Gangland in Living Color: The Faces of Early 20th Century Mobsters

April 30, 2024

Frank Costello, A Dapper Man Even on Trial

Step back in time to the gritty streets of the early 20th century, where shadows loomed large and whispers of underworld intrigue filled the air. Take a look at the faces of infamous figures from the annals of organized crime, brought vividly to life through stunning colorized images. From legendary mob bosses to enigmatic gangsters, each photograph offers a glimpse into a bygone era of lawlessness and intrigue. As you immerse yourself in these captivating portraits, prepare to journey through the dark underbelly of history, where power, ambition, and danger collide in a mesmerizing tableau of crime and consequence.

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Known for his astute leadership and strategic prowess, Frank Costello was a towering figure in the New York crime scene. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Costello eschewed the use of violence, earning him the reputation as the mob boss who never carried a gun. In a bold display of confidence, Costello testified at a Senate hearing on organized crime in the early 1950s, opting not to invoke the protection of the Fifth Amendment. This brazen move demonstrated his cunning and willingness to operate in the spotlight, even in the face of intense scrutiny. Despite surviving an attempted assassination, Costello defied the odds, living out his final years as a free man until the age of 82.

Al "Scarface" Capone, The Most Well Known Gangster of the 20th Century

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Few names evoke as much fascination and fear as Al "Scarface" Capone, the legendary Chicago mobster whose reign of terror defined the Prohibition era. Despite his enduring nickname, which stemmed from facial scars inflicted during a bar brawl, Capone preferred to be known by more grandiose titles such as the "Big Fellow" or "Snorky." However, it was his ruthless ambition and cunning intellect that truly set him apart in the criminal underworld. Rising to power as the head of the Chicago Outfit, Capone presided over a vast empire of illegal activities, from bootlegging and gambling to extortion and murder. Yet, it was his iron-fisted control over the city's lucrative speakeasies that cemented his status as a true kingpin of crime. Despite numerous brushes with the law, including his infamous tax evasion conviction, Capone's legacy endures as a symbol of both the allure and the perils of the American Dream.