Prohibition Chicago

The Northsiders

1924 -- Prelude

1925 -- War in Chicago

1926 -- "A Real Goddamn Crazy Place!

October 11, 1926

October 11, 1926
Part II

 St. Valentine's Day

Part I   Introduction
Part II Top 10 Myths
Part III 10 Questions
   (and 10 answers)


Photo Gallery






I appreciate all the assistance given me by the Doe Library staff at the University of California Berkeley (especially the staff in Periodicals), and the staff at the Chicago Historical Society.

Bookseller Patterson Smith has provided difficult to find volumes for my personal library, with always the promise of more rare books to come.

Many years ago, I stumbled on a copy of Kenneth Allsop's
The Bootleggers and their Era in the stacks of the old San Francisco Main Library. It remains one of the most amazing stories I've ever read and the inspiration for a lifetime of study.

Also, my thanks to Diana Hook of Jeremy Norman & Co. (History of Science and Medicine, Origins of Cyberspace). Ms. Hook's amazing editorial expertise, bibliographic knowledge, website acumen, and eternal patience have assured her special access to a field box along the first base line in heaven... my San Francisco Giants season seats at AT&T Park.


There are a number of related websites and other media which provide a variety of material on Prohibition Chicago, Hymie Weiss, Al Capone, and the history of organized crime in America. Many of the link sites have their own list of additional links and contacts. Check them out!

The Chicago Historical Society site. Features an Al Capone and 1920s Chicago exhibit . Excellent resource, wonderful staff.

Al Capone site with a huge collection of text, photos and subject matter related to Capone and Prohibition Chicago. A beautifully conceived website with outstanding information.

The official Dean O'Banion website, and the premier destination for information about Weiss' Northside mentor. Also visit: www.bugsmoran.net for all things Bugs Moran.

1930s tabloid magazine featuring locations of 1920s Chicago gang shootings.

Haunted Chicago series. St. Valentine's Day massacre site featured.

John Binder's Chicago crime website. Binder's expertise is unmatched as he tracks the history of organized crime in Chicago-- before, during , and after Capone's reign. His excellent book, "Images of America: The Chicago Outfit", is a must read.

The Crime Library covers an array of crime subjects and personalities. Sections on Capone, long bios on
 Dion O'Banion, George Moran, and Capone. The histories of the five New York crime families are profiled in excellent detail.

Venerable antiquarian bookseller specializing in real crime books and prints. He is knowledgeable and quite engaging. I owe much of my personal library to his excellent catalog.

Need a book? They'll have it.

Rick Mattix is an outstanding gangland researcher, author, and web page capo. The Maddog website is an excellent resource for solid historical information and resources. Check out his "This Month in Gangster History" column, tap into the world of John Dillinger, and dive into the most extensive crime links list on the web.
"The St. Valentine's Day Massacre"
The 1967 film directed by Roger Corman (released on DVD May 2006). What was seemingly another in a series of cheap Roger Corman B movies now takes on an almost historic profundity. The Chicago Prohibition history here has a number of surprisingly accurate aspects, and the final set-up for the massacre is eerily evocative. The farther away we get from 1929, the closer this film is to its historic representations. Ralph Meeker is too quick by a mile to be George Moran, but Jason Robards brings energy and depth to his Al Capone; with George Segal. Cameo parts featuring Jack Nicholson,  Bruce Dern, John Agar, and Jean Hale add punch from a very strong bench. www.amazon.com
"St. Valentine's Day Massacre"
A 1997 documentary by the A& E Network and The History Channel (VHS). 100 minutes of pure Chicago Prohibition history, focusing on the Northsiders/Capone war. Wonderfully rich narration by actor Paul Sorvino, excellent photos, well researched documentation. The few minor historical errors do not otherwise detract from this excellent representation of the times, the people, and the events.

William Wellman's 1931 film classic "The Public Enemy" is based on the life of Hymie Weiss. Featuring a brilliant performance by James Cagney, the film's characters and events mirror Weiss' life and death. Two information locations. Available at www.amazon.com
Crime collectables; wanted posters, prints, books, magazines.
National Archives site. Look up The United States of America vs Al Capone, 1931.