Australian Desperadoes: The Incredible Story of How Australian Gangsters Terrorised California by Terry Smyth
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Overview: The Coves-San Francisco’s first organized-crime gang-were Australians: men and women with criminal careers in Australia who had come to the US, mostly illegally, during the gold rush. The Coves had come not to dig for gold but to unleash a crime wave the likes of which America had never seen. Robbery, murder, arson, and extortion were the Coves’ stock-in-trade, and it was said that the leader of the gang, Jim Stuart, had killed more men than any man in California. The streets of San Francisco became a battlefield as the Coves and the vigilantes fought for control of the city, with gunfights and lynchings almost daily spectacles as the police stood idly by. Jim Stewart was arrested in Sacramento for killing a sheriff, but escaped to be involved in one the most celebrated cases of mistaken identity in the annals of American crime. When the smoke cleared, the Coves’ reign of terror was over.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs > True Crime > Organized Crime