Bullets Over Boston: A Journey Through the City’s Underworld

Gangsters have played a shady role in shaping Boston’s history as Boston Globe reporter Emily Sweeney will explore during an event sponsored by West End Museum on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at The HUB50 Community Room, 52 Causeway St., Boston.

In her presentation, Sweeney will discuss her latest book, “Gangland Boston: A Tour Through the Deadly Streets of Organized Crime.” She will reveal the real-life locations of criminal hangouts and share stories about the mobsters and racketeers who ruled Boston’s underworld, including those with West End ties like Doc Sagansky.

“Sagansky grew up in the West End and worked as a newsboy in the neighborhood,” Sweeney said in a press release. “After graduating from dental school, he opened a dental practice in nearby Scollay Square. When it came to gambling, Doc was a legend — he made a fortune from his bookmaking business and later became one of the oldest people to go to federal prison when he refused to cooperate with authorities.”

Other mobsters with West End  ties that Sweeney will touch on include Michael “Mickey the Wiseguy” Rocco, Angelo “Sonny” Mercurio, and William J. “Skinny” Kazonis.

Sweeney, who authored another book on the same subject in 2012 called “Boston Organized Crime,”  will draw upon her years of research and an extensive collection of photographs to shed light on how gang violence unfolded during Prohibition, how the Italian mafia rose to power, and how the Gustin Gang came to be.

“This is a fascinating chapter of the West End’s history and we’re happy to have Emily tell us these stories in person,” said West End Museum Executive Director Sebastian Belfanti in a press release.

Tickets cost $8 each. To learn more, or to reserve a seat, visit https://thewestendmuseum.org/programs/.

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