Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why La Cosa Nostra didn't set up shop in San Francisco

Uh, just what exactly is Marlon doing to the poor cat in this picture? Anyway, we have had our share of gangsters in San Francisco history. We even had an Aussie Mob during the Barbary Coast days, The Sydney Ducks, and they used to burn most of The City down on a regular basis.

Yet, even with our extensive history of crime (Dashiell Hammett didn't just pull all those stories out of his hat, you know), the Mafia never really did get a solid hold on the City of Saint Francis.

Retired policeman Kevin J. Mullen said, "Al Capone sent emissaries out to San Francisco in 1931 to case the joint, but decided it was "too tough" a town to crack." That may just be a proud cop talking, but Mullen says it's an easier town to police, given its size and geography, and the transcontinental railroad terminated in Oakland, after all.


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

That was fascinating info, especially the links. Talk about a city going from one extreme to the other..jeez.

Paul D. Brazill said...

And you've got Inspector Monk!

Cormac Brown said...

Sean Patrick,

That didn't even scratch the surface of the Barbary Coast. S.F. went through countless sherrifs, vigilante committees and even more amazing things. We were a frontier town before the wild west really kicked off.

To gain greater insight, I suggest reading Herbert Asbury's "Gangs of San Francisco," he is the same author of "Gangs of New York." There is another book about one of the greatest cops ever, but I'm saving that for a Friday's Forgotten Books when I get off of my duff.

Paulie Decibels,

Uh, Vancouver and Los Angeles did, and we didn't. During the entire show's run, Adrian probably spent about two more days than I've spent in London, which is to say, about six days. They just used a couple of shots of Tony Shaloub here and there.

You can tell San Francisco from other cities because of our lack of detached houses. Unless one lives in the more affluent areas south of Twin Peaks or in Pacific Heights, you walls are right next to your neighbor's walls.