The murder of Ellie Morley in this episode is based upon a real life incident relating to the real Frank Nitti's Hollywood extortion scheme. A man named Nick Circella was functioning as the go-between for Nitti's union thugs in Hollywood and the boys back home in Chicago. When the roof caved in, Circella was arrested and started to talk. His mistress, one Estelle Carey, was murdered and most believe this represented a warning to Circella to keep his mouth shut. He got the message and soon clammed up. Unfortunately for Nitti and the boys, the wives and families of other witnesses were placed in protective custody and they couldn't be intimidated by this method.
The characters of Sidney Rogers and Ramsey Lennox are based upon Willie Bioff and Harry Browne, real-life Nitti stooges who were the front men in his extortion scheme against the Hollywood studios.
The character of J. N. MIller is based on United Artists studio head Joseph Schenk who paid extortion money to the real Nitti's stooges and got himself a two-year prison sentence as a result.
The real Frank Nitti (real name Frank Nitto) died on March 19, 1943 as a result of a self-administered gunshot wound to the head. Nitti had recently been indicted on various racketeering charges related to his extortion scheme against several major Hollywood studios. Nitti left behind his third wife, one Annette Cavaretta, and an adopted 9 year old son, Joseph. Joseph Nitto would later grow up to be a successful businessman although he would change his last name back to that of his birth parents.
Walter Winchell says, "The death of Cam Allison, who had been transferred from St. Louis to join the Untouchables only a few short months before, moved Eliot Ness deeply." That would be real time, since episode # 16, The St. Louis Story, was broadcast on January 28, 1960 and this episode on April 28, 1960. But The St. Louis Story takes place in 1931, and this is 1934, so it's really been 3 years in "story" time.
Anachronism: Frank Barber mentions "Roller Derby" -- but Leo Seltzer wouldn't invent the game of Roller Derby until 1935.
trivia: according to his business card, Eliot Ness' Chicago phone number is BR-9506.
The dramatic closing scene-- Duncan laying there dead, with dollar bills strewn all around him-- loses its effect because we see some of the dollar bills up close: they are obviously fake, like Monopoly money. Couldn't they have photocopied some real bills? And besides, why are the bills labelled "ONE"? Shouldn't he be taking $100 bills with him?
The prison grapevine used in this episode would be used once again in Season Four's Giant Killer.
Goof: Walter Winchell said Monroe City, Missouri is 194 miles northeast of Leavenworth, Kansas. It's only 172 miles, and it's due east.
The character of Bob Wheaton is erroneously billed in the ending credits as Bob Wheeler.
The character of Fred "Caddy" Croner is loosely based on Sam "Golf Bag" Hunt, a real-life mob hitman who carried his tools of the trade in a golf bag.
Mayor Cermak's wounds from Giuseppe Zangara's gun were originally thought to be non-life threatening but he developed peritonitis in the hospital and passed away on March 6, 1933. Zangara after a speedy trial was executed a few weeks later. Some believe to this day that Cermak and not Roosevelt was the intended target and that Zangara was himself a mob assassin.
In real life, Frank Nitti was shot five times by a plainclothes Chicago police detective on December 19, 1932. The detective reportedly went to collect a bounty of $15,000.00 that had been placed on Nitti. Some say the bounty was placed by North Side gambling boss Ted Newberry while others believe it was the Mayor of Chicago himself, Anton Cermak, who wanted Nitti out of the way. Whatever the reason Nitti survived but was charged with attempted murder of a police officer when the detective who shot Nitti wounded himself to make it appear as though Nitti had fired first. Fortunately for Nitti, at his trial in late February of 1933 a couple of uniformed patrolmen who had been present at the scene testified truthfully that Nitti had been unarmed and had his hands raised when he got shot. Nitti was found not guilty of attempted murder and two Chicago detectives, Harry Lang (the triggerman) and Harry Miller were dismissed from the police force for their roles in the incident.
Louis "Little New York" Campagna, Frank Diamond, and Billy Skidmore were all real life Chicago gangsters. Campagna began as a bodyguard for Al Capone and rose to become a major player in the Chicago Mob. He died of a heart attack off the coast of Florida in 1954 while reeling in a fishing catch. Diamond, whose real name was Frank Maritote, had a brother who married Capone's sister, Mafalda. He was killed by a shotgun blast in 1951 reportedly after taking the wrong side in a feud between mobsters. Skidmore was a gambler, bail bondsman, and junk dealer who was affiliated with the North Side mob. His place of business was frequently used as a location where the rival Chicago mobs went to mediate their differences.
[recycled stock footage] During the hit at the coffee shop, they blow out Swoboda's window twice.
Jake "Dodo" Ryan's identifying characteristic is his droopy left eye; but in the scene where he gets caught right after the explosion, actor Claude Akins forgets to keep his left eye squinted.
Unless you count Rico pretending to make out with that policewoman decoy in The Underground Court, this episode marks the only time that an Untouchable kissed a woman in the series when Cam Allison kisses Hazel Stanley in her apartment. It's even inferred in some of the later dialogue that he spent the night there.
Major Charlie Byron, the lead heavy in Little Egypt, is based upon Charlie Birger a real life gangster who operated in the southern portion of Illinois known as Little Egypt. Birger was notorious as the last man to be hanged the state of Illinois before it implemented the electric chair as its method of capital punishment. He also once had the mayor and police chief of a small southern Illinois town assassinated as was depicted in this episode.
Agent Martin Flaherty has been transferred to head the Cleveland division of the Prohibition Bureau.