Gangsterism

Organized Crime fills the streets behind watchful eyes

Alphonse "Scarface" Capone

Born in Brooklyn, New York, January 17th 1899 Al Capone is the most notorious gangster in the history of the United States. Coming from an Italian immigrated family, Al was the 4th of 9 children from parents Teresina & Gabriel Capone. Sent to a Catholic School, Al was expelled at age 14 for hitting a female teacher, and never went back.


In his time not attending school, young Alphonse found himself wondering the streets, where he ran into what would be the greatest influence of his gangland life. Johnny Torrio put Capone under his wing, bringing him into Brooklyn's Five Points Gang.


Many rumors have emerged on just exactly how Capone received his popular "Scarface" nickname. Although the most factual based is the tale of a young Al working in a speakeasy. He made the mistake of insulting a female patron and paid the price of 3 slices to the face with the knife of her brother.

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre is considered one of the bloodiest days in mob history. Taking place in Chicago, IL 1929 it was a shootout between the South Side Gang under leader Al Capone, and the North Side Gang under leader Bugs Moran.


In the 1920's during prime prohibition years america was desperate for alcohol. America's gangster's supplied and distributed most of this illegal alcohol, an act known as bootlegging. For years Al Capone oversaw most of Chicago's bootlegging activities, then Bugs Moran and the North Side Gang stepped in. But to halt their business Capone composed a plan to take out their rivals.


While hiding out in Florida, Capone ordered 3 of his men and hired some of the "Purple Gang" an ally to invade a bootlegging heist in a parking garage. Every single leading member except Bugs Moran was in attendance of this bootlegging shipment. The task was simple - Capone's men along with the Purple Gang dressed as Chicago Police Officers and invaded the garage. What was usually a quick pay out from of the cops, turned out differently this day. The 7 North Side members were ordered to put their hands up, and turn around to face the wall. Then, behind the hands of three machine guns, a shot gun, and a revolver, all 7 men went down.


While police and crime scene investigators conducted a through investigation, neither Al Capone nor any of his men were convicted with the deaths of the North Side members

Dutch Schultz

Born in New York City, New York, Arthur Flegenhimer (Dutch Schultz) was one of the most popular gangsters in the 1920's for his notorious credulity. He was given the name Dutch Schultz after his first crime committed at age 17.


Becomming a successful saloon owner, he was very disliked. After several fights with gangs and many years in court, Schultz was gunned down in a restaurant in Newark on 1935.

Charles "Lucky" Luciano

Born in Sicily in 1897, Charles family moved to New York City when he was a child. Not knowing English made school tough, but he got through by threatening kids into doing his homework. He grew up to become one of the "big six" bootleggers. He earned the nick name Lucky when he was kidnapped by a rival gang, beaten and stabbed, then left to die. A police officer found him and took him to the hospital.


He died of a heart attack in Naples, Italy in 1962.

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Bootlegging as a Business

In January 1920, the 18th Amendment became a law, banning the manufacture, transportation, importation and sale of alcohol in the United States. During this time, if you were somebody that acted against this law, you were known as a "bootlegger". The lack of enforcement led to the rise of mob and notorious criminals. As a result bootlegging became big business of this era.


In the early 1920's, Chicago had more than 7,000 drinking parlors, or "speakeasies" so named because patrons had to whisper code words to enter. America's bootlegging king, George Remus of Cincinnati earned a $5 million fortune.


In just the city of Chicago, 800 gangsters were killed in gang warfare during the time of Prohibition, primarily due to fights over alcohol sales.

Citations

"Al Capone." Outlaws, Mobsters & Crooks. Gale, 1998. Student Resources in Context. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


"St. Valentine's Day Massacre." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 7. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 1470-1471. Student Resources in Context. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


"Prohibition." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 6. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 1264-1268. Student Resources in Context. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


"Dutch Schultz." UXL Biographies. Detroit: UXL, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.

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