Listen up, good-fellas. There’s something going down at 30 James Street. The mobsters and the molls of this town are all stepping back to the 20s on 9th September for an afternoon of indulgence, comedy and plenty of fizz.
Our Mobster & Moll Murder Mystery Afternoon Tea is set to be a real roaring party and you’re invited. With an opulent afternoon tea, comedy entertainment and fizz on arrival, you can expect laugh-out-loud moments amidst an indulgent afternoon of retro fun. We’re taking it back to Prohibition, complete with all the decadence and debauchery of 1920s America.
And of course, you’ll need to dress to impress. We’re expecting suave mobsters and glittering molls. But if you’re stuck for ideas, why not check out our list of nefarious partners in crime? These dastardly pairs were famous for their dark deeds and devil-may-care attitudes. Who will be your mobster and moll inspiration?
Al Capone and Mae Capone
Perhaps the most notorious gangster of them all, Al Capone or ‘Scarface’ was a Chicago mobster operating during the Prohibition era. Co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit, Capone became infamous for his violent revenge tactics on Chicago’s streets. A sharp dresser known for his pinstriped suit and fedora, the famously debonair mobster also had a softer side which he reserved for his wife: Mae Capone.
Mae was an unusual Moll – an Irish Catholic immigrant, she married Al at a young age. Throughout her life, she remained deeply religious and claimed to know very little about her husband’s dodgy dealings and criminal activities.
However, during his imprisonment, Al’s wife regularly visited him. The couple had a son Albert Francis ‘Sonny’ Capone, and after Al’s early death, Mae became famous for asking her only child not to follow in his father’s footsteps of crime.
Sadly, while Mae remained loyal to her husband, it was widely known that Al often enjoyed the company of other women. This playboy attitude ended up being the death of him: upon arrival at the Atlanta U.S. Penitentiary in 1932, Capone was diagnosed with multiple sexually transmitted diseases. When transferred to Alcatraz, his health declined significantly and upon release, died only 7 years later, surrounded by his devoted family (including Mae).
Virginia Hill and Bugsy Siegel
Famous for being the girlfriend of Mobster Bugsy Siegel and named “Queen of the Mob” by Time Magazine, Virginia Hill was actually as involved in organized crime as her notorious partner.
Initially introduced into the Chicago Outfit syndicate as a girl about town, she started taking an active role in their activities as a courier, passing messages between the mobsters. Her intellect and daring became well known, with one contemporary commentator describing her as “more than just a set of curves. She had a good memory, a considerable flair for hole-in-the-corner diplomacy… and a dual personality, close-lipped about essentials, and able to chatter freely…”.
On a trip to New York, Virginia was introduced to Siegel and ended up staying a night with him in a hotel. They departed and weren’t in contact until their separate life paths lead them to Hollywood where they began an affair. Siegel ended up naming a hotel after his lover, calling the resort ‘Flamingo Las Vegas’. Apparently the moniker had been given to Hill in tribute to her long, thin legs.
Their love affair was not to last: in classic mob fashion, Siegel was assassinated at Hill’s home in June 1947. Hill had taken an unscheduled flight to Paris before the event, giving rise to speculation that she was tipped off about the murder and might even have been complicit.
Evelyn “Billie” Frechette and John Dillinger
Known as America’s first Celebrity Criminal, John Dillinger was a vicious mobster accused of robbing 24 banks and four police stations and escaping from jail twice amongst other activities. Despite this infamy, he was only ever charged with one count of murder (although he was likely involved in many more).
John Dillinger met Evelyn Frechette in October 1933 at a dance hall and the glamourous pair entered into a relationship a month later. She was both his accomplice and his partner, completing domestic chores for him as well as once driving a getaway car after her boyfriend was shot by the police.
Evelyn played up to the ‘moll’ stereotype, once claiming that John bought her “all kinds of jewellery and cars and pets” and that he gave her “everything a girl wants”, treating her like a lady.
Her devotion to her mobster was, however, her demise. On April 9, 1934, Evelyn was arrested for letting Dillinger hide in her Minnesota apartment as John and a companion watched from a block away.
Evelyn served two years in a correctional facility for letting John hide in her apartment and was released in 1936. Only two months into her sentence, she heard the news that John had been killed in a shoot-out at the Biograph Theater in Chicago by Federal Agents.
Mary Kinder and Harry Pierpoint
Mary Kinder was another Prohibition era gun moll, famous for being the girlfriend of Harry Pierpoint and associated of John Dillinger. In 1933, the notorious lady was listed by the Chicago Police Department on the Public Enemies list, one of only two women counted amongst America’s most wanted.
The couple met in the 1920s, when Harry went on trial with Mary’s brother for a robbery of an Indiana bank. Harry was jailed but in October 1933, 11 convicts escaped the Michigan City Prison, including Pierpoint, and Mary joined the gang of escapees, driving the getaway car involved in the jail break.
Mary remained loyal to Harry and continued to claim his innocence during trials until his death by electrocution. During his final trial on a conviction of murder, Mary gave regular interviews, raising money to fund a hopeless appeal.
Meanwhile Harry Pierpoint attempted a final jail break with his friend Makley. The criminals carved phony pistols out of soap cakes and painting them black with shoe polish before brandishing them at prison guards. They were successful in getting as far as the main door of the jail, before guards opened fire, mortally wounding Makley and riddling Pierpoint with bullets.
Still suffering with injuries from the shooting, Pierpoint was carried to the electric chair in October 1934 and electrocuted by 12:14am. Mary Kinder lived until May 1981, when she died of emphysema and heart disease.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow
Undoubtedly the most famous criminal couples of them all, Bonnie and Clyde were as famous for their romanticized relationship as they were for their dastardly deeds. Although not affiliated to any crime family, their names have gone down in history with the likes of Capone, Gambino and Conanno.
Active during the Great Depression, the two gun-totting lovers travelled through the United States with their gang, robbing banks, stores and gas stations, taking out anyone who stood in their way.
Glamourised by newspapers and pulp detective magazines, Bonnie became known as cigar-smoking, machine gun-wielding killer in love with a mad-cap murderer. The couple first met in 1930 at a mutual friend’s home and, according to reports, were both smitten. From 1932, the couple launched into a spree of robberies that would being their criminal careers and ultimately lead to their downfall.
Like many of America’s most notorious criminal gangsters, the couple were devoted to their families, visiting them often and showering them in gifts funded by their illicit activities.
The end of the couple’s crime spree started in May 1934 when an ambush was set up by Texas Officer Frank Hamer who had been studying the likely movements of the pair. At 9:15am on 23 May, police officers concealed themselves in bushes on the Louisiana State Highway 154 and waited. As they heard the Barrow’s car approaching, they opened fire shooting around 130 rounds at the car, killing both Bonnie and Clyde.
It’s estimate that both lawless lovers were shot around 50 times each. Officers found an arsenal of weapons in the car along with 15 sets of license plates from various states.
Join us for a Mobsters & Molls Afternoon Tea
Inspired by the romance of life on the run? Why not join as at 30 James Street for a decadent 20s party on Sunday 9th September as we recreate the era of America’s legendary Mobsters and Molls with a murder mystery afternoon tea – all for only £29.95 per person.
It’s time to work out “who dun it” on the syndicate scene, as you indulge in delicate finger sandwiches and delectable sweet treats (accompanied by some decadent fizz, of course).
Our four comic characters will guide you on this detective adventure, ensuring you’re transported back to the roaring twenties for an unforgettable afternoon with laugh-out-loud entertainment.
Tickets are £29.95 per person and include an indulgent afternoon tea, four comic characters and fizz on arrival.
To book, visit our offers page or call 0151 305 5101 and then quote ‘Mobster & Moll Murder Mystery’.