Posts tagged gangsters

No one in Chicago crossed Frank McErlane - the most feared and “brutal” gangster in Chicago during Prohibition.
Not even his wife Elfrieda and her two German Shepherds were safe, all three who died at his hand in front of 8129 S Phillips Ave in 1931.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_McErlane

No one in Chicago crossed Frank McErlane - the most feared and “brutal” gangster in Chicago during Prohibition.

Not even his wife Elfrieda and her two German Shepherds were safe, all three who died at his hand in front of 8129 S Phillips Ave in 1931.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_McErlane

Conceal and Carry Gun Moll, 1923, Chicago.
Until recently I thought the “gun” in “gun moll” had to do with the firearm - gun actually comes from the Yiddish word for thief, “goniff.” Moll is short for “Molly” which was at the time a euphemism for prostitute.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_moll

Conceal and Carry Gun Moll, 1923, Chicago.

Until recently I thought the “gun” in “gun moll” had to do with the firearm - gun actually comes from the Yiddish word for thief, “goniff.” Moll is short for “Molly” which was at the time a euphemism for prostitute.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_moll

In the days before Big Jim Colosimo, Al Capone, the Syndicate and the Outfit, organized crime in Chicago was known as The Black Hand.

Mostly run by recent Italian immigrants, The Black Hand specialized in extortion.

Extortion letters were often written phonetically or with only symbols.

To receive a letter with a black hand symbol would mean, without complying, certain death.

The interesting point here is that the two typed letters shown were written by a Polish gang member to appear as if they had been written by an Italian - complete with accent.

via archives.gov

Chicago Syndicate org chart, by neighborhoods, 1936, Chicago.
The nicknames…

Chicago Syndicate org chart, by neighborhoods, 1936, Chicago.

The nicknames…

A detective investigates a bathroom mob hit, 1948, Chicago

A detective investigates a bathroom mob hit, 1948, Chicago

Drivers across the border were compelled to post signs on cars to ward off police looking for the Chicago gangster, 1933, Chicago.

Drivers across the border were compelled to post signs on cars to ward off police looking for the Chicago gangster, 1933, Chicago.

Police line-up at the courthouse, 1934, Chicago.

Police line-up at the courthouse, 1934, Chicago.

The Carthage Shipping Co,2122 N Clark, site of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, 1929, Chicago.

The Carthage Shipping Co,2122 N Clark, site of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, 1929, Chicago.

Posters for the 1951 film noir classic, Chicago Calling.

The Comic House, a bar next door to the Biograph Theater, 2431 N Lincoln Ave, taking advantage of a recent situation to drum up some business, 1934, Chicago….

The Comic House, a bar next door to the Biograph Theater, 2431 N Lincoln Ave, taking advantage of a recent situation to drum up some business, 1934, Chicago….

Olempio “Ole Scully” Scalzitti, murdered by the Black Hand in a restaurant at 1421 W Taylor St. before he could testify in a kidnapping trial, 1928, Chicago. Five of his crew had their arms and heads broken with baseball bats during the same attack.
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=65812505

Olempio “Ole Scully” Scalzitti, murdered by the Black Hand in a restaurant at 1421 W Taylor St. before he could testify in a kidnapping trial, 1928, Chicago. Five of his crew had their arms and heads broken with baseball bats during the same attack.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=65812505

A stiff price to pay for selling alcohol, 1930, Chicago.

A stiff price to pay for selling alcohol, 1930, Chicago.

Looking south at the 2100 block of N Clark Street (just north of Dickens and Armitage), 1929, Chicago.
The building on the near right is where the Valentine’s Day Massacre took place.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine’s_Day_Massacre

Looking south at the 2100 block of N Clark Street (just north of Dickens and Armitage), 1929, Chicago.

The building on the near right is where the Valentine’s Day Massacre took place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine’s_Day_Massacre

Public viewing of Dillinger’s body, 1934, Chicago.

Public viewing of Dillinger’s body, 1934, Chicago.

"Ma Barker" by Boney M, 1976.

Ma Barker was a Public Enemy era gangster who enlisted her sons, all with ties to Chicago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Barker

Oh, and the “ma, ma, ma, ma” line was Lady Gaga’s inspiration for “Poker Face”.