By Orval Allbritton
The Garland County Historical Society announces the publication of Orval Allbritton’s much-anticipated book The Mob at the Spa: Organized Crime and Its Fascination with Hot Springs, Arkansas. This 270-page soft cover book tells about mobsters who came to Hot Springs from approximately 1920 to 1965. Allbritton separates fact from fiction, presenting what can be documented about the mobsters’ connections to the Spa City. In the process, he relates fascinating and little-known stories of their visits to Hot Springs and their connections with its citizens. In addition to Al and Ralph Capone, Allbritton discusses John Torrio, Charles O’Bannion, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegl, Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Meyer Lansky, Joe Saltis, Mickey Cohen, Sam Giancana, Carlos Marcello, Joseph Valachi, and others. He tells the story of convicted killer and New York Cotton Club owner Owney Madden, a mobster who married Hot Springs’ postmaster’s daughter and retired here. Allbritton explains the history of Hot Springs gambling, why it flourished, where it occurred, and who controlled it. He answers the question, “Was the gambling in Hot Springs controlled by locals or by the Mob?” All this and more are in The Mob in the Spa, which explores the visits by powerful mob bosses, their molls, and their underlings to Hot Springs, Arkansas.