Frank McErlane


Frank McErlane

Frank McErlane (1894-8 October 1932) was a Prohibition-era gangster.

He led the Saltis-McErlane Gang, allied with the Johnny Torrio-Al Capone Gang, against rival bootleggers, the Southside O'Donnell Brothers. During the Chicago Bootleg Wars, McErlane was known as one of the most violent gunmen of the 1920s.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Frank McErlane was first arrested in 1911 and sent to Pontiac Prison in June 1913 for involvement in a car theft ring. Released on parole in March 1916, he was arrested eight months later as an accessory in the murder of an Oak Park police officer Herman J. Malow, Jr.. [ [http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=8943 Sheriff William Phillip McEvoy, San Mateo County Sheriff's Department ] at www.odmp.org] Sent to Joliet Prison for one year, he attempted to escape but was caught and spent another two years in prison. Shortly after the start of Prohibition, McErlane began running a gang with partner Joseph "Polack Joe" Saltis, operating in the South West section of Chicago. In 1922 McErlane and Saltis allied with the Johnny "The Fox" Torrio-Al Capone Chicago Outfit against the Southside O'Donnell Brothers. During the war with the O'Donnells, McErlane was the first gangster to use the "Tommy" submachine gun, and he killed as many as 15 men during the Bootleg Wars. His attempted assassination of O'Donnell leader Edward "Spike" O'Donnell on 25 September 1925 while driving past a southside storefront, firing over 50 rounds before speeding off, convinced O'Donnell to retire from bootlegging. McErlane was suspected to have taken part in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre on 14 February 1929, and he suffered serious wounds during a gunbattle with Bugs Moran in 1930. While he was recovering in the German Deaconess Hospital, two of Moran's gunmen, reportedly Wille Marks and Ted Newbury, attempted to kill him, but he pulled a revolver from underneath his pillow and began firing, driving off the surprised gangsters. McErlane was wounded in the gunfight, suffering two gunshot wounds in his injured leg and one in his arm, but he recovered. In 1932 he became ill with pneumonia and died within days.

Further reading

*Asbury, Herbert. "The Gangs of Chicago: An Informal History of the Chicago Underworld". New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1940. ISBN 1-56025-454-8
*Binder, John. "The Chicago Outfit". Arcadia Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7385-2326-7
*Chiocca, Olindo Romeo. "Mobsters and Thugs: Quotes from the Underworld". Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2000. ISBN 1-55071-104-0
*Enright, Laura L. "Chicago's Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters, and Windy City Oddities". Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books Inc., 2005. ISBN 1-57488-785-8
*Lashly, Arthur V. "Illinois Crime Survey". Chicago: Illinois Association for Criminal Justice and the Chicago Crime Commission, 1929.
*Reppetto, Thomas A. "American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power". New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2004. ISBN 0-8050-7798-7

References

*English, T.J. "Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster". New York: HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-06-059002-5
*Kelly, Robert J. "Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States". Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2000. ISBN 0-313-30653-2
*Sifakis, Carl. "The Mafia Encyclopedia". New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3
*Sifakis, Carl. "The Encyclopedia of American Crime". New York: Facts on File Inc., 2001. ISBN 0-8160-4040-0

External links

* [http://crimemagazine.com/mcerlane.htm Frank McErlane and the Chicago Beer Wars] by Allan May


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Joseph Saltis — Joseph Polack Joe Saltis [Soltis] (died 1947) was an early Prohibition gangster who, who with Frank McErlane, controlled bootlegging in the Southwest Side of Chicago, Illinois. Originally a Polish[1] saloon owner from Joliet, Illinois, Saltis… …   Wikipedia

  • Sheldon Gang — Die Sheldon Gang war eine Bande von Alkoholschmugglern während der Frühphase der US amerikanischen Alkoholprohibition in Chicago in den 1920er Jahren. Bekannt waren ihre Auseinandersetzungen mit den konkurrierenden Saltis McErlane Gang und den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Atlantic City Conference — The Atlantic City Conference of 1929 is considered by most crime historians as the earliest organized crime summit held in the United States and held a major impact on the future direction of the underworld, it held more importance and… …   Wikipedia

  • Sheldon Gang — The Sheldon Gang was a Chicago bootlegging gang during the early years of Prohibition known for being the main rivals of the Saltis McErlane Gang and the Southside O Donnell Brothers. Formed by Ralph Sheldon in the months following the passage of …   Wikipedia

  • 1923 in organized crime — See also: 1922 in organized crime, other events of 1923, 1924 in organized crime and the list of years in Organized Crime . Events*The Chicago Crime Commission releases its first published report of those who are constantly in conflict with the… …   Wikipedia

  • Organized crime in Chicago — The following is a timeline of Organized Crime in Chicago. see also: Timeline of organized crime Contents 1 Events Timeline 1.1 Pre 1910s 1.2 1910s 1.3 …   Wikipedia

  • 1925 in organized crime — See also: 1924 in organized crime, other events of 1925, 1926 in organized crime and the list of years in Organized Crime . Events*Italian dictator Benito Mussolini s campaign against the Sicilian Mafia causes many Sicilian mafiosi, organized by… …   Wikipedia

  • North Side Gang — The North Side family Gang, also known as the North Side Mob, was the dominant Irish American criminal organization (although a large number of Polish Americans were members as well) within Chicago during the Prohibition era from the early to… …   Wikipedia

  • Irish Mob — The Irish Mob is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs, as immortalized in Herbert Asbury s 1926 book The Gangs of New York , the Irish …   Wikipedia

  • List of Irish American mobsters — This is a list of Irish American mobsters which includes organized crime figures of predominantly Irish American criminal organizations or individual mobsters from the early 1900s to the present.To be included in this list, the person must have a …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.