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Category Archives: Organized crime

Dallas Morning News, October 14, 1922. I’ve been invited to appear on This American Life again (yay!), this time to talk about the great Gland Larceny Panic that gripped Chicago and squeezed in 1922. While refreshing my acquaintance with the story, it struck me that I could have done a better job organizing and analyzing the available material, plus I never cross-posted any ‘nad theft stuff from the BNFTP annex at the Chicago Reader‘s site. Anyway, I’m going to give it another go. Read More »

Two items of apocalyptic import in this week’s Chicago Reader, here and here.

kill citykill city2 Chicago Tribune, September 7, 1919. Trib cartoonist John T. McCutcheon touches on some of our favorite themes. But why no vampire autos, I wonder?! Read More »

thugbDetroit News, May 26, 1931.
“The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness He grinds all.”

new-racket-march-20-1931 Detroit News, March 20, 1931. Funny little wire service item. Exactly why did the working-class citizenry of Detroit need to know this? Because it fits in with the worldview advanced by tabloids of this era. The name for that worldview is noir.

taxi-dance-5-10-31a2Detroit News, May 10, 1931. Okay, we’ve solved the slaying of “dime-a-dance hostess” Virginia Brannen: She was bumped off by the mob for talking to the law. And the going rate in gangland for killing a prostitute in 1931 was $300.