Killing the Mob Book Summary - Killing the Mob Book explained in key points
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Killing the Mob summary

Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

The Fight Against Organized Crime in America

4.5 (318 ratings)
22 mins
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    Killing the Mob
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    Bonnie and Clyde were America’s original outlaw sweethearts.

    Along with the new breed of villains and gangsters that emerged during the Great Depression was the man tasked with catching them. His name was J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Bureau of Investigation, America’s first national law-enforcement agency. Who did Hoover set his sights on first? You’ve probably heard of them: Bonnie and Clyde.

    In 1934, the young Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were on a roll. Their relationship had begun in 1930 when Bonnie was an unemployed waitress and Clyde was an impoverished laborer. Bonnie had left her first husband years earlier, though she still had his name tattooed on her thigh. She enjoyed writing poetry, but when she met Clyde, she turned her attention to stealing cars, holding up gas stations, and robbing banks with her new boyfriend.

    Bonnie and Clyde weren’t the sort of people you’d expect to pose a physical threat. For starters, both of them walked with a limp. Bonnie’s legs had been badly burned in a car crash, and Clyde had deliberately chopped off two of his toes during a prison stint, to avoid being assigned hard labor. It was a testament to their love that, when the pain in Bonnie’s legs got really bad, Clyde would carry her around. When police found photos that Bonnie and Clyde had taken of themselves, they looked just like any other young couple in love – well, apart from the sawn-off shotgun that Bonnie was brandishing. When the photos were published in the press, Bonnie and Clyde became celebrities overnight: a glamorous symbol of rebellion against the cruel banks who were pushing people into poverty.

    But there was a brutal side to this love story; Bonnie and Clyde had killed 13 people during their crime spree. Hoover was determined not to let that number climb any higher.

    Unlike these criminal lovebirds, Hoover had no romance in his life. At the age of 29, he still lived with his elderly mother, and his only friend was said to be his dog. Hoover dedicated himself to eliminating crime. On May 23, 1934, Hoover’s agents finally tracked down Bonnie and Clyde and opened fire on the car they were traveling in. Both were killed, with Clyde dying first. Bonnie’s screams when she realized Clyde was dead would stay with the agents for the rest of their lives.

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    What is Killing the Mob about?

    Killing the Mob (2021) explores America’s uneasy relationship with organized crime. It exposes the shocking influence of the Mafia on twentieth-century history and culture and reveals the outrageous exploits of America’s most notorious gangsters.

    Who should read Killing the Mob?

    • True crime lovers
    • gangster movie aficionados
    • History buffs looking for a different angle

    About the Author

    Bill O’Reilly is an author, journalist, and television host. His show The O’Reilly Factor was one of America’s most popular cable shows, and his Killing book series is the best-selling nonfiction series of all time. Martin Dugard is a New York Times best-selling author; his books include Into Africa and The Explorers.

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