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Kansas City Police Department mugshot of organized crime figure Giovanni "John" Blando, including a physical description, listing his occupation as bar owner, and recording an arrest for arson on December 7, 1933.

Date: 
December 7th 1933

Testimony of Simon Partnoy who operated a Kansas City wire service from 1939 to 1950. The wire service, known by various names including Universal News Distributing Company, was owned by Edward Ochadsey, aka Eddy Spitz, "Snag" Klein, Thomas "Tano" Lococo, and Charles Gargotta. The testimony describes Partnoy starting the Eagle Scratch Sheet publication in order to classify the wire service as a publishing company, and receiving threats from Eddy Lenz.

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

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.

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.

Document stating the objectives of the Kansas City hearings of the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. The document says the committee intends to establish that a group of criminals, who operated gambling and illegal liquor establishments centered around Charles Binaggio, attempted to dominate Kansas City law enforcement.

Memorandum regarding Kansas City organized crime figure Morris "Snag" Klein, a former business partner of crime boss Charles Binaggio, as well as "Eddie Spitz" Ochadsey and John Noonan, and who was at that time serving a sentence in the federal penitentiary. Klein was also a partner in the Stork Club gambling establishment in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and assorted Kansas City gambling, bookmaking, and wire service operations.

Letter from Ralph L. Ross to Estes Kefauver, U.S. Senator from Tennessee and chair of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce. Ross writes that he, while serving with the Iola, Kansas, Police Department in 1934, arrested several armed men after a car accident. He writes that those men were suspected of an attempt to murder Kansas City gangster Mike LaCapra, and suggests they "could give valuable information on crime in Kansas City." Ross wishes Kefauver luck on his investigation into Kansas City organized crime.

Date: 
October 18th 1950

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.

Memorandum regarding James M. Pendergast, nephew of Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. The document discusses his involvement in the 1948 election of Forest Smith as Missouri governor, with the understanding that Smith would allow crime boss Charles Binaggio to have greater influence over the Kansas City police board of commissioners. There are further descriptions of Binaggio's attempts to take advantage of Pendergast's influence prior to that time, and of election fraud efforts in 1946 and 1947.

Summary of the testimony of Edward Ochadsey, aka Eddy Spitz, describing him as a night club operator, gambler, and wire service partner, who partnered in a liquor distribution business with Kansas City crime boss Charles Binagio and Morris "Snag" Klein. The operations of the Last Chance Saloon, a gambling parlor straddling the Missouri/Kansas state line, are described, including a note that the establishment was closed the day Binaggio was murdered.

Memorandum regarding Vincent Chiappetta, a partner in the North Side Distributing Company during Prohibition, and later in the Super Wines and Liquors Company after repeal. Investigators seek information he has about Charles Carollo and whether he was a partner in bootlegging efforts.

Photographs and quotes from Tony Gizzo, Kansas City mafia figure, during his testimony before the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. Gizzo is quoted as saying "Senator, I wish to hell you would tell me what the Mafia is. I never even heard of it."

Date: 
1950

Diagram presented as an exhibit before the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. The diagram maps the movement of opium from "legitimate" producers Turkey, Persia, and India, and traces the drugs through refinment into heroin, to French and Italian ports where the drugs are distributed to New York and Cuba, then on to Mafia organizations in Tampa and New Orleans before coming to Kansas City and being distributed to consumers.

Date: 
1950

Memorandum regarding Tony Gizzo, who ran various bookmaking operations throughout Kansas City, as well as being involved in the liquor distribution business. Through these businesses he worked with Kansas City mob boss Charles Binaggio, Charles Carollo, Charles Gargotta, and others. Gizzo's suspected earnings from his gambling and liquor enterprises are included.

Memorandum from John N. McCormick to Harold G. Robinson regarding former Kansas City city councilman Hurley Daily's remarks on the issue of election fraud. According to Daily, there were 60,000 "ghost votes" in 1937, and that "it was a general procedure in a primary, votes could be bought for fifty cents and general elections one dollar." Daily also offers the opinion that Tom Pendergast and former crime boss Charles Carollo were behind the John Lazia murder.

Date: 
August 28th 1950

Kansas City Police Department report for Jack J. "Nagel" Maroon, beginning in 1927 and spanning through 1950. The report includes numerous charges of robbery, income tax evasion, gambling, and traffic violations.

Date: 
1950

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

Date: 
July 9th 1950

Kansas City Police Department mugshot of Jack J. "Nagel" Maroon.

Date: 
May 6th 1950

Profile of Kansas City organized crime figure James DeSimone, including his history of criminal charges and sentencing. DeSimone is suspected to be a Black Hand killer who is believed to have been involved in the murder of Joe Patito, a John Lazia pallbearer.

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.