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The Last Purple – Harry Millman

By Paul Kavieff w/ contributions from Scott M. Burnstein: THERE was little evidence in Harry Millman’s childhood that he would one day become one of the most feared gangsters to ever walk the streets of Detroit. Millman was born in the Motor City in 1911. His parents were recently immigrated […]

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Prohibition & The Detroit Underworld

In 1927 Detroit, Michigan was the fourth largest city in the United States with a population of more than 1.5 million people. The rapidly expanding automobile industry and the major manufacturing plants were attracting job seekers from all over the world. This prosperity, coupled with National Prohibition, also made the […]

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Heroin & The 20th Century Detroit Mafia

Detroit, February 21, 1962. It was two in the morning and Gerlando was locking up his bar for the night. Walking out the back door of his establishment, the bar owner was horrified to find a dead pig blocking his exit. Seeing its front and hind legs bound by rope, […]

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Meeting of The Minds – Me & Crazy Phil

By Scott M. Burnstein Sitting in a plush sofa chair in the lobby of a swanky Miami hotel in the winter of 2011, I looked for him through a room full of people, not having any idea what I was actually looking for. It was late afternoon and the hotel […]

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The Coronation – Little Nicky Becomes King

Within all the carnage in Philly underworld affairs in the early 1980s, Nicky Scarfo saw great opportunity. He wasn’t happy about his dear friend, Phil Testa going to an early grave, but he wasn’t in mourning for long, either, quickly angling to become boss of the Philadelphia mafia himself in the aftermath […]

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