Waukesha County gangsters

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In the early 1900s Waukesha County, Wisconsin was a big resort area and vacation spot for people living in Chicago. [1] Among the people who visited Oconomowoc's for a little rest and relaxation were Chicago's most notorious gangsters, such as Baby Face Nelson, Bugs Moran, John Dillinger and Al Capone. [2] Wisconsin's heavily wooded areas were perfect for laying low after a job. [3]

Waukesha County, Wisconsin County in Wisconsin, United States

Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 389,891, making it the third-most populous county in Wisconsin. Its county seat is Waukesha.

Baby Face Nelson American bank robber

Lester Joseph Gillis, known by the alias George Nelson, better known as Baby Face Nelson, was an American bank robber in the 1930s. Gillis was given the nickname Baby Face due to his youthful appearance and small stature, although few dared call him "Baby Face" to his face. Criminal associates instead called him "Jimmy". Nelson entered into a partnership with John Dillinger, helping him escape from prison during the famed Crown Point, Indiana Jail escape, and was later labeled along with the remaining gang members as public enemy number one.

Bugs Moran Chicago gangster

Adelard Cunin, better known as George "Bugs" Moran, was a Chicago Prohibition-era gangster. He was incarcerated three times before his 21st birthday. Seven members of his gang were gunned down in a warehouse in the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of February 14, 1929, supposedly on the orders of his rival Al Capone.


What Is Happening

The main gangster activity in Waukesha County in the early 1900s usually involved alcohol of some sort: smuggling it in from Canada (usually on a seaplane that would land in one of Waukesha’s many lakes), [4] distilling liquor in a hidden still, [5] or loading it on to trucks and shipping it around the country, [6] distilling liquor in a hidden still. [7] During Prohibition this was all highly illegal. Despite all the illicit activity gangsters were often seen in a positive light. "A lot of (gangsters) had Robin Hood stories attached to them, like Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde," said Mr. Jeffrey Pickron, a University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh history professor. "And a lot of these gangsters stories would talk about how they stole from the rich and gave the money to the poor." [8] Gangsters had money, they lived exciting lives, and they lived by their own rules. It’s not that surprising that public opinion of “criminals” was somewhat high. Gangsters were constantly doing things that made them endearing to others. “There are plenty of stories, for example, of gangsters pulling into a service station, buying $1 worth of gas and giving the attendant a $20 tip.” [9] They had a freedom that normal people during the Great Depression just didn’t have.

University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh Public university in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the third-largest university in Wisconsin, United States. As part of the University of Wisconsin System, UW Oshkosh offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in an annual on- and off-campus enrollment of nearly 14,000.

Capone's Vacation Home

Al Capone owned a vacation home right off on Bluemound Road in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He picked this spot because there were no police departments in the area, instead it was patrolled by county sheriff deputies, most of whom were paid off to turn a blind eye. [10] The 37-acre lake on the property was used as a landing spot for seaplanes that were smuggling alcohol from Canada during Prohibition; it was then smuggled around the country. [11] The land on which the house was built had a watch tower used as a lookout for unfriendlies, whether they were other gangsters or G-men, and Capone kept a flock of geese on the property to warn if something was approaching. There is a tunnel built into his home that runs from the house to the garage so that Capone could make a speedy getaway if need be. [12]

Brookfield, Wisconsin City in Waukesha

Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the third largest city in Waukesha County.

Zuta's Hit

In 1930 one of Capone's bookkeepers, a man by the name of Jack Zuta, defected to George “Bugs” Moran’s gang. Knowing that Capone did not like disloyalty, Zuta decided to lay low under the name “J.H. Goodman” at the Lake View Resort on Upper Lake Nemahbin in the town of Summit. Knowing it was only a matter of time before Capone's hit squad caught up with him, Zuta made a desperate call from an Oconomowoc drug store, begging for body guards to escort him down to Chicago. Unfortunately for him, he was overheard. [13] Around sunset on August 1, 1930 Capone's hitsquad walked into the Lake View resort, threw open the back door, shot Zuta, and walked out the way they came in. [14]

Jack Zuta American accountant and political fixer

John U. "Jack" Zuta was an accountant and political "fixer" for the Chicago Outfit.

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  1. Lewis, Chad (2010-05-28). The Wisconsin Road Guide to Gangster Hot Spots. On the Road Publications.
  2. Lazich, Mary. "state Senator" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  3. Hauser, Stephen. "historian" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  4. Muckian, Michael. "The North Woods takes pride in its gangster past" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  5. Hauser, Stephen. "Gangster's paradise" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  6. Muckian, Michael. "The North Woods takes pride in its gangster past" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  7. Hauser, Stephen. "Gangster's paradise" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  8. Pickron,, Jeffrey. "University of WisconsinOshkosh history professor".
  9. Lewis, Chad (2010-05-28). The Wisconsin Road Guide to Gangster Hot Spots. On the Road Publications.
  10. Hauser, Stephen. "Gangster's paradise" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  11. IMRIE, ROBERT. "Al Capone's Wisconsin Hideout Sold To Bank For $2.6 Million" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  12. Hauser, Stephen. "Gangster's paradise" . Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  13. Lewis, Chad (2010-05-28). The Wisconsin Road Guide to Gangster Hot Spots. On the Road Publications.
  14. "Jack Zuta".