Organized Crime Figure. Leader of the notorious "Egan's Rats" mob. He started out small, working his way into the Rats, who were led by Thomas and William Egan, Democratic politicians who used the gangsters to enforce their will. William Colbeck was a plumber by trade, and his shop at 1421 Franklin became a headquarters for the boys. With the outbreak of World War I, he joined the Army and fought with the 354th Infantry Battalion, 89th Division. Upon his return, a war was brewing between the Rats and their arch-rivals, the Hogan Gang. Upon William Egan's murder in October 1921, Dinty Colbeck took control of the gang. For the next two years St. Louis was rocked with gang murders. The Egan's Rats also pulled high-profile bank and mail robberies, and this would prove their downfall. In November 1924, he and several associates were convicted of two mail robberies, drawing 25 year sentences. He served 16 years in Atlanta Federal Prison. Upon his release in November 1940, he publicly declared he was going straight. He soon was mingling with gambling and slot machine rackets across the river in Illinois. Whether because of his new activities or the old days, on the night on February 17, 1943, he was machine-gunned to death in his car at the corner of 9th and Destrehan streets, the killers having tailed him across the McKinley Bridge from Illinois.
Bio by: Dennis Rice