Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jeffery Gusfield  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Born: 1948 in Peoria, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Gusfield is a native Chicagoan. He has a MLS from Lake Forest College.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jeffrey Gusfield has a BFA from Drake University. It was there that he learned history was the best theater. He has been researching Vincent Gebardi and Louise Rolfe for over forty years. Jeff is considered a "gangsterologist," a new term for historians specializing in the American Prohibition and Depression Era gangsters and outlaws. This term was coined by the late, great crime expert, Rick Mattix. Prior to his writing career, Gusfield was a fine art dealer for 35 years.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Deadly Valentines: The Story of Capone's Henchman Machine Gun Jack McGurn and Louise Rolfe, His Blonde Alibi
ISBN: 1613740921

Chicago Review Press. 2012

Almost before the gunsmoke from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre cleared, Chicago police had a suspect: Jack McGurn. They just couldn’t find him. McGurn, whose real name was Vincent Gebardi, was Al Capone’s chief assassin, a baby-faced Sicilian immigrant and professional killer of professional killers. But two weeks after the murders, police found McGurn and his paramour, Louise May Rolfe, holed up downtown at the Stevens Hotel. Both claimed they were in bed on the morning of the famous shootings, a titillating alibi that grabbed the public’s attention and never let go.

Deadly Valentines tells one of the most outrageous stories of the 1920s, a twin biography of a couple who defined the extremes and excesses of the Prohibition era in America. McGurn was a prizefighter, professional-level golfer, and the ultimate urban predator and hit man who put the iron in Al Capone’s muscle. Rolfe, a beautiful blonde dancer and libertine, was the epitome of fashion, rebellion, and wild abandon in the new jazz subculture. They were the prototypes for decades of gangster literature and cinema, representing a time that has never lost its allure.