Route 66 News

A gangland hit in Benld?

RalphTheWonderLlama posted a couple photos from Benld, Ill., which was on an alignment of Route 66 from the late 1920s to about the mid-1930s. I’d heard the town was a weekend hangout for organized-crime kingpin Al Capone, but Ralph added a story about Scarface that I hadn’t heard.

According to my dad also, there was supposedly a shootout of some kind in the small town of Benld here right in the middle of town. Something like, they were in a bar and there was an argument or something, and apparently someone “put a hit out” on a guy and he was gunned down with automatics, I’d like to think tommy guns 🙂

Benld is also famous for its Coliseum Ballroom, which was open for decades and hosted acts such as Bing Crosby up to Bob Seger and REO Speedwagon. It’s no longer a music venue, but it now thrives as an antiques mall. I recommend a stop there. The Coliseum also was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Association’s Hall of Fame a few years ago. Regrettably, the Coliseum doesn’t have a Web site.


3 thoughts on “A gangland hit in Benld?

  1. Barb

    Went to a Fleetwood Mac concert in the early 70’s at the ballroom…no chairs but a bar on either side of the place. By the time the concert was over the floor was an inch deep in what I hope was beer and other alcoholic beverages. We were packed in like sardines but we were so young it didn’t matter. This was before Buckingham and Nicks joined them so it was a very “bluesy” concert. Ah, for the good old days!

  2. Kathy Holliker

    I remember lots of Foghat, but I don’t ever recall seeing Bob Seger there and you would think that I would remember that since it’s my hometown where NOTHING ever happened and I have always loved Bob Seger….I’m thinking I wouldn’t have missed it had it occurred. Got any documentation on that one?

    1. Glenn O'Nanb

      Glenn O’Nan
      I remember Fleetwood Mac and Ted Nugent. I was 15-16 and helped Ted’s sister get ted to the stage once my friend Jeff and I came over from St.Louis what a blast and we got to drink whiskey as well Great F’ing time!

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