New Jack City: ‘Gangland Wire’ @ Screenland Crown Center Documents KC Mob Muscle

Gangland-WireThose were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end…..

But they did. And pretty abruptly.

River Quay – you know it as the River Market – had become the preeminent entertainment district in Kansas City and every weekend turned into a giant street fest. KBEQ-FM (Q104) – then known as SUPER Q – had its studio perched behind a giant window on the second floor of one of the old buildings down there and acted as sort of a grand master DJ.

And all the clubs, all the bars and all the restaurants—what fun.

Alas it was not to last.

A documentary called GANGLAND WIRE sheds new light on the factions that brought down the area now known as the River Market.

It also exposes the real story behind the fictional account of the Kansas City mob connection referenced in the movie CASINO.

GANGLAND WIRE is produced by Gary Jenkins, a retired intelligence unit detective who—with actual wiretaps and first hand witnesses—documents how the once bustling River Quay district turned into a war zone.

The disputes? Parking rights. Go-go girls. And control of the area made for a path of bombings and dead bodies.


Al Capone

In the end the F.B.I. and Kansas City Police Intelligence Unit uncovered evidence which led to the convictions of local mob bosses as well as those in Milwaukee, Chicago and Cleveland.

Jenkins discovered audio tapes labeled “Strawman” deep in the bowels of the government archive that tell how the Midwest La Cosa Nostra families not only engaged in multiple crimes and murders, but how deeply their interest had expanded to several Las Vegas casinos.

GANGLAND WIRE presents a unique opportunity to listen in on some of the biggest players in the area mob family’s conversations and learn how a local quarrel ultimately lead to the derailment of the mafia.

GANGLAND WIRE opens this Friday exclusively at the SCREENLAND CROWN CENTER.

Performances will show daily at 1:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. through November 21.

Filmmaker Gary Jenkins will be in attendance and hosting Q & A sessions after EACH showing.

Where were you when River Quay went boom—then bust? 

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14 Responses to New Jack City: ‘Gangland Wire’ @ Screenland Crown Center Documents KC Mob Muscle

  1. harley says:

    should be a good flick.

  2. Libertarian says:

    I can recall being surprised when their WASN’T a car bombing in the River Quay being shown on the nightly news.

    Remember Willy the Rat blaming JJ Maloney and the KC Star for his bar closing?

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      JJ was one helluva newspaper man. Pardoned from the old Missouri prison while serving four life sentences. He could paint a picture with words and knew how to dig deep for a story.

      Friend tells of taking trips with his friend’s mom & kids to Vegas. Empty suitcases going, full coming back to the North End.

      Consensus amongst those near those old flames, the boys did not play well with others.

  3. harley says:

    was on trip to vegas….carl the host had briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.

  4. Gary Jenkins says:

    I have J.J. Maloney’s book, I speak for the Dead. He tells the River Quay story in historical fiction. He had sources that most cops and few KC Star reporters could access. It looks like it may be available at amazon. I believe he is deceased.

  5. jack p. says:

    Question for Gary Jenkins: How did the Old Chelsea (porno) Theatre in the River Quay area survive the mob control? Or was that one of their aquired ‘properties?’

  6. newbaum turk says:

    Didn’t the Old Chelsea move to the River Market in the late 80’s? Would have been when mob influence was way diminished if so.

  7. expat says:

    This era in KC history is incredibly fascinating… I was still a sperm when these events occurred but I’ve heard stories from grey hairs about the time. It’s good to get it out in the open so other ‘nothing ever happens in Kansas City’ youths can know the towns history. I’d never heard of Maloney before but will be getting a used copy of his book when I can.

  8. newbaum turk says:

    I saw the movie tonight. The first quarter of it is about the River Quay mob violence. The rest is mostly about KC’s connection to Vegas. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Casino” much of it is factual and only the names have been changed. Lots of old audio tapes from wiretaps of Nick Civella are played in the movie. Good movie if you like this kind of stuff. They were selling DVD’s of it there so there is probably a website you can find to buy it.

  9. jack p. says:

    Newbaum: Did they have a good sized crowd for your showing? And how did the Q & A session go?

  10. newbaum turk says:

    Theater was 3/4 full for the 6:30 showing Saturday. Q & A went well after. Had to stop taking questions after actually so the next movie could get going. A good 30 people (me included) missed the first five minutes of the movie because we were told by employees they were cleaning the theater. Yet when we were told to go in the movie had already started. I don’t know exactly what the deal was but Screenland seems somewhat unorganized. As a former bartender in college, I could work cirlces around how long it took those guys to make drinks. You had to buy tickets from the bartenders so waiting to buy tickets took about 15 minutes and there weren’t that many people buying drinks. A good show though. Recommend it.

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