Public Enemies: 5 True Crime Gangster Stories from the Roaring Twenties
By Guy Hadleigh
Public Enemies – True Crime Gangster Stories from the Roaring Twenties
From the era of gangsters, molls and prohibition, almost (but not quite), lost in the mists of time, these tales romp along with plenty of action and recreate the atmosphere of this exciting and dangerous era using the vernacular of the times.
You’ll have heard of most of these notorious criminals, but possibly not so much about one or two of them. All of them were real, ruthless hoodlums, and all had their "15 minutes of fame", leaving trails of death and mayhem behind them. Most did not live to an old age, and those that did were probably in jail.
Their escapades were daring and reckless and many paid the ultimate price in the end.
Volume 1 contains
• Lucky Luciano –From Streetwise Kid to the Father of Organized Crime
Leaving poverty ravaged Sicily for New York with his family at the age of 10; Lucky was running his own protection racket and making a name for himself whilst still in his teens. Inevitably, he moved on to become the undisputed boss of organized crime in the USA, but it was his own ‘family’s’ involvement in prostitution which landed him a jail sentence of 30 to 50 years. It didn’t end there however as he continued to run the family affairs from prison where Lady Luck visited him with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
• Bugsy Siegel and “The Flamingo Hotel”
Through his gambling and bootlegging operations, plus numerous ruthless contract murders, Bugsy Siegel established himself as a key member of “The Syndicate” in New York. Relocating to Las Vegas with the blessing of Lucky Luciano in 1945 to expand the organizations activities, he built the famous Flamingo Club and Casino in the desert of Las Vegas using money provided by the East Coast mobsters. The hopelessly mismanaged project went way over budget, implicating Bugsy in the ‘misappropriation’ of funds and enraging his bosses – Bugsy’s day were numbered.
• Dutch Schultz – Beer Baron and Vicious Killer
From the slums of New York, Dutch Schultz rose through the ranks of crime to be named “the nation’s top gangster” by the FBI. Claiming to be a good guy simply supplying people with the beer they wanted, (illegally of course), he was also responsible for killing at least two of his own men he suspected of ‘skimming’ more of the proceeds than was due to them.
• Hymies Weiss - The Man Al Capone Feared
Earl Wojciechowski was born on Jan 25th 1898 in Chicago, but over time became known as Hymie Weiss, eventually teaming up with Dean O'Banion the leader of the North Side Gang who he succeeded after his murder in 1924. Hymie swore to avenge his friends death and waged wore on the Torrio-Capone criminal empire, even attempting to assassinate Capone himself. Violent gun battles on the streets of Chicago were regular occurrences during this period as the gangs fought for control of the lucrative bootlegging and other rackets - things had to come to a head sooner or later.
• Wilbur Underhill – The Tri-State Terror
It took a 24 man task force to bring down Mad Dog Wilbur Underhill in the end. During 12 years of rampaging through the Southwest he was sentenced to life for a murder in Oklahoma, and received another life sentence in Kansas after escaping jail in a ten man breakout and murdering a policeman. Suspected of involvement in the famous Kansas City Massacre, Wilbur began his life of crime as a burglar, and quickly moved on to armed robbery and murder.