Audioburst Search

The Untouchables Pt. 1: Eliot Ness

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Due to the graphic nature of this kingpins crimes listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of murder and assault that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. Eliot Ness wanted to be bribed in the back room. Cozy Corner Saloon. He sat across from Joe Martino. The potato as mob boss of Chicago Heights Ness was posing as a corrupt federal agent hoping to Bait Martino into spilling the beans on where illegal distilleries were doing business. And of course which cops and public officials were in on the take. He'd gone undercover before. But that was a fresh-faced college student. Busting kids for drinking illegal booze. This time he was trying to do hardened killers by this point necet rubbed elbows with enough dirty cops that he knew to play the role. He haggled with Martino over the size of his bribe. Confident that the mob boss was stumbling into his trap. The conversation turned heated. Ness was pushing his luck. A silk shirted hood sidled up behind. Ness and conferred with Martino in Italian. Miss didn't think much of it until his informant frank. Brazil leaned over to whisper something in his ear. The bootleggers didn't realize the light skinned zeal was Italian so they didn't hesitate to speak freely in front of him. He translated for Ness. The mobsters were debating if they should put a knife in his back there and then standing in the back room of the cosy corners helpless a single nod away from getting killed Ness. Finally just how high the stakes were for. The first time in his life he felt true terror. Welcome to King Pins. Park asked original. I'm how Kate Leonard. Every Friday. We journey inside the ranks of Organized Crime Rings From Street gangs to mafiosos to understand how a kingpin or Queen Pin Rises to the top of the underworld and why they fall as we follow the lives of infamous crime. Bosses will explore how money and power change them and how it changed the community around them. You can find episodes of kingpins and all other par- cast originals for free on spotify. Or wherever? You LISTEN TO PODCASTS. To stream kingpins for free on spotify. Just open the APP type kingpins in the search bar at par cast. We are grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at par cast and twitter at podcast network? This is our first episode on Eliot Ness not a kingpin himself. But rather one of America's most famous federal agents during prohibition in the Nineteen Twenties and thirties ness led a team of elite agents. Spain for their incorruptibility dubbed the untouchables in the wake of necessary tumultuous life and early death. The legend of the untouchables grew until it became nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction though this was largely forgotten during his own lifetime. The posthumous publication of his autobiography co written with Sports Reporter. Oscar Fraley insured that. The legacy of Eliot Ness and the untouchables continues on to this day. It's an inspiring narrative and after nests death. The story was picked up by Hollywood. The first iteration was a nineteen sixties. Television series starring. Robert Stack and then a nineteen eighty seven film featuring Kevin Costner as Ness and Robert Deniro as Al Capone. These adaptations cemented. The image of Ness in the untouchables in the public imagination honest upright fearless. Crimefighters men who allegedly brought down the biggest crime boss in American history but since the book's publication many have argued. The whole story was a lie. Nothing more than Hollywood hogwash. Eliot Ness was a fraud. These critics insist stealing the laurels from the federal prosecutors who had built the income tax evasion case that had actually sent capone to prison. Truthfully Ness in the untouchables. Didn't personally take down capone nor was Nessa Huckster. Who tried to seize all the credit for the kingpins downfall? In everyday life he was a quiet. Unassuming man who happened to have an exciting dangerous job. It was a bitterly cold morning in early April. Nineteen thirty one dirty snow clogged the streets of CICERO. A crime ridden suburb of Chicago. Eliot Ness Rode Shotgun in a truck leading a convoy of cars carrying his team. The capone skied. Their numbers. Were bolstered by local police but Nez could never be certain of their loyalty. It was an all too common occurrence for prohibition agents to Smash Open the doors of what they thought was a distillery only to find it empty the bootleggers having been tipped off by the corrupt cops on the mobs payroll ness and his team had been planning this raid in secret for weeks. Not even their superiors. In the Prohibition Bureau knew what was coming surprise was crucial. He wanted to catch capone's men with their pants down on that cold April morning. The twenty eight year old leader of the capone squad wore a leather football helmet. He had an affinity for sports and thought of himself as something like his team's quarterback but the helmet was for more than theatrics given what the squad had planned ness felt the need for extra protection. He ordered the driver to step on the gas. The truck lurch toward their target a brewery hidden in a nondescript building on South Wabash Avenue. A sign out front declared it the old reliable trucking company gathering speed the truck hurdle toward the warehouses large wooden doors. That driver pressed harder on the gas. The wooden doors couldn't put up much resistance to the smoke belching truck charging toward them but the steel doors hidden behind. Were a different story. Moscow had been in this game too long to be fooled. He had anticipated the extra set of reinforced steel doors. They were common defense against raids on Capone's breweries. During previous attempts. The law men would beat at the steel doors with sledgehammers while the bootleggers slipped away. Clean through side doors and secret hatches. Every major capone brewery was a fortress a castle impenetrable from the siege of prohibition they were built to be raid prove until now ness and his men had created a weapon to bust. Open the illegal stills a huge arrowhead shaped battering Ram attached to the front of the truck to of Ness men had cobbled together out of old streetcar rails. Welding late at night with all the secrecy of the Manhattan project in the war on Illegal Hooch. Federal agents had two employees siege engines. Still the battering Ram had not been tested. They couldn't be certain it would work. As the truck sped toward those steel doors. All Ness could do was tighten the straps on his football helmet and hope for the best. The battering ram slammed into the steel doors and unnecess- great relief broke them wide open but the game was far from up behind them. He expected to find a vast operation full of stills and barrels with bootleggers scrambling to escape. Instead he found nothing of bass darkness. A cavernous empty room ness was crushed. He had been duped again outsmarted humiliated then. One of his men saw light coming from behind a door nested into the wall and painted black. This empty room was another ruse of front hiding the real brewery behind black painted walls. His men kicked down the door inside. They found exactly what they were looking for. Five eight thousand nine Hundred Gallon Cooling tanks fourteen twenty five hundred gallon vats forty thousand gallons of beer and several trucks not to mention capone's bootleggers. Who were all swept up in the dragnet? It was one of the largest breweries in Chicago. nurse had penetrated capone's operations. He hadn't put a stake. In the heart of the bootlegging empire. It was too fast to be seriously disturbed by any single raid but he had proved that the Chicago kingpin who has seemed invincible. Could be wounded where it really hurt his wallet. Perhaps more importantly ness learned something about himself that cold April morning. He had always been thrilled at rating saloons and nabbing mobsters but this quest was something more. He was hunting the biggest beast in the underworld capone. It gave him purpose and a sense of euphoria. A reason to live but that high of chasing capone would inevitably Itself with a feeling of emptiness when the scent of blood wasn't in his nose according to author. Douglas Perry from here on out. Eliot Ness would do almost anything to recapture the emotional high that came from crashing through Al. Capone's doors Eliot ness was born on April nineteenth nineteen o two in Kensington on. Chicago's southside. His neighborhood was a hellish industrial dystopia. Where the skies were so blackened with Ashi smoke? That clouds didn't discharge snow but soot alcoholism was pervasive so much so that Kensington was nicknamed bum town such tough ugly towns often breed tough. Ugly men but not ness. He was shy sensitive and doted upon by his mother. Emma his father meanwhile concentrated on keeping their family bakery profitable rarely saying a word to his family though he would live with his parents well into his twenties ness would lament that he barely knew his father seeking an outlet for his energy he developed a relentless drive to be the best at whatever he put his mind to taking up tennis he spent hours each day hitting a ball against a brick wall until he could beat anyone at his school later while working part time at a clothing store he practiced his salesmanship in a mirror determined to become the stores top seller oddly though his grades didn't reflect this. Dr Ness was never more than an average student. Nevertheless he enrolled at the University of Chicago at least partially because he was a fan of their football team. He studied business administration and political science but he was biting time until he could chase his real dream to become a detective up. Next will explore. How Eliot Ness Zam Bishen to join? Law Enforcement led him to the Bureau of Prohibition and into a war was some of the most violent mobsters in the country podcast listeners. Do you love true crime? Well here's your chance to prove it. We're excited to announce the release of our new true crime theme Trivia Killer Knowledge. You can listen to new episodes every Tuesday. Here's host Carter to tell you more. Sure you're a fan of true crime but are you ready to put your skills to the test and be crowned in undisputed expert. Then try your hand at par cast new Trivia podcast killer knowledge every Tuesday to competitors go head to head to correctly answer multiple choice. True crime questions ever gains the most points after twenty questions wins all the murder mystery and suspense. You've come to expect from podcast now and fast paced interactive format each episode dives deep into a different shocking topic from history such as the Manson family Jimmy Hoffa and even the Jonestown massacre with each question answer comes additional context surrounding the event enlightening even the most knowledgeable. True Crime Lover. You can play by yourself. Challenge your friends and prove your hours by sharing the results with podcast on social media. You never know you may even find yourself in the hot seat one day. Follow Killer Knowledge. Free on spotify. Or wherever you get your podcasts. Now back to the story Elliott notices hard-driving obsessive need to be the best had I manifest itself. During his teenage years. Nature would continue to serve him in his eagerness to become a detective to men in particular kindled ness interest in police work one Sherlock Holmes whose stories he devoured as a teen. The other was Alexander. Jamie Nasr's brother-in-law who moved in with the family in nineteen O Nine. Jamie initially worked as a strike preventer and volunteered as vigilante for an anti German group but he became necessary hero after joining the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice the predecessor to the FBI around nineteen eighteen. Jamie was happy to mold ness in his own image encouraging his interest in police work and teaching him how to shoot a pistol by the time ness was ready to join law enforcement. Jamie was working in the treasury. Department's Bureau of Prohibition Ness was ready to follow prohibition. Made Eliot Ness. It also made Al Capone possible without America's dalliance with legally enforced sobriety. It's likely that neither man would have ever become more than a footnote in history as it was both went on to fundamentally influence their respective fields police work and organized crime the Volts Dead Act went into effect in January nineteen twenty. Its purpose was to enforce the Eighteenth Amendment which prohibited the sale manufacture and transportation of intoxicating liquors. Alcohol had been the nation's fifth largest business and became illegal virtually overnight but not everyone was on board with the puritanical. Moralism that led to the ban on alcohol. Prohibition was deeply unpopular from the get-go rather than destroying the booze business the volts dead act merely created a vacuum by shuttering legal breweries. And they're hard working. Employees inevitably those willing to circumvent. The law filled the void. The irony of prohibition is that instead of strengthening the moral fiber of America. It did the exact opposite. Formerly law-abiding citizens became criminals. Policemen were bought off on an unprecedented scale. And Small Time Crooks grew into crime lords overseeing vast wildly lucrative enterprises into this vortex of violence and corruption stepped. Young Eliot Ness he joined the Prohibition Bureau of the Treasury Department in Nineteen Twenty. Six at the age of twenty four ness himself didn't believe in prohibition he had started drinking in college and never stopped even. While in the Prohibition Bureau He'd have at least one illegal drink a day after a raid he would occasionally gift confiscated alcohol too old frat buddies or the reporters who covered his exploits like virtually everyone tasked with enforcing the ban on alcohol. Ness continue to enjoy drinking even president. Warren G harding who publicly supported. Prohibition still drank while in the White House. The real enemy furniss wasn't alcohol. But the vicious gangsters who were getting rich by bootlegging in using the ill-gotten gains to corrupt their communities. But besides drive to take down. These kingpins ness was drawn to the excitement of detective work raids tailing suspects and carrying a gun during his first week. At Bureau of Prohibition Ness discovered an illicit distillery he was so keyed up to bust it that he excitedly told everyone in the department about it. His partner Ted coon new that the kid had made a mistake by blabbing but encouraged him to get a warrant. Anyway when they went to raid the distillery they found an empty room. Nurses corrupt fellow agents had tipped off the bootleggers. It was a hard earned lesson after that ness knew that anyone could be in on the take. No one could be trusted. If the Bureau of Prohibition was intended to fight the sickness of illegal hooch plaguing American cities then. The Cure was often worse than the disease. The bureau was notoriously corrupt. Many agents were on gangster payrolls. While some were fully-fledged gang members themselves prohibition agents also had the habit of acting more like cowboys than federal agency in their zeal for vigilantism. They tended to shoot. Unarmed innocent bystanders. Ms Was the on. Doug of the group he carried. The prohibition bureau guidebook in his pocket every day like an evangelist armed with the Bible. He still lived with his parents whom he would call if he was going to be coming home late and most unusually. He didn't accept bribes little wonder that he was generally disliked by his fellow agents so he kept to himself. Do-gooder ness joined the bureau. Ready to make a dent in bootlegging but he was quickly disappointed surrounded by indifferent inept and corrupt agents. There was little. He could hope to accomplish during his year and a half at the bureau his biggest success was going undercover as a student at the University of Illinois and arresting coeds for drinking not exactly worthy of the pages of Sir Arthur CONAN doyle night. He knew he could do better work if he was surrounded by the right colleagues. He put in a request to join the Bureau of Prohibition Special Agency Division the Unit was intended to be a more elite force consisting of ten squads of investigators headed by a special agent their task was to dismantle large scale bootlegging outfits and to investigate corruption within the bureau itself the leader of the Chicago Department of the Special Agency division was a hard boiled New York. Cotton named George Golding who at all was subtlety of a sledgehammer since coming to Chicago. Golding best known accomplishment. Was that during a raid on a saloon. One of his men had shot an off-duty court bailiff in the back two months after the shooting ness joined the special agency division. It wasn't an auspicious time to start but despite golding blundering ness believed in the basic tenants of the New Yorkers Philosophy bootlegging needed to be combated with ruthless extra-legal paramilitary force traditional police. Work wouldn't cut it. Like golding ness wanted to go to war on the other hand. The young inexperienced unqualified Eliot Ness wasn't golden's first choice for a recruit. But he was the best man willing to do the job in the aftermath of the bailiff shooting and its accompanying public outcry. No one wanted to join the special agency. Division except for ness the enthusiastic young recruit. Replace the agent who had shot the bailiff and was now under indictment for murder ness and the special agency. Division wouldn't be going after bathtub. Gin brewers but some of the most dangerous criminals in the country in Chicago when the bolstered pushed out legitimate brewers kingpin Johnny Torio stepped in after disposing of his boss and mentor diamond. Jim Carlesimo Torio took over the local crime syndicate which came to be known as the outfit. Torio Nourish the outfit with blood and booze until it blossomed into the largest criminal organization in Chicago. Torio approached illegal bootlegging like a CEO veteran distributors and brewers all too happy to remain employed were recruited markets were staked out distribution of capital and supplies was carefully coordinated. It was to be an efficient industrial system. In many ways there was little difference between Torio and Carnegie Rockefeller or J. P. If Anything Torio was to legitimate prohibition offered previous undreamed of prophets but the stakes had been raised. There was no more room for an old school. Gentlemanly gangster. Like Torio after being nearly killed during Gangland squabble. Toro decided to retire in nineteen twenty five. He turned the outfit over to his twenty six year old. Protege Alfonse Capone A- meanwhile the twenty-three-year-old Eliot Ness had not yet joined law enforcement upon taking over the outfit. Al Capone soon proved that he was a completely different beast from his old mentor. Torio was a murderer to be sure but he was a businessman at heart capone. Meanwhile was a thug through and through once scarface AL attack the mayor of CICERO shoving him down the steps of City Hall and beating him in full view of a police officer who made no move to intervene. Capone was too powerful to be touched. Another infamous story holds. The capone viciously beat three of his own men with a baseball bat at a banquet intending to kill them unable to finish the men off with the bat. They were stuffed into a car and driven out of town. The car was then supposedly lit on fire leaving the victims to burn the Baseball Bat. Murders remain unconfirmed but the fact that such stories about capone circulated speaks volumes about his reputation for brutality if Torio had the mystique of a Rockefeller or Carnegie Than Capone was Attila the Hun. He couldn't have built the outfit. As Tornado had that took negotiation and cooperation instead the entire operation virtually fell into his lap. Nevertheless Capone expanded operations conquering neighborhood. After neighborhood murdering anyone who stood in his way under his direction the outfit would become the most profitable criminal enterprise in the country. If not the world up next we'll delve into Eliot ness is first real clash with Capone's criminal empire now back to the story by Nineteen Twenty eight twenty five year. Old Eliot Ness had joined the Special Agency Division while Al Capone was brutally expanding the outfits reach throughout Illinois. It was only natural of the outfit came from Chicago. The windy city was also the wettest. In America. Prohibition was flouted they're like nowhere else bootleggers handed out at least a million dollars in bribes per month. Cops were just as likely to be found partaking in a drink at a speakeasy as ordinary citizens and even cops and city officials who might not have otherwise accepted. A bribe often did so for their own safety. Chicago Heights police chief. Leroy Gilbert resisted bribes and was shot to death as a result. Chicago Heights was the most notorious suburb of America's most notorious city and thus the first target of the Special Agency Division in two years at least twenty men had been killed in battles for control of the heights. Capone came out on top putting mob boss. Joe Martino in charge of the neighborhood Eliot Ness brother-in-law in Bosnia Alexander Jamie decided to clean up Chicago Heights by taking down. Martino Jamie sent ness and his fellow agents out into the heights. They were told not to hide the fact that they were prohibition agents rather they were to flaunt it around town and make it clear they were willing to accept bribes. Miss frequented the cosy corner saloon enjoying the illegal booze on the first floor though declining any invitations to the brothel on the second floor the special agents didn't have to wait long bootleggers. Were always eager to have feds on the payroll both for protection and for the Information. They could provide on their rivals. Martino took the bait ness was invited into the back room of the cosy corners where he and Martino haggled over the size of Nez bribe when it seemed like it would be more trouble than it was worth what of Martinez goons offered to put a knife. Unnecess- back for perhaps the first time ness experienced real dread but he pushed the fear deep down inside him and kept his cool a habit he would have for the rest of his life. Thankfully Martino decided not to murder ness but agreed to a thousand dollar. A month bribe spent months pretending to be a corrupt agent always handing over the bribe money to his superiors but despite his consistency he couldn't manage to crack. Open the organization. Though Martino believed that Nessin is partners were corrupt. He still didn't trust them and kept the details of his operations. Well hidden thus ness couldn't find out who wells was on the payroll or how Martinez bootlegging organization worked. Finally the head office told Ness and his fellow agents to cash in and do what damage they could so they girded themselves with sawn off shotguns and rated the cosy corners one agent collected so many surrendered revolvers that a sex worker at the scene called him. Tom Mix raids on eighteen. Illegal distilleries soon followed with brewing equipment and ledgers captured in abundance. No serious damage was done to the outfit's operations not yet but it sent a powerful message. Martino was arrested and spent the night in jail. He posted a ten thousand dollar. Bond was released and got a ride back to the heights. He stepped out onto the curb. On East Sixteenth Street moments later a black sedan rolled up windows down. Martino was shot several times and fell to the ground dead. The sedan pulled away. He hadn't been back on the street for more than two minutes. Before being gunned down capone had ensured. That Martina wasn't going to rat other liabilities were similarly disposed of eleven days after Martina's death. A heights bootlegger was thrown out of a car with two bullet holes in his head. Another goon who had been arrested was found hanging by his neck tie. In Kensington jail cell. It was not clear whether he had committed suicide or been knocked off by crooked cops to add to this yet. Another man was found in a drainage ditch shot in the eye for times he was later identified as Frank Brazil the government witness who would warn ness of Martino's violent intentions back in the cosy corners. Brazil's death rattled ness. He started carrying a sawn off shotgun at all times and always sat with his back to the wall in restaurants so that no one could get the jump on him. He never showed. Fear never expressed his panic. Not even to Edna stall his girlfriend and future wife since he was in school nurse had a reputation for always staying calm and playing it cool but that didn't mean he was truly fearless. The truth was that he simply stuffed the fear deeper inside and pushed ahead. He didn't want his anxiety to get in the way of his work. The only evidence of this strain was his habit of biting his nails and picking at the skin on his fingers until they bled. He was right to be anxious. Just after Christmas says ness and his partner Albert neighbors were driving in the heights. They notice they were being tailed. Ness told neighbors to swing into a narrow side street and then turned the wheel slam on the brakes. The car screeched to a halt blocking the road. Enforcing the tail to stop to nest jumped out and grabbed hold of the driver. A heavy set Italian man while neighbors jammed a son off in his face ness searched the driver and found a revolver with its serial numbers filed off filled with Dumdum. Bullets typically used to kill big game. Miss was certain that gun was meant for him. He'd narrowly cheated death. Others weren't so lucky by the beginning of nineteen twenty nine. It was estimated that at least sixty people had been murdered in connection to bootlegging Chicago Heights. It was the highest per capita murder rate in the country. The Special Agency division didn't want to spend another year losing ground in the heights so on January sixth nineteen twenty nine. They made their move to sweep the city clean in the pre dawn morning on the icy corner of Ninety Fifth Street and South Park Avenue a Legion of law enforcement. Soldiers gathered fifteen special agents including ness ten. Us marshals and about one hundred Chicago police officers the Federal Agents. Put THE COPS into small squads and deputize them all with authority to work outside the city. Not Unlike nights dubbing their squires before battle. The police had no idea where there were going. It was always best to keep everyone as ignorant as possible for as long as possible to prevent the mob from being tipped off the makeshift army piled into their cars bristling with shotguns rifles and submachine guns and headed toward the heights. Once they're they split up each squad heading toward its assigned target before they could strike however the feds had to ensure that the bootleggers wouldn't be warned they had to seize city. All Chicago Heights. City Hall was also headquarters for the city's police department which remained firmly under the thumb of organized crime. Deputy Police Commissioner of Chicago. John Stagey took command of the ambush on the building. He told his men to wait on the front steps while he entered alone. Sticky demanded the keys to the castle from the desk sergeant. Who HANDED THEM OVER? Without protest he went to the station's jail cells the only occupants of which were three sex workers than he announced that everyone in the station was under arrest except for those already facing charges that is three sex workers the women were released and the stations policemen were locked up in their stead. Even the local chief of police was put in a cell with the Chicago Heights City Hall under control the Gray raid could begin. Twenty private homes were broken into suspects. Were yanked out of their beds and dragged off in cuffs. Most caught unawares gave up with a Fuss twenty-five mobsters were hauled into the Chicago Heights police station. Dozens of shotguns and pistols were seized along with four hundred slot machines which the police smashed with hammers in the wake of the raid eighty-one defendants received conspiracy indictment including local outfit leaders and two former police chiefs. Chicago Heights one of the most crime infested towns in the country had been cleaned up for now Ness at the center of the success should have been elated but instead the thrill of the raid quickly wore off. He felt empty. The of the chase had given way to the low of depression when he wasn't on the hunt ness was a black void. The hard truth was that while the Chicago. Heights raid was terrific success. The prohibition bureau had really only caught guppies the sharks still swim. Free Capone was as powerful as ever. His empire barely scratched any hope that the Chicago Heights raid would encourage mobsters to keep their heads down and put a stop to. The violence was quickly dashed. Just one month later. The most famous mob hit in history was carried out Valentine's Day in nineteen twenty. Nine seven men were gathered in a garage on. Chicago's northside five or mobsters working for George Bugs Moran. One of the few bosses left who still oppose to Capone. One was a safecracker turned mechanic. The seventh was an optician. Who enjoyed hanging around gangsters and pretending to be one of them at about ten thirty in the morning. A pair of men in police uniforms entered the garage and ordered the gangsters mechanic and optician against a brick wall. Then the cops ushered in two more men in long coats brandishing Thompson. Submachine guns the rattle of gunfire filled the room. The Fifty Round Drum magazine of a Tommy Gun could be emptied in five seconds. Maran's men were this a-rated. Some of the forty five caliber rounds tore through the victims only to ricochet off the brick wall. And right back into the dying men. After the first time begun when Dr the second was fired into their bodies shotgun finished off the mechanic blasting off half his face with the grizzly deed finished. The men in long coats exited the garage with their hands held above their head. The cops March them off at gun point to make. It seem that they were under arrest. The group easily slipped away in a cadillac never to be identified but clearly. Those officers were no policemen. One victim Frank. Gouzenne Berg briefly survived. The massacre shot. Fourteen Times he was taken to a nearby hospital when questioned by the police. He told them shot me a true mobster. He kept to the code of silence until the end dying within the day in the aftermath of the hit. Chicago was shocked. Most everyone assumed it was capone's handiwork while it's never been conclusively proven. Al Capone was behind the Saint Valentine's Day massacre. He was the likeliest culprit. He had the most to gain by the murder of bugs. Marantz men in the brutality of the hit matched capone's reputation to a T. We aren't certain of necessary action but he was most likely appalled. It was exactly the kind of reckless violence. And based thuggery he joined the bureau to Combat. No matter how powerful capone had become. He could not be allowed to get away with such brazen. Brutality though ness was not directly responsible for the events that followed it's undeniable at the Saint. Valentine's Day massacre led to the creation of the untouchables before the massacre many had looked up to capone with a sense of awe. An admiration prohibition was hugely unpopular. So there was something almost heroic about a man who snubbed his nose at the legislation and continued to give the people what they wanted he also created an image of generosity during the depths of the Great Depression. He kept soup. Kitchens open and was said to drive around town tossing silver dollars out of his car window. Saint Valentine's Day massacre shattered capone's mystique. The public still wanted to drink but they were fed up with the gang wars the endless violence even New York kingpin lucky Luciano called Chicago. A real God damn crazy place when Lucky. Luciano calls your town on Save. Perhaps you've gone too far. Something had to be done about capone. The men who sought to put him behind bars needed to fight fire with fire. They needed an agent. Who could brawl with capone in the streets? They needed a winner. Their search would lead them to Eliot ness the United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois George E Q Johnson was convinced he could take down capone with charges of tax fraud. He'd been building a case against capone since he first took office but in the aftermath of Saint Valentine's Day Johnson's bosses decided more aggressive tactics. Were needed another. Us Attorney William Froehlich was sent to Chicago to help build a clandestine unit within the already elite Special Agency. Division this special capone squad would focus solely on hitting the kingpin where it hurts most his illicit income in November nineteen thirty on the recommendation of his brother-in-law Alexander Jamie twenty-eight-year-old Eliot Ness was selected to head the Capone Squad. He would operate outside. The Prohibition Bureau instead working under Froehlich Johnson is part of the. Us Attorney's office ness would lead a team of special agents in a war against capone rating his breweries dismantling his distribution and gathering evidence of his bootlegging operations through their work. This team would become known as the untouchables. They risk their lives in a Herculean effort to smash organized crime in Chicago and beyond. Thanks again for listening to kingpins. Join US next week as we explore. Just how much the untouchables really contributed to capone's downfall as well as Eliot ness struggle to find purpose in the aftermath of prohibitions repeal. For more information on Eliot Ness amongst the mini sources we used. We found Eliot ness the rise and fall of an American hero by Douglas. Perry and scarface and the untouchable. By Max Allan Collins and a Brad Schwartz extremely helpful to our research you can find more episodes of kingpins and all other podcast originals for free on spotify. Not only does spotify already. Have all your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like kingpins for free from your phone. Desktop or smart speaker to stream kingpins on spotify. Just open the APP and type kingpins in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram. At podcast and twitter parkas network will see you. Next time kingpins was created by Max Cutler and is a park has studios original executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler sound designed by Dick Schroeder with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden Travis. Clark and Paul Molitor. This episode of kingpins was written by Devon Hughes with writing assistance by Kate. Gallagher and stars Kate Leonard and Howell Heart Hi listeners. Don't forget to check out our new trivia. Podcast killer knowledge every Tuesday play along as competitors go head to head to find out who's Amir true crime fan and who's an undisputed true crime champion search killer knowledge in the spotify APP and listen free today.

Coming up next