Small Town Crooks
Small Town Crooks cover
Author Eugene Padric
Publication date 2001
Published by Token Books
Publication Order
Preceded by
Followed by

Small Town Crooks is a non-fiction book about the Charles Town Mob written by Eugene Padric and first published in 2001 by Token Books.

The Charles Town Mob was an Irish-Brunanter mob group in Charles Town, which figured prominently in the history of Sint-Anders Parish for much of the 20th Century and which was especially active during the 1950s and 1960s. The book focuses on its various activities during those two decades.

The original cover shows an extreme close-up of the face of Ned McCaoinlin, the youngest of the three McCaoinlin brothers, who headed the gang with their associates, the brothers Smalls. The title is a play on the phrase Small Time Crooks, itself the title of a crime-comedy film by American writer-director Woody Allen[1].

Overview Edit

Barney McCaoinlin was the oldest and the leader of the gang. Before Barney formed his own crew he was a loan shark and enforcer for the Italian mob. After the Irish gangs decided to break away from Italian control, Barney and his brothers took over the rackets in and around Charles Town. They soon built a reputation as a fearsome crew and carried out contract killings for gangsters all over Sint-Anders Parish.

Some time later, at a party, Ned was badly beaten by two members of the Montesini family, led by Amadeo Montesini, for drunkenly groping the girlfriend of one the gang members. Believing Ned to be dead, the mobsters loaded him into the car to dispose of his body. However, when they realized that he was still alive, they dumped him on the lawn of Grijzestad Hospital.

When Barney found out about this he demanded that Amadeo Montesini, whom up till then he had considered a friend, turn over the two men responsible. Montesini claimed that George was out of line and refused to turn them over. Enraged, the McCaoinlins wired a bomb under his family car. When Montesini surprised them, they fled, but not before he recognized them. The gang leader was infuriated and immediately went looking for Barney. In October 1961, Montesini, an associate and a corrupt police officer found Barney in Sint-Anders and shot him dead. Despite the large crowd, not one witness agreed to violate the so-called neighborhood code and the three went free.

Soon after, the corrupt officer was taken from the street and murdered by Barney's brothers Ned and Yorick, a former boxer. After surviving many assassination attempts, one where he lost a hand and another where he lost half his jaw, Yorick was on his way to the court house for his brother's murder trial, when he was shot dead at a bus station. The Smalls brothers later suffered almost identical fates, as they were both shot to death on separate occasions. And Ned McCaoinlin ended up in prison.

TV series Edit

The book was adapted into the TV series of the same name by screenwriter Philip Spring and produced in and around Charles Town. The show originally ran on BBN from September 19, 2007, till December 5, 2008.

References and notes Edit

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