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Ellen Poulsen


Ellen Poulsen is a researcher in the field of 1930s crime history.  "Don't Call Us Molls:   Women of the John Dillinger Gang", and "The Case Against Lucky Luciano: New York's Most Sensational Vice Trial" are her two books.  They reflect years of research and a life-long interest in the Depression-Era Public Enemy.  In 2008, "The Case Against Lucky Luciano" won the Silver IPPY Medal for True Crime. She has appeared on The Discovery Channel's special, "The Dillinger Conspiracy," and History Channel's "Crime Wave," and NYC Media's "Secrets of New York." She is currently working with a co-author, distinguished Dillinger historian Lori Hyde, on a biography of Matthew Leach, who was the Captain of the Indiana State Police in 1934 and a key figure in the hunt for John Dillinger.  

The daughter of a New York City policeman, Ellen became fascinated with desperado John Dillinger when her father brought home a copy of John Toland's "The Dillinger Days" while she was still in elementary school.  As a young adult she worked, had children and attended college. She earned a B.A. Degree in English at Queens College-C.U.N.Y. As an adult student, she studied nonfiction writing and received a total of three awards and scholarships. Ellen can often be found entertaining audiences with a slide show and lecture in libraries and historical societies on the subject of the 1930s public enemies.     




Lucky Luciano



In 1936, the New York trial of "Vice Czar" Lucky Luciano, for the crime of compulsory prostitution, resulted in his conviction. Luciano was the banner name for a trial that also included many co-defendants. This book addresses the other side of the Luciano trial, the story of the low-level street people who were brought into the trial to act as material witnesses. While Luciano's fabled conviction and later, pardon and deportation is remembered, little has been done to tell the story of the material witnesses and co-defendants. This book tells their story.

For further details please visit www.lucianotrial1936.com



Gangster Molls


Book Description
Buried under decades of stereotype and parody, the true history of the female companions of the Great Depression's bank-robbing gang is uncovered. Don't Call Us Molls carefully examines the legacy of the Dillinger women using eyewitness and descendants' accounts as well as courtroom and prison records. This book explores the collective experience of these fugitives and offers a thoughtful, well-informed commentary on past attitudes toward the marginalized women of the day-the lawbreakers, the informers, and a lone female sheriff. FBI memos, court transcripts, and never-before-published photos reveal the events experienced by women under siege, resurrecting historical figures and their private behavior. This history lays bare the personal lives of the wives and girlfriends of the public enemies of the 1930s and examines how their conflicting loyalties were challenged and exploited by unrelenting pressure of the United States government to betray their men.


View site for Don't Call Us Molls




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Author Ellen Poulsen at the Chicago Gangster convention 2004.

About the Author
Ellen Poulsen has worked as a staff writer for the Queens Chronicle, and she is the recipient of the Sandra Schor Nonfiction Award. She lives in Queens, New York.

Ellen has a great site pertaining to her writing work. Please visit  by clicking below.

The 1936 Trial of Lucky Luciano