Louy Kassoff sees his sister abducted from the streets by hoodlums. (Although not explicitly stated due to the TV code at the time, the implication is that she was sexually assaulted). He is plagued by guilt because he was unable to protect her, and as a result he casts aside his rabbinical studies and decides to join a mob. Within a year ha has taken over as its leader.
After being sent to Sing Sing for an armored car robbery in which several were killed, Louy Kassoff decides to organize the prisoners, including such future underworld figures as Dutch Schultz, Lepke Buchalter, Lucky Luciano, and Legs Diamond, by forming a "Mutual Welfare League".
Miles Miller is a crooked attorney who acts as middleman between jewel thieves and insurance companies trying to make a profit. Unfortunately for Miller, a policeman and an accomplice to the crime were both killed in the latest robbery in which his client was involved.
Gangster Jacob Koster, a.k.a. Kid Dropper, humiliates and scars "Little Augie" Orgen, leading to a bloody feud which gets innocent people caught in the crossfires. The district attorney puts the heat on the police department and Ruditsky in particular to put an end to it. Ruditsky gets help from an unlikely source, the Kid's own mother and brother.
Little Augie Orgen begins a major racket 'protecting' businesses against strikes. Ruditsky believes he finally has him nailed, due to a witness who can swear against him in court. But a crafty move by Augie and his attorney gets him off. Now Augie has bigger problems, with his fellow mobsters Gurrah and Lepke.
Vince Matteo and Tommy Ryan have been raised together and are like brothers. When they are ordered by the mob to kill Vince's godfather, Vince balks, but helps Tommy with the hit. After Ruditsky puts the pressure on Vince and Vince is observed coming into his office, the mob orders Tommy to kill Vince.
Artie Moon is a paid killer who hopes to work his way up in the underworld independent of the big time mobsters. His own wife, an old family friend of Ruditsky, is not aware of how far Artie's gone, but she begs Ruditsky to help stop him before it's too late.
Millie Grayson offers to help Ruditsky get evidence on her former boyfriend, mobster Jurgie Jorgenson. Millie is an old girlfriend of Ruditsky's as well. Ruditsky is skeptical, but learns he is not immune to misled by a woman's charms.
Lepke Buchalter hires a novelty expert to find a new method of controlling labor disputes. The man soon comes up with an ingeniously odious (or rather odorous) method and sells Dutch Schultz on it as well.