#TrueCrimeTuesday! In 1917, Caffery Darensbourg left his family's home in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of 16, he wanted to earn a living, and tried his hand at being a porter for several years. But his real passion was music. Throughout the 1920s, Darensbourg made a name for himself as a renowned banjo player. One of his favorite gigs was playing in Manuel Perez's Garden of Joy Orchestra. From 1924-1927, during the fabulous Roaring '20s, the Orchestra was the house band at the Pythian Temple Roof Garden in New Orleans. However, when the club closed, Darensbourg was forced to play banjo on the street for money.
In 1932, Caffery followed his older brother Percy, also a musician, to Dallas, Texas, in search of more stable work. They settled in the black section of town, known as Deep Ellum, which had a thriving music scene. But life as a musician and club operator was difficult in those days, and violence was a common occurrence.
At some point, according to his prison file, Darensbourg was stabbed in the side, which caused him stomach trouble for the rest of his life. He was arrested several times by Dallas Police for Prohibition violations, and was sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary on February 2, 1933, on three different liquor counts. He was 32 years old and by all accounts, a model prisoner. He was even released on parole nine months later.
But his troublesome lifestyle finally caught up seven years later. On February 17, 1940, Darensbourg was brought to Parkland Hospital with a gunshot wound in his abdomen. He lived four more excruciating days before finally dying on February 22. His death was ruled a homicide, but no murderer was ever found. He was only 38 years old. #leavenworthfederalpenitentiary #leavenworthfederalprison #leavenworthprison #leavenworthhistory #truecrime #mugshot #mugshots #prisonhistory #prohibition #archivesofinstagram #kansascityarchives #cafferydarensbourg #roaring20s #roaringtwenties #neworleanshistory #dallashistory #deepellum
RG 129: Records of the Bureau of Prisons. Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Leavenworth, Kansas. Inmate Case Files, 1895-1957. Darensbourg, Caffery, 42929.