Wednesday, August 26, 2015

John Hagedorn's "The Insane Chicago Way"

John M. Hagedorn is professor of criminology, law, and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of People and Folks and A World of Gangs, coeditor of Female Gangs in America, and editor of Gangs in the Global City.

Here he and an associate dreamcast an adaptation of his latest book, The Insane Chicago Way: The Daring Plan by Chicago Gangs to Create a Spanish Mafia:
In$ane was the product of a unique collaboration between the author and an Outfit (Chicago’s mafia) solider, Sal Martino. Sal was the godfather of the C-Note$, the Outfit’s minor league team. Sal fondly called the five C-Note leaders he mentored, “Two Dagos, Two Spics, and a Hillbilly.” With Sal’s encouragement, the C-Note$ joined a secret “Spanish mafia,” Spanish Growth & Development, that had goals of controlling violence, organizing crime, and corrupting police. In$ane is a tragedy of how SGD rose and collapsed in a bloody “war of the families.” Since I’m not a movie buff, I asked Sal to write how he’d produce a movie base on the book. Here is what he wrote:
The film would open in 1989, focusing on five guys, Dominick, Sammy, Joey Bags, Mo-Mo, and Lucky, as they grow up in and around an area known as “The Patch,” in Chicago’s Little Italy.

Mo-Mo (Freddy Rodriguez) is a college student by day and a gangster by night, Joey Bags (Benjamin Bratt) is a high ranking old school gang member with ties to organized crime; Lucky (Stephen Dorph) and Sammy (Scott Caan) are currently incarcerated; Dominick (Jason Cerbone) is a section leader with family ties to organized crime. The film would offer a keen insight on the ties between gang violence, drugs, sex, and their ties to organized crime.

Mo-Mo has a young girlfriend Mercedes (Elisha Cuthbert) and is being recruited by the Chicago Outfit’s Grand Avenue Crew, but needs to run his own gang faction of the C-note$. Joey Bags is about to graduate from the gang to become an associate of the Grand Avenue Crew. Joey Bags has a girlfriend, Ala (Maria Bello). Tension exists between the two because he wants to have more than a sexual relationship with Ala, who resists the idea because of her ongoing relationship with a corrupt cop.

Mo-Mo is torn by his desire to be a success and live up to his family’s expectations and the pull of peer pressure to be more involved in the local organized crime culture with his new mentor Sal Martino (Andy Garcia).
Learn more about The Insane Chicago Way at the University of Chicago Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue