Category: Crime

William George Bonelli


State board of equalization member William G. Bonelli (left) talking with attorney A. Brigham Rose at the liquor license bribe trial. Bonelli is accused of involvement in a liquor license bribe scandal in which he and at least six others allegedly conspired to extort money from liquor retailers under threat of causing them to lose their liquor license. Detail of photo in Los Angeles Daily News collection, .  Access to this collection is generously supported by Arcadia funds.

Bonelli and six others were indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury in November 1939. “He had been in office just a year when he was indicted on bribery charges based on alleged misdealings in liquor licenses, but he was acquitted [in 1940].”
Excerpt from

While acquitted in this case, quite a few online references describe his activities as being less than honorable. Here are a few. They make for some interesting reading.

This review of his ghost-written book from 1954 includes pre-WWII material, also:



Al Capone at Terminal Island


As one of the most prominent of organized crime mobsters during Prohibition, Al Capone was eventually convicted of federal income tax evasion. He served most of his sentence at Alcatraz prison near San Francisco in the 1930s. In January 1939 he was transferred to the Terminal Island Correctional Facility in the Los Angeles harbor area to serve out less than a year for a lesser crime. By this time syphilis had ravaged his health.