Crime World Trivia, #2

Al Capone speaks out in his own defense:

All I ever did was sell beer and whisky to our best people….They talk about me not being on the legit. Why, lady,  nobody’s on the legit. You know that, and so do they. Your brother or your father gets in a jam. What do you do? Do you sit back and let him go over the road without trying to help him? You’d be a yellow dog if you did. Nobody’s really on the legit when it comes down to cases; you know that.

The quote is from an interview Capone gave to Chicago Tribune reporter, Genevieve Forbes Herrick, March, 1930 as quoted on page 17 in the Illinois Historical Journal, Vol. 82, Spring 1989. It it part of an article titled  written by Daniel McDonough which examines Chicago Press treatment of gangsters during the

Another label used for cops: Donut Patrol or Donut Muncher

(This is one I’d never heard before.)  Refers to police officers in the United States. It apparently originated from night shift officers stopping at doughnut shops for coffee, as they often used to be the only catering establishments open all night. And so the tie of cop to donuts allegedly began. Donuts and cops are part of our police images even down to this very day

Origins of the decidedy criminal-oriented word: Heist

Some sources allege heist is a US word that came into being in the late 18th century. Another source suggested it came along in the 1920s, during the US’s fascination with American mobsters like Al Capone. It was said to  have probably been based on the earlier British word hoist, meaning to lift and was somehow tied to shoplifting. If anyone can track down a more definite origen, please share.


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