News & Notes

Gangster in Our Midst | Oct. 20, Strawberry Point

Gangster in Our Midst

Sunday, October 20, 7pm at the Wilder Memorial Museum, Strawberry Point

Another great immigrant story…

The Wiltse family of Strawberry Point, Iowa played a prominent role in the early history of the village of Fairbank— the town upon which my historical novel Gangster in our Midst (2017) is based. Actually, this immigrant family left a legacy in both communities. I hope to see you on Oct. 20th at 7 pm, Wilder Foundation, Strawberry Point.

Gangster in our Midst: Marshal Sweeney Delaney was just a rookie in his small Iowa town when Congress ratified the 18th Amendment. Prohibition threw the whole nation into a tailspin. Even teetotaling Christians jumped on the bandwagon and began making panther piss in a still behind the barn. Then—a Chicago gangster came to town. His name: Louie La Cava. Sweeney followed the adage: Keep your friends close; your enemies closer. Two old friends are part of his inner circle: Walter Bierkoff, a farmer and man of keen curiosity, and the perspicacious Father John Halpin, priest at the I. C. Catholic Church.
BIOGRAPHY: BETTY BRANDT PASSICK is married and a grandmother, retired from a Fortune 500 Company, and spends her days with their bichon “Butters” at her side, while writing books renowned for their infusions of earthy soul, faith-isms, and Midwestern values. In early 2016, she decided to research the “mystery man” who first came to her Iowa hometown around 1920. Locals believed he had links to Al Capone, but no one knew for sure. Through FBI and police reports, newspaper accounts–and the embellished tales of those who knew the gangster best, she weaves this unique and sometimes wacky story. This is her third book.