May 29, 2016
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #14: Eliot Ness – Untouchable

Eliot Ness Untouchable“Doubts raced through my mind as I considered the feasibility of enforcing a law which the majority of honest citizens didn’t seem to want.” – Eliot Ness, American Lawman

Even as a boy Eliot Paul Ness seemed destined for excellence and if you asked his fellow students, probably seemed most likely to be a crime fighter. He was the youngest of six siblings born to Peter and Emma Ness, a Norwegian immigrant couple that operated a small bakery in Chicago.

Eliot Ness was a bookish young man and a good student, with a reputation for a neat appearance as well as being a loner. As a kid he grew up with a healthy appetite for Sherlock Holmes mysteries and as a son, he kept his nose to the grindstone. He occasionally helped his family out with their bakery, but his parents had bigger plans for their children.

He attended Christian Fenger High School in Chicago where he graduated in the top third of his class. There he was an average athlete who didn’t seem to care for team sports.

After high school he attended the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He also excelled at tennis, a sport where he had only himself to rely on. He grew to appreciate mental discipline, and took up Jujitsu as a hobby.

Again he graduated in the top third of his class and received a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and business. Despite the success he saw in college, he was characterized as a loner.


Perry, D. (2015). Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero (Reprint Ed.). London: Penguin Books.

Ness, E., & Fraley, O. (1987). The Untouchables -The Real Story. New York: Pocket Books.

Heimel, P. (1997). Eliot Ness: The Real Story. Coudersport, PA: Knox Books.

G. E., Ph.D. (2011). The Last Boy Scout: Eliot Ness’ Tenure as Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Safety Director. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(12), 14-21. Retrieved from

Eliot Ness. (n.d.)

Eliot Ness. (n.d.).

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