The Arkham Underground - a short field guide

The criminal world of Arkham can best described as a haven for small time criminals that maybe would have some difficulties if they ever faced a gangster of for example Al Capone of Dutch Schultz calibre. There are no real mafia connections in the Arkham underworld. The closest thing to it is a small Italian criminal community ( though it is highly unlikely that anyone of them are truly made men). The strongest criminal organisation is the O'Bannion gang - a group heavily involved in the bootlegging industry. The organisation is operating under the front of truck company( The Lucky Clover Carthage Company) owned by Daniel(Danny) O'Bannion - once a small time thug from Boston, now a major Kingpin in the Essex County region. The Lucky Clover Carthage Company uses it's trucks to smuggle spirits from Canada. The organization also cooperate with smugglers landing illegal gods along the Massachusetts coastline. According to the local rumours a number of beaches south of the shunned seaport of Innsmouth has lately been used as rendezvous spots for boats unloading contrabands.

Most members of O'Bannions crew are of Irish descent with a few exceptions. The only rule O'Bannion tend to stick to when recruiting people is not accept any Italians within ranks. O'Bannion has never really motivated this, but one could suspect that he fears infiltrations from the competitive local Italian Mob led by Joe Portrello.

The Arkham criminals usually hangs out in the poorer parts of the town mainly the Rivertown and French Hill district. There is also a frequently visited speakeasy on 751 N Garrison street. The Lucky Clover Carthage Company is located in Merchant District. The address is 200 W main Street. Joe Portrello used to have a small scrap yard on Poweder Mill Street, but after this place was attacked and burned down by the O'Bannion mob he and his men are usually seen around an Italian restaurant on 620 S French Hill Street. The basement of this restaurant is housing a Social club known as "Unione Italiano". It exclusively a club for Italian men. The Club is a front for the Portrello mob.

The criminal market in the Arkham used have clear boundaries. First of all there was almost no violence outside the criminal circuits. The reason was obvious. Violence against "outsiders" was bad for business. If the ones running the "entertainment" business would frighten the potential customers then there would b no customers. The O'Bannion mob had an exclusive accesses to the alcohol business and they and they alone ran the existing speak easies and illegal breweries. The Portrello organization controlled the numbers and the race- betting business. The Italians also held an efficient control over the fencing of gods stolen by non organized petty criminals. Gradually the O'Bannion mob has outmanoeuvred the Portrello mob and the Italian organization is only a shadow of it's former self after the May Day Massacre( see below). Nowadays O'Bannion has his hands in all facets of criminal life in the Essex County.

What does the law know?

Quite a lot actually. O'Bannion is known to most Arkham officials. It is widely know that he is running booze and it is not secrets that if you mess with O'Bannion something bad is going to happen. The reason why he can continue is the lack of real evidence and the fact that a large proportion of Arkhams finer folks are at times found at the Speakeasy on N Garrison St which is controlled by the O'Bannion mob. There are also politicians and officials that have recived bribes from O'Bannion. The local police is on the other hand by standards of the day fairly untainted when it comes to corruption. The Chief of Police is a honourable man that does the best he can to quell open street violence and criminal activity is focused on the common man and woman. He is not that keen on dealing with matters that would lead to political scandals or affairs that would bring down his superiors. Furthermore Nichols is a loyal member of the local Free Mason society and so is many of those working in the Town Hall. O'Bannion and Portrello knows this and thus they tend to keep down any activities that might wake up the Town Hall.

The May Day Massacre of 1928

Now and then the local Kingpins fail to reach an understanding on how to run things at side and violence do occur times on the streets of Arkham. During the spring of 1928 the violence flared up when the O'Bannion mob torched the Portrello organization headquarters on Powder Mill Street. There were several rounds of fire exchanged and when it was all over at least 4 Portrello men were laying dead in the gutter- among them Portrello's Lieutenant Salvatore Rissi. This incident is known as the May Day massacre. The word on the street claims that the underlying reason why this incident occurred was the O'Bannion mob's growing concern about the Italian mob's bid for the local Bootlegging industry. Joe Portrello had jut struck a deal with a larger Italian organization about Beer deliveries. Joe Portrello and his gang was stunned by the shear brutality of it all. It was the first know major fire fight ever to take place among criminals in Arkham. The fact that O'Bannion used more force than necessary in this attack might be a sign that O'Bannion might not be controlled small-timer that people used to believe. In fact there are clear signs that Danny boy is loosing it. If so then worse things are to be expected.

Important addresses:

Known fencers…..

620 S French Hill Street. -The Unione Italiano -The gods are delivered to Thomaso"Tom Fingers" Bertoli.

321 Walnut Street - Hugo "The Rat" Barnstable - small time independent fence. He owns an antique store in the scruffiest part of the French Hill district.

221 W River Street - Roary Mulligan - O'Bannion's fence. He operates from a warehouse by the River side. No deliveries are ever made to the Lucky Clover Carthage Co directly.

682 Marsh Street - Diamond Credit Agency- a Pawn Shop owned by a certain Randall Wade. Mr Wade is known to but stolen god at times.

Speak easies/Illegal Bars

721 N garrison Street - The O'Bannion Mob speakeasy. This place is only Speakeasy that is open to the "Public" in Arkham. Even Town Hall people happenes to be here now and then. As long as they finer clientele visit this place there will be no closing of this place despite the fact that it is well known to the police.

620 S French Hill Street - Unione Italiano - Italians only