NOTICE: Citizendium is still being set up on its newer server, treat as a beta for now; please see here for more.
Citizendium - a community developing a quality comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free. Click here to join and contribute—free
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report -- Thanks to our content contributors. --

Purple Gang

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

The Purple Gang was a gangland mob operating in Detroit, Michigan, during the prohibition era in the U.S. It was led by a group of Jewish brothers and, unlike other major Jewish criminal organizations, the Purple Gang was the only one to solely control the organized crime of a major U.S. city.[1] They were particularly ruthless at controlling the Detroit River waterfront which was a choke-point for the importation of bootleg liquor during prohibition. It has been rumored that they had committed over 500 murders, which, if true, would make them more ruthless than Al Capone's mob. They have also been rumored to have been the masterminds behind the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the gunmen for St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

The gang was broken up by law enforcement and internal violence. Various members were arrested, tried for crimes (mostly murder), and sentenced for varying terms (some to life in Alcatraz). Others were gunned down. Most of the leadership of the Purple Gang were either dead or in prison by the late 1930s.


  1. The Purple Gang - Jewish Organized Crime, J-Grit: The Internet Index of Tough Jews, 2011.