Detroit's Infamous Purple Gang (Images of America) (Paperback)
Beginning as a group of delinquents committing petty crimes, they became Detroit's infamous Purple Gang, of one of the most notorious organized crime groups of the 20th century.
The photographs in this fascinating collection chronologically follow the evolution of the Purples from their days as a juvenile street gang through their rise to power and eventual self-destruction. Detroit had a gold rush atmosphere and a thriving black market during the 1920s that attracted gangsters and unsavory characters from all over the country. The gang's reputation for hijacking and terror spread far, and they became associates with Al Capone, their location a perfect midway point to smuggle Canadian whisky across the border and down into Chicago. Their reputation was such that they were even suspected by the FBI for being involved with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. Using rare police department mug shots and group photographs, the book transports readers through the dark side of Prohibition-era Detroit history.