Tag: Guy McAfee

Portrait of L.A. Crime Boss Guy McAfee after He Reinvented Himself as a Leading Citizen in Las Vegas

Guy McAfee was one of the preeminent crime bosses in Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s. He spent his early career as an LAPD officer, rising to captain on the vice squad. In the 1920s, he married a madam named Marie, who worked in the sphere of crime lords Albert Marco and Charlie Crawford, top operators in a powerful organized crime racket known as “the Combination” and, because of its entanglements in civic institutions, “the City Hall Gang.” McAfee left the LAPD for a much more lucrative career as a vice lord and soon controlled a criminal operation that included dozen of brothels, bootleg liquor operations and the most lucrative underground casino in town, the Clover Club on the Sunset Strip.

A wave of reform swept the city in the late 1930s, resulting in the recall election of Mayor Frank Shaw, who was defeated by Fletcher Bowron, a former journalist and sitting judge in superior court. Once in power, the forces of reform targeted operations like McAfee’s, and he quickly decided to move east to Las Vegas, where gambling was legal. In an interview with a newspaper there in 1939, however, McAfee, who was by then remarried to actress June Brewster, denied he’d been driven out of Los Angeles:
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Ad for the Clover Club

The Clover Club was a posh private club on the Strip, at 8477 Sunset [map], situated at the northwest corner of Sunset and Queens Road and operated by vice cop-turned-racketeer Guy McAfee and others in the 1930s and ’40s. It was closed when McAfee was driven out of town to Las Vegas in the great corruption purge of 1938 but reopened under new owners and later as the Bacon Club and again, during the war, as the Clover Club. After the war, it briefly served as the Army and Navy Officers Club. It was destroyed in a fire in January 1952.

Update: Corrected location.

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