CRIME: Hoodlum

Chicago was strident, corrupt, lavish, fat from war contracts in 1919 when a young hoodlum from Brooklyn slipped into Diamond Jim Colosimo's South Side underworld and muttered his name. The hoodlum, branded on one swart cheek by the razor memento of the Neapolitan Camorra, was Al Capone.

Prohibition, an experiment noble in purpose, was about to begin. Midnight on Jan. 16, 1920, it went into effect. Five months later, guns barked and drilled plump Diamond Jim Colosimo dead as a herring in his own restaurant. The murder was a clue to the sudden...

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