July 2012 Contents
On the rare occasions when the underworld of the Milwaukee area receives attention from historians, that attention generally seems focused on regional Prohibition Era rumrunning or on post-Prohibition organized crime. Milwaukee is inevitably depicted as merely a junior partner of the Chicago Outfit.
Indeed, Milwaukee crime history often blurs with that of the Windy City located ninety miles to its south. But Milwaukee has been much more than a satellite in a Capone-centered universe. The Brew City’s crime history is as distinct and rich as the history of the law-abiding, hardworking Americans who have made up the vast majority of its population. There is much of interest and much of value in the study of the region’s criminal past.
In this issue of Informer, we strive to look at Milwaukee and its southeastern Wisconsin region in a different way. Our lead feature, the debut of crime historian Joshua Henze, turns the clock way back to explore the early roots of Milwaukee organized crime. Henze shows that the history of Milwaukee’s Sicilian underworld society rivals that of any northern United States city. (Preview)
Gavin Schmitt follows with an exhaustive examination of decades of Mafia meddling in the history of Fond du Lac’s successful Grande Cheese Company (Preview). Joshua Henze then returns with an article on Milwaukee-area counterfeiting organizations from the early years of the 20th Century (Preview). Bill Feather completes our coverage of southern Wisconsin crime history with an early Milwaukee-Madison-area Mafia membership chart (Preview).
You will also find in this expanded issue:
• Part 3 of the Gunmen of the Castellammarese War series. This installment focuses on Girolamo “Bobby Doyle” Santuccio (Preview).
• Ellen Poulsen’s review of Patrick Downey’s latest work, Legs Diamond: Gangster (Preview).
• In The Warner Files, columnist Richard Warner provides some reading recommendations for those interested in the New York underworld (Preview).
• An obituary of “Goodfella” Henry Hill (Preview).
108 pages including advertisements and cover
Published July 24, 2012
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