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A group of individuals hailing from both the Bug and Meyer Mob and Lepke's gang commiserated for several hours. Accounts of what exactly took place during and after the gathering are varied, one of which suggests Lepke, technically being from a separate gang, would make a good arbitrator, albeit a bias one. Lekpe, ironically a man who some would later refer to as the 'Judge, ' allegedly sent Barrett out of the room so a decision could be made.

We can all pretty much assume what that verdict entailed. Sometime close to pm, Barrett was coerced or forced into an automobile, where he was told to sit shotgun. Next to him was the driver; behind him were three other men. Meyer Lansky, Christian Cipollini. It was theft by deception. Along with the hopeful settlers, there also came villains who used their God-given talents of engraving to make fraudulent or counterfeit money.

The counterfeiters may have descended from old world European families. Some of these master craftsmen produced works of art, engraving upon gold or silver, ornate knives, firearms, watches, silverware, etc. Engravers were highly sought after and very much in demand in the printing business.

Almost every picture appearing in the old newspapers was the result of a master engraver's work.

These plates were engraved in brass or copper, as photographs were unknown at this time. The engraver was paid a small sum for each piece. To some engravers, the temptation to duplicate banknotes or coin molds became too great, and they soon found themselves manu facturing bogus currency, which were sometimes better than the originals. Clair County along the Kaskaskia River. Some of this family had evidently served in the Revolutionary War, helping to establish our country's independence. Many of the Sturdivant family came from the northeast, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

One group came from Virginia and settled in Tennessee. Roswell S. Roswell is listed on the census of St. Clair Co. Other documents prove that both Roswell and Merrick were in Illinois by , and were probably here a few years earlier. One source also lists a Stephen Sturdivant in connection with the counterfeiters Illinois Gazette , July 6, He registered a land transaction in that county in He is also on the tax list of Fairfield County, Ohio.

Chicago: O. It seems the Sturdivants were involved in counterfeiting long before they came to Illinois, as is attested to by the following excerpt from the History of Delaware County and Ohio , p. Not long after, another alarm was given, but not generally credited by the settlers. Two men by the name of Sturdevant had been out for some time in the woods of Kingston Township, ostensibly boring for salt, though generally believed to be engaged in counterfeiting.

They came rushing into the settlement one day, declaring that they had been fired at, but had escaped, and, in returning the fire, had hit an Indian. To satisfy the timid, a party went out to look up the matter. The spot where the supposed Indian fell was found, and a single drop of blood, but nothing more. It was simply a ruse of these fellows to get a plausible reason for leaving However, this is not to say that all of the Ohio Sturdevants were considered outlaws, for it was said of James B.

Sturdevant that he was "a hard-working and honest man," who had cleared and worked his own farm, as did his brother, Chauncey H. Sturdevant History of Delaware County and Ohio.

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There were at least two operations in the counterfeiting scam. The first was the actual engraving and printing of the notes, the second the "passing off" these notes, or as it was called "passing the queer. There were two groups of people living side by side along the Ohio River, one who had a work ethic and respect for morals, and the other who spent their time habitually living outside the law.

Legislators soon realized the problem counterfeiting was causing and passed laws to try to discourage the practice and punish the violators.

On Jan. In , Illinois received statehood. In addition, the convicted felon would "be deemed infamous, ad be held incapable of holding any office, or giving testimony in any case whatever. If the fine was still not paid, the Sheriff was to sell the offender to the highest bidder for a term of servitude of seven years. Should the person sold try to run away from his master, his term of servitude would be increased. In , this law was strengthened to include counterfeiting gold or silver coins with the same punishment as above Laws of Illinois , Feb. New settlers were arriving who were willing to enforce these new laws and would not ignore the crimes of the counterfeiters.

One such man was young Shawneetown attorney, John McLean, [4] who evidently was one of the first to go after the Sturdivant gang, as shown in the following account published in the Illinois Gazette , Jan. The first who made their appearance were the family of Hagermans, consisting of an old woman, three young women, a young man, William Hagerman, two or three other young men, and perhaps some children.

They rented a house and opened what they called a grocery.

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But in this latter business they succeeded badly; their conduct being such, that they found few associates: and such, indeed, had excited some suspicion as to their character and designs. Zwillman dropped out of school to help support his family and quickly determined there were faster ways to make a buck than peddling fruit. When he would have been a sophomore in high school, Zwillman began as a numbers racketeer, collecting pennies and nickels from the housewives who bought his produce. Every boss needs underlings and Zwillman recruited many, including Joseph Doc Stacher.

A Ukrainian-born Jew, Doc cut quite a figure in a fedora cocked just so, cowboy boots and an attitude that dared you to cross him. Where Doc and many of the other mobsters are described as thuggish, Zwillman emerges as more refined, though he did make his reputation by shooting a bootlegger and establishing himself as one.

About the Book

Longie moved easily between New York and New Jersey, between politicians and known gangsters, in rackets and legit businesses. Like so many, he made a fortune during Prohibition. He still wound up before the Kefauver Committee, the Senate committee investigating organized crime in Ruggerio Richie the Boot Boiardo eventually had a sprawling mansion in suburban Livingston. Apparently, he needed the space for the bodies that were piling up. When Prohibition ended, taking with it the lucrative money made off liquor or whatever swill passed for it, the gangsters doubled down on leeching money from gambling, drugs, unions and the docks.

Nightclubs in Bergen County also raked in scads of cash. Among the headliners at those clubs was Frank Sinatra. No New Jersey book on the mob would be complete without Sinatra sections. The FBI had Sinatra in its crosshairs for years, and had built a huge dossier on him and his connected pals. A newly-formed government committee, the State Commission of Investigation, summoned the singer for questioning.

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As always, he gave up no one. I am asked questions about scores of people unknown to me … I am not willing to be part of any three-ring circus, which will necessarily take place if I appear. Despite his objections, the singer wound up testifying for an hour — with his remarks kept under seal. Philip Chicken Man Testa was the Philadelphia boss who was killed when a massive bomb exploded as he walked into his house. That round of bloodshed involved Mafiosi in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, where the mob had staked claims early on.

Going back, some of the hits seem almost genteel. Gunmen waited and only whacked the man they were assigned to kill. And the big boss had his hit men do the dirty work. Today those rules seem almost quaint.