Upcoming Speaker Series Presentations
The Thursday Evening Speaker Series is free of charge and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, programs will be held at the Missouri State Archives, located at 600 W. Main Street in Jefferson City. The series is underwritten by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives.
[ Presentation Videos from past events are available at the following location:
Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos.]
Black Hand Strawman: The History of Organized Crime in Kansas City
August 14, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
From 1900 through the 1980s, Kansas City was home to one of the most effective crime organizations in the United States. Black Hand Strawman, Terence O’Malley’s book and documentary film of the same name, explores this history, from the early years of “Black Hand” extortion within the Sicilian American community to the FBI’s “Strawman” investigation of Las Vegas profit skimming. Through a combination of contemporary interviews, historical newsreels, crime scene photos, police files and surveillance recordings, Black Hand Strawman follows the rise and decline of the Kansas City mob and its alliance with the Pendergast political machine. O’Malley will intersperse clips from the film throughout his presentation to bring to life one of the most compelling true crime stories in American history.