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Three Thousand Suspects - Recap

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In September of 1932, racketeer Nick Segal is serving a three year sentence in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary for violation of the Volstead Act even though he is responsible for six murders. But after serving only one year, Segal is eligible for parole. He thinks it's in the bag. But unknown to him, his partner, Nat Baldwin as fixed things the other way. Parole denied.

Segal gets word to Eliot Ness through the prison grapevine: a system whereby inmates can send messages to those on the outside. A small-time hood named Ed Keiffer informs Ness that Segal wants to talk to him. Ness wants to meet with Segal too. He wants to know about Nat Baldwin, Segal's partner who is unknown to Ness and has continued running the operation while Segal rots in Leavenworth.

News of this gets back to Baldwin who goes to Frank Nitti for help. In the conference room of the Montmarte Cafe, the "boys" hold an emergency session. Nitti reluctantly agrees to help Baldwin. Segal will buy the farm.

Ness travels to Leavenworth and asks the warden to see Nick Segal. But before Segal, who has been working in the prison library because of an injury, can be brought to him, he is cut down amongst the books by a sniper's bullet fired from the roof of a builing next door to the library.

Ness returns to Chicago but he still wants info about Segal's mysterious partner. The only way to get information about Segal's death and partner is to plant an "investigator" inside the prison. Convicted smuggler Tom Sebring, serving time in Lewisburg Penitentiary, is recruited to fill that job in return for an early parole. Sebring is very reluctant to take the job but since he knows that his wife might not wait for him, he agrees and gets transferred to Leavenworth.

Once at Leavenworth, Sebring begins shaking people down seeking info about Segal's death. An inmate who was involved in it, Gus Casserta, sends a message to Chicago through the pipeline. Allison manages to trace the message to a pool hall owned by one Sam Argus. Ness goes to a pool hall where Kieffer arrives. Seeing Ness in the place, Argus burns the letter. This leads to another letter being sent from the pen. It seems as though Sebring's digging is beginning to get too close to why Segal died.

There's another emergency meeting at the Montmarte Cafe. Nitti agrees to bump off Sebring too but he warns Baldwin that if anything goes wrong he's going to feed him to the cops. Literally.

Figuring that Sebring has been marked, the Untouchables bring in Kieffer who has been arrested for stealing from vending machines. After some heavy interrogation by Ness, Kieffer reveals what happened to Segal inside the pen. He was shot by a corrupt guard with a high-powered rifle. Ness then beats feet to Leavenworth but it's a long trip.

Meanwhile in Leavenworth, the prisoners are rioting but it's to cover up the planned murder of Tom Sebring. Sebring, going all the way in his investigation, has gotten involved in a jailbreak scheme with three other convicts including the aforementioned Casserta who was involved in Segal's death. It's actually a trap to gun down Sebring but unbeknownst to them, Sebring has figured it out. As the rioting goes on in the prison, the four convicts sneak out into the yard. The first two run across the yard to the wall. Sebring is scheduled to be the third. Instead, he shoves Casserta out and the guard on top of the wall shoots at him. Just then, Ness and the warden, who have figured out the identity of the killer guard arrive on the wall. The guard shoots the warden, winging him. Ness then shoots the guard who does a swan dive off the wall. Tom Sebring is brought to the warden's office He says Ness has it all wrong. He was going over the wall with the rest of them. "With your parole hearing all set up?" replies Ness. "Nobody's gonna buy that one."

430 miles away back in Chicago, Frank Nitti keeps his word to Nat Baldwin. Baldwin's body is dumped in front of the 43rd District Police Station. He was thrown to the cops--dead.