By Jim Ridings
The tale of Chicago gangsters within the Nineteen Twenties is known. much less spoke of is the story of the politicians who allowed these gangsters to thrive. in the course of the heyday of equipped crime within the Prohibition period, Chicago mayor "Big invoice" Thompson and Gov. Len Small have been the 2 strongest political figures in Illinois. Thompson campaigned on making Chicago "a extensive open city" for bootleggers. Small offered hundreds of thousands of pardons and paroles to criminals, embezzled $1 million, and was once then acquitted after mobsters bribed the jury. This ebook is the tale of these Jazz Age politicians whose careers in executive thrived on and recommended corruption and racketeering, from Chicago to Springfield. It enhances writer Jim Ridings's groundbreaking biography, Len Small: Governors and Gangsters, which was once praised by way of critics and positioned Ridings as a trailblazer between Chicago crime authors.
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Additional info for Chicago to Springfield:: Crime and Politics in the 1920s
They paid one of our editors. They debauched our county. ) Len and Ida Small drove home to Kankakee from Waukegan after his acquittal on Saturday, June 24, 1922. A victory celebration was waiting at their home. The governor and his wife shook hands for several hours. Then Ida said she wasn’t feeling well, and she went inside and sat down. She had a stroke and slipped into unconsciousness. She never woke up, and she died on Monday morning. She was buried in the family plot in Mound Grove Cemetery in Kankakee.
Michael McDonald became the king of the gambling rackets in the 1880s, and the Levee District in the First Ward became a cesspool of prostitution, gambling, and other vices by the 1890s. Mont Tennes followed McDonald as the head of the gambling rackets, while “Big Jim” Colosimo took organized crime to a higher level. Chicago’s First Ward aldermen “Bathhouse John” Coughlin and “Hinky Dink” Kenna solidified the partnership between crime bosses and politicians in the 1890s. Their criminal-political machine was based on graft and protection money from the saloons, brothels, and gambling halls of the Levee.
The commutation came through Umbrella Mike Boyle, Capone’s friend and Governor Small’s Mob contact, who arranged many of the pardons and paroles for criminals. Small was repaying Boyle for his help with his acquittal in the governor’s corruption trial. ) State senators Edward J. Hughes (left) and Frank J. Ryan (right) were among 14 politicians who signed a petition for Spike O’Donnell’s parole. O’Donnell was released into the custody of Ryan. Hughes later was Illinois secretary of state from 1933 to 1941.