Skip to main content

Back When Books

Your Yesteryear Book Source
Home  About Us  Bookshelves  DVDs and Videos  Audio  Special Offers  Order by Mail  Contact Us   
Bios and Memoirs
Business and Stores
Chicago
Covered Bridges
Crime Scenes
DVDs & Videos
Entertainment/Miscellaneo
Entertainment/Movies
Entertainment/Radio
Entertainment/Television
Entertainment/Theaters
Hard Times & Tragic Event
Holidays
Lighthouses
Odds & Ends
Sports/Baseball
Sports/Football
States/Illinois
States/Indiana
States/New York
States/Wisconsin
The Old West
Transportation/Air & Wate
Transportation/On the Roa
Transportation/Rails
World's Fairs
WW II
Crime Scenes 

 

 Boston Organized Crime,  by Emily Sweeney

 

Boston has had its share of bookies and loan sharks, gangsters and wiseguys, hoodlums and hit men.  From the Great Brink’s Robbery, hailed as the crime of the century, to the Cotton Club in Roxbury, where nightlife kingpin Charlie “King” Solomon was gunned down, to the infamous Blackfriars Massacre, a brutal gangland slaying that left five men dead, slumped over a backgammon game in a cramped basement office—all these dark moments in time are a part of Boston’s history rarely spoken about.  Drawing upon an eclectic collection of crime scene photographs, mug shots, and police documents, award-winning journalist Emily Sweeney explores the shadier side of the Greater Boston area and takes readers on an eye-opening journey through its underworld, from the bootlegging days of Prohibition to the bloody gangland wars of the 1960s.

 

Softcover, 6 x9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00

                                                                                                    

 

The Chicago Outfit,  by John J. Binder 

 

No business, legitimate or otherwise, has had a more raucous influence on the history of a city than that of "the outfit" in Chicago.  From the roots of organized crime in the late 19th Cenury to the present day, The Chicago Outfit examines the evolution of the city's underworld, focusing on their business activities and leadership along with the violence and political protection they employed to become the most successful of the Cosa Nostra crime families.  John J. Binder has researched and studied organized crime in Chicago for over 12 years. Through a vivid and visually stunning collection of images, many published here for the first time, he tells the story of the people and places of the world of organized crime from a fresh and informed point of view.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00

                                                                                                 

 

Gold Coast Madam,  by Rose Laws 

 

She still has her voluptuous figure at age 52, but her days of pulling tricks are over.  After escaping an abusive marriage, she began freelancing in the suburbs and eventually was juggling three sugar daddies.  Now she has a cadre of girls who “entertain” lawyers, traders, businessmen, judges, politicians, pro athletes and Hollywood stars--all for top dollar.  In her Chicago high-rise, the doorman has just tipped her that the vice squad is on the way up.  Will she survive another bust?  She must, because she has five kids for whom she’s trying to provide a home life as normal as possible!  A remarkable and eye-opening memoir by the once reigning madam of Chicago’s Gold Coast.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 202 pgs.
Price:  $17.95                                                                                                    

 

Manhattan Mafia Guide: Hits, Homes & Headquarters,  by Eric Ferrara 

 

During the early twentieth century, Sicilian and Southern Italian immigrants poured into New York City.  Looking to escape poverty and persecution at home, they soon found that certain criminal enterprises followed them to America.  There was not yet any "code of honor."  Violent bosses wreaked havoc on their communities in their quest to rule the underworld.  Over several decades, the Mafia matured into a contemporary organized crime syndicate.  Some names and places from both eras are still infamous today, like Frank Costello and the Copacabana.  Others have remained hidden in absolute secrecy until now.  Eric Ferrara explores the myths and realities of one of America's most feared and fascinating subjects.         

 

Softcover, 6 x 9  

Price: $16.95

 

Memphis Murder & Mayhem,  by Teresa R. Simpson

 

With its alluring hospitality, legendary cuisine and transcendent music, Memphis is truly a quintessential Southern city.  But lurking behind the barbeque and blue suede shoes is a dark history checkered with violence and disarray.  Revisit the mass murder of 1866 that took more than fifty lives, the infamous Alice Mitchell case of the 1890s and a string of unthinkable twentieth-century sins.  Author and lifelong Memphian Teresa Simpson explores some of the River City's most menacing crimes and notorious characters in this riveting ride back through the centuries.

 

Softcover, 6.25 x 9.375, 128 pgs. 

Price:  $19.95

 

Milwaukee Mafia,  by Gavin Schmitt

 

Milwaukee is best known for its beer—and rightfully so.  But in the days of Prohibition, the big alcohol suppliers were not Miller, Blatz, Schlitz, and Pabst. The Mafia had control, and it made its money by running alcohol as far away as Canada and Indiana, as well as with counterfeiting, the numbers racket, and two of the biggest heists in American history.  While now considered extinct, the Milwaukee Family was once a dominant force in the Midwest.  The sky was the limit, as the Mafia indulged in extortion, protection rackets, and skimming from Las Vegas casinos.  The Cream City had its crooked lawyers, corrupt cops, and even a mayor on the take.  Those who dared to stand in the syndicate’s way were found dead in ditches or as victims of car bombs.  Mafia members included doctors, real estate men, restaurateurs, tavern owners, funeral directors, union presidents, and the most famous Milwaukee gangster of all, Frank Balistrieri.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00

                                                                                                       

 

Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit

by Scott M. Burnstein 

 

Motor City Mafia chronicles the storied and hallowed gangland history of the notorious Detroit underworld.  Crime writer Scott M. Burnstein takes the reader inside the belly of the beast, tracking the bloodshed, exploits, and leadership of the southeast Michigan crime syndicate as never before seen in print.  A stunning array of rare archival photographs and images captures Detroit's most infamous past, from its inception in the early part of the 20th century, through the years when the iconic Purple Gang ruled the city's streets during Prohibition, the 1930s and the formation of the local Italian mafia, and the Detroit crime family's glory days in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s---all the way to the downfall of the area's mob reign in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00

                                                                                                    

 

Murder and Mayhem in Chicago's Vice Districts,  by Troy Taylor

 

From the very beginning, Chicago thrived on its reputation as a wide-open town.  After the Great Fire, no part of the city was rebuilt more quickly than the vice districts, where bribed cops and brutal force emboldened professional wickedness to celebrate itself with gala events like the First Ward Ball, begun in honor of a madam's pianist and often so crowded that passed-out drunks couldn't even fall to the floor.  Randolph Street was nicknamed Gambler's Row because men gambled with their lives by visiting it.  In Little Hell, guns and knives could be rented by the hour.  In these seedy areas only put to sleep by Mickey Finn's knockout drinks or Gentle Annie's knockout punches, it is no wonder that Detective Woolridge kept 75 disguises, made 20,000 arrests and was shot at forty-four times.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 112 pgs.

Price:  $19.50

 

 

 Murder & Mayhem in Indiana,  by Keven McQueen

 

With an eye for bizarre, macabre detail, Keven McQueen tracks down seventeen true crimes and unsolved mysteries in this rap sheet of historic Hoosier homicides from Indiana's hardscrabble past.  This grim collection of tales includes unimaginable incidents like the Indianapolis businessman whose car contained suspicious "hams" and the man who handed his new bride a drink of carbolic acid.  It also reveals the tragedy of Gary's beautiful Arlene Draves, killed by her football player boyfriend, as well as a surprisingly comic courtroom revelation by Hammond's Hazel McNally that cleared her of all charges.  

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs. 

Price:  $16.95

 

 Murder Inc.: The Mafia's Hit Men in New York City,  by Graham K. Bell

 

They were some of the bloodiest years in the history of New York City.  Beginning in the 1920s, an all-star team of goons, gunmen and garrotters transformed America's criminal landscape.  Its membership was diverse; the mob recruited men from all ethnicities and religious backgrounds.  Most were natives of the Big Apple, handpicked from the city's toughest neighborhoods: flushing, Ocean Hill, Brownsville.  So prolific were their exploits that the media soon dubbed this bevy of hired hands Murder, Incorporated.  The brainchild of aging mob bosses, including Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, the ruthless hit squad quickly gained America's attention, making headlines coast to coast for over two decades.  Author Graham Bell tells who these men were as he recounts the dark history of the Mafia's most notorious crime syndicate.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 123 pgs.

Price:  $16.95

                                                                                                   

 

Murder and Mayhem in Chicago's Downtown,  by Troy Taylor

 

Many people believe that a dark pall hangs over the downtown area of Chicago.  In the company of author Troy Taylor, pull off the trick of coming back alive from some of Chicago's most infamous "one-way rides."  Meet the deadly womanizer Johann Hoch, who would propose to a woman within twenty minutes of meeting her and then poison her within a week.  Follow "Terrible Tommy" O'Conner as he eluded the gallows for more than fifty years, until the city finally grew "tired of waiting" and dismantled them for the final time.  Learn how even flower shops and cathedrals weren't safe from gangland violence, and relive the tragic fire at the Iroquois Theatre, where a "fireproof" curtain was made of cotton and did little to stop the blaze that killed more people than the Great Fire of 1871.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 123 pgs.

Price:  $19.95

                                                                                                 

 
 

New Jersey's Lindbergh Kidnapping and Trial

by Mark W. Falzini & James Davidson York 

 

The kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. and the subsequent arrest, trial, and execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann have intrigued true crime buffs for decades.  Archivist Mark W. Falzani and historian James Davidson recount in detail the story of “the case that never dies.”  Rare vintage photographs, many not seen since the 1930s, enable the reader to experience the massive police investigation led by New Jersey State Police superintendent H. Norman Schwarzkopf and the circus-like trial and execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00

                                                                                                       

 

New York City Gangland,  by Arthur Nash

 

Throughout the United States, there is no single major metropolitan area more closely connected to organized crime's rapid ascendancy on a national scale than New York City.  In 1920, upon the advent of Prohibition, Gotham's shadowy underworld began evolving from strictly regional and often rag-tag street gangs into a sophisticated worldwide syndicate that was incubated within the confines of its five boroughs.  New York City Gangland offers an unparalleled collection of rarely circulated images, many appearing courtesy of exclusive law enforcement sources, in addition to the private albums of indigenous racketeering figures such as Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Al "Scarface" Capone, Joe "The Boss" Masseria, "Crazy" Joe Gallo, and John Gotti.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00 

                                                                                                         

 

Philadelphia Organized Crime in the 1920s and 1930s

by Anne Margaret Anderson & John J. Binder

 

In the 1920s and 1930s, hoodlums, hucksters, and racketeers of Prohibition-era Philadelphia sold bootleg booze, peddled illicit drugs, ran numbers, and operated prostitution and insurance rings.  Among the warped but fascinating personalities who created and contributed to the Philadelphia crime scene were empire builders like Mickey Duffy, known as “Prohibition’s Mr. Big,” Max “Boo Boo” Hoff, dubbed the “King of the Bootleggers," the violent Lanzetti brothers, who ran their own illegal enterprise, mobster Harry “Nig Rosen” Stromberg, a New York transplant, and the arsenic widows poison ring, which specialized in fraud and murder.  With rare photographs and accounts of these characters' exploits, the authors chronicle the interwar era of Philadelphia's underworld. The upheaval caused by these gangs and groups mirrors the frenzied cultural and political shifts of the Roaring Twenties and the austere 1930s.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.

Price:  $21.00

                                                                                                         

 

Rule 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, Politicians, and
Murderers in an American Courtroom, by Andy Austin

 

In 1969, cameras are banned in the federal courthouse where antiwar activists who came to be known as the Chicago Seven are about to be tried.  Artist Andy Austin approaches local TV reporter Hugh Hill, tells him she can draw, and is hired as a courtroom artist for ABC News.  She reflects: "The courthouse is a grand bazaar of American life."  Her recollections and vivid images include: Chicago 7 defendant Bobby Seale, bound and gagged in the courtroom; serial killer John Wayne Gacy (who obliged her with a smile for her sketch); Harry Aleman, Ken Ito, John D’Arco, Joey “the Clown” Lombardo, and a roster of other mobsters, and members of the El Rukns gang, whose alleged crimes included terrorist conspiracies.  Austin's depictions draw even more color from her detailed recollections of court testimony.  With nuances of character only an artist can capture, Rule 53 will delight history and true crime buffs, court watchers, and CSI Fans.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 408 pgs.
Price:  $19.95

                                                                                                          

 

Sin in the Second City, by Karen Abbott

 

The Everleigh Club opened in Chicago in 1900 and lasted 11 years as the self-proclaimed grandest whorehouse in America.  In this book, rife with quaint period details, Karen Abbott presents photographs of the club’s gaudy extravagance, drawings that alert innocent young women to the perils of white slavery and memorable johns like the Everleigh customer who called himself Uncle Ned, and who at Christmas would plant his feet in buckets of ice, drink sarsaparilla and order the house’s ladies to sing “Jingle Bells.”

 

Softcover, 8 x 5, 358 pgs.
Price:  $15.00