Gangsters & G-Men
Click on the pictures on the left for more on their story
In 1920, Prohibition goes into effect with the passage of the 18th Amendment. Organized crime started to gain momentum as Mobsters such as Al Capone and Dutch Schultz began importing illegal alcohol and selling it to a public more than willing to break the law. An age of outlaw glamour and speakeasies continued for almost a decade.
With the crash of the stock market in October 1929, a new class of criminals moved towards the forefront as bank robbers. This new generation of gangsters seemed to be heroes to the millions left with nothing during the depression. These "Robin Hoods" stole from the banks whom the public felt had cheated many of them out of their money.
With this surge of crime sweeping the nation, particularly the Midwest, local officials began looking towards Washington to intervene. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the then rather small Bureau of Investigation, stepped in. These government agents were given the nickname of "G-Men".
The Bureau succeeded in capturing or killing many of the era's bank robbers with the assistance of local law enforcement agents.
Many local and federal agents were wounded or killed in the pursuit of these criminals, including Detective Patrick O'Malley of the East Chicago Police Department.
With the exposure from these successes, the Bureau of Investigation grew into the world-known crime fighting FBI it is today.