The Sausalito of the 1920's and early 30's became a haven for bootleggers. Despite its size, Sausalito lived out every imaginable twist and turn of the prohibition experience. Due to its geographical location, transportation facilities, and citizenry not unfamiliar with the ways of the world, Sausalitans didn't miss much. Liquor flowed freely, large sums of cash exchanged hands, bootleggers and police lived side by side, and some of America's most notorious gangsters made themselves comfortable in Sausalito. Perhaps the most bloodthirsty, mentally-unbalanced and downright frightening desperado's to be spawned out of the 1920's in America was Lester Gillis, alias "Baby Face Nelson". Gillis was a Chicago bank robber who really did have a "baby face". Maybe that's why he fooled Sausalitans in the early 30's. Most never suspected that the towns new bartender and parking attendant was a dangerous gunman and ringleader of a local bootlegger operation. Gillis was known to enjoy shooting people to death at the slightest provocation. Gillis took hiding with John Paul Chase, a hometown boy who was arrested by Constable Manuel Menotti in 1934 for bootlegging, and who ended up in Alcatraz.
Last updated: 5/16/2007 10:49:31 PM