Saturday, March 31, 2007

St. Valentines Day Massacre Theories

Helmer and Bilek's book goes into the different theories that abounded about the St. Valentines Day Massacre. One of the earliest was that rogue cops who were on the take and angry at not being paid off actually hit Moran's gang.

It's funny but the book points out that Capone was not immediately associated with the murders. In fact NYC papers began to link Capone to the crime before Chicago papers did.

Much of the stuff that I had heard about the massacre turns out to be false. For instance no one knows exactly why the Moran gang was meeting that morning in that garage; but it was not to accept delivery for booze hijacked from Capone. The authors write logically that the men assembled in the garage for the most part were Moran's top men. His men in charge of racketeering and gambling and his top hit men. They also weren't dressed for labor (with the exception of the mechanic who was there for his daily job). Definitely a set up.

You know the thing about history is that hind sight is 20/20 vision. I wonder what I would have thought if this were 1929 and I was reading about this for the first time. Would I have believed everything I read? I guess in a way the newspaper coverage of the murders was excessive, but it doesn't seem like overkill. I mean there wasn't TV coverage yet and even with newsreels I think the public was able to forget about what happened until they picked up the newspaper again. I guess I'm trying to say something about how the innocent simpler time wasn't all that innocent but the evil and the bad didn't bombard you the way it does now. So was having mass communication on a smaller scale better? Hmmmm?

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