mobsters and spies - foreign and domestic… and paid the price. LB sits down with Andrew McCabe to learn about how his early experience at the Bureau - as a street agent investigating Russian Organized Crime in Lucky Luciano's old territory, prepared him for an investigation into a P...

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July 1, 2021 65 min

Now having walked through the origin and partial evolution of the Second Economy - built from a smuggling empire, we return to the two assassinations that launched the series. And find our way into the space between them - where a wave of Russian mobsters and spies landed, conquered, and left us buried alive in their avalanche of crime. 

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LB sits down with author Jason Fagone to discuss his extraordinary book "The Woman Who Smashed Codes", and what we all can learn from the life and work ethic of our heroine, Elizebeth Friedman.

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June 29, 2021 61 min

The underworld re-organizes after the departure of Lucky Luciano. Elizebeth and William set down their swords and go gently into the good night. And Meyer Lansky's old business fronts lead us right to a modern President's old fixer. 

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LB sits down with author and investigative journalist, Craig Unger, and former KGB agent Yuri Shvets - Unger's source for his deep dives on Donald Trump's Kremlin history before the Presidency, and career money-laundering for Putin's mobligarchs.

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June 27, 2021 53 min

Elizebeth breaks the German enigma machine - twice, and defends the Western Hemisphere from an Axis invasion. The extensive clandestine intelligence operation she ran during World War 2 has finally rightfully been attributed to her, despite the machinations and thievery of the man who hijacked her legacy as his own - J Edgar Hoover.

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LB does the important work of asking dumb questions about spies, so that we can all learn the meaning and value of counter-intelligence from the former assistant director of that division at the FBI, Frank Figliuzzi.

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The President that Lucky Luciano put into office transforms into the leader a world at war needs. Meyer protects the homefront by taking on Hitler's American Bund and living rent-free in that monster's head. And Lucky finds his way into the sacred hen house - US intelligence, walking away with all of the eggs.

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Eunice Carter was the first woman prosecutor to take on the mob, and Jill Wine-Banks followed her lead to become the first to take on a President. LB sits down with the legend to discuss what it's like to be a woman warrior in the ultimate inner sanctum of male power.

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June 23, 2021 55 min

Thanks to a woman prosecutor, Lucky Luciano finally faces the long arm of the law. And with a second world war on the horizon, the stage is set for the realms of mobsters and spies to cross the rubicon… and become partners. 

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When crime lords, or their puppets, find their way into political office, the worst of mankind is unleashed. LB sits down with scholar and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat to talk Mussolini and Hitler, the techniques and circumstances that lead to a Strongman's rise, and the devasting parallals and symbiosis they have with mob bosses - past and present.

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June 21, 2021 62 min

Two gangland hits propel Meyer and Lucky to the top of the world they helped create; while Elizebeth's investigations show a darker product being shipped through their smuggling empire. One that would only grow with Prohibition's repeal, and ravage our families and communities for generations to come.

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The offshore laundromat that Meyer Lansky created continues to ravage the free world today. LB sits down with Stuart Syvret, former Senior Senator of Jersey Island - a Crown Dependency in the English Channel. Senator Syvret is the only political prisoner in the world without legal representation thanks to the global mobsters who control the Queen's island.

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June 19, 2021 51 min

Elizebeth successfully hunts and exposes a pivotal piece in The Syndicate's smuggling empire, enabling Elmer Irey and his T-Men to finally nail Public Enemy #1…and leaving Meyer Lansky shaking in his fedora. To save The Syndicate's money, Meyer runs to Switzerland to create the global laundromat... and the Second Economy is born. 

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LB sits down with Melissa Davis - Director of Library and Archives at the George Marshall Foundation, guardian of William and Elizebeth Friedman's legacy, and world's happiest librarian. Melissa lets us into the more personal side of Elizebeth and William's life together, raising a loving family while protecting the nation's most valuable secrets.

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June 17, 2021 44 min

Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano find the business mentor they need to launch their bootlegging empire. Once they do, the Treasury Department sends an officer to go knock on Elizebeth's door.

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LB sits down with friend and novelist Greg Olear, who was one of the first artists to write and warn about the invasion of mobsters and spies that swarmed us in the Trump Presidency.

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June 15, 2021 43 min

We meet our first season's hero: Elizebeth Smith Friedman, creator of cryptanalysis and godmother of the NSA. And she would never have formed what would become the world's most powerful intelligence agency without a conspiracy theory about Shakespeare.

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LB's first sit-down is with her uncle, Jeremy Black - a loving father, terrific twin brother, and 35+-year veteran of the National Security Agency. Mr. Black walks us through the everyday workings of the NSA. And the man from the world's most secretive intelligence agency let's the cat out of the bag: his niece's real name.

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