The tranquil environment of New York’s Hudson Valley is the site of both peaceful rural communities and single-family housing developments. Tourists visit the area’s historic Gilded Age mansions, elaborate gardens, Revolutionary War battlefields, and many other points of interest.
Yet some of the Hudson Valley’s heritage includes more harrowing tales.
From the late nineteenth century through 1950, one otherwise industrious city earned the distinction of being dubbed “The Weekend Vice Resort” for its many gambling halls, brothels and other activities of ill repute. During the nation’s prohibition era, stills operating throughout the region were commonplace, even in the most respectable communities.
Like New York City, some sixty to one hundred miles to its south, crimes such as murder, kidnapping, and mob control over various rackets plagued the area. Police raids on the country homes of mobsters Dutch Schultz and Legs Diamond and illegal distilleries occurred frequently.
And when mobster crackdowns didn’t fill the headlines of daily newspapers, corrupt politicians, police chiefs and government officials did. The crooked activities that appear in this book are the true stories reported in various Hudson Valley and New York City newspapers and in the archives of local historic organizations.
Madams, Mobsters and Murders is a true reflection of the darker side of life in a region otherwise known for its beauty, peacefulness and quiet way of life.