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This Kentucky Justice & Safety Research Bulletin examines the antecedents of modern-day organized crime in Kentucky. The question to be addressed is whether the genesis of organized crime in a predominately rural, southern state, such as Kentucky, follows well-established patterns of development found in historically analyses of Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and other north-eastern and midwestern locales. This question is addressed by an examination of primary and secondary historical data sources relevant to early forms of organized crime. The research concludes that while Kentucky exhibited strikingly different forms of economic, socal and political organization compared to northeastern and midwestern locales, the genesis of criminal organizations was much the same.



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