|Seen||Parker in the Rye|
|Comments||This is an article about a fictional representation of an historical character, location or other entity.|
Perri is the head of the Calabrian mob in southern Ontario and his right-hand person, is his common-law wife, Bessie Starkman, the only Jewish woman in history to command an Italian mob.
Rocco Perri was born Dec. 30, 1887 in Plati, Reggio Calabria, Italy and disappeared April 23, 1944. He moved to the United States and then to Canada as a young man (1908), where he first worked in a bakery and then as a salesman, selling food products from Italy.
Rocco started out in the mob neighborhoods of Hamilton, Ontario and created a booze empire that stretched in the United States. While other mobsters shipped booze south by boat along the coast, Rocco laundered his liquor as turnips and sent boxcar loads south to New York and west to Chicago. He made deals with the pillars of the Canadian establishment. Selling liquor to the United States from Canada was perfectly legal, but it was illegal to sell it in Ontario, so Rocco doubled his profits by “re-importing” some of it back into Ontario. During the Prohibition years, Rocco Perri provided alcohol to a thirsty clientele both in Canada and the United States – Al Capone and Joseph Kennedy were among Perri's customers.
The Perris also ran gambling, loan-sharking, extortion and prostitution rackets in a time when corruption was rampant, murder a business necessity, and discrimination against newcomers forced many to turn to crime as a means of survival.
Appearances and Mentions