Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

Balestrere, James

Displaying 1 - 12 of 17
Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Kansas City Police Department record noting James Balestrere's arrest on March 19, 1940, on charges of speeding and lacking a city or state auto license. The city license charge was dismissed, and Balestrere was fined $5 for each of the other two charges. The document also includes Balestrere's home address.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

St. Louis Post-Dispatch article discussing Estes Kefauver's Senate committee devoted to investigating interstate organized crime activity, including Kansas City's Charles Binaggio.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

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.

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

Kansas City Election Board records with biographical information about organized crime figure John Blando, including home address and family members. Attached report describes Blando's proximity to numerous arson fires in Kansas City in the 1920s and 1930s.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Memorandum regarding Kansas City organized crime figure James Balestrere, owner of the White House Tavern, where Walt Rainey ran a gambling establishment. Balestrere also received an interest in the Green Hills gambling club owned by crime boss Charles Binaggio, but "did not belong to the Binaggio group." He is described as an old friend of Tony Gizzo, Tano Lococo, and Charles Gargotta.

Object Type: 
Correspondence

Letter from George H. White to U.S. Attorney Sam Wear regarding an investigation into Carl Carramusa. Carramusa is accused of being a representative of the Kansas City Narcotic Syndicate, a subsidiary of the Kansas City Mafia. The letter provides a history of Impostato's entry into Kansas City organized crime through John Lazia after arriving from Chicago in 1929, and connects the Kansas City narcotics trade with St. Louis, Tampa, Havana, and other cities.

Object Type: 
Miscellaneous Documents

FBI record for James Balestrere, number 3707086. The record provides a physical description of the individual provided by the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police Department, where Balestrere once resided.

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 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: 
Miscellaneous Documents

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

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