Throughout the past century, Youngstown has been called “Little Chicago,” “Murder Town” and “Crime Town USA.” About 30 people came to the Leetonia Library Oct. 12 to learn about the history of organized crime in the Mahoning Valley. Chris Davidson reports.
Author Allan May is writing about mob activity in the Mahoning Valley. He’s released two books so far. One details the history of the Jungle Inn, a notorious gambling den in Trumbull County, and the other – published this summer – is titled, “Crimetown USA: The History of the Mahoning Valley Mafia.”
May says its no accident that the mob settled in Youngstown.
MAY: I think its unique history is because of the size of the city. It’s one of the smallest mobbed up cities in U.S. history.
Location and money figured into the equation.
MAY: And it’s positioned between Pittsburgh and Cleveland and that fact there was a lot of money here due to the steel mills in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. It provided a lot of money for organized crime.
His latest book takes the reader from a Midwest crime wave in the 1930s to the car bombing, also known as the “Youngstown Tune-Up,” of the ’50s and ’60s.
May says the turn of the century saw the end of the Mafia in Youngstown.
MAY: I think the people want it out and they want to keep it out.
May’s third book will cover the years 1963-2000. It will be published in 2014.
For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Chris Davidson.