Gangland Boston: A Tour Through the Deadly Streets of Organized Crime

Gangland Boston: A Tour Through the Deadly Streets of Organized Crime

by Emily Sweeney


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Gangsters have played a shady role in shaping Greater Boston's history. While lurking in local restaurants or just around the corner inside that inconspicuous building, countless criminals have quietly made their mark on the city and surrounding communities. Gangland Boston reveals the hidden history of these places, bringing readers back in time to when the North End was wrought with gun violence, Hanover Street was known as a "shooting gallery," and guys named King Solomon, Beano Breen, and Mickey the Wiseguy ruled the underworld.
Drawing upon years of research and an extensive collection of rare photographs, author Emily Sweeney sheds light on how gang violence unfolded during Prohibition, how the Italian mafia rose to power, and how the Gustin Gang came to be. She also uncovers little-known facts about well-known crime figures (Did you know the leader of the Gustin Gang was an Olympic athlete? Or that a fellowship at a major university was named after a big-time bookie?)
From South Boston to Somerville, Chinatown to Charlestown, and every neighborhood in between, readers will get to know mobsters in ways they never have before.
Readers will find out:
* Exact addresses where mobsters lived, worked, and played around Greater Boston
* How an Olympic athlete became one of Boston's most notorious gangsters
* The untold history of the Gustin Gang
* Frank Sinatra's connection to a long-forgotten Massachusetts racetrack
* Little-known facts about David "Beano" Breen, Charles "King" Solomon, Harry "Doc" Sagansky, Raymond L.S. Patriarca, and other legendary crime figures

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493030361
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/19/2017
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 438,331
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

EMILY SWEENEY has written for the Boston Globe since 2001. A proud native of Dorchester, she’s the author of Boston Organized Crime and she appeared in Stranger Than Fiction: The True Story of Whitey Bulger, Southie, and The Departed, a documentary film that is featured on the DVD of the 'scar-winning movie The Departed. Visit her website at

Table of Contents

Introduction viii

Chapter 1 Fighting Irish 1

Chapter 2 Speakeasy Revenge, Part 1: A Deadly Investigation 5

Chapter 3 Gangland's Roots 14

Chapter 4 The Black Hand 17

Chapter 5 Introducing … the Mafia 21

Chapter 6 Chinatown Tong Wars 23

Chapter 7 The Rise of the Mafia in Boston's Little Italy 30

Chapter 8 "An Orgy of Pillage" 36

Chapter 9 Early North End Gang Wars 40

Chapter 10 Friday the 13th Murder Mystery 45

Chapter 11 Drive-by Shooting 51

Chapter 12 Goofy Campbell 54

Chapter 13 The Untold History of the Gustin Gang 57

Chapter 14 Frankie Gustin's Final Stand 72

Chapter 15 Speakeasy Revenge, Part 2: McDonald Fights Back 78

Chapter 16 The Dentist-Turned-Bookmaker 83

Chapter 17 Anatomy of a Speakeasy 86

Chapter 18 Adventures of a Liquor Raider 89

Chapter 19 Little Harry Wolen 92

Chapter 20 King Solomon's Reign Ends 98

Chapter 21 Beano Breen 104

Chapter 22 Boston's Own Bobbed-Hair Bandit 111

Chapter 23 Brinks 115

Chapter 24 Patriarca 124

Chapter 25 The Elder Statesmen 131

Chapter 26 Going Undercover 135

Chapter 27 The End of the Road for the Bobbed-Hair Bandit 137

Chapter 28 The Nite Lite 139

Chapter 29 Gagliardi and the Boston Strangler 142

Chapter 30 Berkshire Downs 146

Chapter 31 Charlestown vs. Winter Hill 154

Chapter 32 Marked Men 158

Chapter 33 Hitmen 161

Chapter 34 Hangouts 165

Chapter 35 Mafia Induction Ceremony 172

Chapter 36 Whitey's World 178

Epilogue: Where Are They Now? 183

Gangland Street Lingo 185

Acknowledgments 186

Endnotes 188

Bibliography 198

Index 202

About the Author 208

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