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Blackhand Letters

posted Feb 11, 2015, 11:35 AM by Thomas Ivie
Blackhand letters did happen in Wyoming in the early 1900’s. Typical Black Hand tactics involved sending a letter to a victim threatening bodily harm, kidnapping, arson, or murder. The letter demanded a specified amount of money to be delivered to a specific place. Most often, the letter would be signed with a hand, "held up in the universal gesture of warning", imprinted or drawn in thick black ink. The term "Black Hand" was readily adopted by the American press and generalized to the idea of an organized criminal conspiracy. The Black Hand practice in the United States disappeared in the mid-1920s after a wave of negative public opinion led organized crime figures to seek more subtle methods of extortion.