Battling the Black Hand: The Epic Story of a Postal Inspector Who Took on The Mob

Battling the Black Hand: The Epic Story of a Postal Inspector Who Took on The Mob

Date: April 11, 2019
Time: 7–8 p.m. in the Historic Courtroom
Cost: The program is free for Members or with Museum admission

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Before the emergence of Prohibition-era kingpins such as Al Capone and Charles “Lucky” Luciano, there was the Black Hand: a Sicilian-American crime ring that preyed on immigrants from the old country.

During this time, the FBI was in its infancy, and local law enforcement struggled to respond to the rampant extortion schemes perpetrated by this rising menace.

An unlikely hero emerged—Frank Oldfield, a postal inspector from Ohio. His quest to bring down the criminal syndicate operating in America’s Heartland culminated in the 1909 capture of 16 Black Hand members.

William Oldfield, the great-grandson of the heroic postal inspector, and author Victoria Bruce will present their groundbreaking work about this little-known Mob story based on never-before-seen documents and photos from the Oldfield family’s private collection.

A book signing will follow.

Free for Museum Members or with Museum admission.

Featured Speaker

William Oldfield  

William Oldfield


William Oldfield is an archivist and historical lecturer. He grew up in Akron, Ohio, and currently lives in Annapolis, Maryland

Victoria Bruce  

Victoria Bruce


Victoria Bruce is the author of No Apparent Danger, Hostage Nation, and Sellout. She is the recipient of the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. She lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.