The Elusive Purple Gang: Detroit’s Kosher Nostra

We are raffling off 3 autographed copies of ‘The Elusive Purple Gang: Detroit’s Kosher Nostra‘ signed by author Gregory A. Fournier!

*3 winners will be selected at random. Enter now for your chance to win!*

https://detroitbookfest.com/enter-to-win/

The raffle will run from Monday, December 16 to Sunday, December 22.

The Purple Gang (photo courtesy of Google)

The Elusive Purple Gang: Detroit’s Kosher Nostra is a concise history of one of America’s most notorious Prohibition gangs, The Purple Gang.

The Bernstein brothers and their associates were the only Jewish gang in the United States to dominate the rackets of a major American city. From their meteoric rise to the top of Detroit’s underworld to their ultimate demise, this book is an episodic account of the Purple Gang’s corrosive pursuit of power and wealth and their inevitable plunge towards self-destruction.

The Purple Gang (photo courtesy of Google)

The Purple Gang is well-known in Michigan. They were around from the 1910’s to 1932.

Some lesser known stuff about the Purples I’ve heard and read includes the following:

In 1930, my Grandpa lived at 638 East Ferry Street, Detroit. He would frequently see the Purple Gang hanging out in the back of a candy shop on Hastings Street and Medbury Street. This is the current spot of the 94 and 75 interchange.

The Purple Gang were responsible for an estimated 500 murders in 5 years and many of them wound up in Jacktown (aka: Jackson Prison), the world’s largest walled prison at the time. Rampant corruption allowed The Purples to run the prison from within.

The Sugar House Bar at 2130 Michigan Avenue Detroit is named in honor of the Purples old 1920’s hangout called The Sugar House on Oakland Avenue. The current bar is a cool, dimly lit, narrow, speakeasy-type place, check it out.

The Leland Hotel was built in 1927 at 400 Bagley St, Detroit. The Purple Gang murdered someone in the lobby of the Leland in 1930. The Leland is now an apartment building.

Harry ‘Chinky’ Meltzer (Sept 23, 1910-Nov 3, 1993) lived in Detroit. His dad opened the Schvitz Oakland Ave Bathhouse in 1930. The Purple Gang used to meet frequently at the bathhouse. Currently, the bathhouse still stands and looks the same.

After Prohibition, several of the Purples relocated to Albion, Michigan, which is about 1hr 30mins west of Detroit.

In 1946, a Michigan Senator in Albion was going to turn states evidence. So, a few incarcerated Purples borrowed a car from Jackson Prison, drove to Springport, Michigan, assassinated the Senator and drove back to prison. As a reward for their work, the Purples were taken to the Pearl Street bordello for some fun.

 

About the Author

Gregory A. Fournier author

Detroit native and Literary Classics gold medal award-winning author Gregory A. Fournier received his bachelor and master’s degrees in Language Arts from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

His other titles include: Zug Island, Terror In Ypsilanti, and The Richard Streicher Jr. Murder.

Fournier writes short history posts for his blog Fornology, and he has appeared on the Investigation Discovery Channel as a guest expert on John Norman Collins for the series A Crime to Remember in an episode entitled “A New Kind of Monster.”

Greg’s book will be an historical and exciting read. Check it out!

 

Fornology blog

https://fornology.blogspot.com/

 

Homepage

https://gregoryafournier.com/

 

We are raffling off 3 autographed copies of ‘The Elusive Purple Gang: Detroit’s Kosher Nostra‘ signed by author Gregory A. Fournier!

*3 winners will be selected at random. Enter now for your chance to win!*

https://detroitbookfest.com/enter-to-win/

The raffle will run from Monday, December 16 to Sunday, December 22.

Purple Gang leader, Abe Bernstein (photo courtesy of Gregory A. Fournier)

The Purple Gang (photo courtesy of Google)

Detroit Prohibition (photo courtesy of Google)

The Purple Gang (photo courtesy of Google)

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