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Notorious gangster Charlie Birger hanged 89 years ago
silversides staff
Truth Prevails
User ID: 148291
04-08-2017 09:32 AM

Posts: 52,331

Post: #1
Notorious gangster Charlie Birger hanged 89 years ago
Charlie Birger was not the smartest gangster.
He dropped a murder victims body into a coal mine.
The mine although closed was inspected each year.

His rivals the Sheldon Gang were the only criminal gang during prohibition to drop bombs from airplanes on a rival gang.

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Bucky Halker: "The Hanging of Charlie Birger"

Charles Birger
Born Shachnai Itzik Birger
February 5, 1881
Adygea, Russian Empire
Died April 19, 1928 (aged 47)
Benton, Franklin County, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality Russian-Jewish-American
Other names Charlie Birger
Occupation soldier, cowboy, miner, saloon keeper, businessman, bootlegger, criminal gang leader
Known for Bootlegging and leading the Birger Gang, who fought a bloody war with the Ku Klux Klan and the Shelton Brothers Gang over the domination of Southern Illinois. Birger was the last person to be publicly hanged in Illinois.
Birger Gang
Founder Charles "Charlie" Birger
Founding location Crab Orchard, Williamson County, Illinois
Years active 1920-1928
Territory Southern Illinois
Ethnicity Jewish-European-American
Membership (est.) 16
Criminal activities bootlegging, murder
Rivals Shelton Brothers Gang
Charles "Charlie" Birger, born Shachna Itzak Birger (February 5, 1881 – April 19, 1928), was an American bootlegger during the Prohibition period in Southern Illinois.

Early life
Charles Birger was born to a Jewish family in what is now Lithuania, then in the Russian Empire, and emigrated to the United States as a child with his parents. Birger and his family settled in St. Louis, where, at 8 years of age, Charlie got a job as a news boy at the Post-Dispatch newspaper. Later, Birger moved to the O'Fallon, Missouri area, where he started work in a pool room.

On July 5, 1901, Birger enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Company G of the newly formed 13th Cavalry Regiment, then stationed in South Dakota. Birger was described as a good soldier and was honorably discharged on July 4, 1904, at Fort Meade, South Dakota. When he left the army, he became a cowboy. However, he eventually returned to Illinois, where he met his wife, Beatrice, and became a miner in the quickly expanding coal mining community of Harrisburg, only later to become a keeper at one of the local saloons.


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Shelton Brothers Gang
Founded by Carl Shelton, Earl Shelton, Bernie "Red" Shelton
Founding location St. Louis, Missouri
Years active 1920-1928
Territory Southern Illinois
Ethnicity European-American
Membership (est.) 50+
Criminal activities bootlegging, gambling, mail robbery, murder
Rivals Charlie Birger Gang
The Shelton Brothers Gang was an early on Prohibition era bootlegging gang based in southern Illinois. They were the main rivals of the famous bootlegger Charles Birger and his gang. In 1950, the Saturday Evening Post described the Sheltons as "America's Bloodiest Gang". Ancestors of the Shelton Brothers Gang trace their roots back to Ireland, under the surname "Hunter". There are still some descendants living in the St. Louis area today.

Formed by Carl (born 1888), Earl (born 1890), and Bernie "Red" Shelton (born 1898) of "Geff" Jeffersonville, Wayne County, Illinois shortly, after Prohibition came into effect in 1920, the gang operated in Williamson County, Illinois, making moonshine and other illegal alcoholic beverages. They eventually dominated both gambling and liquor distribution in Little Egypt until 1926, when a former ally, gangster Charles Birger, attempted to take over the Sheltons' bootlegging operations. This began a violent gang war, which saw both sides use homemade armored trucks and included an aerial bombing raid by the Sheltons on Birger's Shady Rest headquarters. The battle was for the control of bootlegging in all of southern Illinois.

The Four Freedoms
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(This post was last modified: 04-08-2017 12:29 PM by silversides.)

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