Take a Stab at Our American Gangsters Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
1 min
Take a Stab at Our American Gangsters Quiz
Image: L-R: John Dillinger, Arthur Barker and "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images

About This Quiz

They may have been hard-bitten crooks, but when John Dillinger, Arthur Barker and "Pretty Boy" Floyd were at large, ordinary citizens loved to follow their exploits. Today, America's historic gangsters continue to inspire fascination – along with some darn good movies. So throw on your best fedora and take a shot at our organized crime quiz.
To escape detection, the villain in MGM’s "Arsenic & Old Lace" changes his face via plastic surgery. Which gangster used that same trick in real life?
John Dillinger
And apparently Dillinger was not happy with the doctor's work. Dillinger was betrayed by an informant and gunned down by the FBI outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre in 1934.
"Pretty Boy" Floyd
"Baby Face" Nelson
Seven people with mob connections were shot dead at the infamous "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" of 1929. Who ordered the hit?
George "Bugs" Moran
Al Capone
Nobody knows for sure.
Since Moran's men were attacked, many suspect Capone (his archrival) of orchestrating the massacre. But that's never been proven.
Fill in the blank: During the Great Depression, the American Mafia established a new governing body called ________.
the Committee
the Commission
Founded by Charles "Lucky" Luciano in 1931, the Commission was a body of representatives who oversaw major operations. It's rumored to still exist.
the League


True or false: Al Capone's goons once kidnapped a famous jazz musician at gunpoint and made him perform at Capone's birthday party.
The performer in question was jazz pianist Thomas "Fats" Waller. The good news is Waller was returned unharmed and took home some generous tips.
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, a bona fide celebrity criminal, famously helped develop which of these Las Vegas hotels/casinos?
Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
Flamingo Las Vegas
Often called "the man who invented Las Vegas," Siegel hobnobbed with movie stars and tried selling weapons to Mussolini. Less than six months after the Flamingo opened, he was killed in his girlfriend's home.
Caesar's Palace
How did Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow (aka "Bonnie & Clyde") meet their violent deaths?
from a hit job performed by a rival team of gangsters
It was a murder-suicide.
in a hail of bullets fired by the police
Ambushed by the police in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, the bank-robbing duo died together in a firestorm of bullets. Police fired 167 shots.


The Dead Rabbits were a 19th-century Irish-American street gang based in what U.S. city?
New York
You may remember their depiction in Martin Scorsese's 2002 period drama "Gangs of New York." According to legend, one of the most feared Dead Rabbits was a woman named “Hell-Cat Maggie,” who filed her teeth to points and wore brass fingernails during gang fights.
The notorious Apalachin summit meeting of 1957 was a huge turning point for the American Mafia. What went down there?
A powerful boss was assassinated.
Law enforcement arrested dozens of mobsters.
New York State troopers barged in and apprehended 60 mafiosos from across the country. The incident put public pressure on the FBI to take organized crime more seriously.
A literal bomb went off.
"Goodfellas" (1990) is based on the life of which longtime gangster?
Arthur Barker
"Mad Dog" Coll
Henry Hill
Hill worked with the Lucchese crime family before entering the Witness Protection Program and becoming an FBI informant.


George Kelly Burns – aka "Machine Gun Kelly" – was one of the Depression era's most feared gangsters. What crime ultimately led to his arrest?
In 1933, Kelly and his wife took oilman Charles Urschel hostage and demanded $200,000 in ransom. Urschel later teamed up with the FBI to successfully track down the pair. Kelly's nickname was derived from his weapon of choice, a submachine gun.
money laundering
You Got:
L-R: John Dillinger, Arthur Barker and "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images