Elaine Smith was one of the first female FBI agents and in her book A Gun in My Gucci she shares her experiences. As a rookie FBI agent she was able to bring down mobster Ken Eto and a portion of the Chicago mafia. In the early 1980s, Joe “Tokyo Joe” Eto was the highest-ranking Asian-American mob associate in the country. His nemesis would become Elaine Smith due to her relentless pursuit.
During her quest to take him down, Smith was able to get Eto charged with interstate gambling charges. His detention causes concerns for the mob and they decide to take out a “hit” on him to keep his mouth shut. He though walks away, though he does wind up with three bullets in his head as a result. The hitmen who came after him though are both later found having been tortured and murdered. Eto would go on to talk, but only to Smith and this testimony would lead to multiple arrests and convictions of many of the top level mobsters in Chicago.
Not only was Elaine Smith making history by being part of the FBI, but she also was married to another FBI agent. She and her husband Tom entered the FBI and were a bit like the first “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in that regard. This read is so engaging and Smith’s involvement in the take down of members of the Chicago mob is something that shows what dedication to achieving something can make happen. I was delighted to learn that Donna Giglliotti, the producer behind Silver Linings Playbook and Hidden Figures, has options Smith’s book. I think this would make a great film adaptation. You can get your copy of A Gun in My Gucci today.