Fox Cities Book Festival: Gavin Schmitt

Madison, America’s Deadliest City?

Gavin Schmitt

Madison, Wisconsin has a well-deserved reputation for being a safe community, perfect for raising a family. But turn back the clock to the “roaring twenties” and Prohibition, and you’ll find a very different city!

In Murder Capital, author Gavin Schmitt (Milwaukee Mafia) explores the dangerous world of rumrunners, speakeasies and makeshift stills. Thousands of Ku Klux Klansmen march the streets, chanting and burning their crosses. The murder rate is the highest in the country – even greater than that of Capone’s Chicago. Multiple police officers are shot down in the line of duty. A prominent judge is taking loans from the very people he has sworn to lock up. And with so many residents getting involved in the liquor trade, it is beginning to get hard to sort the Mafia from the innocent neighbor.

Relying on newspaper reports, genealogical fragments, and National Archive documents, take a step into a world that couldn’t possibly have existed in small town America… and yet it did!