Criminal Element

by MrsMacfie
Last updated 8 years ago

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Criminal Element

Others:•Robert Carey (1894-1932) - A Midwestern armed robber and contract killer responsible for many crimes during the Prohibition era. He was considered as a suspect in the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929. •Tommy Carroll (1901-1934) -A member of the Dillinger Gang, Carroll was killed at Waterloo, Iowa on June 7, 1934 by police officers. •Gerald Chapman (1888-1926) - Known as the "Count of Gramercy Park." he was once considered one of America's top ten criminals. He was convicted of murdering police officer James Skelly and sentenced to hang on April 6, 1926. •John Paul Chase (1901-1973) - After a crime spree of two years with partner, George "Baby-Face" Nelson, a shootout occurred with FBI agents, in which Nelson and two agents were killed. Chase was captured and sent to Alcatraz, where he served from 1935 to 1954. He was then transferred to Leavenworth, where he was imprisoned until 1966. He died of cancer on October 5, 1973.•Vivian Chase (1902-1935) - A Midwestern gangster of the 1920s and 1930s, she was the associate of several robbers, including her husband, George Chase, and Charlie Mayes. She is best known for her role in the kidnapping of banker August Luer. She was found shot to death on November 3, 1935 in a parked car outside St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. •The Chicago Outfit (1910-Present) - A crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, this mafia gang dates back to the early 1900s. It is distinct from the New York City crime families, though all Italian-American crime families are ruled by The Commission.•James "Oklahoma Jack" Clark - A bank robber who stole more than $15,000 from a bank in Clinton, Indiana, he was captured and sent to prison where he met John Dillinger, Harry Pierpont, and others. He escaped using pistols smuggled in by a visitor, but was recaptured shortly thereafter and died in prison. •Jim Clark (1890-1929) - See Albert Kachellek •Russell "Boobie" Clark (??-1968) - One of the original Dillinger Gang members after escaping from the Indiana State Prison, Clark was captured in Tucson with other several other gang members sentenced to life in prison for murder. After spending 34 years in prison, he was released after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died four months later. •Theodore "Ted" Cole - Convicted of kidnapping in Oklahoma, Cole was sent to Alcatraz. Along with a man named Ralph Roe, the pair escaped on December 16, 1937 and were never seen again.•James "Big Jim" Colosimo, aka: Diamond Jim (1878–1920) - An early Chicago mob boss who built an empire based on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. It was suspected that his own gang member and nephew, Johnny Torrio, had him killed because Colismo resisted getting into the lucrative alcohol distribution business during prohibition. •The Commission (1931-Present) - The governing body of the Italian-American Mafia crime families in the United States. The bosses of the New York Five Families provide the core membership.•Cookson Hills Gang (1932-1934) - Led by Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, the gang blazed a path of robbery and murder through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Arkansas for 18 months•Cretzer-Kyle Gang - Led by Joseph Cretzer and his brother-in-law, Arnold Kyle, this gang robbed banks along the west coast. •Joseph Paul Cretzer (1911-1946) - A bank robber, Cretzer was sent to prison at Alcatraz where he participated and was killed in the bloody "Battle of Alcatraz."•Francis "Two Gun" Crowley (1911-1932) - Gangster wannabe and cop killer, Crowley caused the infamous "Siege of 90th Street". He was executed in Sing Sing in 1932 when he was only 19 years old.•Volney "Curley" Davis (1902-1979) - A member of the Barker-Karpis Gang and boyfriend of Edna "Rabbits" Murray, he was believed to sold out other gang members. After serving a long term in Alcatraz, he was released and died on July 20, 1979 in Sonoma County, California at the age of 77.•DeAutremont Brothers - Wannabee train robbers in Oregon, bungled their attempt and in the process killed for railroad employees. They were eventually caught and sent to prison. •Lawrence De Vol (1895-1936) - Gangster of the 1930s sometimes involved with the Barker-Karpis Gang. •Benny and Stella Dickson - Husband and wife team who turned to crime shortly after their marriage. Shortly after Stella's 16th birthday, they robbed a bank in Elkton, South Dakota, taking more than $2000. Stella earned the nickname "Sure Shot" by shooting out the tires of a police patrol car after a heist in Michigan. Benny was killed by FBI agents in St. Louis. Stella was captured and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. •Dillinger Gang, aka: The Terror Gang (1933-1934) - Comprised of a number of unsavory characters such as Baby Face Nelson, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Harry Pierpont, Charley Makely, Russell Lee Clark, John Hamilton, and Thomas Carrol, this ruthless gang, led by John Dillinger, spread terror across the Midwest from 1933 to 1934, killing as many as 16 people and robbing as many as 20 banks. •John Herbert "Jackrabbit" Dillinger (1903-1934) - Midwestern bank robber during the early 1930s, Dillinger was a dangerous criminal who was responsible for the murder of several police officers, robbed at least two dozen banks, and escaped from jail twice. •Martin James Durkin (1900-??) -Dunn, a professional auto thief killed the first FBI agent in the line of duty in October, 1925. He was captured several months later.•Aussie Elliott (1914-1934) - An associate of George Birdwell and Pretty Boy Floyd, he was convicted of bank robbery in 1922 and was sent to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. He escaped ten years later. In 1934, he was killed in a gun battle with police near Sapulpa, Oklahoma. •Egan's Rats (1890-1924) - Egan's Rats was an American street gang that exercised considerable power in St. Louis, Missouri, they operated for 35 years with criminal activities including bootlegging, labor racketeering, voter intimidation, armed robbery, and murder. •Elmer Farmer - A Barker-Karpis Gang member, he was sent to Alcatraz. •Herbert Farmer - Part of the Kansas City Massacre Conspiracy, he was sent to Alcatraz. •Charles Fitzgerald (1877-??) - The oldest member of Barker-Karpis Gang, Fitzgerald was sent to Alcatraz. •Five Points Gang - An early 20th Century criminal gang based in Manhattan, New York City.•Fleagle Gang - The Fleagle Gang was a group of early 20th century American bank robbers and murderers.•Jake Fleagle (1890-1930) - Leader of the Fleagle Gang, wanted for robbery and murder, he was shot down in a running gunfight with police in Branson, Missouri. •Harry Fleisher - A member of the Purple Gang, he was sent to Alcatraz. •Sam Fleisher - A member of the Purple Gang, he was sent to Alcatraz. •Eddie Fletcher - A member of the Purple Gang, Fletcher was assassinated in November, 1933.•Charles Authur "Pretty Boy" Floyd (1904-1934) - Bank robber and alleged killer, he was romanticized by the press. His first robbery was $3.50 in pennies from a local post office at the age of eighteen. Three years later, he was arrested and convicted of a payroll robbery. •Rufus Franklin - A bank robber and car thief, Franklin was sent to Alcatraz and during a 1938 escape attempt killed a custodial worker. Franklin wa wounded and sentenced to life in prison for the murder. •Ralph Fults (1911-1993) - Fults hooked up with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow when he was just 19 years old. He lived an underworld life for ten years before being arrested and imprisoned.


The social scene of the 1920's not only discouraged prohibition, but it also sparked new waves of gang-related crime, such as bootlegging and bank robbery. Criminals in the 1920s could become very powerful if they were successful bootleggers or bank robbers. Criminals such as Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, and Lester "Baby face Nelson" Gills were the hot shots and the most wanted criminals of their time. They would not only cause crimes in one state, but they would cover a three state area and have many people working for them in those states. Each one of them was very smart and secretive in his practices. Although each one of them spent time in jail, each always found a way out to continue his criminal career.Bootlegging and bank robberies occurred across the entire nation, but the big name criminals were usually found in the same geographic location. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Chicago was a major city that housed big banks and also a large population. This was the perfect spot for criminals like Al Capone and John Dillinger to commit crimes. After they committed these crimes they would flee to neighboring states such as, Indiana and Wisconsin where they had hideouts. Al Capone often went to his hideout in Hayward, Wisconsin, and John Dillinger went to Manitowish Waters, both in northern Wisconsin. These were the perfect safe havens for the criminals because of their remote atmosphere. Besides the criminals using Wisconsin and other neighboring states for a hideout, many of these criminals spent time in prison in these states. John Dillinger spent 8 and 1/2 years in Indiana State Prison in Michigan City for robbing a grocery store of $120 dollars with his friend Ed Singelton. His father made him admit his guilt to a judge, but later collected 800 signatures for his release from prison.BootleggingIn the winter of 1920 the government of the United States banned the sale of alcohol in all 48 states to try and control the rising crime rates in the country. The passing of the prohibition laws did not reach the goals of the United States and actually increased crime rates. The number of illegal bars and saloons almost doubled during prohibition, and more and more people were willing to pay the price for the illegal substance. Bootleggers would charge outrageous prices for alcohol, but people were willing to pay for it. Police used almost all of their resources to prevent the sale of alcohol that more serious crimes were being avoided and therefore people were getting away with them. The alcohol that the bootleggers provided was poor and overpriced, alcohol poisoning rose 400% from bootlegging.WeaponsTo go along with bootlegging and bank robberies, weapons provided gangsters adequate or even more powerful weapons than the police possessed. The rise of the sub-machine gun during the 1920s gave the criminals an edge over the police. The Colt Patent Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut produced 15,000 "Tommy Guns" through a contract with the Auto-Ordance Corporation of New York. The weapon was originally meant for the army, but it was finished being developed just after World War 1. The weapon became popular with gangsters because of the light-weight properties, ease of use, and a large circular drum held almost 100 rounds. Perfect for spraying ammunition at police and other targets. After the St. Valentines Day Massacre in Cicero, Chicago a ballistics study was conducted by Col Calvin Goddard and he found that 11% of the killings in Cicero, Chicago were the result of the Tommy Gun.

Criminal Trends

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (1899-1947) - American gangster who led a crime syndicate dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging of liquor and other illegal activities during the Prohibition era.


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