Striking Black And White Photos Show The Brutal Lives Of Gun-Toting Depression Era Mobs In America

From cold-blooded murders to running battles with the police, these black-and-white pictures shed light on the brutal lives of gun-toting gangsters during the American Depression. The amazing images show notorious mobsters such as Al Capone who committed violent crimes in their search to get rich quick during the early 1930s.

A young man posing as a masked gunman, circa 1930:

FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Full-length portrait of American criminal Bonnie Parker (1910 – 1934) smoking a cigar while leaning on the front fender of a car and holding a pistol on April 17, 1933:

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Photo shows Inspector Frank S. Burke, Right, Chief of Detectives, explaining the new weapons to some of his men, left to right, Detectives O. S. Hunt, Thomas Nally, John Apostolides, Robert Barret, Joseph Shinon, Hoyle Secrest, George Darnell and Inspector Burke in Washington, DC on October 19, 1935:

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An armoured vehicle surrounded by Chicago cops at the time of the American depression, 1933:

Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

A group of men in suits and hats are obscured by the smoke from the guns, including Thompson submachine guns, shotguns, and revolvers, that they are firing in a shrubland, USA, 1930s:

Vintage Images/Getty Images

American gangster Al Capone (“Scarface”) (1899 – 1947) relaxes in his vacation home, Miami, Florida, 1930. Capone smokes a cigar and wears a striped dressing gown and slippers:

New York Times/Getty Images

Alcatraz Island, Mae Capone, Al Capone wife, in 1945:

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This sawed-off shotgun was carried in a violin case to the Port Newark National Bank in Newark, NJ on February 28, 1930. Three gunmen – determined to seize $25,000 – staged a wild west gun battle at the entrance of the bank in the center of the city, at 10:45 A.M. Osie Danneman, black messenger for the bank, was the hero, saving $25,000. Photo shows the violin-cased sawed-off shotgun:

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Police and Fireman’s Day display of a gangster’s car riddled by Thompson machine guns for ten seconds on September 24, 1930:

Leroy Jakob/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Primed for warfare, Chicago gangsters forced police to equip themselves with miniature arsenals to cope with gang wars. Deputy Chief Stege (right) hands out machine guns to detectives while Chief of Detectives Shoemaker (fourth from left) looks on, January 09, 1927:

NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Lieutenant William Shoemacher stands and aims a Thompson machine gun, or tommy gun, Chicago, 1926. The gun, developed for World War I, was very popular with gangsters due to its high rate of fire. From the Chicago Daily News collection:

Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

Edwin C. Arthur stands in the center of a collection of containers of moonshine taken during a South Side raid in Chicago, Illinois, 1922. From the Chicago Daily News collection:

Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

Police officers look over distilling equipment and guns confiscated during a Prohibition raid, Chicago, ca.1920s:

Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

The body of noted gang chief Frankie Yale, who was born Francesco Ioele, lies beside his automobile at 44th Street, after Yale was shot to death from a pursuing automobile on July 02, 1928. Yale’s car crashed into a house and he was thrown out of the car:

Bettmann/Getty Images

Body of John (Aces) Mazza lies in front of 17 First Ave. after dying in a gangster’s duel on February 21, 1931:

NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

George (Bugsy) Moran, Chicago gangster, on trial at Waukegan, Illinois on December 11, 1930. Charged with vagrancy, he is being named one of Chicago’s “Public Enemies”. Vehemently denied in court the charges, and declared himself a business man. His wife was with him in court and was twice in tears during the arguments:

NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

War veterans, members of a civilian organization for the suppression of crime, leading gangsters to the police station following their arrest in the United States in 1932:

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

A car riddled with bullet holes belonging to New-York gangsters, in 1933. After a police chase, the criminals were arrested by policemen who had fired a hundred shots at their car:

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Italian-American mafioso Frank Frigenti sitting at a table in a restaurant. Italy, 1950s:

Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

A man raises a stake to beat a drunken man sitting on a pier with a beer bottle, 1940s:

FPG/Getty Images

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