The Cop Who Cried Wolf

Listen above, on archive.org, or iTunes. Or see more podcasts! Pictured above is Officer Curran. In 1925, he was working the desk at the County Building, where gangsters John Scalisi and Albert Anselmi had just been brought in . They’d been arrested after a chaotic day in which they’d gone out with Mike Genna to Read More…

Al Capone and the Jewelers’ Building

In my gig as a tour director for student groups, I take a lot of other peoples’ boat tours, bus tours, and walking tours. One thing I’m always curious to see is how they’ll tell the story of Al Capone throwing parties in the dome of the Jeweler’s Building at Wabash and Wacker. According to Read More…

The Death of Hoops-a-Daisy Connors

Hoops a Daisy Henry “Hoops-a-Daisy” Connors is not one of Chicago’s better-known gangsters. In fact, if he didn’t have such a swell nickname, I doubt any attention would have been paid to him at all. It hasn’t, really. Looking him up now, all I’m seeing about him are vintage newspapers and one mention in one Read More…

The New Booze, 1920

In 1920, “new” illegal booze hit the market as soon as the old stuff was prohibited. Before the gangsters got all their ducks in a row and started brewing regular old beer in the same breweries that had operated before, the market was flooded with terrible “bathtub” spirits. In September, about eight months into prohibition, Read More…

Capone’s Underpants

All over Chicago, people will point to fur dealers, suit shops, and any number of places, saying that Al Capone was once a regular customer. Sometimes it seems that there’s hardly a third or fourth generation Chicagoan around who doesn’t have a story about their grandfather selling Al Capone his suits. At his October 1931 Read More…