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Crimetown U.S.A.: The History of the Mahoning Valley Mafia: Organized Crime Activity in Ohio's Steel Valley 1933-1963 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
From the movie-like characters "Happy" Marino, "Sledgehammer" Jerry, "Fats" Aiello, Joe "The Wolf" (and way too many more to name here) to the unbelievable crimes they committed, Crimetown, USA is an encyclopedia of the mob's control of Youngstown, Ohio. This book gives every detail on Youngstown, Ohio's underworld from 1933-1963. Unlike other cities where bootleggers rose to power, the repeal of prohibition started a free-for-all in the gambling rackets of Ohio's Mahoning Valley. The "Bug" (the policy), the horse-race wire service and other criminal casino enterprises kept the city wide open and every gangster around wanted a piece. If you've ever read Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, you would think a place like Personville, aka "Poisonville," couldn't really exist. You'd be wrong. Crimetown, USA is the REAL version of Hammett's fictional city and Allan May expertly provides the facts. It was especially interesting to read how the underworld in Youngstown went from multi-cultured (Greek, Irish, Croatian etc) to being run solely by the Italians in just a few short decades. Even more intriguing were the parts about the police. An entire city-wide campaign known as "Smash Rackets Rule" was put in place with the election of a new mayor. Corruption ran so deep, the reforming new mayor had to bring in a police chief from outside the state to run his police force. Mayor Henderson and Chief Eddie Allen fought valiantly to clean up the streets and rid the city of gangsters but eventually they too were given the boot. Once the reformers were out of the way, Crimetown became wide open again and what followed was a decade of bombings that shook the town to it's core. The mob war for control of Youngstown's rackets killed many of the top gangsters in town and took some innocent lives along the way. I've read dozens of books on Chicago and New York, I've seen all the mob shows on tv and still couldn't believe that everything in this book took place in a small city like Youngstown, Ohio. Truly amazing.