restricted access 5 Affairs with the Police
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Gus Winkeler’s decision to quit the gang did not end his affairs with the police. HehadbeenfoundguiltyinSt.Louiscourtsofthefeloniouswounding charge growing out of our motor accident. He had appealed the case, but the decision was upheld and papers were issued for his arrest to start serving a nine months sentence in the workhouse. Throughout the trial and rehearsing of the evidence, Gus’ reputation and his relations with gangland were brought up repeatedly as a weapon for his conviction. But the police had failed to locate him. Not long after the birthday party a telephone call came to our house for “Billy,” Tommy O’Connor’s wife. It was a fine spring day and I decided to walk to the O’Connor home on Hamburger Avenue, a short distance from our house. IknockedonthedoorfullyexpectingMrs.O’Connortoopenit,and was shocked when a policeman opened it and demanded: “Who’re you and what do you want?” Before answering I looked over his shoulder and saw four or five otherofficersloungingaboutthesittingroom.Apparentlytheyhadmade a raid in search of Tommy. “Why,” I stammered, “I came for a fitting for a dress Mrs. O’Connor was sewing for me.” “Come in here,” commanded the officer, grabbing my elbow and pulling me inside. 5 Affairs with the Police 31 32 al capone and his american boys Seeing that none of the officers recognized me I started to “put on a scene,” but when I refused to give my name they decided to take me to the station. Isobbedandpleaded,andfinallypointedoutthatIcouldnotgowith them in the house apron I was wearing. To give due credit to my acting, I deceived them. Their attitude changed and they suggested that I borrow adressfromMrs.O’Connor.Fortunatelyseveralofmyowndresseswere in her clothes closet, and I was soon properly attired. But I continued to be aggrieved, and finally their gruffness turned to downright pity. With apologies they loaded me into their car and took me to the station. Being unable to identify me they took me directly to Chief Kaiser. As I was led into the room the chief’s head lowered, he thrust out his chin and turned to his officers: “Where in the hell did you pick that up?” he demanded. “Do you know who this is?” Then answering his own question: “It’s Gus Winkeler’s wife.” The chief cursed them all, and the men who had treated me so politely glared at me balefully. They had been duped—and in front of the chief, too. “All right hussy,” said the chief turning to me, “come clean. Tell us where you live.” I knew the truth meant Gus’ arrest so I answered, “I don’t know.” The chief blustered, wheedled, and cursed. He called me names so vile I could not think of answers. But I wouldn’t tell where I lived. “Won’ttalk,eh?”hesaidfinally.“WellI’llfindoutinthirtyminutes.” He mumbled an order into the telephone and a short time later Gus’ brother and sister were marched into the room. Gus’ sister was a girl of fine character who worked every day, and should not have been made to suffer such embarrassment, but all three of us were thrown into jail. She spent the night with a cell full of prostitutes and streetwalkers and went through the police lineup the next morning as if she were a police character. We were released after the show-up, but Gus’ sister lost her position as the result of her arrest. I hurried home and found Gus involved in moving. He had learned of my arrest and did not know but what the police would locate him. He Affairs with the Police 33 felt that not his act but his reputation had convicted him in the accident case, and he was determined to avoid serving the sentence if possible. We moved to a new subdivision on the West Side near Delmar Boulevard . ...


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Subject Headings

  • Crime -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century.
  • Murder -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century.
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