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Historical Character

Benjamin Kerr
Canada, Rochester
Personal Traits. Skills, Abilities and Characteristics:
Daring, Intelligent, Clever, Excellent Marksman

Biography (ca. 1921):
Though he was born into a family of reasonable wealth, Kerr nonetheless could not resist the excitement of the life of a bootlegger. Abandoning his secure lifestyle as a well-known pianist in Canada, he began running with bootleggers, carrying liquor over Lake Ontario. Together with his partner Alf Wheat, Kerr became one of the most famous rum runners in all of America.

Kerr's main paths usually crossed from the Canadian inlets into bay's on the Rochester side of the Lake. Most of the alcohol he sold was to speakeasies and hotels. However, the sales he made generally crossed into the territory of other Canadian mobsters, such as the famed Rocco Perri. His paths across Lake Ontario during the frigid winter months were often extremely dangerous. Though he did make a lot of money during his runs, Kerr mostly worked as a bootlegger for the excitement.

Eventually, Kerr's dangerous lifestyle caught up with him. In 1929, Alf Wheat's body washed up on the shores of Lake Ontario. Just a few days earlier, a body was discovered that was identified as Kerr's. Instantly, several different theories arose regarding his mysterious death. The official report was that Kerr had died during one of his dangerous trips across the lake. Some people speculated that Perri had Kerr murdered as punishment for selling alcohol on his territory. A few people even believed that Kerr faked his death and disappeared, never to be seen again.

(Source: Whisky and Ice by C. W. Hunt)