"The Guns Of Tampa" series was first published in 1971 in The Tampa Times, the long-time afternoon paper in Tampa, Florida. It was written by Tom Inglis, a no-nonsense, stick-to-the-facts reporter who thoroughly and accurately covered the colorful political goings-on at Tampa's City Hall and Hillsborough County's Courthouse for many years. As a colleague at the Times, I admired his professionalism and his old-style, hard-nosed news reporting -- traits rarely seen in today's media. Thankfully, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library has preserved The Tampa Times on microfilm, as well as the Burgert Brothers photography collection, which enabled me to recreate the series and also add pictures and headlines of events at the time. In rereading the series, however, it became painfully obvious that the original narratives were not carefully edited and also cut to fit the available space, and so some rich detail has been lost forever. Nonetheless, what remains is still a delightful read -- and an eye-opener -- into Tampa's notorious underworld history.
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