Module 2: The Murder of Joe Adams

Main Content

Mayor is Warned in Gang Warfare

The Murder of Joe Adams


On December 12, 1926, two men summoned West City Mayor Joe Adams to his front door and killed him. Weeks earlier, newspapers as far away as Washington, DC reported that the mayor had already received several threats from Charlie Birger to leave town or die. Why? Was it because the mayor favored Birger’s enemy, the Shelton Gang? Years later, gang leader Charlie Birger was eventually found guilty of, executed for, this crime.

The Life and Crimes of Charlie Birger Map

The Murder of Joe Adams Timeline

The Murder of Joe Adams Interactive Module