Eliot Ness

In popular lore, Eliot Ness is the hero of the plot to capture Capone. In truth, he was a bit player. The Prohibition officer was a University of Chicago graduate who relied on nepotism to get his job. As Revenue agents and federal prosecutors tightened the net around Capone, Ness buzzed around the gang chief, annoying him but never stinging. He and his so-called “Untouchables” tapped phone lines and raided breweries, but they were never able to dig up evidence linking Capone directly to Prohibition-related crimes.


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