Kansas City Mob

Dig into the dirty past with a few books (and films) about the mob collected to complement the Missouri Valley Speakers Series on January 18, 2009 where Bill Ouseley presented the real story of combating and prosecuting organized crime in Kansas City. Ouseley is author of Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family, 1900-1950.

Organized Crime | Union Station Massacre | F.B.I. | KC Mafia in the Movies

Organized Crime

 True Story of the KC Crime Family 1900-1950 book jacket

Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family 1900-1950
By William Ouseley
This book tells the story of organized crime in Kansas City during the first half of the twentieth century from the "Black Hand" to prohibition to La Cosa Nostra. It is written by a 21-year veteran of the FBI Organized Crime Squad.

The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob
By Frank R. Hayde
In the early twentieth century, the Mafia played a large role throughout the U.S. The investigations that took place in Kansas City in the 1950s affected all of the Mafia families. In this book, Hayde connects the Mafia and politics through the relationship between Tom Pendergast and Johnny Lazia and the author also describes the corruption found in the Kansas City police force.

American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power
By Thomas Reppetto
Organized crime--the Italian American kind--has long been a source of popular entertainment and legend. Thomas Reppetto provides a balanced history of the Mafia's rise from the 1880s to the post-World War II era that is as exciting and readable as it is authoritative.

Tom's Town: Kansas City and the Pendergast Legend
By William M. Reddig
Originally published in 1947, this book chronicles the rise to power of the Pendergast machine. William M. Reddig’s political and social history of Kansas City from the mid-1800s to 1945 describes the influence Tom Pendergast, and his brother Jim, had on this growing metropolitan area.

Find more books on organized crime in the library.

Union Station Massacre

The Union Station Massacre: The Original Sin of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI
By Robert Unger
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Unger examined the FBI case file for the Union Station massacre, now accessible under the Freedom of Information Act, to present an alternate description of what actually happened on June 17, 1933.

Lawman to Outlaw: Verne Miller and the Kansas City Massacre
By Brad Smith
This book tells the life story of Verne Miller, a former sheriff, who became the criminal hunted by the FBI for the bloody events that took place at Kansas City’s Union Station.

Union Station
By Ande Parks, illustrated by Eduardo Barreto
This true crime graphic novel by Kansas author and illustrator Ande Parks depicts the events leading up to and after the Union Station massacre.

Find more books about the Union Station massacre in the library.


 America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 book jacket

Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34
By Bryan Burrough
Burrough's account of America's great crime wave of the 1930s and the birth of the FBI provides a useful history of America's first war on crime.

The FBI: A History
By Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones
In this book, Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones presents a fast-paced history of the FBI, from its anti-terrorist roots in the Reconstruction era to the 9/11 attacks.

Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob
By Howard Blum
New York Times investigative reporter Howard Blum tells how the FBI waged a seven-year battle to bring down Mafia don John Gotti by drawing on FBI records and agents

Find more books about the F.B.I. in the library.

KC Mafia in the Movies

City Heat

City Heat (1984)
A police detective (Clint Eastwood) backs up his private-eye ex-partner (Burt Reynolds) on a gangland double cross in 1933 Kansas City.

Prime Cut (1972)
A Chicago mob collector (Lee Marvin) calls on a Kansas cattleman (Gene Hackman) who also deals in prostitutes and drugs. Also starring Sissy Spacek in her film debut.

Some book descriptions provided by BookLetters.