Regional Crime History: East Side Gangs vs KKK in the 30s

“These two gangs strongly disliked the Ku Klux Klan (more than they disliked each other). First, because the Klan was trying to shutdown their illegal operations of bootlegging, second because of their Jewish and Irish-Catholic roots (which the KKK hated) and third because the gangs’ leaders were extremely close to the mining culture of ‘Little Egypt’ which embraced the consumption of alcohol and hated Klan influence. Charlie Birger and the Sheltons made a brief alliance and decided to go after Young. On May 23, 1924, Shelton men ambushed S. Glenn Young and his wife near the Kaskaskia river on his way to “clean up” East St. Louis, critically injuring them.

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