Rocco Perri: The Story of Canada's Most Notorious Bootlegger
Rocco Perri came to Canada almost a century ago from Calabria, Italy. Even today his name is well known to historians, police and organized crime—and especially to the people of the city he called home—Hamilton, Ontario.
A poor immigrant, Perri along with his common-law wife, Bessie Starkman, built an unequalled crime empire for the time. During the Prohibition years, Perri provided alcohol to a thirsty clientele in Canada and the United States—a business that was very illegal and highly lucrative. Al Capone and Joseph Kennedy were among Perri’s customers. The Perris also ran gambling, loan-sharking, extortion and prostitution rackets.
ROCCO PERRI: King of the Bootleggers is more than the biography of a man and his empire; it is a riveting portrait of a time when corruption was rampant, murder a business necessity, and discrimination against newcomers forced many to turn to crime as a means of survival. This book also solves a half-century-long mystery about the fate of Rocco Perri.
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Review: Rocco Perri: The Story of Canada's Most Notorious BootleggerUser Review - Mark Nenadov - Goodreads
A great look at a fascinating Canadian gangster. The best line in the book, though, comes from Al Capone, who when asked whether he knows Perri, responded: “I don't even know what street Canada is on”. Read full review
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