Saturday, July 21, 2007


I wanted a really good book to read after all that studying and Ellen Poulsen's the Case Against Lucky Luciano hit the spot.

This book is not an homage to Charles Lucky Luciano (thank God); it's an analysis of the vice trials that finally convicted him. The central players in the book are the madame's ,prostitutes and bookers who acted as material witnesses and the prosecution's methods of obtaining witnesses and material.

Prostitution is an old story and I really didn't think this book was going to shed any new insights on it's history in the US. I was wrong. The start of the book details a racket in setting up innocent women to be charged with prostitution that was carried on with cooperation from police officers, bailsman, and judges. The book shows how Luciano's racket wasn't simply owning a house; he essentially saw that the money was in making the workers pay for protection against being jailed. He found a way to make the protection racket apply to Prostitution. Madame's and prostitutes were used to paying off police, janitors, cab drivers, etc to steer in business and look the other way; no one had ever made them pay insurance against getting arrested and making bail. A super pimp to make a bad situation worse.

It's a fast read but with great details. Poulsen sums up the trial, the convictions, and the attempt of the 2 main material witnesses to go straight and Luciano's war effort. Buy the book it's new and easy to find.

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