October 7, 2012
In 1935, New York City millionaire gangster and underworld crime leader Owen V. Madden, born in England to Irish parents, retired to Hot Springs (Garland County) and married a local woman. He soon became involved in illegal gambling in his adopted city. By 1940, he held controlling interest in one of the town’s most lucrative gambling houses, the Southern Club. Madden testified in front of the Senate Committee on Organized Crime when, in 1961, Hot Springs was labeled the “largest gambling operation in the U.S.” Three years later, the state government took steps to shut down the operations. In 1965, Madden died at age seventy-three. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.