-- War in Chicago
1926 -- "A Real Goddamn Crazy Place!
October 11, 1926
October 11, 1926
St. Valentine's Day
Part I Introduction
Part II Top 10 Myths
Part III 10 Questions
(and 10 answers)
I appreciate all the
assistance given me by the Doe Library staff at the University of California
Berkeley (especially the staff in Periodicals), and the staff at the Chicago
Bookseller Patterson Smith
has provided difficult to find volumes for my personal library, with always the promise of more rare books to come.
Many years ago, I stumbled
on a copy of Kenneth Allsop's The Bootleggers and their Era in the stacks of
the old San Francisco Main Library. It remains one of the most amazing stories
I've ever read and the inspiration for
a lifetime of study.
Also, my thanks to Diana Hook of Jeremy Norman &
Co. (History of Science and Medicine, Origins of Cyberspace).
Ms. Hook's amazing
editorial expertise, bibliographic knowledge, website acumen, and eternal patience have
assured her special access to a field box along the first base line in
heaven... my San Francisco Giants season seats at AT&T Park.
There are a number of related websites
and other media which provide a variety of material on Prohibition Chicago, Hymie
Weiss, Al Capone,
and the history of organized crime in America. Many of
the link sites have their own list of additional links and contacts.
Check them out!
Historical Society site. Features
an Al Capone
and 1920s Chicago exhibit . Excellent
resource, wonderful staff.
Al Capone site with a huge collection of text, photos and subject
related to Capone and Prohibition Chicago. A beautifully conceived website
with outstanding information.
The official Dean O'Banion website, and the premier destination
for information about Weiss' Northside mentor. Also visit:
all things Bugs Moran.
1930s tabloid magazine featuring locations of 1920s Chicago
Haunted Chicago series. St. Valentine's Day massacre site
John Binder's Chicago crime website. Binder's expertise is unmatched as
he tracks the
history of organized crime in Chicago-- before, during , and after
Capone's reign. His excellent book, "Images of America: The Chicago
Outfit", is a must read.
The Crime Library covers an array
of crime subjects and personalities. Sections on Capone, long bios on
Dion O'Banion, George Moran, and Capone. The histories of the five New York crime
families are profiled
in excellent detail.
Venerable antiquarian bookseller specializing in real crime books and
prints. He is knowledgeable and quite engaging. I owe much of my personal library to his excellent catalog.
Need a book? They'll have it.
Rick Mattix is an outstanding gangland researcher, author, and web page
capo. The Maddog website is an excellent resource for solid historical
information and resources. Check out his "This Month in Gangster
History" column, tap into the world of John Dillinger, and dive into the
most extensive crime links list on the web.
"The St. Valentine's Day Massacre"
The 1967 film directed by Roger Corman
(released on DVD May 2006). What was seemingly another in a series of cheap
Roger Corman B movies now takes on an almost historic profundity. The
Chicago Prohibition history here has a number of surprisingly accurate
aspects, and the final set-up for the massacre is eerily evocative. The
farther away we get from 1929, the closer this film is to its historic
representations. Ralph Meeker is too quick by a mile to be George Moran,
but Jason Robards brings energy and depth to his Al Capone; with George Segal.
Cameo parts featuring Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, John Agar, and Jean Hale
add punch from a very strong bench.
"St. Valentine's Day Massacre"
documentary by the A& E Network and The History Channel (VHS). 100 minutes of
pure Chicago Prohibition history, focusing on the Northsiders/Capone
war. Wonderfully rich narration by actor Paul Sorvino, excellent
photos, well researched documentation. The few minor historical errors
do not otherwise detract from this excellent representation of the
times, the people, and the events.
William Wellman's 1931 film classic "The Public Enemy" is based on the
life of Hymie Weiss. Featuring a brilliant performance by James Cagney, the
and events mirror Weiss' life and death. Two information locations. Available at
Crime collectables; wanted posters, prints, books, magazines.
National Archives site. Look up The
United States of America vs Al Capone, 1931.