All Time Faves: Our favorite books about...True Crime Chicago Style

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For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago
By Baatz, Simon
2009-04 - Harper Perennial
9780060781026 Check our catalog

In the tradition of "The Devil in the White City" comes a riveting recreation of one of the most infamous crimes of the 20th century--the scandalous Leopold-Loeb murder case that shocked Chicago. Photos throughout. …More

Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family
By Calabrese, Frank, Jr.
2012-03 - Broadway Books
9780307717733 Check our catalog

"Operation Family Secrets" is the chilling true story of how the son of the most violent mobster in Chicago made the unprecedented decision to work with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office to incriminate his own father and to help bring down the last great American crime syndicate--the 100-year-old Chicago Outfit. …More

When Corruption Was King: How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down When Corruption Was King: How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down
By Cooley, Robert
2004-07 - Carroll & Graf Publishers
9780786713301 Check our catalog

Former Chicago mob lawyer Cooley tells of living a double life in order to turn on his cronies and help the federal government take down America's most corrupt criminal justice system. of memorable photos. …More

Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster
By Eig, Jonathan
2011-04 - Simon & Schuster
9781416580607 Check our catalog

Drawing on thousands of pages of recently discovered government documents, wiretap transcripts, and Al Capone's handwritten personal letters, "New York Times"-bestselling author Eig tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall of the nation's most notorious criminal in rich new detail. …More

Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster Mafia Princess 
By Giancana, Antoinette 
1984 - Simon & Schuster
9781416580607 Check our catalog

In an autobiography illustrated with family photographs, the daughter of a gangster once the most powerful Mafia boss west of the Mississippi and an award-winning investigative reporter reveal the day-to-day life of a Mafia family

 

Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness
By Griffin, Dennis N.
2007-07 - Huntington Press
9780929712451 Check our catalog

"Frank Cullotta is the real thing," says Nicholas Pileggi (Casino) in the book's Foreword. This no-holds-barred biography chronicles the life of a career criminal who started out as a thug on the streets of Chicago and became a trusted lieutenant in Tony Spilotro's gang of organized lawbreakers in Las Vegas. Cullotta's was a world of high-profile heists, street muscle, and informationlots of itabout many of the FBI's most wanted. In the end, that information was his ticket out of crime, as he turned government witness and became one of a handful of mob insiders to enter the Witness Protection Program. Some of that information has since been responsible for solving a decades-old cold case double-homicide.…More


Scarface Al and the Crime Crusaders: Chicago's Private War Against Capone Scarface Al and the Crime Crusaders: Chicago's Private War Against Capone
By Hoffman, Dennis E.
2010-08 - Southern Illinois University Press
9780809330041 Check our catalog

Hoffman reconstructs in detail a number of privately sponsored citizen initiatives directed at nailing Al Capone. These private ventures include prosecuting the gangsters responsible for election crimes during the Pineapple Primary; establishing a crime lab to assist in gangbusting; underwriting the costs of the investigation of the Jake Lingle murder, stigmatizing Capone; and protecting the star witnesses for the prosecution during the pretrial period of Al Capone's income tax evasion case. …More

The Chicago Killer The Chicago Killer
By Kozenczak, Joseph R.
2003-11 - Xlibris Corporation
9781401095321 Check our catalog

THE CHICAGO KILLER: The Hunt For Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy is the story of the capture of John Wayne Gacy, as told from the perspective of the former Chief of Detectives of the Des Plaines, Illinois Police Department, Joseph Kozenczak. The conviction of Gacy on 33 counts of murder is a record in the archives of the criminal justice system in the United States. Two additional bonus chapters give the reader a comprehensive insight into the use of psychics and the lie-detector in a serial murder investigation. …More

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
By Larson, Erik
2004-02 - Vintage Books
9780375725609 Check our catalog

A BookPage Notable Title
The story of two men's obsessions with the Chicago World's Fair, one its architect, the other a murderer. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. …More

Shattered Sense of Innocence: The 1955 Murders of Three Chicago Children Shattered Sense of Innocence: The 1955 Murders of Three Chicago Children
By Lindberg, Richard C.
2006-09 - Southern Illinois University Press
9780809327362 Check our catalog

In October 1955, three Chicago boys were found murdered, their bodies naked and dumped in a ditch in Robinson Woods on the city' s Northwest Side. A community and a nation were shocked. In a time when such crimes against children were rare, the public was transfixed as local television stations aired stark footage of the first hours of the investigation. "Life "and "Newsweek" magazines published exclusive stories the following week. When Kenneth Hansen was convicted and sentenced for the murders, the case was considered solved-- until questions were raised about Hansen' s presumed guilt.  …More

The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago
By Perry, Douglas
2011-07 - Penguin Books
9780143119227 Check our catalog

Perry vividly captures Jazz Age Chicago to tell the true story of the murderesses who became media sensations and inspired the musical "Chicago." …More

Enforcer Enforcer
By Roemer, William
1995-04 - Ivy Books
9780804113106 Check our catalog

Bugsy Siegel built Las Vegas, but it was Tony "The Ant" Spilotro who ran the show. Now William F. Roemer, Jr., veteran FBI agent and scourge of the Cosa Nostra, tells the shocking story of how a teenage wiseguy grew up to become "the man" in Vegas. From the gritty streets of Chicago to the neon-lit Nevada wonderland, Roemer assembles a rogue's gallery of the highest-ranking capos and the lowest creeps of organized crime. As incredible as any work of fiction -- but it's all fact! …More

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
By Russo, Gus
2003-04 - Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
9781582342795 Check our catalog

In this exploration of the role of Chicago's Underworld in the shaping of modern America, Russo relates the never-before-told story of The Outfit, the secretive crime cartel that began its reign in during prohibition before becoming the real puppet master of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C., for more than 50 years. 8-page photo insert. …More

My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King
By Sanchez, Reymundo
2000-07 - Chicago Review Press
9781556524271 Check our catalog

Looking for an escape from childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez turned away from school and baseball to drugs, alcohol, and then sex, and was left to fend for himself before age 14. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became his refuge and his world, but its violence cost him friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly his life. This is a raw and powerful odyssey through the ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs are members of your own gang, who in one breath will say they'll die for you and in the next will order your assassination.
…More

When Capone's Mob Murdered Roger Touhy: The Strange Case of Touhy, Jake the Barber and the Kidnapping That Never Happened When Capone's Mob Murdered Roger Touhy: The Strange Case of Touhy, Jake the Barber and the Kidnapping That Never Happened
By Tuohy, John W.
2001-06 - Barricade Books
9781569801741 Check our catalog

 

JFK's pardons and the mob; Prohibition, Chicago's crime cadres and the staged kidnapping of "`Jake the Barber'" Factor, "the black sheep brother of the cosmetics king, Max Factor"; lifetime sentences, attempted jail busts and the perseverance of "a rumpled private detective and an eccentric lawyer" John W. Tuohy showcases all these and more sensational and shady happenings in When Capone's Mob Murdered Roger Touhy: The Strange Case of Touhy, Jake the Barber and the Kidnapping that Never Happened.