Quotable Al Capone
Bill Helmer
True Detective, waiting until Mr.Capone was
safely locked up (on a minor accounting
technicality), blamed him for the St.
Valentine's Day Massacre in language so
gruesome that many contemporary readers
have been so overwhelmed by the lurid
details that they tossed their cookies!
"When I sell booze,
they call it
bootlegging. When
my  patrons serve
it on silver trays,
they call it
Al Capone
"We can't all be
John Dillinger
"The electric chair yawns
for its fodder of calloused
human beasts whose warped
minds prompt evil deeds.
The wages of sin is death!
Sooner or later it will get
That, or the searing death of
hot bullets fired from
eager guns!"

"Don't get the idea I'm one of those
goddam radicals. Don't get the
idea I'm knocking the
American system..."

"My rackets are run on strictly
American lines and they are going
to stay that way..."

"If machines are going to take jobs
away from the worker...we must
care for him during the period of
change. We must keep him away
from Red literature, Red ruses; we
must see that his mind
remains healthy."

Mr. Capone was no less opposed
to the political and police
corruption he confronted in his
line of business:

"Graft is a byword in American life
today. It is law where no law is
obeyed. It is undermining this
country. The honest lawmakers of
any city can be counted on your
fingers. I could count Chicago's
on one hand."

Which is not to say he was
without his critics:

"There's always some wiseacre
who stands in the wings and
criticizes. You've got two choices.
You either buy these wiseacres off
by giving them jobs...or you scare
them off. If they don't scare, you
take them in the alley.
When they get out of the hospital,
if they still want to squawk, you
get rid of them."

I didn't mean to include that one,
which was merely lighthearted
banter, perhaps inspired by a
little Chianti, that might be taken
out of context and misconstrued.
This one is much better:

"I've been spending the best years
of my life as a public benefactor.
I've given people the light
pleasures, shown them a good
time. And all I get is abuse."

Let us not forget his legacies
that are all the more important
today: The power to tax is the
power to destroy; and always
practice Safe Sex.
Today this would be called a Hostile Takeover
This offensive T-shirt has been seen
on the streets of Chicago and in other
cities. People who wear them should
be burned.
Not the people; just the T-shirt.

After looking at this smiling  
father-and-son photo, who can
imagine Big Al being implicated in
the killing of Joe Howard, Dean
O'Banion, Hymie Weiss, Joe Guinta,
Albert Anselmi, John Scalise, Joey
Aiello, Assistant State's Attorney Bill
McSwiggin, and much of the
Bugs Moran gang?

Nearly all these
alleged murders
were perpetrated in
(More or less.)

Okay, so maybe he was declared
Public Enemy No. 1. All they could
ever nail him on was a piss-poor
tax beef!
This site, or URL, or whatever
it's called, has been
constructed largely by Mr.
Helmer's beautiful young
granddaughter Jessie
Rekemeyer whose mother is
going to blow her top when she
learns that I have already
rewarded her with a slinky
outfit from
And, as Doctor Naismith has often pointed out
(too often, some might say):
but it can be a shortcut
to immortality
CAN eMail TO


Be sure to put "Gangsters" in the
subject line so he won't think it's

(His pecker is fine just the way it is...)
Victoria's Secret.
Gangsters vs Outlaws
Machine Gun Jack McGurn
The John Dillinger Died For You Society
Baby Face Nelson
Death Mask
Death to Violence!
John Dillinger in Love
The Thompson Gun
Obviously this is a
as its founder is stumbling around
in it like a boob in the woods.
Most of the Yahoo people are
worthless when it comes to
talking 'digital' to an old-fart
analog guy.
We have Johnnie, and a few
others, to thank for the vast
improvements in today's bank
security, as well as for the
prominent role he played in
transforming the FBI into our
country's premier
crime-fighting organization.
Remember Prohibition?
Crime & Corruption!
Da Outlaws
Da Gangsters
While driving from Davenport, Iowa, to the
city of Dubuque we encountered this
pathetic old-fart hitchhiker near the town of
Lost Nation, and of course we stopped,
hoping he might be able to tell us how to
find the historic old Julian Hotel once
owned by Al Capone and which provided
many a Chicago mobster with a home away
from home. He remembered the Julian from
his youth, told us exactly where to find it,
and described how Capone’s influence and
protection had long extended up and down
old U.S. 67 when it enjoyed its share of
roadhouses and corruption. Out of curiosity
we asked him how the local hamlet of Lost
Nation got such an unusual name, and he
explained that in the late 1800s a wagon
train set out from Philadelphia, had gotten
lost thanks to bad directions from Red
Indians, realized they could never make it
across the Sierras before winter closed in,
said the hell with it, and settled on the west
bank of the Mississippi River. We thanked
him and drove on.     
A 1934 documentary titled
Crime Never Pays!
is nothing more than a
malicious monument to
purple prose:
John's little stunt ended
the careers of Prosecutor
Estill and Sheriff Holley.
Big Al  tries to restore peace
to war-torn Chicago
And this is the Colt's .380
Pocket Pistol--finally tracked
down by retired G-man Larry
Wack--that John was carrying
on the night that FBI bullets
"set him free."
Alas, here is Mr Helmer today, in the
Heart o' Texas, with his neighbor,
Alejandro, who took one look at his
get-up and cried out, "Ayee!
Cheekago! All-Caponey!
Your Benefactor:
& The Killing of Pretty Boy Floyd
Breathing New Life Into Chester's Smith's Account
...and his friends.
The writer...
First Crime Lab
Be aware that,
except for the
obvious BS on
this opening
page, the rest of
the stuff is
Johnnie's just an ordinary
fellow. Of course he goes out
and holds up banks and
things, but he's just like any
other fellow, aside from that...
--Mary Kinder

I'd like to have enough money
to enjoy life; be clear of
everything--not worry, take of
my old man, and see a ball
game every day...

Keep calm and lay down on
the floor...
--John Dillinger
The wooden pistol--actually
made by a woodworker in
Chicago, courtesy Art O'Leary,
and smuggled to John--with a
little help from his friends, for
$11,000--by way of that rascal,
Baby Face Nelson.
when he was a Senior Editor for Playboy, giving the
magazine its Redeeming Social Value by way of the
Playboy Defense Team. There he got to know fellow
gangster-buff Chuck Schauer, a really nifty long-time cop
turned mercernary in the Middle East and who then came
back to another fine job as a Postal Inspector...although I'm
not sure what that means. Anyway,  he's one hell of a
Photoshop expert who, in this case, made Mr Helmer a
Chicago  mobster: Southsiders on the left and Northsiders
on the right. See if you can pick him out. If you can,
there's still no prize.
 On the left is Helmer's latest book, by Indiana University Press (2011), based on the only memoirs ever
written by the wife of a gangster, originally from St. Louis, who became one of Al Capone's
special-assignment crew of "American Boys" (so that they would be unknown to either the cops or to his
rivals). Their first Job, in 1928, was to kill New York's Frankie Yale (for which Machine Gun Jack McGurn
got wrongly blamed) and then, with Fred Burke, to conduct the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The book is
substantially expanded by FBI accounts and with carefully researched biographies of all the nogoodniks
both he and she dealt with, from Verne Miller (the Kansas City later "massacre") to bank-robber Harvey
Bailey to Capone's successor Frank Nitti, who ordered him killed when he took Bugs Moran's turf in 1933.
At which time she was saved from a suicide attempt by the wife of Fred Burke, who already was a prison
for an unrelated murder in Michigan.
(and this is absolutely amazing!)

The Honest-to-God St. Valentine's Day Massacre

which actually have been found!...complete with documentation!

Every gangland researcher has long believed that all Massacre materials were lost forever when the Chicago Police
Department's basement flooded some sixty years ago and all the crime evidence from the 'olden days' was simply
shoveled out
. But NOW the Massacre bullets now have been discovered by a Wisconsin collector in one of several
trunks acquired from his friend, the late Joe Wilimovsky, an original employee of Colonel Calvin
Goddard's Scientific
Crime Detection Laboratory
, and...well, click on the "First Crime Lab" and

While you're at it,  take a look at da books (and some other stuff) at the bottom of dis page, which are For Sale,
signed by
former Chicagoan Helmer, the 'Famus Arthur' (as we're known south of the Smith & Wesson Line),
since he's now retired to the Heart o' Texas.
        This was published by Cumberland House (2007), which sold
out to Turner Publishing, which hasn't done a damn thing with
it...except to sell out (with no royalties!) all the hardcover copies
and leave the softcovers on Amazon (still no royalties!).
It includes, by God, the most carefully researched biographies of
both gangsters and outlaws (East Coast and Midwest), a
maddenly-researched  crime chronology of the period, the Crown
Point escape by Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, plus a crime-control
chronology, the Goddard Crime Lab, the story of Prohibition, police
radio--blah, blah, blah-- many of which dispel all sorts of mistakes
and myths in previous books. 7x9" (bigger than shown here) and
almost 900 pages.  
 At last--after
countless books and
a movie based on
"carved-in-stone" BS
of the day--here you
finally get the
story of the St.
Valentine's Day
Massacre when
Helmer and Bilek
learned they both
had independently
come up with the
same accounts at the
same time and
decided to
The boys
from St. Louis done it
as later confirmed by
several  journalists
and retired
detectives (who
were pissed that they
couldn't follow the
many leads pointing
to St. Louis--and as
was later confirmed
in a "confidential"
report by Hoover's
FBI. Since it
technically wasn't
"interstate," the
Feds couldn't touch
it--or didn't want to,
as even racketeering
 would have exposed
his men to
corruption. So
Hoover made his
famous name
nabbing kidnappers
and shooting outlaws
who robbed banks
instead of trying to
get the goods on
racketeers. (Only
Hoover's Treasury
Department rival,
Harry Anslinger, kept
harping that there
was an interstate
 This is doubtlessly the world's
finest book on the life of John
mainly because the
original manuscript was written
in 1935 by G. Russell Girardin,
who I had assumed was long
gone, but who turned out to still
be living comfortably in
Chicago. It turned out that he
had met Dillinger attorney Louis
Piquett by way of his ad agency,
and with the help of Piquett, his
loquacious "assistant" Arthur
O'Leary (who maintained contact
with Dillinger to the end), and
with the Dillinger family,
Girardin produced a
highly-readable MS titled
"Dillinger Speaks" that was
serialized in newspapers in
At the time Girardin deemed it
unwise to include the ongoing
operations of the East Chicago
mob and O'Leary's connections
with nearly every crook in the
vicinity, but when I proposed
that the typewritten  manuscript
be published as a book, he
readily agreed. He added that
now he could include, by way of
footnotes, the material he had
to delete from the original. After
he finished that, and while I was
elaborating on Dillinger in an
"After the Facts" section to
describe the outlaw's
continuing fascination as a
"people's bandit," Girardin
suffered a stroke and died.
Indiana University Press
published its hardcover edition
in 1994, followed by two
softcovers, an "Expanded"
edition in 2005 and an
"Anniversary" edition in 2009,
both of which required more
"After the Facts" material to
further expand on the original.
        What we have here is
the one and only book
about Baby Face Nelson
and his tribulations as a
basically-crazy Chicagoan
whose bank-robbery
career early-on led one
teller to describe him as
having a "baby face," no
doubt inspired by a movie
and song of the day, "You
got the cutest little baby
face." But he'd shoot you
if called him that, like the
FBI did. He preferred
"Jimmy Williams."
His birth name was Lester
Gillis (can anybody
imagine being robbed by
somebody named Lester
Gillis?), after he and
Homer Van Meter
provided the upfront
money to spring John
Dillinger from the Crown
Point jail (thereby creating
the "second" Dillinger
gang, to Lester's
considerable annoyance.
"Jimmy" was inclined to
shoot people during their
robberies, to Dillinger's
considerable dismay.
 After Dillinger's death,
he was set upon by
Federal agents trying to
intercept him after
leaving Hermansen's Lake
Como Hotel in Wisconsin,
and on his way to Chicago
he shot it out with two
G-men, killing both of
them but taking a bullet
that soon put him down
on November 27, 1934.
The best that can be said
of Baby Face is that he
didn't screw around and
always remained loyal to
his wife, Helen, who lived
the rest of her life in
Chicago, in relative
seclusion...with financial
help from her friends   
Now THESE are Helmer originals--the very first to
describe the origins and history of the Tommygun,
including interviews with the three aging gentlemen who
actually designed it for General Thompson in 1919 and
(having missed World War I, for which it was intended)
the gun nevertheless went into production in 1921to
become the "gangster equivalent of the cowboys'
six-shooter"--just in time for Prohibition. It was based on
my master's thesis at The University of Texas (Austin) and
published by Macmillan in 1969, so if you ever see the
Macmillan one on the left, snag it. Years later it was
simply photocopied and released by an outfit called Gun
Room Press to promote the longer-barreled
semi-automatic Thompsons then being turned out by
Numrich Arms. The Amazon people evidently get
confused, because they don't know the difference.  
 The above trifle (8.5 x11") is
memorable mainly because it was
the first book, coauthored and
privately printed (by the Chicago
Typewriter Company--get the
joke?) by Mr Helmer and Mark
Levell. It is 34 pages of the
quotations of Mr Capone, with
Helmer's frequent inserts that
sympathetically describe Mr
Capone's ordeals when he ruled
Chicago "Outfit." (It pretty much
reflects the BS on this opening
page.) For some reason, Amazon
prices it (somewhat used) at like
$50 to $150. God knows why,
except that it's pretty rare.
OK, so don't stop here...

(Old Texas friend
touch-welded on a
WWII barrel, keeping
all the original internal
parts for easily
restoring it into a
shooter. Comes with
the original Type XX
and Type L drum
And, finally... at least on this page... we feel morally obligated...
(Anybody wanting to see the newly
discovered St. Valentine's Day Massacre
, click here:.