Gang and organized violence in America
America still had gang violence during this time. Monk Eastman (Edward Osterman) ran a gang of about 1,200 people. They charged what seems to be a going rate $15.00 to chew someone's ear off and kill the whole person was $100.00 ( 5 ).
A gang called "The Black Hand" (La Mano Nera) operated in American cities. Their main racket was extortion, they used threats , bombings, kidnappings, and other types of threats accompanied by a letter stamped with the fearsome symbol of a black handprint and a menacing dagger. They threaten business people, professional people, prominent people, and even other gangsters (6 ).
Al Capon was a gunman for the Five Points Gang and move to Chicago to escape a murder charge, before he gained notoriety during prohibition (7 ).
The Los Angels Times said about gang violence on August 10 1942 "City and County authorities last night continued their relentless drive against youthful "pachuco" gangs, arresting 30 additional suspects to boost the two-day total of arrests to more than 300 in what was termed the biggest roundup since prohibition days. . . . Captain Joe Reed . . . who directed the roundup of the youthful terrorists, announced the following "breakdown" of charges against the suspects: suspicion of robbery, 48, suspicion of assault with deadly weapon, 39, violation of selective service registration, 20. . . . The law enforcement officials stationed themselves at scores of intersections throughout the eastern edge of the city and nearby points in the county, checking all auto-mobiles that passed and arresting suspicious youths. Police seized more than 100 knives with blades ranging from 3 to 6 inches in length, half a dozen butcher knives, three revolvers, several daggers and stilettos, several lengths of steel chain, which the police said the youths wrap around their hands to slug opponents in their gang fights. "(8 ).
The Justice Department announced that they were after 1000 to 1500 racketeers running crime syndicate across America. Is this current news? No its from 1958(9 ).
It could be argued that gangs are different now than they were when gangs of yester year like Kid Twist gang, the Paul Kelly gang, Five Points gang roamed and terrorized the streets. This commentator in a paper seems to reflect this view "Sure, I know gangs and I know the difference in character between the gangs of this generation and that. In those days, a gang might steal but the boys did not rape. The boys never killed, although they picked pockets. And they feared the law. It was only during the prohibition period that the law came to mean nothing. And that continues to this day. The good boys and the bad boys in my younger years respected the cops; today, a little punk is ready to fight it out with a cop. In the years of my youth, a woman could walk through the streets of New York unmolested. A barber shop quartet might stand on a street corner and do a little "mashing" but that was as far as it went. Today, nobody dares go into a public park at night and mugging has taken place on main thoroughfare". this was written in 1958(10 ).