CRIME: Back to the Roaring '20s

Oldsters in Chicago newsrooms chortled with glee. Times had returned that they had thought were gone forever. Complete with pictures, "Xs" marking spots, big-time crime had busted loose on Page 1 again. All the worn but reliable cliches were dusted off: "Big black sedan . . . sawed-off shotguns . . . far-flung man hunt . . . cold-blooded killers." Roger ("The Terrible") Touhy, Bad Basil ("The Owl") Banghart and five other long-term incorrigibles had lammed from Illinois' supposedly escape-proof Stateville Prison.

Chicagoans nostalgically recalled the lush days of gangsterism when Chicago was good for a cadaver a night. Again they...

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