Episode 8: “Ohio v. Organized Crime” (Black Hand Society). Alex meets up with co-authors William Oldfield and Victoria Bruce to discuss the first major Italian organized crime ring and their subsequent trial. This little-known piece of Ohio and American history is the story behind Bill and Vicki’s hit book Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society (Simon & Schuster, 2018). Buy your copy of this best seller here. https://www.amazon.com/Inspector-Oldfield-Black-Hand-Society/dp/1501171208
This episode focuses on the life of Inspector Frank Oldfield, the great grandfather of our guest, William Oldfield. Oldfield reveals this 100 year old family story of his great grandpa’s investigation and the first conviction of a Sicilian/Italian organized crime family, known as the “Society of the Banana.” We discuss the massive influx of Italian immigrants to America at the turn of the 20th century and the impact of the criminal element of those immigrants to the difficult assimilation of Italian Americans.
This story takes place in cities all over Ohio, big and small, such as: Columbus, Toledo, Marion, Bellefontaine, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Athens and Dennison, Ohio. We follow the investigation and trial of the Black Hand Society members and its leader Sam Lima of Marion, Ohio. We dive into the investigation of US Postal Inspector Frank Oldfield and his effort to take down this secretive criminal society in Ohio. This interesting story and great research is thanks to our guests’ amazing book, Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society (Simon and Schuster, 2018).
Buy the book here!
Ohio v. the World is the world’s ONLY Ohio history podcast. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram (@ohiovtheworldpodcast) and Twitter @ohiovtheworld. Email us with episode ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go Bucks!