Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression
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Transcript of the application to suspend or revoke the license of Peter and Joseph DiGiovanni, doing business as Midwest Distributing Company, 1109 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri in Case No. 548628: Missouri vs. Peter DiGiovanni and Joseph DiGiovanni. The document includes transcripts of Joseph and Peter testifying before Assistant Attorney General Hugh P. Williamson and includes many details of their liquor distributing activity during and after Prohibition.

Date: 
October 13th 1950

Letter from Pastor Salvino Zanon to the court in Case No. 548628: Missouri vs. Peter DiGiovanni and Joseph DiGiovanni. Zanon attests that the two DiGiovanni brothers are charitable and of high moral character. Zanon believes, "they should not be deprived of their business just because of what may have happened many and many years ago, or because of politics, or propaganda."

Date: 
October 12th 1950

FBI record for Peter DiGiovanni listing IRS and liquor violations, and including biographical information and a physical description.

Date: 
August 25th 1950

FBI record for Kansas City organized crime figure Joseph "Scarface" DiGiovanni, including his home and work addresses, as well as listing charges from 1944 and 1946.

Date: 
September 19th 1950

Memorandum regarding Gus Gargotta, describing him as a brother of Charles Gargotta and operator of the Green Hills gambling club near Parkville, Missouri. He is also described as having interest in other gambling establishments in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, and also been charged with bank robbery, murder, and other crimes.

Date: 
July 14th 1950

FBI report for Gus Gargotta, including Prohibition violations, bank robbery, murder, and other charges in Kansas City, Omaha, and Wichita. The document also includes biographical information and a physical description.

Date: 
August 25th 1950

Report from KCPD Homicide Bureau after questioning James Balestrere. Balestrere told the officers he works for his son at a liquor store on 18th Street, and "has been out of the rackets for some time." He denied knowledge of the Mafia or Black Hand Society, and said that he had no information on the killings of Charles Binaggio or Charles Gargotta.

Date: 
April 15th 1950

Memorandum describing testimony given by Walt Rainey, a member of the Joe Shannon-led Rabbit Club and associate of Max Jaben and "Johnny Mag" Mangiaracina. Rainey is described as under indictment in state court for operating a "policy game" and in federal court for tax fraud.

Date: 
September 25th 1950

FBI record for Kansas City organized crime figure Frank DeLuca, including violations with the Immigration and Nationalization Service.

Date: 
September 19th 1950

Memorandum including biographical and criminal history for Frank DeLuca, Kansas City organized crime figure. DeLuca immigrated from Italy in 1923 to join his brothers Joseph and Samuel, associates of Mafia boss Johnny Lazia. DeLuca is described as being a close associate of St. Louisan Tony Lopiparo, and as having killed a man named Ed Murry in his Florida Blossom saloon in 1936. He was also investigated for involvement in alcohol and narcotics violations.

Date: 
1950

Kansas City Police Department full-length photographs of John Mangiaricina.

Date: 
May 3rd 1950

Memorandum regarding Tony Ballano, Kansas City organized crime figure. The memo summarizes biographical information, as well as his police record and involvement in criminal activities, as well as noting that he "has not been very prominent publicly in the last ten years." Ballano is described as "an old-time bomb thrower and Black Hander," who was shot six times by the police during a stake out.

Date: 
September 13th 1950

FBI record for "Johnny Mag" Mangiaracina, including multiple charges of violating the National Prohibition Act, in addition to traffic violations, murder and larceny. The document also includes a physical and biographical description of Mangiaracina.

Date: 
September 1st 1950

FBI record for "Johnny Mag" Mangiaracina, including charges of theft and numerous Prohibition and other liquor violations, and income tax evasion, and listing sentences servced in the Chillicothe, Ohio reformatory and the Platte County, Missouri, jail. The document also includes a physical and biographical description of Mangiaracina.

Date: 
September 1st 1950

Memorandum regarding Joe DiGiovanni's criminal history, listing charges beginning with a 1920 Prohibition violation to which he plead guilty, and spanning through 1930. DiGiovanni was charged with numerous Prohibition and other liquor violations.

Date: 
September 7th 1950

Memorandum including biographical and criminal history for Joseph DeLuca, Kansas City organized crime figure. DeLuca immigrated from Italy in 1910 and moved to Kansas City in 1922, where he was later indicted on narcotics charges Prohibition Act violations, and owned liquor stores with his brother, Frank DeLuca.

Date: 
July 13th 1950

Memorandum regarding Walt Rainey, described as "an operator of notorious restaurants and night clubs," who allegedly runs his businesses in violation of gambling and liquor laws. The document includes descriptions of his various businesses, including The Plantation, located east of the Kansas City city limits, where gambling and horse race betting took place and liquor was served outside of legal hours; and the White House Tavern, south of the Kansas City city limits, where gambling was also permitted, which he allegedly operated for James Balestrere.

Date: 
July 14th 1950

Memorandum regarding Kansas City, Kansas, Chief of Police Will Johns, stating that he will testify about raids on the State Line Club and surveys done to determine how much of the business existed on each side of the Missouri/Kansas state line.

Date: 
September 25th 1950

FBI record for Kansas City organized crime figure Joseph DeLuca, including numerous charges including Prohibition Act and narcotics violations beginning in 1930.

Date: 
August 18th 1950

Memorandum summarizing the biography and criminal activity of James Balestrere. Balestrere is reported to have been involved in bootlegging during Prohibition, running the Kansas City Syrup Company with Charles Binaggio, selling sugar to distillers, and then was involved in liquor distribution businesses after repeal with other individuals involved in organized crime.

Date: 
July 14th 1950

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