One of the most notorious sin cities and gambling meccas in America was little ole Steubenville, Ohio. It was the hometown and birthplace of renowned singing sensation Dino Crocetti, better known the world over as beloved Italian crooner Dean Martin.
From the 1930s through the 1970s, the town’s total population averaged only 30,000 to 35,000 residents. Steubenville was a small city that always maintained its small-town feel and appeal.
Yet, for many decades, Steubenville had a notorious reputation as a wide-open cesspool of backroom gambling casinos, prostitution, and rampant official corruption that allowed local underworld figures to flourish unimpeded by arrest and prosecution.
The laissez-faire attitude and rampant corruption in their local government and police department enabled a small band of Calabrian-born racketeers known as “The Black Hand Gang” to virtually take over the town “lock, stock, and barrel.”
In fact, Steubenville became so notorious for vice, violence, and its corrupt police force that it was given the nickname “Little Chicago.”