Everyone knows stories about the American Mafia and its varied forms of crime, from racketeering to stock manipulation to murder. American Mafia: Chicago explores the Windy City, strolling through its neighborhoods and imagining scenes from the past—telling the stories of the men, women, and families and revealing the events behind the legends and the history of the families' beginnings and founding members.
Featuring the most fascinating stories from the early days, when loosely-organized, incredibly secretive gangs terrorized neighborhoods with names like Little Hell, through the mob’s headiest years, when Al Capone and his men pretty well controlled the city, American Mafia: Chicago offers tantalizing glimpses into the era when Chicago was ruled by gangs with their ever-twisting allegiances and tangled webs of relationships.
Most of the buildings are gone now.
But the stories are still there, if you know where to look.
The Great Heist: The Story of the Biggest Bank Robbery in History and Why All the Money was Returned
On a sunny September morning in 1930, six men entered the Lincoln National Bank in Nebraska's capital city armed with revolvers and Thompson submachine guns. In eight minutes, they emerged with more than 2.7 million dollars, the largest take of any bank heist in history.
A nationwide search for the bandits would lead Nebraska authorities through the rough, gangland streets of Chicago and East St. Louis, and deep into the heart of the Capone organization.
The Great Heist not only chronicles the search for the bandits and the trials that followed, but the incredible story of how they got the money back.
Despite the best efforts of previous biographers lacking true insider’s access, details about Capone’s early years have, until now, mostly been shrouded in mystery. With access gained through invaluable familial connections, the authors were able to open the previously sealed mouths of Capone’s known living associates. Collecting information through these interviews and never-before-published documents, the life of young Al Capone at last comes into focus.
Among the many revelations in Young Al Capone are new details about the brutal Halloween Night murder of rival gangster “Wild Bill” Lovett, grisly details on how Capone and his Black Hand crew cleverly planned the shootout and barbaric hatchet slaying of White Hand boss, Richard “Peg Leg” Lonergan, insight into the dramatic incident that forced Capone to leave New York, and much more.
From inside the heart of the NYPD - The shattering police corruption scandal and the trial that stunned a city.
Detective Stephen Caracappa achieved the distinguished rank of first grade detectve while under the hire of the Luchese crime family.
Detective Louis Eppolito worked the heart of Brooklyn's mobland; he himself was the son of a Gambino crime family soldier.
Detective William Oldham, the lead investigator on major organized-crime cases, quietly and relentlessly tracked Caracappa and Eppolito for more than seven years.
The Brotherhoods is the riveting account of the notorious rogue cops charged with murdering for the mob, and the brilliant detective who stalked them. With unparalleled access to both the NYPD and organized crime, a gallery of unforgettable characters, and sweeping from Manhattan to Las Vegas to Hollywood, this is the ultimate wiseguy story, packed with psychological intrigue, criminal audacity, and paranoid, blood-soaked fury.
Now with updates on the trial's shocking outcome and the ongoing legal battle.
Philip Carlo's The Ice Man spent over six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Top Mob Hitman. Devoted Family Man. Doting Father. For thirty years, Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski led a shocking double life, becoming the most notorious professional assassin in American history while happily hosting neighborhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey.
Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.
This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.
His family never suspected a thing.
Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.
No one can tell the true story of the Mafia in America better than Bill Bonanno. He was there. He lived it.
Bill Bonanno was born into a world of respect, tradition, and honor. The son of legendary mafioso Joe Bonanno, Bill was a "made" member of the Mafia by the time he was in his early twenties. He was rumored to be the model for The Godfather's Michael Corleone and was the subject of Gay Talese's best-selling Honor Thy Father.
Now retired, Bill is finally ready to give an eyewitness account of his life as a high-ranking captain in the Bonanno crime family, one of America's most powerful Mafia syndicates. He takes you inside the mob at its peak, when New York's Five Families-Bonanno, Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese, and Genovese-not only dominated local businesses, but also controlled national politics. For the first time, Bill Bonanno discloses the machinations behind his marriage to Rosalie Profaci (niece of the powerful don Joe Profaci), and even that cemented the alliance between the two Families with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding. From the truth about the mysterious disappearance of his father to a startling disclosure about he mob's participation in the Kennedy assassination, Bill Bonanno lays bare the inner workings of his chaotic, violent, and surprisingly human world with unparalleled detail and insight.
Bound By Honor not only recounts Bill Bonanno's tumultuous life, but also is an engrossing chronicle of organized crime. Bonanno's story provides a remarkable glimpse into all of the intriguing personalities of the underworld of yesterday to today, from Bugsy Siegel to John Gotti.
This book is a must for readers of Mario Puzo, Gay Talese, Nicholas Pileggi, and others who have written abut the Mafia, but who have never been in the eye of the storm in quite the same way as Bill Bonanno in Bound By Honor.
I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston and became partners with James "Whitey" Bulger, who I always called Jimmy.
Jimmy and I, we were unstoppable. We took what we wanted. And we made people disappear—permanently. We made millions. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.
I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant in 1999, and my life was never the same. When the feds finally got me, I was faced with something Jimmy would have killed me for—cooperating with the authorities. I pled guilty to twenty-nine counts, including five murders. I went away for five and a half years.
I was brutally honest on the witness stand, and this book is brutally honest, too; the brutal truth that was never before told. How could it? Only three people could tell the true story. With one on the run and one in jail for life, it falls on me.