Fifty-five years ago New York prosecutors tried a natty gaggle of mob bosses over their Apalachin meeting, and although the convictions were reversed on appeal it nevertheless marked a welcome shift in attitude by law enforcement about the Mafia as reported by Jim Zirin for Forbes Magazine:
The FBI for the first time gave the organized criminal syndicate prioritized attention. The existence of La Cosa Nostra could no longer be doubted. A number of top Mafia figures were soon brought to book.
Following the Apalachin bust the FBI in 1958 released its so-called Mafia Monograph by which it at long last definitively recognized that "available evidence shows that beyond the shadow of a doubt, the Mafia does exist today in the United States, as well as in Sicily and Italy, as a vicious, evil, and tyrannical form of organized criminality."
Although the FBI has made inroads against the Mafia over the last few decades the criminal organization hardly is dead and buried.
Further reading that may be of interest: