Ace Atkins

New York Times Best Selling Author

Phenix City kingpin’s gaming box for sale on ebay

When I’m researching the past, I’ve found one of the best sources is just a click away on ebay. I’ve bought incredible pieces of history from old Tampa, 1920s San Francisco, and on Phenix City, Alabama back when it was the “Wickedest City in America.” Right now, I’m working on a screenplay based on my novel Wicked City and recently went back to ebay searching for old postcards of motels from that era. Within the long list of items selling for a few bucks was a wooden box filled with ivory gaming chips that’s said to have belonged to famed Phenix City gamber, Pete Hargett. Pete was one of the major criminals and gamblers in Phenix City in the ’40s and ’50s. According to the seller, he was gunned down by the local sheriff. Now it was actually Pete’s brother — Guy Hargett — who was killed by Assistant Sheriff Albert Fuller in ’49. If you’ve read Wicked City, you’ll understand why the police shooting has always been a little suspicious. But the story accompanying the box — on sale for a mere $2,5000 — is worth a look.

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