Timmy Overton of Austin and Jerry Ray James of Odessa were football stars who traded athletics for lives of crime. The original rebels without causes, nihilists with Cadillacs and Elvis hair, the Overton gang and their associates formed a ragtag white tra
When her husband was murdered on the orders of Chicago mobster Frank Nitti, Georgette Winkeler--wife of one of Al Capone's "American Boys"--set out to expose the Chicago Syndicate. After an attempt to publish her story was squelched by the mob, she offered it to the FBI in the mistaken belief that they had the authority to strike at the racketeers who had killed her husband Gus. Discovered 60 years later in FBI files, the manuscript describes the couple's life on the run, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Gus was one of the shooters), and other headline crimes of that period. Prepared for publication by mob expert William J. Helmer, Al Capone and His American Boys is a compelling contemporary account of the heyday of Chicago crime by a woman who found herself married to the mob.
Al Capone and the 1933 World's Fair is a historical look at Chicago during the darkest days of the Great Depression-the story of Chicago fighting the hold that organized crime had on the city to be able to put on the 1933 World's Fair. William Elliott Hazelgrove provides the exciting and sprawling history behind the 1933 World's Fair, the last of the golden age. He reveals the story of the six millionaire businessmen, dubbed The Secret Six, who beat Al Capone at his own game, ending the gangster era as prohibition was repealed. The story of an intriguing woman, Sally Rand, who embodied the World's Fair with her own rags to riches story and brought sex into the open. The story of Rufus and Charles Dawes, who gave the fair a theme and then found financing in the worst economic times the country had ever experienced. The story of the most corrupt mayor of Chicago, William Thompson, who owed his election to Al Capone; and the mayor who followed him, Anton Cermak, who was murdered months before the fair was opened by an assassin many said was hired by Al Capone. But most of all, it's a story about a city fighting for survival in the darkest of times; and a shining light of hope called A Century of Progress.
Although much has been written about Al Capone, there has not been--until now--a complete history of organized crime in Chicago during Prohibition. This exhaustively researched book covers the entire period from 1920 to 1933. Author John J. Binder, a recognized authority on the history of organized crime in Chicago, discusses all the important bootlegging gangs in the city and the suburbs and also examines the other major rackets, such as prostitution, gambling, labor and business racketeering, and narcotics.A major focus is how the Capone gang -- one of twelve major bootlegging mobs in Chicago at the start of Prohibition--gained a virtual monopoly over organized crime in northern Illinois and beyond. Binder also describes the fight by federal and local authorities, as well as citizens' groups, against organized crime. In the process, he refutes numerous myths and misconceptions related to the Capone gang, other criminal groups, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and gangland killings. What emerges is a big picture of how Chicago's underworld evolved during this period. This broad perspective goes well beyond Capone and specific acts of violence and brings to light what was happening elsewhere in Chicagoland and after Capone went to jail. Based on 25 years of research and using many previously unexplored sources, this fascinating account of a bloody and colorful era in Chicago history will become the definitive work on the subject.
The gripping finale to Three Crooked Kings and Jacks and Jokers brings to a close Matthew Condon's best-selling true-crime trilogy. In 1983, the soon-to-be-knighted Police Commissioner Terry Lewis continues to turn a blind eye to the operation of The Joke, a highly organised system of graft payments from illegal gambling, prostitution and illicit drugs. As the tentacles of this fraudulent vice network spread, the fabric holding together the police, judiciary and political system starts to unravel. All Fall Down offers an unprecedented insight into the Fitzgerald Inquiry and Lewis's subsequent years in prison, and explores the real story behind the dramatic exit of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Drawing from interviews with key players who have, until now, been afraid to speak publicly, All Fall Down celebrates the bravery of those unsung heroes who risked everything to expose the truth. This epic trilogy provides the definitive account of an unforgettable period in Queensland's history. The devastating consequences of those decades of corruption still reverberate today.
A raw, gritty memoir - part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place - that will grip you by the throat until the explosive endCodella describes Alphabet City] so vividly, with such hardboiled language that you feel like you're in the squad car with him. --New York Post A] taut true-crime tale... genuinely exciting. --Kirkus A blistering cop's-eye view of the Drug War during the heady years of the late-1980s.... You will feel as though you are pounding the pavement and dodging bullets. Alphaville is the real deal. - T.J. English, New York Times bestselling author of The Savage City Alphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop, Mike Codella earned the nickname Rambo and a bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyes--the head of Alphabet City's heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured--all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close calls--Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city's own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself.
"Reppetto's book earns its place among the best . . . he brings fresh context to a familiar story worth retelling." --The New York Times Book Review
Organized crime--the Italian American kind--has long been a source of popular entertainment and legend. Now Thomas Reppetto provides a balanced history of the Mafia's rise--from the 1880s to the post-WWII era--that is as exciting and readable as it is authoritative.
Structuring his narrative around a series of case histories featuring such infamous characters as Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, Reppetto draws on a lifetime of field experience and access to unseen documents to show us a locally grown Mafia. It wasn't until the 1920s, thanks to Prohibition, that the Mafia assumed what we now consider its defining characteristics, especially its octopuslike tendency to infiltrate industry and government. At mid-century the Kefauver Commission declared the Mafia synonymous with Union Siciliana; in the 1960s the FBI finally admitted the Mafia's existence under the name La Cosa Nostra.
American Mafia is a fascinating look at America's most compelling criminal subculture from an author who is intimately acquainted with both sides of the street.
Everyone knows stories about the American Mafia and its varied forms of crime, from racketeering to stock manipulation to murder. American Mafia: Chicago explores the Windy City, strolling through its neighborhoods and imagining scenes from the past-telling the stories of the men, women, and families and revealing the events behind the legends and the history of the families' beginnings and founding members. Featuring the most fascinating stories from the early days, when loosely-organized, incredibly secretive gangs terrorized neighborhoods with names like Little Hell, through the mob's headiest years, when Al Capone and his men pretty well controlled the city, American Mafia: Chicago offers tantalizing glimpses into the era when Chicago was ruled by gangs with their ever-twisting allegiances and tangled webs of relationships. Most of the buildings are gone now.But the stories are still there, if you know where to look.