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In 1854, Decatur was nicknamed “Hell’s Half Acre.” By the 1910s and 1920s, the town was referred to as the “Second Most Corrupt City in Illinois,” gaining notoriety as a place where murder, bootlegging, prostitution, kidnapping, gambling and political corruption were common. Members of the Decatur police force, like Troy Taylor’s great-grandfather, were hard-pressed to bar the door against crime in a town that seemed determined to remain wide-open. Wicked Decatur presents a rogue’s gallery of those who have slipped through the cracks of legality over the past century and a half.
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by Troy Taylor
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by on October 23, 2016
- The History Press, April 2011
The History Press
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