Al Capone and His American Boys: Memoirs of a Mobster's Wife

Al Capone and His American Boys: Memoirs of a Mobster's Wife

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by William J. Helmer
     
 

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When her husband was murdered on the orders of Chicago mobster Frank Nitti, Georgette Winkeler—wife of one of Al Capone's "American Boys"—set out to expose the Chicago Syndicate. After an attempt to publish her story was squelched by the mob, she offered it to the FBI in the mistaken belief that they had the authority to strike at the racketeers who had

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Overview

When her husband was murdered on the orders of Chicago mobster Frank Nitti, Georgette Winkeler—wife of one of Al Capone's "American Boys"—set out to expose the Chicago Syndicate. After an attempt to publish her story was squelched by the mob, she offered it to the FBI in the mistaken belief that they had the authority to strike at the racketeers who had killed her husband Gus. Discovered 60 years later in FBI files, the manuscript describes the couple’s life on the run, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Gus was one of the shooters), and other headline crimes of that period. Prepared for publication by mob expert William J. Helmer, Al Capone and His American Boys is a compelling contemporary account of the heyday of Chicago crime by a woman who found herself married to the mob.

Indiana University Press

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Al Capone and his American Boys is highly recommended for those interested in an insider's view of the major criminal events of the Gangster Era." —Informer

www.informer-journal.blogspot.com
Al Capone and his American Boys is highly recommended for those interested in an insider's view of the major criminal events of the Gangster Era.—informer-journal.blogspot.com
Library Journal
This is not another Capone book; he is but a tangential figure in this fascinating account. The heart of this work is a recently discovered manuscript written by Winkeler in 1934 that had been tucked away in FBI files. She was married to mobster Gus Winkeler and wrote her life story after he was gunned down. She claims her purpose was to save other women from the anxiety-producing life she lived, but perhaps she was hoping for some measure of revenge or retribution from the Chicago syndicate. Gus became one of Capone's "American Boys" during Prohibition days and, according to Winkeler, was involved in the St. Valentine's Day massacre and the assassination of Frankie Yale in New York, all the while working to become a legitimate businessperson running Chicago nightclubs. VERDICT Readers will find Winkeler's story compelling if a bit self-aggrandizing. Her writing style is easy to read, and her slight snootiness and melodrama over the stress of being a mobster's wife amuses. Editor Helmer also includes FBI reports about Winkeler and her attempts to contact federal agent Melvin Purvis. Helmer offers a useful reference section of brief biographies and historical notes. For true crime and gangster story fans.—Karen Sandlin Silverman, Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia
www.mafialifeblog.com
"Al Capone and His American Boys is more than just fascinating history—it's built on the human interest element of living a gangster's life." —mafialifeblog.com
Informer

"Al Capone and his American Boys is highly recommended for those interested in an insider's view of the major criminal events of the Gangster Era." —Informer

mafialifeblog.com

"Al Capone and His American Boys is more than just fascinating history—it's built on the human interest element of living a gangster's life." —mafialifeblog.com

Mario Gomes

"Helmer delights history buffs once more with his research and inimitable style, bringing us the memoirs of a primo gangster's moll. Hers is a first-hand account of being married to one of Al Capone's travelling psycho-circus of killers called the 'American boys' who moved from St. Louis to Chicago to live the gritty gangland life of the Roaring Twenties." —Mario Gomes, www.myalcaponemuseum.com

Richard C. Lindberg

"Deemed too hot by its publisher in 1934, this incredible and revealing story sheds new light on major crimes, including the St. Valentine's Day Massacre—the defining moment that cemented Chicago's reputation as a city of criminal mayhem.... A candid look at the era of Capone, Frank Nitti, Georgette’s husband Gus, and a group of Public Enemies who continue to fascinate a new generation of readers." —Richard C. Lindberg, author of The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic Machine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253356062
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
07/08/2011
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
678,636
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

William J. Helmer is author (with G. Russell Girardin) of Dillinger: The Untold Story (IUP, 1994) and The Gun That Made the Twenties Roar as well as other books on the gangland era.

Indiana University Press

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Al Capone and His American Boys: Memoirs of a Mobster's Wife 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very inspiring! Poor Georgette. This book should very well be a New York Times best seller. The story is so enchanting and thrilling, it kept me on my toes. Although a Non-Fiction diary Georgettes experiences were surreal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This really is a different perspective in gangster books. Here we see the life of a gangster through his wife's eyes. I found myself laughing some of the time by keeping track of all the crazy names but overall, it was a fantastic read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago