Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2014

Currently: 73° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Was Eliot Ness a hero or Hollywood-inspired myth?

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 | 9:55 a.m.

CHICAGO (AP) — Nearly six decades after his death, Chicago crime fighter Eliot Ness is still so admired that Illinois' two U.S. senators want to name a federal building after him in Washington, D.C.

But a Chicago alderman hopes to convince them to drop the idea.

Ed Burke says a recent Capone biography indicates that Ness had about as much to do with putting the gangster behind bars as Mrs. O'Leary's cow had to do with starting the Great Chicago Fire.

Ness has been portrayed as a hero on television and in movies. Burke says he is "a Hollywood myth" and to honor him would be a disservice to others who are more deserving.

The senators want to put Ness' name on the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters.