Smaldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family

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9781555917180: Smaldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family
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"I never thought it would end."—Clyde Smaldone

Started by Italian brothers from North Denver, the high-profile Smaldone crime syndicate began in the bootlegging days of the 1920s and flourished well into the late twentieth century. Connected to such notorious crime figures as Al Capone and Carlos Marcello, as well as to presidents and other politicians, charismatic Clyde Smaldone was the crime family's leader from the Prohibition era to the rise of gambling to the family's waning days. Uncovering the good and the bad, best-selling author Dick Kreck captures the complexity of Clyde, brother Checkers, and their crew, who perpetuated a shadowy underworld but exhibited great generosity and commitment to their community, offering food, money, and college funds to struggling families. Through candid interviews and firsthand accounts, Kreck reveals the true sense of what it meant to be a Smaldone, and the mix of love and dysfunction that is part of every American family.

Dick Kreck retired from The Denver Post after thirty-eight years as a columnist. He previously worked at The San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of four other books, the twenty-two-week bestseller Murder at the Brown Palace, Anton Woode: The Boy Murderer, Colorado's Scenic Railroads, and Denver in Flames. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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About the Author:

Dick Kreck retired from The Denver Post after 38 years as a columnist. He previously worked at The San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of four other books, the 22-week best seller Murder at the Brown Palace; Anton Woode: The Boy Murderer; Colorado's Scenic Railroads; and Denver in Flames. He lives in Denver, Colorado. Son of Clyde Smaldone. Son of Clyde Smaldone.

Review:

Kreck reveals the heart and compassion as well as the murders and mayhem behind the scenes as led by this notorious crime family.---Elisa Cohen --North Denver Tribune, "Revealing Smaldone Secrets" 7/02/09

If you want to take a walk on the wild side of organized crime set in a venue that hasn't received much national news coverage or commercial fiction acclaim, this book will walk you through some new, unexplored but seamy streets.-- Sheila Propp, Editor, Fairhope Courier --Baldwin County Now Newspapers, "Crime still doesn't pay" 10/21/09

In 1933, after Denver boss Joe Roma was found "slumped in his favorite overstuffed chair in the front parlor,...riddled with seven bullets, six of them to the head," his up-and-coming bootlegging proteges Clyde and Eugene Smaldone took over his profitable operations. Over the years, the brothers and various other family members were frequently in the news, occasionally in jail, and generally in control of their realm. Theirs was an independent operation, but the Smaldones enjoyed the friendship of crime superstar Al Capone and were frequently in cahoots with New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, to whom Clyde was particularly close. The Smaldones contributed to Denver's municipal ambience positively, too, as restauranteurs and generous contributors to charity. Kreck's detailing of the doings of a relative outpost of the racketeering industry is, besides a rich chapter in Colorado history, an excellent addition to the popular literature on organized crime. --Booklist (September 15, 2009) of Chicago, IL by Mike Tribby

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