The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America by Gus Russo
It is a common misconception that all the true organised crime stories have been written. In fact, perhaps the most compelling gangster tale is one that has been, until now, surprisingly well hidden. This is the story of the Outfit: the secret organsied crime cartel that began its reign in prohibition era Chicago before becoming the puppet master of Hollywood, Las Vegas and Washington DC. Along the way the gang pioneered many diversions now taken for granted: off track betting, casino gambling, Top Forty record listings and music videos. They also helped make blockbuster movies and elect presidents. "The Outfit" recounts the adventures and exploits of its bosses, Tony 'Joe Batters' Accardo (the real Godfather), Murray 'The Camel' or 'Curly' Humphreys (the greatest political fixer and union organiser America has ever known) and Paul 'The Waiter' Ricca (the ambassador to the New York Crime Commission). Their invisibility was their strength, and what kept their leader from ever spending a night in jail. Moving with purpose and panache, the Outfit blended effortlessly with underworld corporate heads, Hollywood moguls, and national political icons. It was only after a fifty-year run that their world started to crumble in the 1970s. With extensive research including recently released FBI files, the Chicago crime files of entertainer and Windy City native Steve Allen, first-time access to the working papers of the Kefauver Committee, original interview with Outfit associates and members of the Fourth Estate (who pursued the Outfit for over forty years) and first ever access to the journals of Humphreys' long-in-hiding widow, veteran investigative journalist Gus Russo uncovers sixty years of corruption and influence.