Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

DiGiovanni, Joseph

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Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Diagram from the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, illustrating the Kansas City Mafia's engagement in narcotics, murder, gambling games and bookmaking, and liquor distribution. Names of alleged members are listed, as are victims of unsolved murders. The diagram also depicts the involvement of the Kansas City Mafia with organized crime in cities such as Chicago, New York, and Tampa.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Profiles of prominent Kansas City organized crime figures, including Charles Binaggio, Gaetano "Thomas" Lococo, and James Balestrere.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Profiles of Kansas City organized crime figures Joe "Scarface" DiGiovanni, his brother Peter "Sugarhouse Pete" DiGiovanni, James Balestrere, Nicolo Impostato, Vincent Chiapetta, Thomas Lococo, Tony Gizzo, and Joseph DeLuca, including biographical information, discussions of criminal involvement and known associates, and records with the Kansas City Police Department. Charges including kidnapping, murder, Prohibition violations, selling narcotics, and other crimes. The document also notes whether these mens had been interviewed by the Kefauver Committee.

Object Type: 
Correspondence

Letter, labeled "confidential," from an unknown correspondent to Mr. Halley, regarding information received from Kansas City crime boss Charles Binaggio's brother, Dominick. Tim Moran, a "big time gambler here under ... both Prendergasts [sic]," is reported to have instructed Charles Binaggio to support a Pendergast candidate in exchange for sparing numerous men in Binaggio's inner circle from income tax fraud indictments.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

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.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Two sets of mugshots of Joseph "Scarface" DiGiovanni. The photographs show DiGiovanni before and after he developed the distinctive burn scars that earned him the nickname "Scarface."

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Memorandum regarding Joseph DiGiovanni, former Kansas City bootlegger and brother of Peter DiGiovanni. The two brothers operated Mid-West Distribution Company, a liquor distributor throughout Jackson County, and "went into the liquor business immediately after [Prohibition] repeal." DiGiovanni plead guilty to Prohibition and and liquor violations during the 1920s.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Memorandum regarding Peter DiGiovanni, former Kansas City bootlegger and brother of Joseph DiGiovanni. The two brothers operated Mid-West Distribution Company, a liquor distributor throughout Jackson County, which also employed other mafia-affiliated men. The DiGiovannis were also allegedly associated with organized crime figure Charles Carollo, James Balestrere, and John Blando during Prohibition. Investigators want to know what information he has about employee Paul Cantanzaro, a suspect in the murder of Frank Caramussa, Jr.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

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.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Kansas City Police Department record for Kansas City organized crime figure Joseph "Scarface" DiGiovanni. DiGiovanni was charged with liquor violations beginning in 1921.

Object Type: 
Correspondence

Letter written by Mary Bonomo, to be provide information to the FBI in the event of her death. She writes that she fears for her life due to a debt owed to her by Chuck Casciopipa, and due to knowledge of other crimes she and her husband were suspected of having. She also feared her imprisoned husband Mario's brothers Tom and Sam, as well as Joe DiGiovanni.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

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.

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