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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156308 Find in a Library
Title: Scarface Al and the Crime Crusaders: Chicago's Private War Against Capone
Author(s): D E Hoffman
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 205
Sponsoring Agency: Southern Illinois University Press
Carbondale, IL 62901
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8093-1925-X
Sale Source: Southern Illinois University Press
Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book documents the strategy of leaders in the private sector cooperating with government officials to end the criminal reign of Al Capone in Chicago in the 1930's.
Abstract: Drawing on previously untapped sources, this book debunks the myth of books, television shows, and movies that credit Eliot Ness and the "Untouchables" with the fall of Al Capone. The author shows how a few influential private businessmen of Chicago brought Capone to justice by outsmarting him rather than outgunning him. They worked behind the scenes to lobby Presidents Coolidge and Hoover for Federal intervention to stop Capone. Privately sponsored initiatives that helped bring down Capone included prosecuting the gangsters responsible for election crimes during the Pineapple Primary, establishing a crime lab to assist in criminal investigations, underwriting the costs of the investigation of the Jake Lingle murder, mounting a public campaign to stigmatize Capone in the public's eyes, and protecting the star witnesses for the prosecution in Capone's income-tax evasion case. The author suggests that because American society is again threatened by illegal drugs, gangs, and widespread violence, there are important lessons to be learned from Chicago's victory over Capone. The primary lesson is that private citizens can be a potent force in combatting organized crime and political corruption. The same factors that undermined Capone -- the business community's affluence, creativity, and civic pride -- can once again become effective weapons in crime fighting. Chapter notes and a subject index
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Illinois; Organized crime; Private sector-government cooperation
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