Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, the Newton Boys, the Santa Claus Bank Robbers. . . . During the era of gangsters and organized crime, Texas hosted its fair share of guns and gambling, moonshine and morphine, ransom and robbery. The state’s crime wave hit such a level that in 1927 the Texas Bankers Association offered a reward of $5,000 for a dead bank robber; no reward was given for one captured alive. Veteran historian T. Lindsay Baker brings his considerable sleuthing skills to the dark side, leading readers on a fascinating tour of the most interesting and best preserved crime scenes in the Lone Star State. Gangster Tour of Texas traces a trail of crime that had its beginnings in 1918, when the Texas legislature outlawed alcohol, and persisted until 1957, when Texas Rangers closed down the infamous casinos of Galveston. Baker presents detailed maps, photographs of criminals, victims, and law officers, and pictures of the crime scenes as they appear today. Steeped in solid historical research, including personal visits by the author to every site described in the book, this volume offers entertaining and informative insights into a particularly lawless period in our nation’s history. Readers interested in true crime, regional history, or this unique aspect of heritage tourism will derive hours of enjoyment as they follow--on the road or from their armchairs--the trail of both cops and robbers in Gangster Tour of Texas. “Baker knows how to spin a yarn that keeps his readers engrossed; knows that it does history no harm to write it so folks will enjoy many illustrations, maps, and pictures of outlaws, lawmen, victims, witnesses, and crime scenes that accompany each story. Plus, his picture captions are as informative as his story narratives."--Bill Neal, author, Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier
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Established in Waco in 1968, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum honors the iconic Texas Rangers, a service that has existed, in one form or another, since 1823. Thirty-one individuals—whose lives span more than two centuries—have been enshrined in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. They have become legendary symbols of Texas and the American West. In The Ranger Ideal Volume 3, Darren L. Ivey presents capsule biographies of the twelve inductees who served Texas in the twentieth century. In the first portion of the book, Ivey describes the careers of the “Big Four” Ranger captains—Will L. Wright, Frank Hamer, Tom R. Hickman, and Manuel “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas—as well as those of Charles E. Miller and Marvin “Red” Burton. Ivey then moves into the mid-century and discusses Robert A. Crowder, John J. Klevenhagen, Clinton T. Peoples, and James E. Riddles. Ivey concludes with Bobby Paul Doherty and Stanley K. Guffey, both of whom gave their lives in the line of duty. Using primary records and reliable secondary sources, and rejecting apocryphal tales, The Ranger Ideal presents the true stories of these intrepid men who enforced the law with gallantry, grit, and guns. This Volume 3 is the finale in a three-volume series covering all of the Texas Rangers inducted in the Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.
Award-winning author Bob Alexander presents a biography of 20th-century Ranger Captain Jack Dean, who holds the distinction of being one of only five men to serve in both the Officer’s Corps of the Rangers and also as a President-appointed United States Marshal. Jack Dean’s service in Texas Ranger history occurred at a time when the institution was undergoing a philosophical revamping and restructuring, all hastened by America’s Civil Rights Movement, landmark decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court, zooming advances in forensic technology, and focused efforts designed to diversify and professionalize the Rangers. His job choice caused him to circulate in the duplicitous underworld of dishonesty and criminality where twisted self-interest overrode compliance with societal norms. His biography is packed with true-crime calamities: double murders, single murders, negligent homicides, suicides, jailbreaks, manhunts, armed robberies and home invasions, kidnappings, public corruption, sexual assaults, illicit gambling, car-theft rings, dope smuggling, and arms trafficking.
Outrageous acts of villainy have slowly drifted out of the national limelight and into the dustbin of Texas history. Consider the uproar over the 1879 shooting of actor Maurice Barrymore in Marshall and the 1949 murder of oil field legend Tex Thornton in Amarillo. The 1909 Coryell County Courthouse massacre committed by a sixteen-year-old girl remains just as shocking today. For the long-suffering associates of repeat offenders like Fort Worth's Flapper Bandit or Temple's International Man of Mystery, notoriety couldn't fade quickly enough. From the lawless days of the frontier to the rise of organized crime, Clay Coppedge sifts through eighteen obscure case files to chart the evolution of crime and punishment in the state.
From their founding in the 1820s up to the modern age, the Texas Rangers have shown the ability to adapt and survive. Part of that survival depended on their use of firearms. The evolving technology of these weapons often determined the effectiveness of these early day Rangers. John Coffee “Jack” Hays and Samuel Walker would leave their mark on the Rangers by incorporating new technology which allowed them to alter tactics when confronting their adversaries. The Frontier Battalion was created at about the same time as the Colt Peacemaker and the Winchester 73—these were the guns that “won the West.” Firearms of the Texas Rangers, with more than 180 photographs, tells the history of the Texas Rangers primarily through the use of their firearms. Author Doug Dukes narrates famous episodes in Ranger history, including Jack Hays and the Paterson, the Walker Colt, the McCulloch Colt Revolver (smuggled through the Union blockade during the Civil War), and the Frontier Battalion and their use of the Colt Peacemaker and Winchester and Sharps carbines. Readers will delight in learning of Frank Hamer’s marksmanship with his Colt Single Action Army and his Remington, along with Captain J.W. McCormick and his two .45 Colt pistols, complete with photos. Whether it was a Ranger in 1844 with his Paterson on patrol for Indians north of San Antonio, or a Ranger in 2016 with his LaRue 7.62 rifle working the Rio Grande looking for smugglers and terrorists, the technology may have changed, but the gritty job of the Rangers has not.
Texas has one of the world’s largest prison systems, in operation for more than 170 years and currently employing more than 28,000 people. Hundreds of thousands of people have been involved in the prison business in Texas: inmates, correctional officers, public officials, private industry representatives, and volunteers have all entered the secure facilities and experienced a different world. Previous books on Texas prisons have focused either on records and data of the prisons, personal memoirs by both inmates and correctional officers, or accounts of prison breaks. Tall Walls and High Fences is the first comprehensive history of Texas prisons, written by a former law enforcement officer and an officer of the Texas prisons. Bob Alexander and Richard K. Alford chronicle the significant events and transformation of the Texas prison system from its earliest times to the present day, paying special attention to the human side of the story. Incarceration policy evolved from isolation to hard labor to rodeo and educational opportunities, with reform measures becoming an ever-evolving quest. The complex job of the correctional officer has evolved as well—they must ensure custody and control over the inmate population at all times, in order to provide a proper environment conducive to safety and positive change. Alexander and Alford focus especially on the men and women who work with diligence and dedication at their jobs “inside the walls,” risking their lives and—in too many instances—giving their lives in a peculiar line of duty most would find unpalatable. Within these pages are stories of prison breaks, bloodhounds chasing escapees, and gunfights. Inside the walls are deadly confrontations, human trafficking, rape, clandestine consensual trysts, and tricks turned against correctional officers. Famous people and episodes in Texas prison history receive their due, from Texas Rangers apprehending and placing outlaws in prison to the famed gunfighter John Wesl
By the time Route 66 received its official numerical designation in 1926, picture postcards had become popular travel souvenirs. At the time, these postcards with colorful images served as advertisements for roadside businesses. While cherished by collectors, these postcard depictions do not always reflect reality. They often present instead a view enhanced for promotional purposes. Portrait of Route 66 lets us see for the first time the actual photographs from which the postcards were made, and in describing how the production process worked, introduces us to an extraordinary archival collection, adding new history to this iconic road. The Curt Teich Postcard Archives, held at the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois, contains one of the nation’s largest collections of Route 66 images, including thousands of job files for postcards produced by Curt Teich and Company of Chicago. T. Lindsay Baker combed these files to choose the best examples of postcards and their accompanying photographs not only to reflect well-known sites along the route but also to demonstrate the relationships between photographs and their resulting postcards. The photographs show the reality of the locations that customers sometimes wanted "improved" for aesthetic purposes in creating the postcards. Such alterations included removing utility poles or automobile traffic and rendering overcast skies partly cloudy. This book will interest historians of art and design as well as the worldwide audiences of Route 66 aficionados and postcard collectors. For its mining of an invaluable and little-known photographic archive and depiction of high-quality photographs that have not been seen before, Portrait of Route 66 will be irresistible to all who are interested in American history and culture.
- Author : Timothy B. Jay
- Publisher : ABC-CLIO
- Release Date : 2016-11-28
- Genre : Social Science
- Pages : 458
- ISBN : 9781440837739
This provocative guide profiles behaviors considered shocking throughout American history, revealing the extent of changing social mores and cultural perceptions of appropriate conduct since the Colonial period. • Identifies how social values have changed in American history • Provides comprehensive coverage of American society from Colonial America to present day • Reveals the fascinating—and controversial—backstories behind some of America's favorite brands • Examines more than 150 topics on behaviors once deemed "offensive" or "inappropriate," including birth control, dirty dancing, obscene literature and music lyrics, pornography, and prostitution
The astonishing story of Benny Binion—a rip-roaring saga of murder, money, and the making of Las Vegas Benny Binion was many things: a cowboy, a pioneering casino owner, a gangster, a killer, and founder of the hugely successful World Series of Poker. Blood Aces tells the story of Binion’s crucial role in shaping modern Las Vegas. From a Texas backwater, Binion rose to prominence on a combination of vision, determination, and brutal expediency. His formula was simple: run a good business, cultivate the big boys, kill your enemies, and own the cops. Through a mix of cold-bloodedness, native intelligence, folksiness, and philanthropy, Binion became one of the most revered figures in the history of gambling, and his showmanship, shrewdness, and violence would come to dominate the Vegas scene. Veteran journalist Doug J. Swanson uses once-secret government documents and dogged reporting to show how Binion destroyed his rivals and outsmarted his adversaries—including J. Edgar Hoover. As fast paced as any thriller, Blood Aces tells a story that is unmatched in the annals of American criminal justice, a vital yet untold piece of this country’s history.
- Author : David Rosen
- Publisher : Arcadia Publishing
- Release Date :
- Genre : History
- Pages : 231
- ISBN : 9781467146418
'The shadowy Gangster Squad was formed in 1946 with eight men operating out of two rusted old Fords. They had no office and made no arrests -- the idea was to remain invisible. By the time I met Sgt. Jack O'Mara, most of the early members were dead, so I set out to find the survivors.' Based on the hugely popular Los Angeles Times column 'LA Noir: Tales from the Gangster Squad', this is the dark-hearted true story of a group of men cleaning up the mean streets of post-War America. From hundreds of interviews with the original members of the team, Paul Lieberman stitches together the story of Jack O'Mara, his dangerous colleague Jerry Wooters ('the killer cop, that's what they called me') and their anything-goes war with arch-criminal Mickey Cohen and his budding rival Jack 'The Enforcer' Whalen. A tale of stake-outs, shoot-outs and even the famous Black Dahlia murder case, this is ice-cool narrative non-fiction at its best -- and the basis for a huge Warner Brothers film of the same name, starring Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone.
What happened to the documents captured in the Alamo? Does a ghost actually haunt the state capitol in Austin? Was John Wilkes Booth killed or did he escape and flee to Central Texas? The authors present the known facts and circumstances of these and other mysteries.
Danger and intrigue plague an oil-rich Texas ranch Who’s trying to kill a rancher’s long-lost daughter? When a beautiful woman unexpectedly shows up at HG Ranch, foreman Travis Warren gets suspicious. City slicker Scarlett Kistler claims she’s there to meet her dying father—Travis’s boss—but is she just looking for a payday? Several attempts on her life convince Travis she’s innocent, and as unexpected feelings surface, the rancher and the belle must find who wants her dead…at all costs.
"Read this man's book." --James Ellroy A harrowing, edge-of-your-seat narrative of murder and secrets, revenge and heroism in the City of Angels—the real events behind the blockbuster Warner Brothers film starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. GANGSTER SQUAD chronicles the true story of the secretive police unit that waged an anything-goes war to drive Mickey Cohen and other hoodlums from Los Angeles after WWII. In 1946, the LAPD launched the Gangster Squad with eight men who met covertly on street corners and slept with Tommy guns under their beds. But for two cops, all that mattered was nailing the strutting gangster Mickey Cohen. Sgt. Jack O'Mara was a square-jawed church usher, Sgt. Jerry Wooters a cynical maverick. About all they had in common was their obsession. So O'Mara set a trap to prove Mickey was a killer. And Wooters formed an alliance with Mickey's budding rival, Jack "The Enforcer" Whalen. Two cops -- two hoodlums. Their fates collided in the closing days of the 1950s, when late one night "The Enforcer" confronted Mickey and his crew. The aftermath would shake both LA's mob and police department, and signal the end of a defining era in the city's history. Warner Brothers developed the film Gangster Squad based on the research award-winning journalist Paul Lieberman conducted for this book, which reveals the unbelievable true stories behind the film. He spent more than a decade tracking down and interviewing surviving members of the real police unit as well as families and associates of the mobsters they pursued. Gangster Squad is a tour-de-force narrative reminiscent of LA Confidential.
A fascinating journey through the Lone Star State's unruly past— with maps, photos, and more Texas rightfully claims a celebrated place in the “wildest” West of both myth and reality—which makes it truly stranger than fiction that The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Texas is the first-ever travel guide to the many sites related to the Lone Star State's renowned rambunctious past, complete with GPS coordinates that put you at the scene of the action. From outlaws like Sam Bass and John Wesley Hardin to Bonnie & Clyde and Houston's notorious Candy Man killer, Texas has dozens of places where true-crime buffs can actually stand close to history. For many readers, the attraction to these sites—some well-known, some obscured by time—is irresistible. Written with the same fast-paced, gripping style that marked the author's widely praised earlier work, The Crime Buff's Guide to Outlaw Texas is an indispensable resource for both criminal-history enthusiasts and travelers. Each site description includes a concise summary of the location's significance, historical context, maps, directions, and photos. Praise for a previous book by the same author, The Darkest Night “Heartbreaking . . . Not unlike Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.” —Chicago Sun-Times “This uncommon story has every chilling component of human terror, drama, and suspense that readers of true crime look for.” —Vincent Bugliosi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Helter Skelter “A very, very, good book . . . written by a very, very, good writer.” —Ann Rule, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stranger Beside Me
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