Rose City Vice

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The City of Roses, as natives of Portland, Oregon like to call it, has a long history of crime and corruption, starting as far back as the post-Civil War frontier days, and then leading into the mobster-infused decades of the twentieth century when prohibition, prostitution, gambling, and hard drugs besieged the town. The so-called ôGreat Portland Vice Scandal of 1956-57ö spilled into national politics, with hearings before the Senate Rackets Committee. When the '70s rolled around, members of the policeÆs narcotics squad were caught red-handed wearing expensive leather jackets and driving brand new motorcycles to work. This Northwest city, known best today for its punk rock and hipster comedies like Portlandia, was once overrun with corruption and foul play. Author Phil Stanford (Portland Confidential and White House Call Girl) was a well-known personality when we wrote a column for PortlandÆs daily newspaper The Oregonian in the 1980s and æ90s. Now heÆs back to haunt the scene of the crime to remind its citizens of the townÆs criminal history, and what a sordid scene it was.