Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame: Love and Madness in the Roaring Twenties : an Incredible True Story

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Purdue University Press, 1978 - Biography & Autobiography - 262 pages
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Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame, based on a true story, recounts one of the most famous turf wars waged during that national madness called Prohibition. Charlie Birger's outsized ambitions brought him from New York to Southern Illinois in search of fortune as a big-time bootlegger. He soon found that his dream to be ""even bigger than Al Capone"" faced a few hurdles - including the Ku Klux Klan; the vicious Shelton Brothers of East St. Louis; and Helen Holbrook, a beautiful, alcoholic socialite from Shawneetown, whose simultaneous affairs with Birger and Carl Shelton led to the escalation of an already bloody and bizarre gang war. Donald Bain vividly captures turbulent Southern Illinois during the Roaring Twenties, and deftly chronicles Birger's journey from charismatic leader with delusions of grandeur to beleaguered general in the harsh reality of hand-to-hand combat, to his demise as a dupe of a far cleverer enemy. Ultimately done in by the ""Shawneetown Dame;"" by his own inflated ego; and by a sly sheriff named Pritchard, who conned Charlie into jail, allowing the area's most famous gangster to bring his sub-machine gun into the cell with him - Charlie and his story are a fascinating piece of Americana - crude, violent, yet often humorous. Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame grandly testifies that truth indeed can be stranger than fiction.
 

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
8
Section 3
13
Section 4
16
Section 5
20
Section 6
25
Section 7
32
Section 8
35
Section 26
158
Section 27
162
Section 28
168
Section 29
174
Section 30
174
Section 31
174
Section 32
175
Section 33
180

Section 9
43
Section 10
52
Section 11
60
Section 12
66
Section 13
71
Section 14
82
Section 15
86
Section 16
91
Section 17
93
Section 18
102
Section 19
109
Section 20
113
Section 21
119
Section 22
124
Section 23
131
Section 24
142
Section 25
153
Section 34
191
Section 35
195
Section 36
204
Section 37
211
Section 38
216
Section 39
223
Section 40
227
Section 41
230
Section 42
235
Section 43
239
Section 44
245
Section 45
247
Section 46
249
Section 47
255
Section 48
257
Copyright

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About the author (1978)

Donald Bain, a Purdue University graduate, is the author or ghostwriter of more than 80 books, including the best selling Murder, She Wrote series of original murder mystery novels based upon the popular TV show. His books include mysteries, comedies, investigative journalism, westerns, biographies, historical romances, and Mafia novels. Bain currently lives in North Salem, New York.

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