Stick ‘em up!: A cop with a gun.
Watching too many Jimmy Cagney movies as a child made me think a gangster’s life as a possible career option. I could picture myself running of a numbers racket, or selling moonshine, riding the running board while blasting the competition. Even the gangsters’ names were exotic: Al Capone, Bugsy Moran, John Dillinger, Tony Accardo. Then I turned six—discovered soccer and the fancy footwork of Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone and Harry Hood which made me think playing for Celtic would be a better choice.
Gangsters and Grifters is a book of photographs compiled from the extensive crime archive of the Chicago Tribune. The book contains a collection of rarely seen photos of infamous gangsters, murderers, thieves, pickpockets, bandits, molls as well as the cops who brought them to justice from 1900-1950. These vintage glass-plate and acetate negatives captured many legendary moments in criminal history—from which this small selection has been culled.
Al Capone making an appearance in court, date unknown. Capone had a seven year reign of terror on the streets of Chicago during the 1920s. He was believed to have been responsible for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. He was eventually busted for tax evasion and sentenced to gaol. He suffered from tertiary syphilis and died of cardiac arrest in 1947.
Cops examine guns suspected of being used in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, when six mobsters where shot dead—you’d have thought the cops might have been grateful. One of the shooters was thought to be mob enforcer Tony Accardo.
Prohibition helped the rise of gangsters like Al Capone, who ran hooch and illegal drinking dens. Here cops inspect some of the alcohol Capone and his associates were running.
Capone on another visit to court.
More vintage crime shots, after the jump…