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A Chicago police officer picks through debris at the crime scene where a number of people were shot, including a 3-year-old child, in a city park on the south side of Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013.
A Chicago police officer picks through debris at the crime scene where a number of people were shot, including a 3-year-old child, in a city park on the south side of Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013.
(PAUL BEATY/AP)

DAVID SHRIBMAN

Chicago, the city of Al Capone, fights back on guns

For more than 120 years, gangs – often unfettered, often downright brazen – have operated in Chicago. In earlier days, a booze-and-bullets period celebrated in noir novels and in Hollywood thrillers, gangsters and pimps operated openly, sometimes proudly, in the city’s streets. Racketeers ran wild – and ran houses of prostitution and gambling dens. They were known by monikers like Bloody, The Devil, and Shotgun Man. Or they went by their real names: Al Capone and John Dillinger.