Cigar City Mafia : A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld -- by Scott M. Deitche

This book gives the reader a flavor of the criminal element of Tampa society that was active in a period that extended from the early 1900's to the mid-1960's, with connections that continue into the present day.   It is an interesting read, but much of its contents must be taken with a large dose of skepticism.   The information regarding gangland murders and gang family connections are generally well known, but much of the information about "police corruption" is undocumented and based upon speculation.  In particular, the naming of a Tampa Police Department supervisor who went on to be elected Sheriff as having been in a position to be suspected of corruption is tainted by innuendo that falls short of accusation, and is unwarranted.   

It appears the author relied heavily upon an unidentified source who provided an oral history of the era based upon what he believed to have been the actions and motives of the major players. At a discussion of the book the author mentioned he did have information from law enforcement personnel as well as from newspaper people and other sources.   

There are some gaps in the chronology and it is sometimes necessary to backtrack and re-read some accounts in order to ascertain how the different stories fit together.   There is an uneveness to the writing which suggests either the absence of a good editor or a rush to get the book into print.

Despite these defects, the book does give an interesting overview of the violent era of Tampa's gang-dominated past.


The City of Tampa has a webpage called Accessible Tampa Guide which gives information for persons with disabilties and/or their families. There is a section with information on attractions including information on autism friendly activities.