I love sharing the stories of the Irish Wise Guys and I have put together a series of short podcasts looking at the lives of the men who make up my book. I hope you enjoy listening to them
The White Hand Gang evolved from the numerous gangs that populated the Brooklyn waterfront in the late 1800s and early 20th century. Their power was so fierce and their reputation so all-encompassing in Brooklyn that a young Al Capone was sent to Chicago, as many sources confirm, because The White Hand Gang had him on a short list of those that needed to be killed. The Mafia could not afford to lose one of its rising stars.
The tale of the Gophers who were acknowledged as the undisputed kings of crime in Hell’s Kitchen for many years. Their domain ran from Seventh Avenue to Eleventh Avenue and from Fourteenth Street to Forty-Second Street.
Hills Kitchen had a reputation for poverty and crime which was endemic given its proximity to the Hudson River docks, where the first German and Irish immigrants found work and eventually formed gangs in the 19th century.
Bill Dwyer took to organised crime late in his life at the age of 37, but became famous as the King of the Rum Runners. He believed the prohibition of alcohol in the United States of America was a business opportunity and he saw its unlimited earning potential.
Through treating crime as a business, he took the New York Irish mob from violence and anarchy and molded them into a multi-million dollar operation. This made him for a time, one of the richest men in America, if not the world.