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'The Untouchables' program is noted for crediting Elliot Ness for many things that he had no part in. Most people think Elliot Ness was part of the FBI, when he was not, he was a Treasury agent. "Ma Barker and Her Boys", pits Federal Agent Eliot Ness against the Barker clan, and depicts Ness as leading the assault on Ma Barker and her sons at their Florida hide-out. In real life Ness was not a member of the FBI at the time of the shoot-out, and had nothing to do with the Barker/Karpis case.
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When J. Edgar Hoover learned of this episode, he contacted the producers and insisted that it in future be broadcast with a disclaimer stating that the FBI, not the Treasury Department, was the lead agency in the Barker case. The producers agreed and inserted a spoken disclaimer over the end credits whenever this episode was rerun (the disclaimer was not included on the recent DVD release).
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J. Edgar Hoover and Frank Sinatra both protested the release of the premiere of the series in 1959 for different reasons. J. Edgar Hoover objected when an episode depicted the fictional character Eliot Ness taking down Ma Barker when it was actually the F.B.I. that deserved full credit. Frank Sinatra did not like the way Italian-Americans were portrayed as Mafias and gangsters.
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