Crime Does Pay Week: Charlie Birger and the Birger-Shelton War
This is day two of Pappy's Crime Does Pay Week.
According to the Grand Comics Database this ultra-violent example of the art of the crime comic is drawn by a young Gil Kane, published in Murder Incorporated #1, in 1948. Victor Fox was the publisher, and his books of this era almost single-handedly define sleaze.
As for the actual comic book, the story has some element of truth; there was a Charlie Birger, and he did have a war with beer rivals, the Shelton brothers, in Illinois during Prohibition. They did use armored cars, and did use a plane for an aerial attack. Something not told in the story (nor told in another version in Atlas' All True Crime #28, from later in 1948, either) is that before they went to war, Birger and Shelton were partners in the beer biz during a time the Ku Klux Klan was heavily involved in the area. The KKK had decided Prohibition was a good thing. It was so lawless there that KKK members would go into private homes looking for alcohol, and take offenders to a special Klan jail! Between Birger and Shelton they managed to push the Klan out of the area, maybe the only time in the sorry history of the sorry-ass Klan that the tables were turned.
The cover of Murder Incorporated #1, artwork attributed to John Forte, has a cover slug that says For Adults Only. How much do you think that mattered when a kid handed over his dime?