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Queenpins: The Notorious Lives and Times of Legendary Women Gangsters

The   cut   throat   world   of   organized   crime   has   long   been   dominated   by   men,   and   such   macho   godfathers   and   kingpins   as Al   Capone, John   Dillinger,   Pablo   Escobar   and   John   Gotti   have   become   legendary.   Yet,   dig   deep   into   the   annals   of   crime   and   one   can   find smart,   ambitious   and   ruthless   women   who   have   cracked   the   glass   ceiling   of   the   underworld   and   became   notorious   in   their   own right.   Little   has   been   written   about   these   queenpins;   that   is,   until   now.   For   the   first   time,   noted   crime   writer   Ron   Chepesiuk   profiles the major queenpins of modern times and how they not only survived but thrived in gangland. Queenpins: The   Lives   and Times   of   Notorious   Women   Gangsters   provides   a   fresh   look   at   life   in   the   highest   echelons   of   the   criminal world.   Some   of   these   queenpins   have   become   well-known,   thanks   to   Hollywood   and   the   ubiquitous   media.   Others   are   not   so   well known.   Many   rose   and   fell   in   the   world   of   drug   trafficking.   Others   achieved   notoriety   as   madams,   bank   robbers,   bootleggers,   and gambling.   Several   operated   in   the   U.S.,   but   there   are   queenpins   in   China,   Colombia,   Mexico, Australia,   Italy   and   even   India   whose stories are chronicled. Queenpins   offers   an   engrossing   look   at   crime   history.   You   will   discover   Stephanie   St.   Clair,   who   got   rich   in   the   numbers   game   and then   became   a   legend   when   she   stood   up   to   mobster   Dutch   Shultz,   who   wanted   to   put   her   out   of   business.   In   the   1920s,   Gertrude Lythgoe   was   known   as   the   “Queen   of   the   Bahamas”   for   her   bootlegging   exploits.   Gertrude’s   nickname   was   “Cleo”   because   people thought   her   exotic   looks   made   her   a   dead   ringer   for   Queen   Cleopatra.   Kathryn   Kelly   was   the   master   of   public   relations   and marketing   who   turned   her   unambitious   husband,   Machine   Gun   Kelly,   into   one   the   FBI’s   most   targeted   criminals.   Griselda   Blanco, the   so-called   Black   Widow,   taught   infamous   drug   lord   Pablo   Escobar   the   tricks   of   the   cocaine   trade   and   sparked   a   crime   wave   in Miami   that   left   hundreds   dead.   Xie   Caiping,   the   Mama   San   of   Chinese   crime,   led   a   shocking   life   of   decadence,   excess   and   sexual depravity   while   dominating   the   Shanghai   underworld.   Sandra   Beltran   Avila,   the   Queen   of   the   Pacific,   was   beautiful   and   vain,   but she   skillfully   used   her   assets   to   build   powerful   alliances   between   Colombian   and   Mexican   drug   cartels,   an   accomplishment   that fueled the Latin American drug trade. The   stories   of   these   queenpins   need   to   be   told;   their   place   in   crime   history,   documented.   Chepesiuk’s   research   reveals   the important role that women have played and can play in organized crime.