Shelton Gang | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
During the 1920â€™s the Shelton brothers, Earl, Carl, and Bernard, along with the notorious Charlie Birger gang, sold illegal liquor, opened gambling resorts, and committed numerous murders in Williamson, Saline, and Franklin counties. The Sheltons and Birger eventually turned against each other and became deadly enemies. In 1928 Birger was hanged for the murder of Joe Adams, the mayor of West City. The Sheltons were convicted of bootlegging and robbery, but were released after serving only a short time. They purchased 4,000 acres near Fairfield, Illinois in Wayne county and â€œsettled down.â€
In 1947 Carl Shelton was gunned down; in 1948 Bernie Shelton was murdered; and in 1949 there was an attempt on Earl Sheltonâ€™s life.