‘Wicked Cleveland’ is new book from Jane Ann Turzillo

There are many levels of wickedness, from finger-wagging frisky to outright evil, and Jane Ann Turzillo hits them all in “Wicked Cleveland.”

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In Part One, “Sex, Vice and Rock-and-Roll,” Turzillo reaches back to the bad old days of downtown burlesque, mob hangouts like the notorious Theatrical Grill and raids on gambling clubs, with Eliot Ness leading the troops. She then jumps forward a few decades for the ultimately tragic tale of punk rock singer Wendy O. Williams, who faced an obscenity charge after an appearance at the Agora.

Part Two, “Cops, Corpses and Crooks” includes the story of Cleveland resident Leon Czolgosz’s assassination of President William McKinley, but also the grim 1923 murder of a Cleveland patrolman by a man who was being arrested for receiving stolen property. In 1975, a habitual bank robber walked into Society National Bank with a phony bomb and took hostages, his chances of success diminishing as his chest pains intensified: It seemed he had left his heart medication in the car.

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