“Crooked City: Youngstown, OH” takes a dive into the seamy side of the history of the ‘Rust Belt’ city that was once dubbed, “Crimetown, USA.” Marc Smerling helps tell the story in the 15-episode series from truth.media and Sony Music Entertainment.
Much of the program focuses on James Traficant’s complex story and impact, exposing his corrupt deals with the mob, his run for Congress and his time in Washington D.C. The outspoken Traficant became the Mahoning Valley’s eight-term, twice-indicted Congressman, walking around Capitol Hill in cowboy boots, bell-bottoms, and skinny ties.
“The story of Youngstown, Ohio has all you would want in a sprawling crime story… mob bosses, hit men, crooked cops and politicians, car bombs and heists,” said Smerling. “At its center is a sheriff turned congressman who won election after election by enflaming disenfranchised blue-collar workers. Was Jim Traficant Youngstown’s savior, or was he just another mobster?”