The Great Depression produced many organized criminals. While many were out of work and out of their homes, others looked outside the law to make ends meet. In the eyes of many Americans, these gangsters weren’t necessarily bad simply because they were robbing banks. However, the poor saw these men as thieves. It was not until the Great Depression ended that this trend began to decline. Now, the question is, what did the Great Depression do to America’s gangsters?
While the Great Depression was a challenging time, the overall crime rate didn’t rise. Although crime rates did not rise dramatically during the Great Depression, most historians agree that crime rates didn’t rise during that time period. In fact, some argue that the harsh times made people less likely to steal, and that gangland violence decreased as a result. And while the depression lasted for a long time, the criminal activity that took place was far more limited than it was in previous decades.
American gangsters during the great depression made headlines by committing crimes and killing innocent people. Famous gangsters were John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd. Many state police forces were created to hunt down these criminals, and most of them were either killed or captured by 1934. In addition, many states created specialized units to combat gangsters.