Dave Yaras

Dave Yaras

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Dave Yaras was born in Chicago. As a young man he became friendly with Jack Ruby and Lenny Patrick. Yaras later worked as a hit man for Mafia boss Sam Giancana. Yaras was also a close associate of Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union and helped establish Teamster Local 320 in Miami.

After the Second World War Yaras worked for the Mafia in Cuba. According to a federal narcotics officer, Yaras "ran a number of gambling operations on the island". After the fall of Fulgencio Batista, Yaras was the "Chicago mob's liaison to the Cuban exile community".

Yaras, considered to be the prime suspect in several gangland killings, was arrested 14 times by the police. In 1947 he was arrested for the murder of James M. Ragen, the national manager of the Continental Press Service, an organization that was in conflict with Mafia leader, Carlos Marcello. As G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings have pointed out in their book, The Plot to Kill the President: "Four witnesses identified Lenny Patrick, Dave Yarras, and William Block as the gunmen, but after one witness was murdered, two recanted, and another fled, the indictment was dropped." Yaras was released and no charges were ever brought against him for the killing. When the Kefauver Senate Committee later investigated the murder of Ragen, something they regarded as a landmark syndicate event), another key witness in the case was murdered.

In their book, Deadly Secrets (1992), Warren Hinckle and William Turner argue that the McClellan Senate Rackets Committee "credited" Yaras with playing a significant mob role in Havana. The historian, David Kaiser, pointed out in The Road to Dallas (2008) that Yaras was linked to Sam Giancana: "Bugs and phone taps revealed his associations with hit men Lenny Patrick and David Yaras of Chicago (both childhood friends of Jack Ruby)."

In 1962 an electronic eavesdropping device installed in a Mafia hangout by the FBI picked up a conversation where Jackie Cerone commissioned Yaras to murder Frank Esposito. Yaras said on the tape: "Leave it to us. As soon as he walks in the door.Boom! We'll hit him with an ax or something. He won't get away from us." According to a FBI informant, Yaras and Lenny Patrick were responsible for the killing of City Alderman, Benjamin F. Lewis on 13th February, 1963. One official report stated that Yaras was one of "more than a score of top-rated exterminators who work strictly on contracts for the board of directors."

The night before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Yaras telephoned another hit man, Robert Barney Baker. A few days earlier, Jack Ruby also received a 17 minute telephone-call from Baker. Yaras was interviewed by the FBI and admitted that he had known Ruby for about 15 years in Chicago. However, as Bernard Fensterwald has pointed out: "The FBI never asked Yaras about his own Mafia connections, but did ask him whether he thought Ruby was connected with the syndicate. Yaras, as one might guess, stated that he doubted that Ruby had such connections."

Jack Ruby's sister, Eva Rubinstein Grant, told the Warren Commission that Yarras and Lenny Patrick, were two of his closest friends in Chicago. This evidence was ignored and General Counsel J. Lee Rankin told Commission members that Ruby only had links to "the minor underworld".

According to Peter Dale Scott, the Warren Commission covered-up Ruby's connections with Yaras. In his book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993) he wrote: "The Commission did not receive an important interview with Luis Kutner, a Chicago lawyer who had just told the press (correctly) about Ruby's connections to Chicago mobsters Lennie Patrick and Dave Yaras. All the FBI transmitted was a meaningless follow-up interview in which Kutner merely said he had no additional information. Apparently the FBI also failed to transmit a teletype revealing that Yaras, a national hit man for the Chicago syndicate who had grown up with Ruby, and who had been telephoned by one of Ruby's Teamster contacts on the eve of the assassination, was about to attend a 'hoodlum meeting' of top East and West Coast syndicate representatives, including some from the 'family' of the former Havana crime lord Santos Trafficante."

Dave Yaras was murdered in 1974. Lenny Patrick gave a deposition in 1978. He claimed he did not have any relevant information on Jack Ruby. However, he did accept that his friend, Yaras, "was closer to Ruby than he was".

FBI documents released in 1979 show other instances in which key information was either altered before it reached the Warren Commission, or else withheld altogether. For example, judging from Warren Commission records, the FBI covered up Jack Ruby's connections to organized crime. The Commission did not receive an important interview with Luis Kutner, a Chicago lawyer who had just told the press (correctly) about Ruby's connections to Chicago mobsters Lennie Patrick and Dave Yaras. All the FBI transmitted was a meaningless follow-up interview in which Kutner merely said he had no additional information.

Apparently the FBI also failed to transmit a teletype revealing that Yaras, a national hit man for the Chicago syndicate who had grown up with Ruby, and who had been telephoned by one of Ruby's Teamster contacts on the eve of the assassination, was about to attend a "hoodlum meeting" of top East and West Coast syndicate representatives, including some from the "family" of the former Havana crime lord Santos Trafficante.

The FBI subsequently interviewed Dave Yaras, who confirmed his close friendship with Ruby as well as their mutual friendship with Lenny Patrick. The FBI never asked Yaras about his own Mafia connections, but did ask him whether he thought Ruby was connected with the syndicate. Yaras, as one might guess, stated that he doubted that Ruby had such connections. This was the kind of testimony that the Warren Commission would later refer to in concluding that while Ruby may have had limited contact with "minor criminal" figures, he was not involved with organized crime.

Dave Yaras - History

In 1937, Jack Leon Rubenstein, a minor hood and fringe gambler living on the edge, crept back into Chicago after a brief, and failed attempt to establish himself as a big-time wheeler-dealer in California. He had worked as a singing waiter in L.A., and a salesman peddling newspaper subscriptions in San Francisco, none of it to his liking.

Ruby, who would leapfrog into the pages of history as the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, struggled financially in one disastrous scheme after another until he partnered with one Harry Epstein in a punchboard business cleverly disguised under the trade name Superior Products Company. Virgil Peterson of the Chicago Crime Commission drew law enforcement's attention to the existence of this illegal enterprise, but subsequent inquiry failed to establish Ruby's connection to the business and the investigation foundered.

More gainful employment for Ruby emerged with the American Federation of Labor Scrap Iron and Junk Handlers Union, local 20467. Ruby was hired as an "enforcer" (a paid goon), although the official title given him was a more dignified sounding "union organizer." His drew a modest salary of $22.50 a week.

Union treasurer Leon Cooke mentored Jack Ruby, although we only have Ruby's assurances on that point. In 1937, Cooke was a 25-year-old labor lawyer who founded the Chicago local in order to raise wages for junk handlers from 15 cents per hour to a more reasonable living wage.

Johnny Martin, a hustler associated with gangster Murray "the Camel" Humphreys, muscled in and appointed himself union president ending all pretense of a clean and honest local. At the time, Martin was also on the City of Chicago's payroll as a sanitary district clerk and under indictment with Paul Ricca for hiding taxable income from the federal government.

Ruby, meanwhile, had fallen under Martin's spell and became his bagman within the union.

A power struggle within the union soon developed, and Leon Cooke was fatally shot on December 8, 1939. As he lay dying, Cooke identified Martin as the source of his present difficulties, but he did not implicate Jack Ruby. Cooke lingered until January 5th.

From what police were able to piece together, Cooke had barged into Martin's office and demanded his resignation from the union. The two men exchanged heated words. After a few minutes, Martin drew a revolver and fired three rounds into Cooke's back and then seized the only witness to the shooting, the office secretary Mrs. Gladys Walsh. The pair fled down a back stair well. Eventually Martin was arrested and released after claiming self-defense although he couldn't adequately explain, nor did the state's attorney office ask why, that if it were a case of self-defense, why was Cooke shot in the back?

Acting on orders from Murray Humphreys, the notoriously corrupt State's Attorney chief investigator Dan "Tubbo" Gilbert moved in and confiscated all of the union records and charters. The records and other important documents relating to the case have long since disappeared. Gilbert, sarcastically dubbed "the Millionaire Cop," later ran for Cook County Sheriff and lost.

A coroner's jury returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide" in the Cooke slaying.

With Cooke out of the way, the union was renamed the Waste Handlers Material Union local 20467 of the American Federation of Labor. In 1939, Paul "Red" Dorfman, one of the syndicate's important labor racketeers, was brought in to run the operation. Chagrined by these developments, the AFL-CIO threw up its hands in frustration and described the local as "a shakedown operation."

Until he was ousted from the junk handler's union in 1957 by the AFL-CIO, "Red" Dorfman was the conduit between the mob and big labor. He introduced the late Jimmy Hoffa to the syndicate factotums as someone Chicago "could do business with." His son Allen became the high priced insurance "consultant" to the Central States Pension Fund until his assassination in a hotel parking lot on January 20, 1983.

The rumors surrounding the Cooke murder did not officially end with Martin's exoneration. Jack Ruby was picked up by the States Attorney's police as a suspect in the shooting not long after Cooke was transported to the hospital. But after two hours of questioning he was released. Ruby hit the streets and boasted that he intended to take over the union. He was always shooting off his mouth that way, and was impressed with his tough guy stature.

Later, in an odd twist of fate, Robert Kennedy would re-investigate Ruby's role in Leon Cooke's killing before the U.S. Senate-McClellan Committee hearings in 1959.

Ruby faithfully served Dorfman for several more months before launching the Spartan Novelty Company with his brother Earl in early 1941. Through bad planning and poor timing, the venture failed. Ruby returned to his old poolroom haunts in Lawndale on the Jewish West Side to see what would turn up next. He did not have to wait long.

Eventually Ruby drifted into the orbit of the "Jewish faction" of Chicago organized crime where Ben "Zookie the Bookie" Zuckerman was the major domo along Roosevelt Road.

Zookie was a gambling big shot in the 24th Ward the domain of Alderman Jacob M. Arvey, who employed Ruby's brother Hyman for minor chores. Arvey, a notorious political fixer who turned out record numbers of Democratic voters in every city election he was personally involved with, served as alderman of the West Side ward from 1934 until 1940.

Zuckerman, with Arvey's blessing, took over the gambling concession in the ward. He was backed by "Dago" Lawrence Mangano a hood with high ambitions. But on August 3, 1944, Zookie's crap-game partner Mangano and a police character named Mike Pantillo were shot gunned to death in an inter-gang dispute. Paul "the Waiter" Ricca, head of the traditional Italian faction of Chicago "O.C." was held responsible.

With Mangano conveniently out of the way, Ricca and Accardo disposed of another Zuckerman partner, Willie Tarsch (alias "Willie Kolatch") in the rear or a building at 3710 West Roosevelt Road on April 7, 1945. A wave of bombings followed, creating havoc and disrupting gambling operations in the neighborhood for weeks to come.

Zookie the Bookie ended up on a slab in the morgue after Lenny Patrick and Dave Yaras shot-gunned him outside his West Side residence at 4042 Wilcox Street on January 14, 1944. When Zookie's partner Ben Glazer heard what had happened, he dropped dead from a heart attack. ( Note: See Rich Lindberg's book " Return Again to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Even More Infamous Places in Chicago" for further details of this crime).

It was whispered by Congressional investigators that Ruby was been run out of Chicago by Lenny Patrick as punishment for running one of Zookie's handbook in Patrick's territory without Patrick's express permission. It was rumored that Patrick, as titular head of the "Jewish Faction," gave Ruby twenty-four hours to clear out of Chicago. It was an interesting story but probably fiction. Like most syndicate hoods, Lenny Patrick was all about money and nothing else. In the end, he would have put Ruby to work for him on a 60-40 spilt.

Patrick always denied the allegation of a close association with Ruby. "No matter how much you investigate," he told the Warren Commission "you'll never learn nothing as he never had nothing to do with nothing."

If Ruby was in fact "run out of Chicago" by Lenny Patrick, it was for no other reason than Ruby just wasn't a very good earner. Throughout his lifetime, Ruby struggled to make ends meet. He was a consummate failure in every business enterprise he launched, legitimate or otherwise.

Jack Ruby was a self-absorbed braggart who liked to impress others with his bravado and connections with celebrity gangsters. He bragged to his customers in Dallas that he had been "run out of town" by Chicago mob figures. It was an intriguing story told to the barflies of the burlesque houses. He was a colorful but by the same token a mentally unbalanced loser who imagined that a sinister anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic cabal of zealots were plotting acts of violence against the Jewish people.

A year after his honorary discharge from the Army in 1946, Ruby followed his sister Eva Grant to Dallas where she had opened the Singapore Supper Club, a nightclub/restaurant with swanky pretensions, named in honor of the well-known mob hangout on Rush Street (later owned and operated by bookmaker Marshall Caifano the Chicago mob's "point man" in Las Vegas, and one of first gangsters to be listed in the Nevada Gaming Control Board's "black book" of undesirables). Sam "Teetz" Battaglia, out of the West Side "Valley" region was another partner in the operation.

Ruby agreed to manage the club, but he later changed the name of the place to the Silver Spur, featuring a Country & Western decor. He had an interest in six different nightclubs in Dallas over the course of sixteen years, including the Club Vegas and the Sovereign, later renamed the Carousel Club. These gin-soaked buckets-of-blood provided Ruby's loyal customers with cheap thrills, bump-and-grind amusements, and back-room assignations with the exotic dancers.

Late in 1949 Ruby returned to Chicago, volunteering his services as a potential informant willing to work with the U.S. Senate-Estes Kefauver Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, scheduled to conduct hearings into local gambling conditions the Fall of 1950.

When the committee arrived in Chicago in September, Ruby had already approached a key committee lawyer named Lou Kutner to add his name to the list of informants. Kutner, who had been accused of accepting $60,000 to ensure that the committee did not subpoena the top Chicago mob leadership to testify on specific issues, arranged for Ruby to meet with the committee's chief counsel, Rudolph Halley.

Halley reported that "Ruby is a syndicate lieutenant who had been sent to Dallas to serve as a liaison for the Chicago mobsters," and that "Ruby was the payoff man for the Dallas Police Department." Very interesting, in light of author Gerald Posner's assertions in " Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK ," that Ruby's involvement with the Dallas P.D. and the Chicago mob was much exaggerated, after the debate over the existence of a far-flung conspiracy to kill President Kennedy surfaced.

However, Ruby failed to provide the committee with any substantive information and Halley later suspected that Ruby had been sent by the syndicate for the purpose of supplying committee members with false information.

If Jack Ruby was a serious informant, it is likely it would have been his swan song with the mob bosses. But it so happened that around the same time, Murray Humphreys sent a hood named Pat Manno and two small time fixers Paul Roland Jones, a narcotics trafficker, and Jack Nappi, down to Texas with orders to bribe Dallas County Sheriff Steve Guthrie to allow Chicago wider latitude in local vice and gambling.

Dallas was becoming a playground for made Chicago guys who ran various rackets all over town. Ruby, Sam Yaras, Nick DeJohn, Joe and Rocco Fischetti had interest in the lucrative jukebox and pinball action with Eddie "Dutch" Vogel, former czar of coin operated "amusement devices" back in Chicago.

Paul Jones later told the FBI that when he arrived in Texas, he was assured by mobsters Jimmy Weinberg and Paul "Needle Nose" Labriola that, "Ruby is all right, he's with us."

After a preliminary rendezvous with Ruby, Jones approached Sheriff Guthrie on the golf course and asked, "How would you like to make some real big money?"

Over drinks, Jones promised the Sheriff a starting salary of $150,000 a year if he cooperated with the syndicate in the placement of slot machines and floating crap games across the city.

Guthrie said he would think it over, and another meeting was arranged. However, the Sheriff was an honest police official who solicited the Texas Rangers for help in fighting the incursion of the Chicago mob.

The next meeting was secretly tape recorded by the Rangers. Jones told Guthrie (who later repeated the story to the FBI), that Jack Ruby was named by Jones as the man who would be brought in to run the Dallas operation for Tony Accardo, and that Ruby would arrive in the Spring of 1947. That coincides with the exact time of year Ruby stepped off the train in Texas.

On November 6, 1946, Pat Manno arrived in Dallas and registered at the Adolphus Hotel. Early the next morning Manno, Paul Jones, Jack Knapp (the syndicate representative in Wisconsin and a nephew to Manno), and Lt. George Butler of the Dallas Police Department, met with Sheriff Guthrie at his residence for nearly three hours. They talked about establishing a nightclub as a front for gambling operations in Dallas, but Ruby's actual role in managing such a place is questionable despite allegations to the contrary. In 1979, the Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that there is no hard evidence that Ruby was the man the Chicago mob had in mind for such a delicate assignment.

Sheriff Guthrie strung the Chicago mobsters along for a month. They were all locked up or booted out of town on December 7.

When authorities arrested the outfit policy king Pat Manno for trying to bribe the sheriff, Manno commented that he had been breaking the laws for decades in Chicago and nothing as humiliating as this had ever happened to him there.

In the weeks before he was arrested, Jones arranged for Hyman Ruby, Jack's brother, to distribute 70 gallons of whisky into the dry state of Oklahoma. At that same time, sister Eva Ruby and her live-in boyfriend were arrested in Dallas on mob connected fraud charges.

Jones knew Eva and Hyman Ruby back in Chicago, when he began running drugs from the Mexican pipeline in 1945. Federal agents suspected that Jones had mailed Hyman or Jack opium via the US mail. The feds hauled them in for questioning but could prove nothing. Eventually, Jones was found guilty of attempted bribery and sentenced to three years in prison.

Many years later, when Sheriff Guthrie repeated the story to the Warren Commission, the committee ordered the FBI to retrieve the four tapes made of the conversation but two of the tapes, including the one where Jones named Ruby as his contact man, turned up missing. In all, 22 of the 42 records made of the meetings have disappeared including all the material mentioning Jack Ruby.

The 1950 Kefauver investigating committee categorized the attempt by the Chicago mob to buy police protection and other considerations in Dallas ". as an extraordinary event one of the more brazen efforts made during that postwar period of criminal expansion."

The slayer of Lee Harvey Oswald maintained all along that he did it for the sake of the Kennedy family in order to spare them the ordeal of a trial. He said that he casually wandered into the basement of the Dallas Police station on "an impulse" and shot Oswald while seventy-seven armed police officers stood by. Author Posner agrees, contending that this was the desperate act of a grieving, possibly demented man who momentarily lost control of his senses. Others see a far more sinister motive that security was deliberately breached and Ruby was the hired agent of organized crime bosses assigned to silence Oswald.

Even the Select Committee went on record as saying that "Ruby had probably talked by telephone to [Lenny] Patrick during the summer of 1963," and that he had made three trips to Cuba between 1959 and 1963. "The committee developed circumstantial evidence that makes a meeting between Ruby and [South Florida organized crime boss Santos] Trafficante a distinct possibility."

Whatever the case, Ruby was found guilty of murder on March 14, 1964, and sentenced to death. Paranoid and delusional at the time of his passing on January 3, 1967, Jack Ruby expired as a result of a blood clot. He left behind a raft of unanswered questions for conspiracy theorists to ponder.

What is most intriguing about the Warren Commission conclusion is that Jack Ruby maintained no underworld contacts at all, a view contradicted by the Select Committee on March 29, 1979, when they reported: "The evidence available to the committee indicated that Ruby was not a "member" of organized crime in Dallas or elsewhere, although it showed that he had a significant number of associations and direct and indirect contacts with underworld figures and a number of whom were connected to the most powerful La Cosa Nostra leaders. Additionally, Ruby had numerous associations with the Dallas criminal element."

The Dallas criminal element was under the heel of New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello. At the time of the assassination, Ruby was involved in slot machines and bookmaking operations controlled by Marcello, none of which was reported by the Warren Commission.

It seems clear that the FBI suppressed evidence of Ruby's connections to leading organized crime figures in Dallas, New Orleans and Chicago.

The Patsification of Jack Ruby, Part 2

Coley states that Ruby was no fan of Kennedy's, but we can clearly see that he was not involved in the murder activities that day, and perhaps hung out at the Morning News to provide an alibi for himself. We now know conclusively that Ruby was at the Dallas Morning News offices all morning at least until around 1p.

One other speculation about Ruby concerns the man in the fedora in the Altgens 6 photograph which was mercilessly altered to remove Lee Oswald's presence on the stairs of the TSBD at precisely the same moment that the CIA snipers were murdering the president. That fedora hat man has often been identified as Ruby, but it is absolutely impossible for Ruby to be the man since he was camped out at the Dallas Morning News ad offices. The man in the hat was most likely James Bookhout who shot Oswald on national television.

Jerry Coley, Additional pools of blood were found in Dealey Plaza., MrChrillemannen, November 27, 2016, accessed 12/30/2016 on YoutTube, [interview with Len Osanic, nd]

Tony Bonn, The Patsification of Jack Ruby, The American Chronicle, December 30, 2016, http://www.americanchronicle.info/Home/TabId/514/ArticleId/66/the-patsification-of-jack-ruby.aspx

Copyright 2016 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.


a lot of people in Texas and New Orleans have stated
they have seen Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald together.
1.Anna Lewis .2.Frances Irene Hise 3.Don Stewart 4.Charles
Arndt 5.Robert K. Patterson 6.george Harrison daughter/neice
7.Margaret Cartland Husband.8,Billy Briggs Ruby bandleader.
9.Mr Mrs Dick Loomis 10.Wilburn Waldon Litchfield,11.Clyde
Malcolm Limbough12.John Merrick 13.Emory the Barber,
14.Dixie Lynn Stripper 15.Numerous Jack ruby strippers and
Employees -even Mark Lane recorded some of them.
16.Nancy Powell tammy True 17.Gene Davis Ship Ahoy
18.Coffee house Drive In 5060 W Lovers Lane (people there)
19.Clyde Malcolm Limbough 20.Leander D'Avery 21.EtC.
Infor provided by John Armstrong Collection ..

yes, but the key to interpretation is which Lee Harvey Oswald - ie are we speaking of LEE or of HARVEY? I also believe that there was yet another Oswald about which I will post one day soon.

Ragen&aposs Colts

Dave Yaras war ein Jugendfreund von Jack Ruby, der später den mutmaßlichen Kennedy-Attentäter Lee Harvey Oswald erschie෾n sollte. So hatte sich Jack Ruby alias Jacob Rubenstein der Jugendbande von Yaras angeschlossen, der damals noch als Dave „Yiddles“ Miller bekannt war. Miller gehörte den Ragen’s Colts an, einer von Iren dominierten Bande in Chicago, welche in den späten 1920er und frühen 1930er ihren größten Einfluss hatte. In der Zeit bei den Colts arbeitete er mit Leuten wie Charles �“ Baron und Leonard „Lenny“ Patrick zusammen. 1924 wurde er in einem Konflikt mit der North Side Gang von Dean O�nion angeschossen, weil er ein Mitglied dessen Gruppierung, Julius „Yankee“ Schwartz, beleidigt hatte. Die Ragen&aposs Colts wurden dann Teil des Chicago Outfit unter Al Capone.

Yaras arbeitete nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg für die La Cosa Nostra auf Kuba. Dadurch wurde er zum Kontaktmann des Organisierten Verbrechens zur Gemeinschaft der Exilkubaner nach der Revolution auf Kuba. Yaras galt als wichtiger Verbindungsmann zwischen Chicago, Miami und Havanna. Au෾rdem arbeitete er als Auftragsmörder für Sam Giancana und war in diverse Ermordungen verstrickt, wurde aber nur insgesamt vierzehn Male verhaftet, ohne dass es zu einer Verurteilung kam.

Continental Press

Mit Hilfe seiner Kumpels Bugsy Siegel, Jack Dragna und Mickey Cohen gelang Gus Greenbaum 1928 im S࿍westen die Kontrolle ﲾr den „Trans-America Wire Service“, der insbesondere die Ergebnisse der Sportwetten ﲾrtrug. Das Monopol wollte Carlos Marcello durch die �rnahme des Continental Press komplettieren, allerdings weigerte sich James M. Ragen, der diese am 15. November 1939 von Moe Annenberg gekauft hatte.

Der Trick des Nachrichtenmonopols bestand darin, dass sich die Mobster einen Informationsvorteil verschafften, denn die heutigen Massenmedien, welche die Sportergebnisse sofort ver󶿾ntlichten, gab es damals noch nicht. Au෾rdem war dadurch die Vermarktung von Wetten au෾rhalb z.਋. der Pferderennbahnen möglich.

Am 15. August 1946 wurde Ragen ermordet ein nicht ganz unriskantes Vorgehen: Ragen gehörte zu den Ragen’s Colts und sein Bruder Frank Ragen hatte es deshalb sogar zum Polizeichef von Chicago gebracht. 1947 wurde Yaras wegen seiner möglichen Beteiligung an diesem Verbrechen verhaftet. Vier Zeugen wollten ihn, Lenny Patrick und William Block als Schützen erkannt haben. [1] Au෾rdem sollen Gus Alex und Strongy Ferraro in den Mord verwickelt gewesen sein.

Als einer dieser Belastungszeugen ermordet wurde, zogen zwei Zeugen ihre Aussage zur࿌k, der Vierte tauchte unter. Das Kefauver Committee stellte später bei seiner nachträglichen Untersuchung fest, dass es sich bei dieser Ermordung um ein bedeutendes Schlüsselereignis gehandelt hatte und ein weiterer wichtiger Zeuge ermordet worden war. Yaras wurde freigelassen und von da an nie wieder verhaftet.


Des Weiteren wird seine Beteiligung, zusammen mit Fiore Buccieri, Jackie „The Lackey“ Cerone, James „Turk“ Torello, Samuel „Mad Sam“ DeStefano, an dem Mord des Kredithais William �tion“ Jackson angenommen. Eine wichtige Einnahmequelle für Yaras waren Gl࿌ksspielautomaten, die er insbesondere in Dallas betrieb.

Enge Verbindungen bestanden auch zur Teamsters-Gewerkschaft unter Jimmy Hoffa, dem er 1957 beim Aufbau der Gewerkschaftsniederlassung „Local 320“ in Miami behilflich war, als dieser Rolland McMaster hierfür nach Florida schickte. In der neuen Niederlassung bezog dann der Mafioso Santo Trafficante, Jr. ein Büro, der wiederum für die CIA in Sachen Kuba arbeitete. In den 1960er Jahren arbeitete Yaras mit Trafficante in Miami zusammen.

In der Nacht vor dem Attentat auf John F. Kennedy telefonierte Yaras mit dem Auftragsmörder Barney Baker, einem weiteren Helfer beim Aufbau von „Local 320“, mit dem Jack Ruby ebenfalls einige Tage vorher telefoniert hatte. Yaras wurde vom FBI verhört, machte zwar keinerlei Angaben, gab aber zu, sich 1964 mit Jack Ruby und David Ferrie getroffen zu haben.

1974 starb David Yaras an einem Herzinfarkt auf einem Golfplatz in Miami. [2] Im selben Jahr wurde Yaras Sohn Ronnie in Miami ermordet. 1985 wurde Yaras zweiter Sohn Leonard in Chicago erschossen.

Puparo's Gangland History of the Chicago Boroughs

Puparo has done it again! You guys and gals like the Boardwalk Empire era? Well, here are some of the facts and insider details on that period, its gangs, mobs, and players and shakers. With a focus on Chicago because, well, if any city roared during the 1920s it was the Windy City.

So read and enjoy all the crime and corruption Chicago has had to offer during the twentieth century. Puparo collected information about every Chicago borough and every gang and crime boss that held sway over it. From the North Side to the South Side, to the East Side: Pup has got it covered.



24th Ward alderman Jacob Arvey
24th ward alderman Jacob Arvey, a position he got 27 February 1923

24th Ward alderman Jacob Arvey
Junk dealer Moe Rosenberg (brother Ike Rosenberg ?? Michael “Ike” Rosenberg??) and Ben Zuckerman “Zuckie the Bookie” (his financial backer Willie Galatz) ran gambling in the 24th Ward and worked with 24th ward alderman Jacob Arvey.

21st ward alderman James "Jimmy" Aloysius Quinn
21st ward alderman James "Jimmy" Aloysius Quinn, of the north side Democratic politics, is critically sick at his home in North La Salle street, where he has lived for nearly forty years. He was taken with a sudden seizure 4 June 1924

27th ward (old 18th ward) politician Van Lent
11 May 1926 was Harold Fynn (burglar on probation) found killed, he was a ward heeler in the 27th ward (old 18th ward) for Van Lent. He was found killed in the Deneen- Small faction’s Republican headquarters at 1454 West Madison street


synagogue Anshe Sholom built in 1926
synagogue Anshe Sholom, built in 1926 which also contained a large Hebrew School. Its rabbi for 36 years was Saul Silber (1881- dies 1 September 1946) who was also a founder and long time president of the Hebrew Theological College. Its cantor for many years was Joshua Lind who often performed with his sons Morris Lind, David Lind and Phillip Lind.

24th ward democratic committeeman Moe Rosenberg
The home of Michael Rosenberg (brother Moe Rosenberg), sanitary district trustee and a leader in Democratic politics in Chicago, who lives at 1323 Independence boulevard, was the target of a bomb 3 November 1926

barber union bosses
Frank Rango’s brother in law Capo was arrested with others when the home of democratic Ward Committee man Rosenberg was bombed.

24th ward committeeman Moe Rosenberg
13 November 1926 was Moe Rosenberg’s brother in law Morton Kallis shot and wounded. Investigation by Fulmore police station

West side based Minerva Athletic Club owner Lawrence Mangano

West side based Minerva Athletic Club owner Lawrence Mangano
West side mobster Lawrence Mangano owner of the Minerva Athletic Club which was raided 7 September 1928 the next day was bombed the house of Des Plaines street police station captain Luke Garrick

42 gang member Giancana
27 September 1928 explodes for the second time in 11 days a bomb near the ice salon of Sam Giancana's father. Police suspect it is revenge for the murder of Edward Divis (when was he killed then?? And is the name right?) a gangster boss in West Chicago and suspected were Sam Giancana and Dominic Caruso.

West side based William “Klondike” O’Donnell clash with George “Red” Barker

George “Red” Barker
3 September 1928 was garage attendant Albert Pratt (30) shot and killed

George “Red” Barker
27 October 1928 were George “Red” Barker, William Clifford and Michael Reilly arrested in San Francisco for the murder of Chicago garage attendant Albert Pratt

Coal teamsters local 704 president James "Lefty" Lynch
At the next meeting of the joint council, Red Barker and Murray Humphreys appeared at the door with a dozen heavily armed Capone torpedoes. Barker looked around the room and announced that he was now running the Coal Teamsters Chauffeurs and Helpers Union Local 704 and that everything would remain just the way Lynch had left it.

Theater Ushers union president George Red Barker
As a reward, Capone gave Barker control over the Ushers union.

prize fight promoter Walter George
George red Barker extorted prize fight promoter Walter George .

West side mobster Lawrence Mangano
In 1928 West side mobster Lawrence Mangano , Frank Pope (anybody knows some more about him ??) and North side mobster Louis Barsoti (Capone man who ran a North Clark Street den) (anybody knows some more about him ??) have a bombing war.

Chicago Laundry Drivers Local 712 president and racketeer John Clay (60) killed
16 November 1928 was John Clay (60) shot and killed in his union headquarters at 629 South Ashland avenue, he led the Chicago Laundry Drivers Local 712. Police suspect the George “Bugs” Moran gang. Laundry and Dyehouse Chauffeurs union.

Morris Becker and Capone Dying shop bombed
20 November 1928 was a Morris Becker and Capone Dyeing shop bombed

West side based William “Klondike” O’Donnell clash with George “Red” Barker

“Red” Barker friend Thomas McElligott killed
30 May 1929 was “Red” Barker friend Thomas McElligott (24) (a friend of the killed Clifford and Reilly) shot and killed in Walter Staley’s café at 361 West Madison street.

Dominick Coasta (Costa??) killed
30 May 1929 was also killed Dominick Coasta (Costa??)

West side based William “Klondike” O’Donnell clash with George “Red” Barker

5 September 1929 were gangsters Edward Wescott (23) and Frank “Cy” Cawley (27) found killed and both had nickels in their hands. They were friends of “Red” Barker

Black Hander Rocco Maggio killed
31 October 1929 was extortionist Rocco Maggio (33) shot and killed in his father in laws grocery store at 847 Taylor Street

Chicago racketeer David Ablin aka Cockeyed Mulligan
David Ablin, of the Epicure club at 19 East Cedar Street, was suspected of having inspired the pistol attack in which Ted Newberry, chief of a north side liquor syndicate, escaped with a trivial wound 1 December 1929 and police close his Epicure Club 4 December after operating only 3 months


Ben Zuckerman “Zuckie the Bookie”
14 November 1928 was shot and wounded John Chandler Acher after a traffic accident. Police arrest Ben Zuckerman


Lawndale 24th ward committeeman Moe Rosenberg
Moe Rosenberg was indicted for underpaying his taxes by $65,000 in 1929 and 1930. Rosenberg's defense centered on $500,000 in gifts he shelled out to Democratic political organizations, which he argued wasn't taxable income. His offer to settle was denied by federal prosecutors, but he died before going to trial.

The 42 gang start to work for the red Bolton gang

Polk Street saloon owner Joseph "Red" Bolton (brother politician John Bolton)
22 May 1929 was patrolman Joseph Sullivan found shot to death in his automobile in front of Joseph "Red" Bolton's saloon in Polk Street, which Sullivan had visited with the intention of gathering evidence in the Blumenthal kidnapping plot. Bolton was booked as an accessory but was discharged 14 June 1929 by Judge Jonas. William "Dinky" Quan, the bartender, and Bernard McComb are wanted. 4 August 1929 was William Barry (30) arrested as a suspect, he jumped out of a window onto a moving train, in an effort to escape, and was killed. William Quan was arrested 10 September 1929 and came free.

Polk Street saloon owner Joseph "Red" Bolton (brother politician John Bolton) man Quan
In November 1929 were the gangsters William Quan (28), Frank Rein (29) and William Wilson (32) shot to death by police Sergeant Patrick B. O'Connell and patrolmen William Stanbury and Florian Smuczynski in a firefight after the three gangsters had entered the headquarters of the Tire and Rubber Workers Union at 14 North Sacramento Boulevard and threatened the president of the union Michael Powers with their firearms

42 gang members Frank Petillo and Peter nicastro were killed by fellow 42 gang members for robbing the Red Bolton gang

Nickel murder (by McGurn??)
1 July 1930 police found the killed 42 gang member Michale Gillitchio aka Frank Pitello (17) (Petillo) and in his hand was a nickel, he worked with Red Bolton’s west side gang (a Capone ally)

42 gang member Peter Nicastro (21) shot and killed
9 September 1930 was reputed 42 gang member Peter Nicastro (21) shot and killed. Nicholas Muscato was acquitted

42 gang member John Guida (24) shot and killed
24 October 1930 was 42 gang member John Guida (24) shot and killed by alleged Moran gangsters the brothers Frank and William Carr

West side based Frank Pope

West side based Frank Pope
28 May 1930 Frank Pope and Ralph Capone were indicted on an alky charge.

West side based Lawrence Mangano and brother Phillip Mangano (of 1506 Taylor Street)

Chicago mobster
Police raided 3 November 1931 the West side headquarters of Jimmy Adduci and Lawrence Mangano and arrested Louis Scaramuzza, Peter Hoenig and Silvio Belgivello

Chicago arrest of NY boss Angelo Caruso
11 November 1931 Chicago police arrested Dago Lawrence Mangano, Paul Palmeri (palmieri) (undertaker at 1538 Whitney Ave. Niagara Falls), Frank Chiavavolloti (Chicago), Angelo Caruso (NY), Sylvester Agoglia (Chicago) in a car. Police then also arrest Louis Spenilli (Ny), Joseph Costello (Chicago) as suspects in the kidnappings of St Louis furrier Alexander berg and Rockford gambler Ralph J. “Fuzzy” Pearce. Police are still looking for Sam “Golf bag” Hunt and Harry Heiter. Paul Palmieri was, with Caruso and the rest, freed after a short time.

Lawrence Mangano brother Phillip Mangano (of 1506 Taylor Street). same one??
12 January 1932 was Benjamin Rosenberg (46) shot and killed. He had been manager of an independent cleaning and dying plant. Philip (Flukey) Mangano and Louis (The Louse) Clementi, west side hood who have recently been active with acid bombs and black-jacks to establish supremacy for the Capone crime syndicate in the cleaning and dyeing industry, were arrested 15 January 1932 as the principal suspects


24th ward committeeman Moe Rosenberg dies
24th ward committeeman Moe Rosenberg died and his funeral was held 15 January 1934 and gambling was then watched over by Ben Zuckerman “Zuckie the Bookie” (his financial backer Willie Galatz)

24th Ward committeeman Jacob Arvey
In 1934 Jacob Arvey became 24th ward committeeman when he followed up Moe Rosenberg


West side based Frank Pope
around 1933, he ran the West Side & Cicero books for Tony Accardo.

Lawrence Mangano brother in law Ernest “Hoppy” Rossi killed
4 February 1934 was Ernest “Hoppy” Rossi (29) aka Ernie Ross (35) killed. He was the brother in law of Lawrence Mangano

West side based boss Frank Pope killed
West side based Frank Pope was shot and killed 8 March 1934. Pope had worked for Accardo who holds a grudge against Mangano.

John M. Bolton
Bolton was connected to gambling rackets as well his brother Joseph "Red" Bolton was an ex-con and prohibition-era gangster.

John M. Bolton
John Bolton was also an adversary of Nitti and Adduci (in addition to former Al Capone bodyguard Louis "Little New York" Campagna).

John M. Bolton
Born in Chicago, 10/5/1901 member of IL House (2nd Dist.) as of 1936 Democrat.

John M. Bolton killed
Just past midnight in the early morning hours of July 9, 1936, while driving home in Chicago, he found himself pursued by another car and attempted to outrun them the other car caught up on his left, whereupon its passengers opened fire, blowing off Bolton's head with shotgun blasts from a range within 5 feet Bolton's car crashed on a nearby corner.

James J. Adduci (IL House - 2nd) believed to be front for the Capone gang
Frank Nitti, state representative James J Adduci and Louis “little new York” Campagna were under investigation after the 4 july 1936 murder of States representative John M Bolton.

James J. Adduci
On July 10, 1936, the Chicago press carried an article to the effect that Frank Nitti, State Representative James J. Adduci, and Louis "Little New York" Campagna had been placed under police surveillance. The three named were under investigation following the murder of State Representative John M. Bolton

James J. Adduci
Adduci was a good friend of 'Dago Lawrence' Mangano and Willie Bioff

James J. Adduci
serving his first term in Springfield as a Republican from [2nd Dist.]")

First Ward Republican committeeman Daniel Serritella in 1936

20th Ward Republican committeeman William Pacelli in 1936

20th Ward Democratic committeeman Carmen Vacco in 1936

25th Ward Republican committeeman William Parillo in 1936

26th Ward Republican committeeman James Vignola in 1936

28th Ward Republican committeeman Joseph Porcaro in 1936 (West side boss)

Washington Congressman William “Billy” Parrillo
Capone's lawyer and later representative in Washington Congressman William “Billy” Parrillo (his son is Donald Parrillo)

6 August 1938 were the political hoodlums and Alderman’s aids Leo Mosinski and Bruno Switoj shot and killed. A gun was left that had also been used in the April 1937 murder of bookmaker and boxer Oscar Klinger (35 and boxed under the name Hank “Moon” Baker) who was killed in his poolroom at 2459 Armitage Avenue

Police informer Joseph La Porte was shot and killed 13 August 1938

Taylor street based 42 gang leader Paul Battaglia and ally Bolton killed

Paul Battaglia killed ?? 21 March 1932??
Paul Battaglia (26) was found shot twice in the head and killed 27 August 1938. He owned a saloon at 819 West Madison and was once a member of the Genna gang and the 42 gang. His murder was ordered by Frank Nitti because he robbed outfit joints

Joseph "Red" Bolton killed (brother killed John Bolton)
Joseph "Red" Bolton was a West Side gang leader who was briefly allied with Frank McErlane and Bubs Quinlan against Capone in the late 20s. the Chicago Crime Commission has him listed as being murdered on November 24, 1938.

West side boss “Dago” Lawrence Mangano killed
Mangano and his crew made their move against the mob's acting boss, Paul Ricca, but Ricca moved first and gunned down 3 August 1944 Mangano and his partner Mike Pantillo. 3 August 1944 the boss "dago" Lawrence Mangano and his bodyguard "Big" Mike Pantillo get machine gunned possibly was Accardo behind the hit because he becomes fast the most important boss. With Mangano and Pantillo was Pantillo’s girlfriend Rita Reyes. Mangano’s body was at the morgue indentified by weeping tavern singer Anne Hagedorn. When Mangano was killed he was riding in a car owned by Ralph Cavaliera. In the Mangano murder were also questioned Dominic Nuccio, Dominick DiBella and Dominic Brancato

Dago Lawrence Mangano associate Ralph Cavaliera
Dago Lawrence Mangano associate Ralph Cavaliera aka Armie (he had lost an arm in a car accident)


politician Patrick Nash dies
6 October 1943 died politician Patrick Nash and his partner Ed Kelly made sure Zuckerman kept gambling on.

Chicago mayor Kelly
In 1943 Kelly was rechosen mayor

Chicago killers Lenny Patrick and David Yaras
They shot and killed 14 January 1944 Ben Zuckerman “Zuckie the Bookie” (his financial backer Willie Galatz) in font of his home at 4042 Wilcox street. The killers are thought to have been Lenny Patrick and David Yaras. Also Lawrence "Dago" Mangano was a suspect in the murder of Ben Zuckerman.

Many years later, Congressional investigators wrongly assumed that Ruby was run out of Chicago by Lenny Patrick for operating one of Zuckie's handbooks on Patrick's territory, without permission, and that Patrick gave Ruby 24 hours to clear out of Chicago. all the evidence points to Ruby not having been chased out of Chicago, but rather being recruited out to represent the outfit in Texas.

In 1945 (after working 3 years for Galatz) Lenny Patrick and his brother were fired by West Side gambling boss William Galatz.

Chicago killer Lenny Patrick and Galatz murder
Lenny Patrick’s partner David Yaras shot and killed 7 April 1945 Willie Galatz (44). Galatz aka Willie Tarch aka Willie Kolatch in a gangway at the rear of a building at 3710 W. Roosevelt rd.

Lenny Patrick then took control of the mob’s West Side bookmaking business.


West side based book maker Lenny Patrick
10 December 1947 was Harry “the horse” Krotish (29) shot and killed by Lenny Patrick because he wanted to take over Lenny Patrick’s West side bookmaking operation

West side based book maker Lenny Patrick
As revenge was 23 May 1948 Mercury recording company official Leo “Little Sneeze” Friedman (33) shot and killed, he also owned a restaurant in the Loop area and he had been a suspect in the 2 January 1947 robbery of a jewelry salesman. In 1936 Friedman had been sentenced to 10 years for robbing a bank and in prison he met the black numbers boss Edward Jones

West side based book maker Lenny Patrick
10 June 1948 was Norton Polsky (27) killed, he had been a friend of the already killed Leo friedman, Harry Krotish and Willie galatch

West side based book maker Lenny Patrick
10 September 1948 Lenny Patrick was interviewed regarding the murders of Norton Polsky, “Little Sneeze” Friedman and Harry “the horse” Krotisch. Patrick stated he considered himself a friend of them and said they were killed for robbing handbooks and gambling houses.

West side based book maker Lenny Patrick
Lenny Patrick killed in 1950 rival bookmaker Edward “Eddie” Murphy aka Kearns. 22 march 1950 was Edward Murphy aka Emmet Kearns (48) shot and killed. He had been a member of the Danny McGeoghegan gang during prohibition and he and Danny McGeoghegan were sentenced to serve 25 years for the robbery on 29 May 1933 of the State Exchange Bank of Culver. Murphy was paroled 11 November 1944

Rogers Park (North Side) based book maker Lenny Patrick
Patrick said he controlled the mob’s bookmaking operation on the predominantly Jewish West Side from 1946 until 1954. When the Jewish population migrated to the North Side Patrick won the approval of a mob leader to move to Rogers Park and head there bookmaking.

West side based 31th ward Republican committeeman Charley Gross
6 February 1952 politician Charley Gross (56) walked the streets to get a newspaper, then he was shot to death from a car. Gross was candidate for council member in Chicago’s 31th ward in the West side.

burglar Michael Joyce (later killed) had been a suspect in the 1952 Charles Gross murder

Republican candidate for committeeman for the 31th ward in the West side was James Mesi and his brother was the criminal Phillip Mesi

Chicago murder of Melchiore
12 July 1959 was West side real estate dealer Mario Melchiorre (36 and suspected of blockbusting) shot to death in his car.

15 February 1960 was Fred Bolton (26) shot and killed by Peter kokenes (36). Fred Bolton was the son of the killed republican politician John Bolton

West side boss Torello dies
Torello had to make place in 1979 for Joe Ferriola because of his health. In April 1979 dies James “Turk” torello.
West side boss Joe Ferriola

Boss Aiuppa, Underboss Cerone, Consiglieri Accardo
West side capo Ferriola, North side capo Vince Solano (his underboss DiVarco is in charge of Rush Street), 26th Street- Chinatown capo Angelo LaPietra, Elmwood Park capo, Chicago Heights capo Alfred Pilotto, Cicero crew capo Ernest Infelice

Chicago boss Ferriola
In January 1986 Joe Ferriola becomes the boss of the Outfit and Cerone was replaced as underboss by Ernest "Rocky" Infelice.

1986 Chicago borgata
boss Joe Ferriola, Underboss Ernest Infelice, Consiglieri Accardo
West side capo Dominic Cortina, North side capo Vincent Solano, 26th Street- Chinatown capo James Lapietra, Elmwood Park capo John DiFronzo, Chicago Heights capo Albert Tocco

Chicago West Side capo Ferriola
Ferriola was followed up as boss of the West Side by Dominic Cortina who had as top capo Donald Angelini.
Chicago West Side capo Dominic Cortina

Chicago West Side
In November 1989 Dominic Cortina and Angelini confess and Cortina was replaced by Anthony Centracchio as West side boss.

West side boss Anthony “Tony” Centracchio dies
Alleged West Side mob boss Anthony ''Tony'' Centracchio (71) dies August 9, 2001. Anthony ''Tony'' Centracchio had been awaiting trial on federal racketeering charges. Centracchio had been on trial with his reported right-hand man, former Stone Park police officer Thomas Tucker, as well as former Franklin Park police officer Robert S. Urbinati and Robert Natale, ex-mayor of Stone Park. Centracchio also was suspected to be a fence for part of his career.


Charles "The Ox" Reiser
Reiser was first arrested in 1902 and charged with safecracking. While released on bail however he reportedly killed the witness testifying against him and the case was subsequently dropped.

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
he was arrested in 1905 and again the case was dropped after another witness disappeared.

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
In 1907 he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 30 days.

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
In 1909 Reiser was apprehended in Seattle, Washington and charged with burglary and murder yet, as in Chicago, the witnesses against him were killed and Reiser returned to Chicago shortly after.

Samuel "Nails" Morton
When Samuel "Nails" Morton in 1917 gets arrested he gets a choice: prison or the army, he enlists and get decorated during WW1 with the croix de guerre.

Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski)
Earl Weiss begins his career as a car thief. In May 1919, after two stolen cars are found at 128 North Cicero, Weiss is caught along with James Fleming and Alfred Marlowe arriving in a third stolen car.

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
When May Mahoney, wife of safe cracker John Mahoney, threatened to call the police on Mahoney in 1919, Charles "The Ox" Reiser, Mahoney's pal, beat her to death in her home at 1137 W. Washington

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
In 1920, one of Reiser's safecracking partners, Clarance White, told Reiser that the cops had questioned him about a job they committed. Reiser and White had stolen a Standard Oil Co. safe and taken its contents. To protect himself, Reiser murdered White and made it look like a suicide.

Charles Gloriana Gang
15 October 1919 Merle Buckler was shot to death by the Gloriana gang who tried to steal the payroll of the Downey Farrell company at 509 North Union avenue. 20 October 1919 was asked to free the Gloriana gang for the Bucker murder?? Also indicted had been Carl Moretti

Charles Gloriana Gang
In November 1919 was the Gloriana gang leader Charles Gloriana convicted with 8 of his men under whom Dominic Nuccio.

Charles Gloriana Gang
17 January 1921 were believed Gloriana members Joseph Colo and Carl Colo wounded when they try to ambush and kill a detective.

Charles Gloriana Gang
O’Banion had also quarreled with the Gloriana Gang, as the Italian and Sicilian hoodlums in his own near north side community were called, during the 1924 elections. The Glorianas supported 42nd Ward Democratic candidates who were running against the Republicans supported by O’Banion and the Irish.

Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski)
24 June 1920 Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski) shot and wounded his brother Fred Weiss because of a remark he made

5 February 1921 Dean O’Banion married Viola Kaniff and bought an interest in William Schofield’s River North Flower Shop, near the corner of West Chicago Avenue and North State Street

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
Around April 1921, Reiser associate, John Mahoney, was arrested while safecracking and started talking to the police. Reiser murdered him 30 April 1921

Earl Weiss, Dean O'Banion, Charles "The Ox" Reiser and George Moran (under his alias Morrissey) are caught trying to blow up a safe in 1921

O’Bannion orders murder of Steve Wisniewski
When Dion O’Bannion his man Steve Wisniewski hijacks a beer transport O’Bannion orders Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski) to straighten this out what he does 16 July 1921 when he shoots Wisniewski during a car drive through the head. (though nowadays some see as the shooter Terry Druggan and that it wasn’t Weiss)

Charles "The Ox" Reiser
Reiser was wounded during a robbery attempt 10 October 1921 and 11 October 1921 was Charles "The Ox" Reiser in hospital visited by his wife and Reiser was shot and killed and it was considered suicide

Chicago District Attorney (DA) Robert E Crowe
From 1916 to 1921 Crowe was a judge of the Circuit Court of cook County. In 1921 wins Robert E Crowe a first term as state’s Attorney (DA) backed by mayor Thompson

North Side saloonkeeper Albert Schultz killed
At the end of August 1922 was North Side saloonkeeper Albert Schultz killed (Walter Stevens a suspect??)

North side mobster Drucci
31 august 1922 was Drucci being chased by police while driving north on Michigan Avenue. Just as he reached the Michigan Ave. bridge (Jacknife bridge??), the gates came down and the bridge started to part at the center. Stepping hard on the gas, he broke through the gates, sped up the rising south half of the bridge and vaulted smoothly onto the north half and was still arrested by agent Touhy (father of the Touhy gangster brothers??).

Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski)
October 20,1922 Earl Weiss and George Moran (used alias Nolan) are chased by policeman Fred Tosch and arrested for jewelry holdups.

Richard Preston
30 December 1922 police shot and killed robber Jacob Spock and arrest his partner Richard Preston

Chicago North side mobster Drucci
Vincent “the schemer” Drucci appeared in the porno movie Bob’s Hot Story shot in Chicago in 1923. .

Chicago motion picture projectionist union local 110 business agent Tommy Maloy
In 1923 Maloy's office was at Harrison and Wabash where other labor skates like Con Shea of the teamsters and Stephen “Steve” Kelleher (38) of the theater janitors had offices and together ran a gambling pallor on the first floor under their offices and shared the profits between the three of them. Maloy and Kelleher had a falling out over the proceeds of the gambling den. Maloy hired an up and coming O'Bannion goon named Danny McCarthy and invited Kelliher to join him and McCarthy for a drink at Tierneys resort on Calumet and 25th next to a theater where Maloy ran a theater. As soon as they were seated an argument began and McCarthy drew his gun and killed Kelleher 18 February 1923 . McCarthy pleaded self defense and a dozen witnesses swore to it and he walked away from the murder rap. Maloy took his theater janitors union.

Chicago plumbers union racketeer Danny McCarthy
After Dan McCarthy shot labor leader Steve Kelleher dead at Maloy's behest, McCarthy took the plumbers union and sided with Dion O'Bannion and his boys. They shared the same lawyer, Michael Ahern, who also represented Roger Touhy. To close the deal, McCarthy took $150,000.00 from the plumbers union treasury and split it with O'Bannion and Weiss.

Samuel J Morton dies
In May 1923 Samuel J Morton drops from his horse and dies some days later. His friends Moran, Weiss, Alterie and Schemer Drucci kidnap the horse after which Alterie shoots the animal to death at the place of the accident.

John Dougherty aka John Duffy
In January 1924 gangster John Dougherty aka John Duffy had gone to see Hirschie Miller and had offered to kill O’Bannion for 10000 dollars as retaliation for O’Bannion’s shooting of Davy Miller in the La Salle Theatre.

Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski)
Weiss gets caught hijacking booze with O'Banion and Dapper Dan McCarthy (January 24,1924 at Indiana avenue and 21st street )

Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowski)
He cannot appear in federal court because at this time he gets his appendix removed and obtains a doctor's note stating that he won't live for 5 months, yet police arrest him in a car at Congress and Maplewood ave. He is with Arthur Barrett and Ernest Applequist and is caught carrying a loaded .45 colt automatic, along with a sheriff's badge.

John Dougherty aka John Duffy
Duffy was an ex Philadelphian suspected of murder in Philadelphia.

John Dougherty aka John Duffy murders his wife Exley
Witness Bill Engelke said that Duffy had killed 22 February 1924 his wife ex prostitute Maybelle Exley (22) in a drunken rage and then had gone to O’Bannion and Kaufman for money to leave Chicago. Duffy was a friend of O’Bannion’s bodyguard Yankee Schwartz.

John Dougherty aka John Duffy killed
Witness Bill Engelke said that he saw Duffy get into a car with O’Bannion the night before the Philadelphia gangster was found dead in a snowbank and that Kaufman had arranged the fatal meeting. All charges were dropped when Engelke didn’t want to testify anymore. Duffy had gone into the car with O’Bannion, Philip Goldberg, Carl Hein, Julian Kaufman and William Engelke

Julian Kaufman and Dion O’Bannion were questioned in connection with the 22 February 1924 murder of gangster John Duffy and his ex prostitute wife Maybelle Exley (22).


Near West Side based Taylor street old Little Italy based Genna brothers

Chicago based Genna Family (Marsala diaspora)
In 1910 father Genna had his sons Sam Genna, Vincenzo "Jim" Genna, Pete Genna, Angelo Genna (married Lucille Spingola the younger sister of lawyer Henry Spingola), Tony Genna (wife Gladys Bagwill) and Mike Genna come from Marsala (Sicily) to Chicago.

Taylor street based Little Italy is Genna territory
Mike Genna an olive oil and cheese importer living at 856 Blue Island Avenue

Chicago based Genna Family (Marsala diaspora)
They get protection from the political boss diamond Joe Esposito.

police found 9 April 1922 Genevieve Court in a boarding house, she had been taken from Chicago to Milwaukee by brothers Henry Penna and Peter Penna and Philip Maltese and was send back to Chicago. In Chicago she then was threatened by Angelo Genna

Angelo Genna
29 January 1923 were Angelo Genna and Philip Maltese sentenced to a year for procuring of the prostitute Genevieve Court (15).

Chicago’s Little Italy (near north side??) overlords the Genna brothers
9 January 1923 olive oil salesman Angelo DeMora (DeMory) (of 631 Sangamon Street) was killed in his shop at 936 Vernon Park Place at the orders of the Genna brothers, his sons Antonio DeMora and James” Jack Machinegun McGurn” won't forget him. Coroner Herman Bundesen said the murder of his father made him a killer

Simon Gorman
Simon Gorman was first Cook County Horseshoers Union business agent
Simon Gorman also involved in the Candy Jobbers Association
Simon Gorman then became the chief racketeer in the laundry business

Hirschie Miller
When Hirschie Miller established the Acme Cleaners and Dyers Company at 2832 North Clark Street, it was bombed and an attempt on Miller’s life was made. He then accused Master Cleaners and Dyers Association.

Hirschie Miller
Later one of Hirschie Miller his drivers was beaten and a truck load of garments was stolen 19 April 1924

Simon Gorman is a partner with Morris Hectman (Hechman??) in some laundries

Simon Gorman henchmen Hoiles and Tice

Simon Gorman
In Cook County were 5 different laundry associations working:
The Chicago Laundries Owners Association (labor secretary Simon Gorman)
The Chicago Wet and Dry Laundry Owners Association
The Chicago Linen Supply Association
The Chiago hand Laundry Owners Association (Hirschie Miller worked for it)
The Laundry Service Association of Chicago

The first three were combined in the Allied Laundry Council

Chicago’s Little Italy overlords the Genna brothers
In 1924, the Genna's owned a three-story liquor warehouse at 1022 W. Taylor where they also produced raw alcohol. The Gennas held a government license for processing industrial alcohol at their plant located at 1022 W. Taylor where they additionally produced illegal whiskey.

Chicago’s Little Italy overlords the Genna brothers
The brothers Angelo Genna, Sam Genna, Jim Genna, Pete Genna, Tony Genna and Mike Genna - were in direct competition with O’Banion and his followers for control of bootlegging territories.

Chicago gang leader O'Bannion
O’Banion reportedly appealed to Torrio to intercede in his quarrel with the Gennas but was not satisfied with the response. As a result, he offered to sell Torrio his share in the Sieben’s beer brewery located at 1464-78 N. Larrabee, which he knew was soon to be raided, for $500,000 to John Torrio and when Torrio takes 19 may 1924 a look at the brewery police arrives and arrested Torrio, Louis Alterie, and Hymie Weiss. Chicago police raided the brewery arresting thirty-one bootleggers, including Torrio, and recovered 128,500 gallons of beer.

Not much later O’Bannion had his men hijack a load of whiskey from the Genna brothers.

Albert Anselmi and John Scalise left Italy together, sometime around 1920, fleeing murder charges. In September 1924 Anselmi and Scalise arrive in the US and ended up in Chicago and went to work for the Gennas.

O’Banion testimonial dinner at Webster Hotel
O’Banion was so important to ward politics that he once was given a testimonial dinner in early November 1924(a few days before the election) at the Webster Hotel attended by Chicago Commissioner of Public Works Albert Sprague, mayor candidate and Cook County Clerk Robert Schweitzer, and Chicago’s Chief of Detectives Michael Hughes. Dion O’Bannion meets with his gang in the restaurant of the Webster Hotel at 2150 n Lincoln Park West, attendees were Hymie Weiss, Moran, Louis Alterie (president of the Theatre and Building Janitor’s Union), Cornelius P Con Shea (secretary of Alterie’s union), Frank Gusenberg, Maxie Eisen (an union boss and leader of O’Bannion’s distillery), Jerry O’Connor (gambling boss and vice president of Alterie’s union), William Scott Stewart (Alterie’s lawyer), Vincent Drucci, the democrat Albert A Sprague, mayor candidate Robert M Sweitzer and Chicago chief of detectives Michael Hughes and police lieutenant Charles Egan (?? Charles Evans??). They speak about the coming elections in November.

Chicago boss O'Bannion
3 November 1924 Al Capone (left), Frank Nitti, Frank Maritote, Frank Rio confront Dion O’Bannion, Hymie Weiss and Vincent Drucci about the brewery. Dion tells them to go, after which Torrio, Capone and the Genna’s start to plan his murder.

Chicago’s Unione Siciliano boss Mike Merlo (44) dies
8 November 1924 dies Chicago’s Unione Siciliano boss Mike Merlo (44 of 433 Diversy Parkway).

Chicago’s Unione Siciliana boss Angelo Genna
Chicago’s Unione Siciliana boss becomes Angelo Genna

Chicago’s North side gang boss Dion O'Bannion (32)
10 November 1924 O’Bannion was first visited in his shop by James “Jim” Genna, Carmen Vacco and Pete Pizzo

Chicago’s North side gang boss Dion O'Bannion (32) killed
10 November 1924 Francesco Uale and the killers Anselmi and Scalise go to O’Bannion’s Schofield flower shop at 738 N. State Street to get a floral piece for Merlo's funeral. Anselmi and Scalise shake O’Bannion's hands and keep a hold on them after which Yale fires 6 bullets into O'Bannion. The suspects of ordering the murder were none other than the Genna brothers, working at the direction of Torrio and Capone.

Francesco Uale questioning in Chicago
When Yale wants to enter the train back to New York, police question him with his bodyguard Sam Pollaccia.

In the O’Bannion murder was also questioned Dominic Nuccio

Capone and chauffeur Barton attacked by North side gang of Weiss
12 January 1925 Weiss and his men attack Al Capone but only his chauffeur Sylvester Barton got wounded. Capone’s chauffeur became Thomas Ciringione aka Tommy Rossi
Capone chauffeur Thomas Ciringione aka Tommy Rossi

Torrio wounded
23 January 1925 Johnny Torrio stood trial for violating the prohibition act because of the Sieben brewery arrest. He pled guilty, thinking it safer to spend some time in the relative safety of a jail cell, while Capone and his boys settled business with the remaining O'Bannions. Federal Judge Robert Cliffe cooperated with Torrio's wishes by finding the little hood guilty and sentencing him to prison. However, he allowed Torrio five days to get his house in order before he had to begin his sentence. The next day, Torrio and wife spent the afternoon shopping. Since their own car was in for repairs, they borrowed Jake Guzak's Lincoln and a driver from Capone, Robert Barton. Silvester Barton, Capone's regular driver had been wounded in a driving-by shooting a few weeks before. At dusk, the couple returned to their expensive third floor apartment at 7011 Clyde Avenue and began to unload packages from the trunk. Anne Torrio walked ahead of Barton and her husband to hold open the apartment house door. At that second, a black limo slowly drove up out of the dark and unleashed a barrage of bullets, which filled the two men full of holes. Torrio was hit in the jaw and ribs. Barton was hit in both legs. Seconds later two men leaped out of the car and fired more shots into Torrio, one in the right arm, the other straight in the balls while two other gunners fired from inside the limo, shooting up what was left of Jake Guzak's Lincoln town car. One of the shooters walked over to Torrio's body and held a .45 to his temple and pulled the trigger but the gun jammed or it was empty. Before he could finish his work, the limo driver blasted his horn and the shooters leaped inside the car and disappeared into the night. Ann Torrio dragged Johnny into the lobby of the building and an ambulance was called. Although a teenage boy who had witnessed the shooting later claimed that Bugs Moran was the shooter whose gun jammed over Torrio's temple, the police picked Bugs up for questioning but let him go because he could account for his whereabouts.

Torrio recovered from his wounds within three weeks and left the Jackson Park Hospital. That same day, February 19, 1925, he appeared before the Federal Judge and was sentenced to nine months in the Lake County jail at Waukegan and fined $5,000.

Chicago boss Torrio retires to New York
Torrio called a meeting between his lawyers and Capone's lawyers at the County jail in March of 1925. The meeting was called so that Torrio could resign from the organization he had built and leave it to Capone. After his sentence was completed, Johnny Torrio left Chicago for New York and never looked back.
Chicago boss Al Capone

Ralph Capone and Pete Pizzo
6 April 1925 Ralph Capone and Pete Pizzo beat up Congress Park policeman Fred Youngworth in Cicero

On April 6, 1925, there was a police raid on Torrio’s offices at 2146 South Michigan Ave., Chicago (gang headquarters at the time). Burnham mayor John Patton (his son is James Patton) was arrested along with Robert Larry McCullough, Frank Nitti, Leo Clark, Joseph Piza, Joe Fusco, Anthony Arasso, and Phillip Kimmle.

William Raggio
William Raggio had 27 June 1925 shot and killed the afro American men Evans Kirby (32) and George Lacey (43) in a saloon holdup with Paul Swain and Leroy Carter.

Burnham mayor Patton and Capone invested in Hawthorne Kennel Club (dog racing) with Edward J. O’Hare

Thomas Keene
Thomas Keene was stockholder in the Laramie Kennel Club and Hawthorne Kennel Club and had interests in Sportspark in Cicero

Thomas Keene
Thomas Keene headed the International Totalizer Co. and was also major stockholder in the Multnomah (dogs) Kennel Club at Denver

Thomas Keene
Thomas Keene his attorney William Hornblower was president of the California Jockey Club

Thomas Keene
Thomas Keene (56) was blown up 4 February 1952 by a bomb in his Cadillac

Burnham Wood
Johnny Patton also ran a country club called Burnham Wood. The club opened in 1925 and featured a nine-hole golf course, which developed a following among Capone and his men.

Fairview dog track was under the influence of the Bugs Moran gang


Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president "Bloody" Angelo Genna (27) Killed
Weiss turned his attention to the brothers Angelo Genna, Mike Genna, Tony Genna, Jim Genna, Peter Genna and Sam Genna who also were in on the murder of O'Bannion. On March 25, 1925, while driving his shiny, new, $6,000 roadster south on Ogden Avenue, "Bloody Angelo" Genna was followed by gangsters Hymie Weiss, "Bugs" Moran, and Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci. Driving down a central street, Genna came across Moran and several other O'Bannionites who were driving in the opposite direction. Moran ordered the car turned around and chased Genna for a few miles, caught up to Genna's car and fired a folly of shotgun blasts into his head, killing him instantly. When Genna's car ran into a lamppost at the corner of Ogden and Hudson, the trio blasted him with sawed-off shotguns. He died with $30,000 in his pocket that he was going to use to buy a home for his bride of five months. Angelo Genna had followed up Mike Merlo as head of the Unione Siciliano and was now followed up by Samuzzo “Samoots” Amatuna.
Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president Samuzzo "Samoots" Amatuna

Little Italy
13 May 1925 was Joseph Saitta (40) shot and killed

Little Italy
9 July 1925 was Joe Losorelli (30) shot and killed and police sought Peter Saitta

Chicago mobster Mike “the devil” Genna shoots and wounds Moran and Drucci
Moran approached one of the Genna's bodyguards with an offer to set up two of Genna's most lethal gunmen, John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. In exchange for the bribe of a lifetime, Moran wanted the bodyguard to lure the Italians to the corners of Sangamon and Congress streets. The bodyguard agreed to the setup but informed Scalise and Anselmi anyway. On the morning of 9 June 1925, Bugs Moran and "Schemer" Drucci waited in their car for the Italians to arrive, when suddenly a black limousine swung by their car and filled it with shotgun pellets, wounding both of the O'Bannionites, who returned fire, but were too shot up to give chase. Instead, they crawled out of the car, limped to a nearby hospital where they stayed for several weeks recuperating from their wounds.

Chicago mobster Mike “the devil” Genna (28) shot and killed by police
Meanwhile, the drive-by limousine, which contained Genna gunmen Mike "the devil" Genna at the wheel and Scalise and Anselmi on guns in the back seat, speeded down the street and almost sideswiped an unmarked police car carrying Irish American police detective Michael Conway, rookie William Sweeny, officer Charles Walsh and another officer, Harold Olson. Recognizing Mike Genna, the policemen gave chase through the city streets at 70 miles an hour, finally overtaking the gangsters' limousine after it smashed into a telephone pole. The three gangsters hopped out of the car, shotguns in hand. The squad car pulled up a few seconds later and Detective Conway leaped out and was cut down first. Next the hoodlums killed Walsh and Olson, leaving only the rookie cop, Sweeny unwounded to shoot it out. Sweeny covered himself behind the squad car and fired several shots at the gangsters who fired back and then fled across an empty field. Sweeny gave chase. Anselmi and Scalise disappeared into a nearby alley, leaving their boss Mike Genna alone to shoot it out with the Detective Sweeny. Out of breath, Genna stopped and turned on the oncoming cop and raised his shotgun and pulled the trigger only to find both barrels empty. Sweeny fired off a blast into Genna's leg and the bullet lodged in a main artery. He died a few minutes later. Anselmi and Scalise were arrested a short time later, trying to escape on a railroad car.

Chicago mobster Tony "the gentleman" Genna (30) killed
Tony “the gentleman” Genna went out 8 July 1925 to his capo Giuseppe Nerone “Tony Spano” but Nerone had betrayed him to the gang of Weiss, Tony was kept there while talking to Nerone. Tony Genna was gunned down in a grocery store when he shook the hand of his associate Giuseppe Nerone "Tony Spano", Moran and Drucci came up behind him and shot him through the head. Tony was buried next to his brother Mike Genna in Mount Carmel Cemetery.

17 July 1925 was Joseph Novello wounded and Tony Campagna killed. (connected to the 3 Genna Murders??)

Salvatore Amatuna
Salvatore Amatuna was the owner of the Bluebird café.

Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president Amatuna
Amatuna was engaged with Rose Pecorara the sister in law of the late Mike Merlo.

Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president Amatuna killed
Gangster "Smoots" Amatuna, 26, was shot and killed at Isadore Paul's barbershop at 805 Roosevelt Rd. on November 10, 1925. The killers were reported to be Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci and Jim Doherty (a killer for the brothers Klondike and Myles O’Donnell). Amatuna was the 3th Unione Siciliano president in Chicago to be murdered.
Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president Antonio Lombardo (Capone friend)

Genna enforcers Anselmi and Scalise convicted
11 November 1925 Anselmi and Scalise got convicted to 40 years but the case had still to go to high court and their friends Orazio Tropea and Baldelli start to extort people in the Italian boroughs to raise money for their defense.

Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president Amatuna man Zion killed
Eddie “Zippo” Zion aka Eddie Yanger was killed 17 November 1925. 19 November 1925 was Eddie Zine killed, he was an Italian roadhouse proprietor and friend of the killed Samoots Amatuna

Chicago’s Unione Siciliano president Amatuna man Goldstein killed
20 Novem¬ber 1925 was Abraham "Bummy” Goldstein (23) murdered, he and Eddie Zion had been Amatuna’s most important men.

Nicholi Augustino (44) turned himself in 6 January 1926 and told about murders he had done for the Genna brothers and police can then arrest 3 suspects

Anselmi and Scalise friend Tropea murders Angelo Genna’s brother in law Henry Spingola (26)
Henry Spingola (the brother in law of Angelo Genna) refuses to donate for a second time 10000 dollars and was killed 10 January 1926 by Orazio Tropea who was driven by Ecola Baldelli.

Orazio Tropea had been playing cards with Henry Spingola (the brother in law of Angelo Genna) in Amato’s restaurant on Halsted Street. When Spingola left he was killed and police suspect Tropea

Antonio and Augustino Morici
The Moricis had purchased their Lakeside Place home from Jim Genna

Antonio and Augustino Morici
Antonio and Augustino Morici, whose wholesale grocers business was at 622 Washington Boulevard in Chicago,

Anselmi and Scalise friend Tropea murders the brothers Augustino and Antonio Morici
27 January 1926 Orazio “Scourge” Tropea also kills the brothers Augustino Morici (39) and Antonio Morici when they also refuse to contribute for a second time.

Antonio and Augustino Morici, were killed while driving in their car. Another car came alongside them at Ogden and Lincoln Avenues and they were filled with a volley of bullets.

Anselmi and Scalise friend “Scourge” Tropea (35) killed
15 February 1926 also Orazio “Scourge” Tropea gets killed almost on the spot where Henry Spingola (the brother in law of Angelo Genna) was killed.

Orazio Tropea was originally from NY and among Tropea’s personal belongings police find a note book which contained the names and addresses of Sam Pollaccia (from NY), Sam Lovullo (of Buffalo), James Palese (of Detroit), Sam Pisciatta (of Flint), Vincenzo Piro (of Los Angeles), Louognino (of Pittsburgh), Carmelo Brandina and J. Quattrone

Orazio Tropea’s good friend Philip Gnolfo aka Abate

Alberto Speciale sailed from Havre, France on the SS Suffren on September 5, 1925 and arrived in New York on September 14, 1925. According to the ship’s manifest, he intended to meet up with the Morici Brothers in Chicago. Joseph Gumina filed his petition for naturalization on October 16, 1925. His witnesses were Antonio Regalbute (351 Van Buren) and Giuseppe Alioto (236 Milwaukee Street).

Giovanni Speciale of Bagheria

Murder of Alberto Speciale in Milwaukee??
After being in America only four months, Sicilian war hero and tailor Alberto Speciale, 34, 750 Jackson, was shot by two gunmen on February 17, 1926 at the corner of Lyon and Jackson Streets (in front of 736 Jackson). Speciale was taken to the Emergency Hospital, and on his person was discovered one five dollar bill. Speciale left behind a wife, Anna, along with his parents Giovanni Speciale and Anna D’Amato Speciale. The informant on his death certificate was his cousin Bartolo D’Amato, who lived with Speciale.

Detectives Philipp and Tehan searched Speciale’s residence and found 35 gallons of raw alcohol and three cases of synthetic Three Star Hennessey, along with labels, bottle covers and bottle trimmings. These items were confiscated by the police. The landlord, Rocco Spinetta, was questioned and they found that Speciale had been living there since September when he first came from Italy. Also living with him was a brother and the brother’s wife, but they moved to New York before the shooting. In a drawer, Dieden found an envelope addressed to Antonio Morici, one of two wholesale grocers from Chicago who had been murdered on January 27. Speciale worked for Joseph Lafatto (or LaFata)

24 February 1926 police shot and killed Charles Bunworth. Bunworth was the suspect in the murders of Milwaukee bootlegger Paul Honkvaar and Milwaukee rum runner John Speciali

Anselmi and Scalise friends murder Genna man Vito Bascone
When Genna’s man Vito Bascone fell to his knees and clasped his hands together, begging for mercy, they shot his hands off, before killing him 21 February 1926. Genna’s man Vito Bascone was killed because he had refused to contribute for a third time to the defense of Anselmi and Scalise.

Anselmi and Scalise friend Ecola Baldelli killed
23 February 1926 Vito Bascone his friends kill as revenge Ecola “Eddie” Baldelli (23) and they chop his body to pieces.

Genna man Tony Finalli killed
7 March 1926 Tony Finalli was shot to death.

Genna enforcers Anselmi and Scalise convicted to lighter sentence
Still Anselmi and Scalise get better off when they get at a second trial 14 years.

24 October 1934 was Mrs. Anna Morici shot and wounded when she road in a car with her husband Philip Morici (stockholder in the Chicago Macaroni Company)

Grover Dullard North Side gambling boss

West side gangster Jules Portugese (Portuguese)
West side gangster Jules Portugese (Portuguese) was arrested 17 December 1925 for robbing a NY jewel salesman of 300000 dollars worth of jewels

North side mobster Drucci
Vincent Drucci, his friend Michael “Puggy” White, Frank Gusenberg and Peter Gusenberg were suspected 12 July 1926 of robbing jewels worth 80000 dollars from salesman Wilbur R Brown at the Congress Hotel.

14 July 1926 was West side gangster Jules Portugese (Portuguese) (21) shot and killed, he had been involved in the 80000 dollar holdup the police think. Suspect is Jack McGurn

Capone chauffeur Thomas Ciringione aka Tommy Rossi killed by Chicago North side boss Weiss
3 August 1926 was the body found of Capone’s chauffeur Anthony Curringlone aka Tommy Ross (Rossi) (who had replaced the wounded Sylvester Barton) , he had been abducted over a month earlier.

3 August 1926 labor racketeers shot and killed Landis award trucking contractor Morris Markowitz (55). One witness 29 October 1926 said Roy Tagney, business agent of the Machinery Movers and Riggers' union, shot and killed Morris Markowitz, a Landis award trucking contractor 3 August 1926, at 37th and Princeton avenues. Three other witnesses said Tagney didn’t do it

North side gang boss Weiss
10 August 1926 Weiss and Drucci get attacked when they left Drucci’s room at the Congress Hotel but survive. Louis Barko was arrested as a suspect.

10 August 1926 was NY gunman Louis “Big” Smith shot and killed and the murder is probably related to the murder of Jules Portugese (Portuguese). Smith had been accused of two recent murders in Chicago. Suspect is Jack McGurn

20 August 1926 was Jack McGurn arrested in the possession of a revolver by policemen William Drury, Jim Derrico and John Howe.

It was at the Hawthorne Inn at noon on September 20, 1926, that 8 automobiles filled with Hymie Weiss gangsters, drove slowly past the Inn and poured more than 1,000 bullets from machine-guns, pistols and shotguns into the building. Capone, who was having lunch in a restaurant next door, escaped injury thanks to frank Rio although bullets whizzed over his head as he lay on the floor. Weiss, Moran, Drucci and Frank Gusenberg were among the shooters and even while they fired a 1000 bullets only Louis Barko was wounded.

Cicero mayor Joseph Klenha and police chief Theodore Svoboda
10 October 1926 in Cicero there are warrants issued for several men who had profited from bootlegging like mayor Joseph Klenha, police chief Theodore L Svoboda, Ed Konvalinka and Al Capone the witnesses are saloon owner John Costanaro (a distributor for the Ralph Sheldon gang who was killed in January 1927) from Cicero and barkeeper Santo Celebron who disappeared the next year.

Chicago’s North side gang boss Weiss (28) killed
On October 11, 1926, gangster Hymie Weiss drove up and parked his car on Superior around the corner from Schofield's flower shop where Dion O'Bannion was killed in 1924. He was headed for his office on the second floor of Schofield's at 738 N. State Street. Weiss was hit almost at the curb in front of the flower shop. He fell dead after ten slugs hit him. elevating Schemer Drucci into the gang's leadership position.

Hymie Weiss, Paddy Murray, Sam Peller, W W O Brien (a lawyer) and Benny Jacobs (a politician) leave court (at the other side of the road lays O’Bannion’s flower shop) and are shot at from a driving car. Weiss and Murray don't survive.

October 11, 1926, Accardo and Tough Tony Capezio killed Weiss as he entered his headquarters at 740 North State street near the Holy Name Cathedral.

Police found a golf bag in a room on west superior street after the Weiss murder containing a shotgun and shells (in a picture commissioner John Stege is observing the bag with its contains), naturally Sam “Golf bag “hunt is a suspect in the shooting.

North side boss Drucci
October 17,1926 Vincent Drucci, Julian "Potatoes" Kaufman, and Henry Sork are arrested at Cub's park while viewing the Cardinals-Bears football game.

Matt Kolb
By 1926 Kolb owned a third of the Capone-Guilfoyle's $3,000,000 bootleg beer business. Kolb stayed on with the Martin Guilfoyle gang until after they merged with the Capone organization in mid 1926 and Kolb became then a partner of Touhy

William Raggio killed in Cicero
20 November 1926 was William Raggio (30) found shot and killed in Cicero.

North side boss Drucci
December 2,1926 Vincent Drucci is arrested with Benjamin Sorge at Sheridan road and Belmont avenue. Drucci was charged with impersonating a government agent and trying to confiscate beer in a garage by slugging the attendant there.

6 January 1927 was the body found of Theodore “The Greek” Anton (his wife is Irene Tourla or Turla) and he had disappeared 28 November 1926. Suspect is Jack McGurn

In January 1927 was a friend of the killed Jules Portugese (Portuguese) shot (Theodore Anton??)

20th ward politician Albert J. Prignano aka "Al" Prignano
Prignano (born circa1892) became a member of the Chicago City Council (20th Ward) in 1927 and served till 1929

20th ward politician Albert J. Prignano aka "Al" Prignano
In Prignano’s ward was the Weiss- Moran gang

North side boss Drucci killed by police
Drucci starts to intimidate the political bosses and was arrested by police, in the police car Drucci was executed by agent Danny Healy. Gangster Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci, was killed on April 4, 1927, by Detective Daniel Healy at the corner of Clark and Wacker Drive. His services were held at Sbabardo's Funeral Parlor at 738 N. Wells
At the funeral are Moran, Maxie Eisen, Frank and Peter Gusenberg, Julian Kaufman, Bennie Jacobs, John O’Berta, Jim Fur Sammons, Al Capone, Joe Saltis and Frank McErlane.

North side boss “Bugs” Moran
Drucci was followed up by Bugs Moran. Moran was the new leader and gathers all Capone's enemies around him like William Skidmore, Barney Bertsche, Jack Zuta and Joseph Aiello (the latest had taken over with his brothers Joseph, Dominick, Antonio and Andrew the old Genna gang).

Subway Resort owner Frank Noonan (54) killed
22 December 1927 was Frank Noonan (54) killed, he was the owner of the Subway Resort at 2358 West Lake Street (center of Skidmore- Bertsche area)

North Side/Rush Street boss Vincent Benevento

Rosario Priolo aka Ross Prio
Chicago hoodlum Rosario Priolo aka Ross Prio was born 10 May 1900 near Palermo.

Rosario Priolo aka Ross Prio
In 1929 Ross Prio his record began (previous record destroyed by court order) when he was arrested with Dominic “Little Libby” Nuccio in connection with a discovered still.


Gangsters George "Bugs" Moran, Henry Gusenberg, and optometrist Reinhardt Schwimmer all lived at the Parkway Hotel at 2100 Lincoln Park West at the time of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.

13 February 1929 George Moran gets phoned from Detroit by Abe Bernstein the leader of the Purple gang who offers Moran a cheap load of whiskey that will be delivered the next day in a garage at 2122 North Clark street. 14 February Moran’s men Pete Gusenberg, John May, Al Weins¬hank, James Clark (Moran’s brother in law), Adam Heyer, Frank Gusenberg and their friend Dr Rein¬hart H Schwimmer wait in the garage for the load. Then there arrive 2 agents who line up the men against a wall after which 2 men arrive with machineguns and start to systematically shoot the 7 men. Moran escaped because he sat in a car with Willie Marks (later killed) and Ted Newberry (later killed) and arrived to late and saw the agents enter. He thought they were real cops and they went away not to be arrested.

It gets known as the St Valentine's Massacre and police get to know that Purple gang members Harry Keywell, Phil Keywell, George F Lewis and Eddie Fletcher possibly had stand on the look out because their faces were unknown in Chicago. One of the killers had been Fred Burke who belonged to the Capone murder crew in which also were part Fred Goetz (George Ziegler), Gus Winkler and Raymond “Crane Neck” Nugent and Claude Maddox.

Also John Scalise, Albert Anselmi, Anthony Accardo, Jack McGurn, Joseph Lolordo and James Ray (a member of St Louis Egan”s Rats) were suspected.

A telephone call for “Frank” was traced to a hotel where police arrested the surviving brother Henry Gusenberg and their brother in law Patrick “Paddy” king.

Vincenzo de Mora, alias "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn and Joseph Lolordo were arrested for questioning. Lolordo was the brother of Pasquilino Lolordo, the Unione Siciliana president whose murder Moran had engineered. Also arrested were Capone gunmen, Albert Anselmi and John Scalise.

Anthony "Tough Tony" Capezio aka Tony Reno
Always suspected in having handled a machinegun in the 1929 massacre. Is owner of the Circus Cafe.

Anthony "Tough Tony" Capezio aka Tony Reno
Capezio was torch cutting February 22, 1929, a massacre getaway car in a garage near the Circus Cafe when the gas canister in the engine exploded and burnt his hands and arms. Inside the garage, firemen found a black Cadillac touring car which had been partly demolished with an acetylene torch and a hacksaw. The Cadillac was later identified as the car used in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre on north Clark Street just eight days before. The car used in the murders was found in a garage at 1723 N. Wood, around the corner from the Circus Cafe, headquarters of the Circus Cafe Gang of which McGurn was a member.

One of the Tommy guns had been sold to James “Bozo” Shupe (35) (brother of Tommy Shupe who was serving a sentence for participating in the 80000 dollars International Harvester payroll robbery 5 march 1926 and which was probably led by James “Fur” Sammons, the Gusenberg brothers and White)

James “Bozo” Shupe (35) and Thomas McNichols (37) shot and killed each other in a fire fight 31 July 1929 while wounded was George Riggins.

Sheridan Wave Tournament Club closed
Julian "Potatoes" Kaufman and Moran operated the casino the Sheridan Wave Tournament Club. After the February 1929 Valentine massacre was the club raided and locked up for two years.

Moran ’s gang still had Frank Foster (the brother of John Citro), Ted Newberry, James Red Forsyth (now Moran’s topkiller), Grover C Dullard (former body guard of Terry Druggan), Simon Gorman, Frank Noonan, Julien Kaufman, Joe Josephs and Jack Zuta.

Casino The Plantation
In the casino The Plantation, outside of Chicago, on May 7, 1929, during a dinner-meeting of the Syndicate, Capone beat to death three of his men with a baseball bat, John Scalise, Albert Anselmi, and Joseph Giunta. They were found along a roadside days later. They had been shot by Jack McGurn, three times each, in the back of the head.

Proposed Unione Siciliano boss Giunta killed
7 May 1929 Al Capone gives a party in a restaurant to honor his killers killers Albert Anselmi and John Scalise (also Joseph Giunta from New York attended). Giunta was going to be the Unione Siciliano boss in chicago. While Capone talks, Anselmi, Scalise and Giunta get grabbed by Frank Rio, Jack McGurn and others. Capone and Accardo get baseball bats and start to beat in the skulls of the 3 men. Rio and McGurn give the 3 some bullets through the head to finish them off after which they dump the bodies behind the restaurant where they were found the next day. Joseph Aiello becomes the new boss of the Unione Sicilia¬no.
Unione Siciliana president Joey Aiello

Chicago gangs meeting in Atlantic City
from Chicago came Capone, Jake Guzik, Frank Rio, Frank Nitti, McErlane and Saltis to the Breakers Hotel in Atlantic City. they decide that Frank Erickson and Moe Annenberg (who came in the company of Capone) will combine the Daily Racing Form with the national telex network so they will have the fastest outcome of the sport results nationally. They called it the Nation Wide New Service. Host was Enoch “Nucky” Johnson the boss of Atlantic City.

16 May 1929 Frank Rio and Capone get arrested after the Atlantic City meeting with pistols in a cinema and get a short sentence.

20th ward politician Albert J. Prignano aka "Al" Prignano defeated
Prignano was threatened with assassination In 1929 when he was a candidate for alderman. He was defeated for re-election as member of Chicago City Council (20th Ward) in 1929 by William V. Pacelli (then a member of the IL House - 17th?), who also happened to be Prignano's cousin

Did You Know That…

He is also responsible for one of the most gruesome mob hits of all time…

Dave and two other Chicago Outfit accomplices took part in a 48 hour torture session on an informant in 1961.

They shot him in the knees, stripped him naked and cut his limbs open with an with ice pick. After doing this they hung him from his anus on a meat hook where they started to beat him with baseball bats. After this they used a cattle prod on his testicles before searing his body with a blow torch before eventually burning his penis off.

Once this was done they removed him from the hook and disemboweled him.

Alan Lindbloom – Spotlight

Talk:Reclaiming History

Reclaiming History is definitely proving to be one of the most controversial books published in years, with websites popping up supporting and opposing it. There was also a news report about a movie adaptation being in production. All this info needs to be added to the article, though NPOV needs to be maintained. (I have added two links to rebuttal sites, but obviously links to support sites should also be included). 23:49, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I have trimmed the following list from the article as unencyclopedic. Location (talk) 18:19, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

  1. Gus Abrams
  2. Felix Alderisio
  3. "Black Dog Man"
  4. Roger Bocognani
  5. Orlando Bosch
  6. Eugene Hale Brading
  7. Edgar Eugene Grading
  8. Morgan Brown
  9. Richard Cain (Ricardo Scalzetti)
  10. "Carlos"
  11. Daniel Carswell
  12. Cliff Carter
  13. Fred Lee Chrisman
  14. Patrick Dean
  15. Eladio del Valle
  16. Harold Doyle
  17. John Ernst
  18. Loy Factor
  19. Desmond FitzGerald
  20. Franklin Folley (Frank Sinatra's drummer)
  21. Clyde Foust
  22. Richard Gaines
  23. Herminio Diaz Garcia
  24. John Gedney
  25. Charles Givens
  26. Manuel Garcia Gonzalez
  27. William Greer
  28. Jack Grimson
  29. Al Groat
  30. Loran Hall
  31. Jim Hart
  32. Gerald Patrick Hemming
  33. George Hickey
  34. Jim Hicks
  35. Chauncay Holt
  36. Harold Isaacs
  37. "Junior
  38. Roy Kellerman
  39. Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz
  40. Jack lawrence
  41. "Lebanon"
  42. John Mertz
  43. Michael Victor Mertz
  44. Joseph Milteer
  45. David Sanchez Morales
  46. Charles Nicolleti
  47. Lenny Patrick
  48. Sauveur Pironti
  49. Robert Lee Perin
  50. James Powell
  51. "Raul"
  52. George Reese
  53. Manuel Rivera
  54. Charles Rogers
  55. Alexander Rorke
  56. Johnny Roselli
  57. Jack Ruby
  58. Miguel Saez
  59. Gullermo Niovo Sampol
  60. Ignacio Novo Sampol
  61. Emilio Santana
  62. Lusien Sarti
  63. Saul #1
  64. Saul #2
  65. William Seymour
  66. Jean Rene Souetre
  67. Malcolm Wallace
  68. Henry Weatherford
  69. Roscoe White
  70. Louie Witt
  71. Dave Yaras
  72. "Zed" (code name)

I'll link some of the suspects listed that have Wikipedia articles and that I have read about, that weren't previously linked before:


It had all the appearances of a normal Thursday night in Dallas in 1963. A big convention was in town, the hotels were booked solid, restaurants were busy, the nightclubs were jumping and the President was due to visit the next day.

The President’s impending visit however, was almost an afterthought, and was not even mentioned in most conversations that night. Instead, it was a typical social evening, except the next day, those who socialized at the Cabana lounge that Thursday night would play peculiar roles in the unfolding drama that included the murder of the President.

When Jim Braden and Morgan Brown checked into the Cabana that Thursday morning, they told the desk clerk they would be staying until Sunday, November 24, and were assigned room #301. They would go to their rooms for a while before having a few drinks downstairs at the Bon Vivant lounge.

Ed Meyers and his companion Jean Aase moved from the Love Field Ramada to the Cabana because, Meyers later said, of the noise at the airport.

Meyers would later recall that he had previously stayed at the Cabana on other occasions he was in Dallas, including the grand opening gala, which was said to be quite an affair since Doris Day was one of the owners and the Cabana would become known for its high powered Hollywood entertainment.

Lawrence Meyers’ brother Ed was staying at the classically refined Adolphis Hotel, across the street from the seedy Carousel Club, but Ed and his wife Thelma came over to the Cabana for a special party. Ed and Thelma owned a number of Pepsi Cola franchises in Brooklyn, New York, and had just returned from Mexico City where they met with Larry’s son Ralph, who was also said to be registered at the Cabana that night. Ralph had served in the Army Security Agency, was trained in Russian and the Monterey Language Institute and served at a top-secret base in Turkey before working as a Chicago bus driver. Ralph was described as being a journalist living in Mexico City.

Larry Meyers and his girlfriend Jean, Ed Meyers and Ed’s wife and maybe Ralph, would later be joined at the Meyers’ table by Jack Ruby. They would all eat dinner, have a few drinks and share a toast and a few laughs on a typical Thursday night in Dallas. None of them were aware of the catastrophic events that would overtake them the next day. Or were they?

The circumstances of that evening would never be adequately explained, the official chronology of events, whether by contrivance or mistake, can be shown to be wrong, and significant lines of inquiry would be left dangling as loose ends that would never be completely resolved.

In reconstructing the events around the assassination of President Kennedy, the official government investigators put together a chronology of Jack Ruby’s activities, beginning with the morning of the assassination, Friday, November 22, 1963. According to the Warren Report: "Scrutiny of Ruby’s activities during the several days preceding the President’s arrival in Dallas has revealed no indication of any unusual activity."

"The Commission has attempted to reconstruct as precisely as possible the movements of Jack Ruby during the period November 21 – November 24, 1963. It has done so on the premise that, if Jack Ruby were involved in a conspiracy, his activities and associations during this period would, in some way, have reflected the conspiratorial relationship…Ruby’s activities during this 3-day period have been scrutinized for the insights they provide into whether the shooting of Oswald was grounded in any form of conspiracy."

The official chronology reads: "The evening of the President’s visit. – On Thursday, November 21, 1963, Jack Ruby was attending to his usual duties as the proprietor of two Dallas nightspots – the Carousel Club, a downtown nightclub featuring striptease dancers, and the Vegas Club, a rock & roll establishment in the Oaklawn section of Dallas…Ruby arrived at the Carousel Club at about 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, as was his custom, and remained long enough to chat with a friend and receive messages from Larry Crafard, a handyman and helper who lived at the Carousel…."

"Ruby’s evening activities on Thursday, November 21, were a combination of business and pleasure. At approximately 7:30 p.m., he drove Larry Crafard to the Vegas Club which Crafard was overseeing…Ruby returned to the Carousel Club and conversed for about an hour with Lawrence Meyers, a Chicago businessman. Between 9:45 and 10:45 p.m., Ruby had dinner with Ralph Paul, his close friend and financial backer. While dining Ruby spoke briefly with a Dallas Morning News employee Don Campbell, who suggested that they go to the Castaway Club, but Ruby declined."

"Thereafter, Ruby returned to the Carousel Club where he acted as master of ceremonies for his show and peacefully ejected an unruly patron. At about midnight Ruby joined Meyers at the Bon Vivant Room of the Dallas Cabana where they met Meyers’ brother and sister-in-law. Neither Ralph Paul nor Lawrence Meyers recalled that Ruby mentioned the President’s trip to Dallas. Leaving Meyers at the Cabana after a brief visit, Ruby returned to close the Carousel Club and obtained the night’s receipts. He then went to the Vegas Club which he helped Larry Crafard close for the night and, as late as 2:30 a.m., Ruby was seen eating at a restaurant near the Vegas Club." (WR.p.334)

In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) compiled a more comprehensive account of Ruby’s activities, but it too would be defective. In a chronological listing of events for November 21, 1963, the HSCA reports:

"At about 11 a.m., Max Rubberg,…saw and talked to Ruby at the AAA Bonding Service…Between noon and 2:30 p.m., John Newman received a call from Ruby at the Dallas Morning News about ads for Ruby’s clubs. Mrs. Norman E. Lewis…saw Ruby sometime during the day in a car at the expressway and Main St. and a few minutes later at Munger and Live Oak streets….Ruby was seen at the Carousel Club by Joyce Lee McDonald,…Sam Campisi,…saw Ruby with Ralph Paul at the Egyptian Lounge..for 45 minutes, beginning about 9:45 or 10 p.m. Ruby had a steak during the evening at the Egyptian restaurant and was seen by Joe Campisi. From 10 to 11 p.m., Jean Aase, Chicago, and Lawrence Meyers saw Ruby at the Carousel Clbu and later, about midnight, saw Ruby at the Cabana Motor Hotel, Dallas. At the Cabana, Ruby was seen by Edward Meyers, Brooklyn, N.Y…"

The HSCA report then begins a more detailed narrative chronology of Ruby’s activities for the next day, when he awoke about 9:30 a.m. on that fateful Friday, November 22, 1963, but it is the events of that Thursday evening, November 21, that are more significant in developing evidence of conspiracy.

The basic official version of vents was maintained by both the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee in 1978. Ruby’s presence at the Cabana Motel that night later became significant when it was revealed that mob courier Jim Braden and his oil man associate Morgan Brown were also registered there that night, even though there is no evidence they met with Ruby or Meyers.

As far as I can determine, the official story remained unchanged and unchallenged until Beverly Oliver wrote an article in the Third-Fourth Decade Magazine, defending herself against attacks concerning her credibility. Some researchers had questioned whether she really is the "Babushka Lady" who filmed the assassination in Dealey Plaza. Seen in photos and films of the assassination, and branded the "Babushka Lady" because of her attire, she remained a mystery women until she came forward in 1970 after meeting Gary Shaw.

She subsequently told researchers and wrote in her book, that while visiting the Carousel Club one night in early October, 1963, Jack Ruby introduced her and Jada to Lee Harvey Oswald, who Ruby said, "was from the CIA."

While there is still some doubt about the "Babushka Lady," no one else has yet to come forward to make a similar claim, and her film, which she says was confiscated by FBI agent Regis Kennedy, may yet turn up. Whatever the final verdict is on these points, Beverly Oliver remains a credible witness on other aspects of the case, especially as to what happened on that Thursday night. It has been ascertained without a doubt, that in November, 1963, Beverly Oliver was a 17 year old, blonde entertainer (singer) at Abe Weinstein’s Colony Club, knew Jack Ruby and despite her age, was a frequent visitor to his Carousel Club. And apparently had a date with Ruby on the night before the assassination, the details of which come into play.

In defending herself in the "Third-Fourth Decade" article Oliver almost off handly mentions that she was at the Cabana lounge on the night before the assassination, dancing with a man she knew as Donny Allen Lance, who she later identified as Jack Lawrence. She knew "Lance-Lawrence" from the Carousel Club, which he frequented with Ruby’s roommate George Senator.

While Jack Lawrence has denied visiting the Carousel Club, or dancing with Beverly Oliver at the Cabana lounge on the night before the assassination, stirring more controversy over Oliver’s credibility, her response is: "He’s not the first married man to deny visiting the Carousel Club, there must be ten thousand men who have denied being there. I don’t know why he has to lie, because I’m not accusing him of anything."

Indeed, why does it matter if Jack Lawrence went to the Carousel Club or danced with a seventeen year old blonde at the Cabana lounge?

Lawrence was an automobile salesman for the local Lincoln-Mercury dealership, who lived at the Dallas YMCA, and was separated from his wife, who lived in West Virginia. [See: JACK LAWRENCE].

I too want to know why such an apparently innocuous item on the chronology would be a subject of contention.

According to Beverly Oliver, Jack Ruby invited her to a party at the Cabana Motel, where they met Mr. Meyers. Ruby and Meyers talked while she danced with a man she knew as "Donny Allen Lance," a Carousel patron and friend of Ruby’s roommate George Senator. After dancing she rejoined Ruby and Meyers at their table, then accompanied them to the Egyptian Lounge for dinner. They returned to the Cabana shortly before midnight.

Seems pure and simple, cut and dried, no problems there. Except for the official record. At first reflection the difference in the sequence of events does not appear to be that important, or significant, especially if the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald himself had not yet decided to kill the President. If there was no conspiracy, no-one was supposed to be cognizant of the historical events that would overtake them within the next 12 hours.

But if there was a conspiracy, there should be general circumstantial and some specific probative evidence of conspiracy even if those responsible for the crime attempted to conceal the particulars. Applying Professor Peter Dale Scott’s "negative template" methodology, which considers what is omitted from the official reports as most worthy of further inquiry, what actually occurred that night must be of supreme significance.

Even if Beverly Oliver is not the "Babushka Lady," and did not meet Lee Harvey Oswald "from the CIA" at the Carousel Club, and even if Jack Lawrence is not the Donny Allen Lance she claims to have danced with, there is evidence to support her contention that Ruby had dinner with Lawrence Meyers at the Egyptian Lounge that night. And if true, this exhibits clear, hard, probative evidence of conspiracy that can be introduced into a court of law.

It is significant that Ruby ate dinner with Lawrence Meyers, rather than Ralph Paul, as the official record reflects, because Meyers was accompanied to Dallas by one Jean Aase (aka Ann West), who received a telephone call from the New Orleans law office of G. Ray Gill, on September 24, 1963. Gill was the attorney for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, and Sept. 24 is the day Oswald departed New Orleans for Mexico City.

In addition, while at the Egyptian that night, Ruby and Meyers made some phone calls from the private office, where the restaurant’s owners are known to have made phone calls to Marcello [See: Dallas policeman Joe Cody ].

The Egyptian Lounge is where Ruby met Dallas Morning News advertising salesman Don Campbell, who provided Ruby with an alibi for the not only his whereabouts at the time of the assassination, but for when Ruby was at Parkland Hospital, a fact that Ruby tried to conceal.

Finally, the official record states that Ruby only stayed at the Cabana for a few minutes, around midnight, when it appears that he was there more than once that evening, staying much later than the official record reflects and for reasons that had an effect on the outcome of the weekend’s activities.

In recapping the events of that night, the FBI report [Dec. 20, 1963] places Lawrence Meyers and his companion Jean Aase with Ruby at the Carousel Club early that evening.

"[Meyers]….stated he pursued his normal business affairs [selling sporting goods equipment to department stores] ….and in the evening following dinner he went to Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club. Mr. Meyers stated that on this trip to Dallas he was accompanied by Miss Jean West who he had known casually in Chicago. He described Miss West as a ‘rather dumb, but accommodating broad.’ He further pointed out that his association with Miss West is not known to members of his family or to his business associates. When he and Miss West arrived at the Carousel Club he introduced her to….Jack Ruby, and Ruby joined them at their table…" [WCE2267].

Mary Ferrell’s chronology reads: "Between 9:45 and 10:30 Jack went tot eh Carousel Club. Between 10 and 11 Jack met with Lawrence Meyers and Jean Aase at the Carousel Club. Stripper Betty MacDonald, (aka) Joy Dale also saw Meyers and Jean Aase at the Carousel Club.

Betty MacDonald knew Meyers from the previous month – in October, when she was working at a failing Dallas State Fair show called "How Hollywood Makes Movies." [Note: Can anyone get a make on this film, there must be a record of who produced it and what it’s all about – BK]

At Ruby’s urging, Meyers gave MacDonald a $300 check for undisclosed services, which Ruby cashed (keeping a %), and when the show folded, Ruby took in MacDonald as a dancer and roustabout Larry Crafard as an all around gofer and assistant. MacDonald, who knew Jean Aase as "Ann West," went shopping with Meyers’ companion while he was otherwise occupied – with Ruby or playing golf.

When Lawrence Meyers and Jean Aase arrived at the Carousel Club that evening they found Ruby serving as the Master of Ceremonies between strip shows. Since the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) rules prohibited stripper shows from being continuous, there were twenty minute breaks during which time Ruby spun a roulette type "big wheel" and gave away prizes. According to Mary Ferrell’s chrono, "Dallas Morning News employees Charles Miller and George Landers saw Ruby give away the prizes and watched him ask a drunk person to leave the club… Beckey Jones, the Carousel cigarette girl, saw Jack there, as did Billy Don Williams."

The FBI report notes: "Meyers advised that he and West remained at the Carousel Club for approximately one hour, returning to the motel at about 11:00 PM. Mr. Meyers stated that while at the Cabana he had invited Ruby to join him at the Cabana Motel for a drink with him and his brother, Edward Meyers, and Edward’s wife, who were attending a [Bottler’s] convention in Dallas. He said that shortly thereafter, Jack Ruby came to the motel where he was introduced to his brother and his wife. Ruby remained at the motel for only a few minutes before he left, saying he had to return to his club."

At about 9 o’clock that evening, still at the Carousel Club, Meyers said he told Ruby to "meet me at the Cabana Motel at 11 o’clock that evening."

Warren Commission Counsel Bert Griffin had the foresight to ask Meyers where he had been in the time between he left the Carousel Club and when he met Ruby again at the Cabana around midnight. Meyers responded: "I haven’t got the vaguest recollection of where I had dinner that night." (WC Vol. 15. 626).

When Beverly Oliver was asked to repeat her recollections of that night a number of times, she added a few more details each time. "There’s a lot of misconceptions about that night," Oliver said, "but all I know is that there was a big party. I’ve since learned it was a Pepsi Cola bottling party, but I didn’t know what it was when I went except that Jack was going to this party and wanted me to go with him to meet with a friend of his. We went to the Cabana…and went upstairs to the Mezzanine, where there was a party going on. Jack spoke with a couple of people but did not introduce me. He met this Mr. Meyers on the Mezzanine, they shook hands. We went back downstairs to the Bon Vivant Room, a supper club with a big dance floor, which had top name big band orchestras.

Oliver: "We sat in the Bon Vivant Room, had a drink, Donny Allen Lance and I danced a few dances, I came back to the table and Jack said he wanted to go have a steak. I asked why we didn’t just eat right there, but Jack said he wanted to treat Mr. Meyers to a real steak. So we went to Campisi’s Egyptian Lounge around 10 or 10:30. I didn’t know Mr. Meyers very well. I don’t know much about him. I was just around him for a short while. He was very neat looking, well dressed, and demanded respect. Even Jack called him ‘Mister Meyers.’ I do remember he had a brother there, but I never met the brother, and I was under the impression that he had a female companion with him, and that’s why we didn’t stay too long at Campisi’s. They went and made a phone call back in Joe’s office,…and as soon as they made that call we left and went back to the Cabana. When we got there, before midnight, they went their way and I went mine."

"All I know is what happened," Oliver asserts, "I can’t explain the official reports because I haven’t read them. I need to be shown some stuff before I get worried about what went on that night. I know that if anything fishy happened that night it happened after we went back to the Cabana and I left."

Although Oliver said she doesn’t know who Ruby and Meyers called from Campisi’s office that night, it has been established that Joe and Sam Campisi were close associates of Carlos Marcello of New Orleans. Since Joe Campisi first met Carlos Marcello on a golf course, Campisi testified that he sent Marcello 240 pounds of sausage every Christmas, and phone records reportedly indicate that Campisi called Marcello as many as six times a day.

In addition, Dallas Policeman Joe Cody told Nightline (Nov., 1994) that, "Jack (Ruby) knew the Campisis. I’ve seen them together on numerous occasions. Jack ate there at he Egyptian Lounge. He’d come in and they’d shake his hand and sit down. Sometime Joe Campisi would sit with him. If I came in, I’d sit with Joe Campisi and Jack Ruby. We knew each other well….The Campisis did know Carlos Marcello because one day I was in Joe Campisi’s office and he called Marcello on the phone, and I talked with Carlos on the phone."

In his 1978 testimony Joe Campisi confirmed that the only time Jack Ruby visited his home was to have a barbequed steak, supporting Ruby’s contention that Campisi enjoyed a reputation for fine steaks. Although Joe Campisi said he was off that Thursday night, his brother Sam told the FBI that Ruby did have dinner there, but said that Ruby’s companion was Ralph Paul, instead of Lawrence Meyers.

Meyers told the House Committee in 1978 that he recalled having dinner with Ruby sometime that weekend, but thought it was Saturday night, after the assassination, but when Ruby’s whereabouts have been established elsewhere. In addition, Meyers too, as with Carlos Marcello, said that he came to know Joe Campisi from playing golf with him and they became friendly when Meyers relocated to Dallas.

While Jack Lawrence denied visiting the Carousel Club, he did admit (to Sheldon Inkol in the Third-Fourth Decade) that he did go out drinking that Thursday night with co-workers from the Lincoln-Ford dealership, "at a piano bar on Mockingbird Lane," a few blocks from Campisi’s Egyptian Lounge.

Dallas Morning New ad man Don Campbell was also at the Egyptian Lounge that night, and asked Ruby to accompany him to another bar. According to Mary Ferrell’s records, "Campbell asked Jack to go to the Castaway Club after supper, but Jack refuses because the manager of the Castaway Club had hired Joe Johnson’s band away from Jack at the Vegas Club."

After leaving the Egyptian, "We then went back to the Cabana," recalls Oliver. "We were back at the Cabana by midnight, when my ride picked me up and took me to Fort Worth. They went their way and I went mind. I have absolutely no recall of any suspect conversation or anything fishy that night. At least if it did it was not under my earshot, or happened after I left."

The official chronology is succulently summarized by Gerald Posner ("Case Closed," Random House, 1993, p. 368): "After dinner, (Ruby) returned to the Carouse….Shortly before midnight he drove to the Bon Vivant room at the Cabana Motel, where he joined his Chicago friend Meyers, Meyers’ brother Eddie, and sister-in-law Thelma. When Ruby found out that Eddie Meyers worked for Pepsi Cola, he spent the conversation trying to interest him in his twistboard product…Ruby left the Cabana Hotel by 12:30 A.M. and returned to the Carousel to get the night’s receipts."

The Warren Report (p. 334) also refers to Ruby’s time at the Cabana as "a brief visit" while Seith Kantor (in the "Ruby Cover-Up," Zebra Books, 1978, p. 81), reports, "Ruby spent only a short time in the Bon Vivant Room with Meyers,…his movements for the next two hors are unknown. But at 2:30 (A.M.), Ruby telephoned an employee at his own club (Crafard)…and said he was STILL at the Cabana." (CD5226).

Kantor wrote: "Ralph Paul, a back-room business associate of Ruby’s, told the Warren Commission that Ruby could be very secretive about his comings and goings. Ruby didn’t want his employees to know when he slipped out of town, in order to keep them from stealing his profits, Paul said." Ruby did slip in and out of Cuba on at least three occasions, keeping two of them secret even from his friends, and he was secretly in Las Vegas fro two days the week before…Ruby kept his appearances at Parkland Hospital and at the Dallas Police station on Friday and Saturday secret. He concealed the relationships he had with a wide range of people – such as Tom Davis the gunrunner, and such as a mystery telephone voice he delt with in the days leading up to the shooting. Ruby was getting a series of phone calls at the Carousel from an unidentified man who would never leave a message when Ruby was out. Larry Crafard, the young handyman at the club, asked Ruby about these strange telephone calls but Ruby told him to mind his own business." ("Ruby Cover-Up," p. 104)

Mary Ferrell’s chronology notes that during the two hours of missing time, when Ruby was known to have been at the Cabana, "Jack got angry with the Cabana motel employees for not telling him about a telephone call. He searched the records of the Bon Vivant Room booth B26 for the name. They think it was Martin, Martins or Martel. The Secret Service checked Jack Martin and Layton Martins to see if they were the man."

It is not recorded what Ruby did after he left the Meyers’ table at the Cabana at 12:20 A.M., and began to look for "Mr. Martin," but at 2:30 A.M. he joined Larry Crafard at the Lucas B & B Restaurant, next door to the Vegas Club, which Crafard had managed and closed that night. Between 3:30 and 4 in the morning Ruby dropped off Crafard at the Carousel Club and returned to his apartment, where George Senator was already asleep.

Meanwhile, driving east in an Oldsmobile station wagon with Arizona plates and a Goldwater bumper sticker, Chauncey Holt and the three other passengers – Joe Canty, Leo "the Lips" Moceri and Charles Nicoletti were supposed to meet Cuban Homer Echavarria at the Cabana Motel that night, but had car trouble that delayed them until early the next morning.

Holt said that he helped manufacture false identifications, including some Secret Service credentials, under orders from George Twombly, a CIA affiliated California bank president and Vice President of a major bottling company, who was probably at the bottler’s convention in Dallas that weekend. Twombly, Holt said, was an associate of Donald Kendell, the attorney for Pepsi who was definitely at the convention with Richard Nixon.

Holt also said that Jim Braden’s friend Morgan Brown, who checked into the Cabana that night, had a brother, Melvin Grant Brown, an accountant for Twombly. [Note: Braden’s Washington D.C. attorney is also named Twombly].

There have also been reports that Jack Ruby’s boyhood friend from Chicago, Dave Yaras, was also registered at the Cabana that night. Yaras was, at the time, a prominent figure in the Chicago Syndicate anti-Castro Cuban nexus and a Florida Teamster officials. According to Holt, whose brother was also a Teamster official, it wasn’t a coincidence that the connected mobsters stayed at the Cabana, which was owned by actress Doris Day and her attorney, Jerry Rosenthal, whose partner, Duane Clark shared office space with Jim Braden at 8500 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, California.

Ed Reid (in "The Grim Reapers," Bantam, 1970, p. 230) wrote, (Jay) "Sarno, who owns fourteen hundred shares in the Desert Palace (casino)…has a real talent for knowing where the money is. He and his partner, Stanley Mallin,…put together a chain of plush motels called Cabana, stating in Atlanta, Georgia, and spreading out to Dallas, Texas, and Palo Alto, California. An interesting story behind the Cabana concerns the business merger of two fairly well-known names: Doris Day, America’s Number One screen virgin, and James Riddle Hoffa, America’s Number One purveyor of labor’s pension funds. Doris, with Cabana partners Sarno and Mallin, has benefited greatly from loaned Teamster pension greenbacks, $5 million worth."

Jim Braden, Morgan Brown, Ed and Thelma Meyers, Ralph Meyers, Lawrence Meyers, Jean Aase, Jack Lawrence, Jack Ruby, Beverly Oliver, Dave Yaras, Homer Echevaria, Mr. Martin, Phil Twombly, Don Kendell, Richard Nixon and a belated Chauncey Holt, Joe Canti, Leo Moseri and Charles Nicoletti. What a crew to have at a party.

The next morning Jack Ruby stopped by the offices of H.L. Hunt while Morgan Brown was visiting there, and then spent more than two hours at the Dallas Morning News preparing his club ads with Don Cambell, who he was with the night before at the Egyptian Lounge.

Beverly Oliver says she filmed the assassination as the "Babushka Lady," while Jim Braden was taken into custody as a suspicious person at the scene. Jack Lawrence passed through Dealey Plaza on the way to work and promptly vomited when he got there. He later called the authorities that Lee Harvey Oswald had taken a car for a spin from the dealership a few weeks earlier and was fired for doing so.

Ed Meyers went to the Pepsi convention with Kendell and possibly Twombly, while Nixon left town earlier that morning.

Jean Aase stayed in her Cabana room while Lawrence Meyers played a round of golf at an Air Force golf club north of Dallas.

Although they had registered at the Cabana until Sunday, Morgan Brown abruptly checked out of the Cabana Motel at 2:01 P.M., as Lee Harvey Oswald was being interrogated for the first time and Chauncey Holt and two other "tramps" were being escorted from the rail yard behind the Texas School Book Depository to the Dallas Sheriff’s office where Braden was also taken. After being released, Holt claimed that he caught a ride to Redbird Airport from Braden, who went on to Houston by commercial flight to catch up with his fleeting pal Morgan Brown.

Braden and Brown then went to New Orleans where they shared office space with oil geologist Vernon Main, Jr., on the 17 th floor of the Pierre Marquette office building, where Carlos Marcello’s attorney G. Ray Gill has his offices and from where someone called Jean Aase’s Chicago apartment on Sept. 24th, 1963, the day Lee Harvey Oswald left New Orleans for Mexico City.

Jack Ruby meanwhile, stalked, shot and killed Oswald, while Larry Crafard took five dollars out of the Carousel cash register and hitch-hiked out of town.

Lawrence Meyers and Jean Aase left Dallas without notifying authorities of their contacts with Ruby. He was never asked, during his testimony, whether he had dinner with Ruby at the Egyptian Lounge on the night before the assassination.

Lawrence Meyer’s brother Ed and his wife went back to Brooklyn to run their Pepsi Cola company, while Ralph Meyers went on to study the early Indians of Mexico.

Ralph Paul, in his answers to questions put to him by investigators, never mentions having dinner with Ruby the night before the assassination, bolstering Oliver’s contention that it was Mr. Meyers who accompanied her and Ruby to the Egyptian, rather than Paul.

Joe Campisi visited Jack Ruby in jail, where Ruby died of cancer before he could be retried.

Betty McDonald provided an alibi for the assailant of a Tippit murder witness who subsequently changed his story, but not before she was arrested and found dead, hanging in her cell.

Nicoletti is said to have been in another city at the time, but he was murdered before he could testify before the HSCA. Moceri disappeared, Canty died in a plane crash, but both Braden and Morgan Brown testified before the HSCA, testimony that was classified and locked away until the JFK Act of 1992.

Jean Aase, Jack Lawrence and Larry Crafard have all been located by researchers, but none have testified on the record about what happened that night.

Beverly Oliver is now married to a minister, and doesn’t understand why her story of what happened that Thursday night is so strange or controversial. It was just a typical Thursday night in Dallas.

When the Beatles came to Dallas they ducked down in their limo when they passed through Dealey Plaza and they stayed at the Cabana Motel, which is now a prison.

[Note: Many thanks to Earl Golz who provided Cabana recipts for Braden and Brown and Peter Whitmey for locating Jean Aase and Larry Crafard. I look forward to their testimony when we get to Congress and court.]

The Outfit caught up with informant Bombacino

H e was a hoodlum who got crossed up with the Chicago Outfit and turned to the FBI for help. His bombshell testimony put a Mafia boss in prison. Authorities rewarded him with a new identity, but his enemies got the last laugh. Here's the story of the snitch called "John Cerone's Biggest Mistake." [1]

Wreckage of 1975 car-bombing.

Around 8:30 am on October 6, 1975, fifty-two-year-old Joseph Nardi left his apartment building at 201 West Hermosa Drive in Tempe, Arizona. He had lived at the address with his wife and teenage son for the past eight months. Nardi got behind the steering wheel of his leased 1976 Lincoln Continental and started the engine. He backed up only a few feet when a massive explosion ripped through the vehicle.

The blast shattered nearly a hundred windows in the neighborhood, sending metal debris in every direction for a quarter-mile. In addition, the explosion created a crater five inches deep in the pavement beneath the vehicle. [2] When law enforcement arrived, they found Nardi's lifeless body dangling from the open driver's side door, naked except for a shredded t-shirt.

Despite the blast's power, Nardi's body remained intact. An autopsy performed the next day revealed Nardi died of a heart attack. [3]

The car-bombing case took a curious turn when the investigation revealed that the victim's name, Joseph Nardi, was an alias. His real name was Louis Bombacino, and he was a government informer hiding from the Chicago Outfit.


Louis Bombacino, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 8, 1923, to immigrant Italian parents.

His father Louis Bombacino, Sr., - the original spelling of the family surname was "Bambacigno" - was born in Valenzano, in the southeastern Italian province of Bari, in 1893 and came to the United States in 1911. He eventually settled in Flint, Michigan, where he married Carmela Cupolo in 1919. Carmela was born 1897 in Eboli, in the province of Salerno, and emigrated from Italy in 1914. The couple had two sons, Anthony (born in 1920) and Phillip (born in 1922), in Flint before relocating to Chicago. [4]

Louis Jr. grew up in an apartment at 771 West De Koven St., in Chicago's old 20th Ward, near the Outfit stronghold at the intersection of Taylor and Halsted. [5] When he was a teenager, the family moved further south to 1128 South Whipple St. in the 24th Ward.

Federal prosecutor Michael Nash, who got to know Louis Bombacino after he became a government witness, said, "[Bombacino] was in trouble with the law from the time that he had to make a decision between right and wrong and he made the wrong one." [6] Bombacino admitted that he "cheated and lied to make a living when not behind bars." [7]

Bombacino racked up four felony convictions in the 1940s and 50s for crimes like mail theft and forgery and spent a total of ten years in prison. Bombacino had a hard-luck reputation, and when he went to work for the Outfit, they chided him for his inability to stay out of jail.

Bombacino bounced between Illinois and California. In 1959, he lived at 618 South Central Park, Chicago, with his girlfriend, Constance Mistretta. [8] He reportedly married Mistretta, but it was short-lived. He may have married at least three times. One former wife accused him of bigamy.

In June 1961, federal agents arrested Bombacino in Los Angeles and charged him with extorting a married real estate developer. [9] Bombacino threatened to disclose that his own former wife Constance Mistretta was having an affair with the developer unless he paid $2,500. At the time of his arrest, Bombacino described himself as an unemployed baker living in suburban Los Angeles.

In 1964, authorities arrested Bombacino in Chicago on robbery charges. Before he could stand trial, Bombacino fled to Texas, where law enforcement caught up with him. He was transferred back to Chicago on October 27, 1964. [10] While stewing in jail, Bombacino reached out to the FBI to talk.

Bombacino's informant file remains classified, and details behind his recruitment are hard to come by. However, two former FBI agents, William F. Roemer and Vincent L. Inserra, wrote memoirs about their experiences investigating the Outfit and provided inside information about developing Bombacino as a source.

Brotherly love

Anthony Bombacino, Louis's older brother, died on April 4, 1965. [44] His death may have contributed to Louis's decision to become a confidential informer three weeks later. Anthony operated a bakery that sold dietetic pastries enjoyed by Outfit leader Paul Ricca. Anthony Bombacino's brother-in-law, Eugene Albano, also a baker, was a Ricca associate. These connections reportedly endeared Ricca to Louis Bombacino.

Inserra stated Bombacino was "previously unknown" to federal agents before cold-calling the office in April 1965. Roemer and Inserra said federal agent Paul Frankfurt took the call and went to see Bombacino in jail. [11] Bombacino agreed to work for federal agents as a paid informant in exchange for probation on the robbery charges. The FBI had little choice but to make deals with hoodlums like Bombacino because they were in the best position to obtain Intel against Outfit members.

Roemer claimed Bombacino flipped because he was "pissed off" that Outfit bosses had ruled against him in "a dispute of his handling of their bookmaking operations." [12] However, Roemer mistakenly referred to the incident in 1967 that caused Bombacino to quit his undercover role and not to his original decision to become a paid informant.

Confidential informer

Back on the street, Bombacino hooked up with childhood friend Frank Aureli. Known as "Frank the Knife," Aureli was a forty-six-year-old bookmaker operating in the Chicago suburb of Austin. Aureli reported to Joseph Ferriola, a mob enforcer closely associated with Fiore "Fifi" Buccieri.

The FBI initially carried Louis Bombacino as an inducted Outfit member based on Intel supplied by Louis Fratto. Federal agents William Roemer and Vincent Inserra also referred to Bombacino as "made." However, Fratto lived in Iowa for decades and did not interact with Chicago-based hoodlums regularly. As a result, many of his identifications turned out to be inaccurate. Bombacino did not identify himself as "made," and there is some doubt whether he was. [43]

It's unclear what if any criminal relationship Bombacino had with the Outfit before becoming an FBI informer. Bombacino grew up on the organization's periphery, but the available FBI intelligence reports do not indicate any prior connection. There is reason to believe that the FBI encouraged him to develop a relationship with the organization as part of his deal.

Aureli and Ferriola, along with associates Donald Angelini and Dominic Cortina, operated a multi-million-dollar sportsbook, taking bets across the Midwest. Angelini was the group's handicapper and set the betting line. John Cerone, top lieutenant to Outfit leader Anthony Accardo, oversaw the entire operation. Cerone was a rising star and became the organization's acting boss in 1967.

Bombacino's responsibility was to take bets from customers over the telephone. He initially worked out of Aureli's apartment at 4355 South Sawyer Street in Chicago but changed locations frequently. Eventually, Bombacino had a phone installed and took bets out of his apartment at 2540 North Mannheim Road in Franklin Park, west of Austin. Aureli paid him $200 a week.

Bombacino did not have experience working in a wire room. Aureli showed him how to take bets and write them down in code on special paper that could be dissolved quickly in water if the police raided. Buckets filled with water were kept nearby. [13] Bombacino routinely took bets totaling $15,000 a day, with customers calling from as far away as Cleveland and Detroit. The FBI estimated Cerone's interstate bookmaking operation received $300,000 to $400,000 worth of bets weekly.

The FBI paid Bombacino roughly $3,500 during the approximately two years he worked undercover supplying information.

Joseph Ferriola, Dominic Cortina and James Cerone (left to right).

Symbol code

The FBI assigns a symbol code to every confidential informer. The symbol code is a unique identifier that allows federal agents to record an informer's disclosures without revealing his true identity. A typical FBI intelligence report will only give the source's symbol code, not his name. (In fact, government censors usually redact even the symbol codes before declassifying an intelligence report.) Furthermore, the FBI will keep the informer's symbol code secret even after he dies.

However, by studying FBI intelligence reports for clues, it's sometimes possible to pinpoint a likely informant suspect. Trying to determine Bombacino's symbol code is made easier because he was a known informer who testified in court about specific information.

In Bombacino's case, the evidence strongly suggests his symbol code, disclosed here for the first time, was "CG 6884." Numerous clues point to Bombacino and "CG 6884" being the same, but here are three of the most compelling:

1. Meeting - At John Cerone's trial in 1970, Louis Bombacino testified that Cerone introduced him to a "man named Al" at Armand's Pizzeria in January 1967. Cerone advised him not to worry about police interference "because Cerone knew a judge who would take care of things if Bombacino were arrested" (United States vs. Cerone, 452 F.2d 281). Bombacino's testimony corresponded to Intel supplied by "CG 6884" three years earlier. In an FBI intelligence report dated January 1967, "CG 6884" spoke of attending a meeting at Armand's with Cerone and an individual named "Al." At that meeting, Cerone stated "Al" was his connection to a corrupt judge who would help if "CG 6884" got arrested. [14]

2. Handler - Former FBI agents William Roemer and Vincent Inserra indicated that Louis Bombacino's FBI handler was Paul Frankfurt. [15] Declassified intelligence reports show the bulk of contacts between the FBI and "CG 6884" were with Paul Frankfurt. [16]

3. Active dates - In an intelligence report dated September 1967, the FBI described "CG 6884" as formerly active in the Chicago underworld. [17] However, a different intelligence report shows "CG 6884" was active as late as May 17, 1967. [18] The two reports together indicate that "CG 6884" stopped informing sometime in the summer of 1967. Louis Bombacino testified his undercover role ended in August 1967.

Bombacino's informant file remains classified. However, some never-before-seen Intel secretly furnished between 1965 and 1967 is revealed here for the first time.

Debt collection headaches

Collecting gambling debts could be aggravating, especially when other mobsters got involved. For example, Bombacino told federal agents about a bettor that owed Frank Aureli $1,500. [45] The bettor reached out to Joseph Ferriola, who instructed Aureli to forget about the debt. Not satisfied, Aureli contacted a high-ranking mobster named Gus Alex to intercede for him. Alex reached out to hoodlums Leonard Patrick and Joseph Bulger for assistance and was able to get Aureli his money.

Another time, Bombacino told federal agents that his associates Frank Aureli and Dominic Cortina pressed two Jewish bettors to repay their gambling debts. The bettors reached out to Jewish mobster Dave Yaras to intercede for them, and he got Cortina to back off. [46]

"Juice Loans"

Louis Bombacino spent many years incarcerated or living outside of Chicago, so his understanding of the Outfit was limited. As a result, the Intel, collected from various intelligence reports, does not follow a narrative and skips between different hoodlums. The FBI knew much of it from other sources, but Bombacino gave an inside perspective that law enforcement used to make criminal cases against prominent Outfit members.

As a member of Frank Aureli's bookmaking crew, Bombacino was well-informed about the Outfit's moneylending operations. Called "juice loans," these high-interest-rate loans were the organization's bread and butter. Bombacino said every prominent Outfit member had a juice racket with a specific territory and lender network.

Outfit loansharks served borrowers, like gamblers, criminals or business owners who couldn't get loans from mainstream lending institutions. Outfit loans were convenient but came with significant risk. The interest rate could be as high as twenty percent a week, and if a borrower missed an interest payment, a goon might break his arm.

Bombacino said the organization had so many customers that it had a "clearinghouse" to handle the volume of loans. [19] If a mobster wanted to lend money out, he would first telephone the clearinghouse to ensure the potential customer did not have any outstanding loans from other Outfit members.

Bombacino advised that Fifi Buccieri, John Cerone and Sam DeStefano were the biggest juice operators. He called DeStefano "the king of the juice rackets."

William Daddano, a close associate of former Outfit boss Sam Giancana, was DeStefano's sponsor in the Outfit. According to Bombacino, Daddano and Giancana were "pals as boys and burglarized drug stores together." He said they "grew in power together."

Bombacino stated Daddano controlled Outfit activities in McHenry, DuPage and Kane counties. He owned coin-operated machine (jukebox and pinball) companies and liquor stores and operated extensive bookmaking and gambling rackets. Joseph Amato and Buck Clementi were Daddano's "primary lieutenants in the overall operation of these counties." [20]

Charles Nicoletti was another large operator. His two lieutenants George Dicks and Sam Cesario, worked out of a gas station on the city's West Side. Buccieri's top two lieutenants were Joseph Ferriola and Turk Torello.

Underworld gossip

According to Louis Bombacino, Outfit leaders met every Sunday afternoon at Paul Ricca's home in River Forest, Illinois. [21] The leadership group included Sam Giancana, Anthony Accardo, Sam Battaglia and Sam Lewis. [22] Bombacino called them the five fingers of the "Black Hand." Sam Lewis, a relatively unknown Outfit member, was among Ricca's best friends.

Bombacino advised federal agents that the Italian criminal organization in Chicago was known as the Syndicate, the Black Hand or the Mafia. He indicated that Chicago hoodlums do not refer to "Cosa Nostra," the term popularized by Joseph Valachi, as the organization's actual name.

Bombacino stated that Ricca was the top boss, despite all the attention Accardo and Giancana received from law enforcement and the press. Bombacino stated most hoodlums would agree with him on this detail.

Bombacino said Joseph Esposito, a city employee, was a good friend of Ricca and was known as his "right arm." Esposito knew Ricca back in Italy. Another close Ricca associate was mob lawyer Joseph Bulger.

Joseph Giancana told Bombacino in 1967 that he didn't expect his brother Sam would ever return to the United States. [23]

In the early 1960s, Bombacino, a heavy gambler, spent time in Las Vegas and learned about the Outfit's casino operations. He told federal agents the Outfit controlled the Stardust Hotel and Casino. He said casino operators John Drew and Tommy McDonald "fronted" at the Stardust Hotel on behalf of the racketeers. Bombacino stated the Outfit had an interest in the Fremont Hotel and Casino but the Genovese Crime Family controlled it.

William Daddano and Mike Patrick, brother of Jewish hoodlum Lenny Patrick, traveled every month to La Vegas to collect Chicago's "skim money" from the casino operations. Bombacino called Daddano and Patrick the Outfit's "bagmen." [24]

After federal law enforcement began to investigate Italian organized crime, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover emphasized the need to identify every Mafia member. By the time Bombacino talked, the FBI's Chicago office had pinpointed most of the Outfit's existing membership, but gaps remained. Through Bombacino's efforts, the FBI added more mobsters to the verified membership list, including Donald Angelini, Dominic Cortina and Sam Ariola. [25]

First Super Bowl

John Cerone's bookmaking operation made $4,500, taking bets on the National Football League's first Super Bowl game between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers, thirteen-point favorites, won 35-10. [47] According to Bombacino, all of Cerone's customers lost after taking the Chiefs to beat the spread.


Bombacino's undercover role ended abruptly on August 12, 1967, when James Cerone, a member of the gambling crew and John Cerone's cousin, telephoned him at home and advised Bombacino that he was no longer taking bets for the group. [26] According to Bombacino, Cerone did not explain himself, but Bombacino interpreted the call as a threat and went into hiding. It was later reported that the organization had discovered that Bombacino was an informer.

However, former FBI agent Vincent Inserra recalled the matter differently. According to Inserra, Bombacino quit his undercover role and ran to the FBI because he got caught pocketing Outfit gambling funds. [27] Cerone had ordered him to repay the stolen money or else. The criminal organization only discovered Bombacino was an informer after he went into hiding.

Bombacino's debriefing occurred at a farm thirty-five miles west of Chicago, owned by the local district attorney. Over many weeks, Bombacino divulged everything he knew about the Outfit and John Cerone's gambling operation. [28] Federal agents guarded him around the clock, working shifts of twenty-four hours on and twenty-four hours off. Bombacino was good company, and Roemer and his colleagues grew to like him. He prepared Italian meals for them and would send agents into town to purchase the necessary ingredients. Roemer described it as a "fine time."

Bombacino initially hesitated to testify in court against his former associates. However, authorities ultimately persuaded him to take the stand when it became clear that the Outfit already was gunning for him, and he had nothing to lose.

Ricca, 72, brought into federal court on a stretcher. (Chicago Tribune)


In February 1969, U.S. Attorney Michael Nash charged John Cerone, James Cerone, Donald Angelini, Joseph Ferriola, and Frank Aureli with operating a multi-million interstate gambling enterprise. [29] Bombacino, who had been living in Arizona for the last two years under the alias "Joseph Nardi," was brought back to Chicago to testify.

According to Nash, Bombacino was the "key witness." [30] He became the first inducted Outfit member to testify willingly in court against his former associates. (His membership status is not certain.)

Nash conceded that Bombacino was not the best witness. He appeared "visibly shaken" on the stand and coughed up blood. [31] Bombacino had a hard time recalling dates and events, and defense attorneys crossed him up repeatedly. However, the jury found Bombacino's testimony persuasive when he furnished copies of gambling records and betting receipts that laid out the entire betting operation. [32] It's clear from the testimony that the coaching Bombacino received from the FBI before working undercover laid out precisely what law enforcement would need from him to make a successful criminal case.

In May 1970, the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison and fines of $10,000. (Aureli suffered an appendicitis attack during the trial and was severed from the case. He was convicted separately and sentenced to eighteen months.) Cerone became the third consecutive Outfit boss, after Sam Giancana and Sam Battaglia, taken down by the FBI since 1965.

The trial was noteworthy for the embarrassment it caused Paul Ricca, whom Bombacino called Chicago's most influential mobster. Bombacino testified Cerone and Ricca discussed the gambling operation in his presence at a meeting on December 28, 1966. Bombacino claimed Cerone "praised" him and told him that "I've heard nothing but glorious reports about you." Ricca agreed, saying, "He's okay." [33] Ricca's endorsement led to a promotion and raise in pay.

Prosecutors called Ricca to corroborate Bombacino's testimony. The ailing seventy-two-year-old crime boss was brought into the courtroom on a stretcher and testified from a wheelchair.

Ordinarily, Ricca would have declined to answer questions because of his right not to incriminate himself. However, the prosecution outwitted Ricca by granting him immunity, compelling him to testify. It left Ricca with a conundrum - keep his mouth shut and go to jail for contempt, or answer questions and break his oath of silence. It was the same legal maneuver that authorities used to imprison former Outfit boss Sam Giancana for a year.

However, Ricca surprised the court by agreeing to act as a government witness to save his skin. He corroborated parts of Bombacino's testimony, sealing Cerone's fate and sending him to prison.

According to a strict interpretation of Mafia rules, Ricca's testimony violated the underworld code of omertà and should have had severe consequences. However, Ricca's age and prestige saved him from repercussions.

"Joseph Nardi"

The FBI wrestled over what to do with Bombacino after he quit the Outfit. Living in Chicago under his real name was impossible since the Outfit had reportedly issued a murder contract on him. A witness protection program, a federal mechanism designed to relocate and protect government witnesses, did not exist in 1967. (The Witness Security or WITSEC program was established in 1970.) The FBI could not automatically shuffle Bombacino off somewhere safe as they did with later high-profile informants. However, federal agents felt obligated to put their heads together and develop a solution.

Walter Peters, a former agent in the FBI's Chicago office, had transferred to Phoenix ten years earlier. His former colleagues asked Peters to help them out. So Peters traveled to Chicago to meet with Bombacino on August 23, 1967. [34] Peters spent a week getting to know Bombacino. Finally, Peters and the Chicago office agreed to relocate Bombacino and his family down to Arizona.

The FBI provided Bombacino with a new identity, Joseph Nardi, and a new Social Security number. [35] By September 25, Bombacino was living in the small town of Buckeye, thirty-five miles west of Phoenix. [36] Peters got him a job at the Arizona Public Service, a giant utility company, sweeping floors for $400 a month. Bombacino agreed to return to Chicago in the future when prosecutors needed him to testify.

The FBI informally kept on an eye on Bombacino, and he adjusted well at first. His co-workers at APS called him "friendly" and said he had a "good sense of humor." Company officials promoted him twice, and he was soon earning $880 a month.

However, Bombacino could not leave behind his old ways. He began acting belligerently at work and in public. [37] He threatened a stranger with a .357 Magnum revolver, and he beat an acquaintance to a "pulp" after he damaged Bombacino's car. An inveterate gambler, Bombacino played high-stakes poker seven nights a week, making bets well beyond what he could afford on his salary. In addition, he had a side hustle selling discounted television sets, refrigerators and freezers. His teenage son's bank account inexplicably held $38,000.

In 1974, the Maricopa Sheriff's department arrested Bombacino for stealing expensive company farm equipment. They also tied Bombacino to a gambling and prostitution ring.

The charges were dismissed at a preliminary hearing by the judge after determining the state failed to prove probable cause for their arrest. The law enforcement action infuriated Bombacino, and he sued the sheriff's department for $4 million for wrongful prosecution. He also sued APS to be reinstated to his old job.

Bombacino's decision to sue likely led to his murder. Arizona authorities, unaware of his true identity, began to dig into Nardi's background. They forwarded his fingerprints to law enforcement in his supposed hometown of Chicago. [38] The inquiry revealed Nardi's real name. The FBI speculated that someone in Arizona law enforcement subsequently leaked Bombacino's identity and location. Bombacino also exposed himself by using his real name in his lawsuits.

The FBI warned Bombacino to leave Arizona for his safety. He ignored them and instead relocated forty miles east to Tempe. "Lou had a hard time taking advice," former federal prosecutor Michael Nash said. [39] The decision to remain in Arizona cost him his life.


Bombacino's death upset former FBI agent William Roemer. "It was a very sad day for all of us - not only because Lou Bombacino was a really nice guy and our pal but also because of the deterrent factor. Obviously, it is very tough to develop sources and witnesses when they find out what happened to guys like Lou Bombacino." [40]

Bombacino's murder remains officially unsolved. Federal law enforcement determined the bomber wired the explosive device to the car's accelerator or its steering wheel. That was unusual, since car bombs generally trigger by turning on the ignition. Investigators could not trace the origins of the explosive nor locate witnesses who saw it planted. The FBI called it a "professional job," and figured the Outfit was behind it but could not prove it. The Outfit killed another informant similarly twenty years earlier. [41]

A snitch told federal agents that Anthony Amadio, former henchman of deceased Outfit leader Frank Laporte, tracked Bombacino to Tempe and tipped off the bosses. [42] John Cerone, who was released from the Leavenworth, Kansas, federal penitentiary in 1973, allegedly dispatched a hitman to eliminate Bombacino.


1 "Hoodlum reluctant at Cerone trial," Chicago Daily News, April 28, 1970.

2 "Informer Lou Bombacino lived well with new identity until the day of the explosion," St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 10, 1975.

3 Vincent L. Inserra, C-1 and the Chicago Mob, Xlibris LLC, 2014, 179.

4 Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949 Luigi Bombacigno Naturalization Petition, No. 335372. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, July 1950, certificate no. 6624890 issued Luigi Bombacigna Certificate of Arrival, No. 11-309115, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, issued April 23, 1941 Carmela Bambacigno Declaration of Intention, Cook County IL Superior Court, Aug. 8, 1927 Carmela Bambacigno Naturalization Petition, No. 83424, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Nov. 6, 1929.

5 United States Census of 1930, Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, Ward 20, Enumeration District 16-2588 United States Census of 1940, Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, Ward 24, Enumeration District 103-1521.

6 "Informer Lou Bombacino lived well with new identity until the day of the explosion," St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 10, 1975.

7 "Ricca sought as gambling witness," Chicago Tribune, April 23, 1970.

8 "Marriage Licences," Suburbanite Economist, Feb. 18, 1959.

9 "Montrose Man charged with extortion," Pasadena Independent, June 1, 1961.

10 "Suspect transferred," The Odessa American, Oct. 28, 1964.

11 However, the available intelligence reports indicate federal agent John Bassett conducted the earliest debriefings.

12 William F. Roemer, Jr., Accardo: The Genuine Godfather, New York, Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1995, 296.

13 "Witness tells of aiding on Cerone job," Chicago Tribune, April 22, 1970 United States v. John Philip Cerone, Sr., et al., United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, Feb. 28, 1972 (452 F.2d 274), Justia: U.S. Law, justia.com.

14 United States v. John Philip Cerone, Sr., et al., United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, Feb. 28, 1972 (452 F.2d 274), Justia: U.S. Law, justia.com FBI, Top Echelon Criminal Informant Program, Chicago Office, Jan. 20, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-90059-10073.

15 Special Agent Paul Frankfurt retired in 1970, after twenty-seven years of service.

16 FBI, Top Echelon Criminal Informant Program, Chicago Office, Jan. 20, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-90059-10073.

17 FBI, La Cosa Nostra, Chicago Office, Sept. 25, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-10293-10279. "CG T-9 [CG 6884] is an individual who was active in the organized criminal element in Chicago."

18 FBI, Samuel Giancana, Chicago Office, July 18, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-10208-10116.

19 FBI, CG 6884, Chicago Office, June 4, 1965. 92-689-162. (Sam Battaglia File #3, 179.) FBI, CG 6884, Chicago Office, May 7, 1965. 92-914-247. (Sam Battaglia File #3, 143) FBI, Samuel Giancana, Chicago Office, Aug. 16, 1965, NARA Record No. 124-10199-10048. FBI, Samuel Giancana, Chicago Office, Sept. 6, 1966, NARA Record No. 124-10198-10112. Louis Bombacino can be linked to additional FBI intelligence reports (with redacted informant symbols codes) through similar interview dates and content. For example, in the intelligence report dated May 7, 1965, the FBI interviewed the informer on April 26 and April 29, 1965. These dates corresponded to dates "CG 6884" was known to be interviewed. And again, the intelligence report dated June 4, 1965, and the intelligence report dated August 16, 1965, show similar links.

20 FBI, La Cosa Nostra, Chicago Office, Sept. 25, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-10293-10279.

21 FBI, CG 6884, Chicago Office, June 4, 1965. 92-914-259. (Sam Battaglia File #3, 175.)

22 FBI, Samuel Giancana, Chicago Office, Sept. 6, 1966, NARA Record No. 124-10198-10112.

23 FBI, Samuel Giancana, Chicago Office, July 18, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-10208-10116.

24 FBI, Leonard Patrick, Chicago Office, June 7, 1965, NARA Record No. 124-90075-10019.

25 FBI, La Cosa Nostra, New York Office, Sept. 26, 1968, NARA Record No., 150-159. In this report, Bombacino's informant symbol code "CG 6884" is identified as source "T-200."

26 "U.S. Witness against Chicago Mobsters is murdered as car explodes in Tempe," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975 "Blast cuts short life of mob informer," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975 "Witness tells of aiding on Cerone job," Chicago Tribune, April 22, 1970.

29 "U.S. Witness against Chicago Mobsters is murdered as car explodes in Tempe," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975. "Blast cuts short life of mob informer," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975.

30 "Informer Lou Bombacino lived well with new identity until the day of the explosion," St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 10, 1975.

32 "U.S. Witness against Chicago Mobsters is murdered as car explodes in Tempe," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975. "Blast cuts short life of mob informer," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975.

33 "Ricca sought as gambling witness," Chicago Tribune, April 23, 1970 "Cerone, boss of mob here, found guilty," Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1970.

34 FBI, La Cosa Nostra, Chicago Office, Sept. 25, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-10293-10279.

35 While the surname's origins are unknown, it was similar to the maiden name of his former wife, Yolanda Nardella.

36 FBI, La Cosa Nostra, Chicago Office, Aug. 26, 1968, NARA Record No. 124-10288-10421.

37 "U.S. Witness against Chicago Mobsters is murdered as car explodes in Tempe," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975. "Blast cuts short life of mob informer," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975.

39 "Informer Lou Bombacino lived well with new identity until the day of the explosion," St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 10, 1975.

40 William F. Roemer, Jr., Roemer: Man Against The Mob, New York Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1989, 334.

41 "U.S. witness against Chicago mobsters is murdered as car explodes in Tempe," Arizona Republic, Oct. 7, 1975. The Outfit apparently tracked down informer William Bioff to Arizona in 1955 and killed him in a car bombing.

42 "Tocco, aide to pay the price for 'frivolity'," Arizona Republic, June 30, 1984 "I'm no snitch," Arizona Republic, April 7, 1984.

43 FBI, La Cosa Nostra, Chicago Office, Aug. 26, 1968, NARA Record No. 124-10288-10421. Louis Bombacino (T-10 in this report) identified other Outfit members but not himself. However, Louis Fratto (T-1 in this report) identified himself plus other Outfit members. Bombacino's lack of self-identification suggests he was not an inducted Mafia member.

44 "Death Notices," Chicago Tribune, April 6, 1965.

45 FBI, Gus Alex, Chicago Office, Oct. 6, 1965, NARA Record No. 124-10204-10084.

46 FBI, Dave Yaras, Chicago Office, Feb. 12, 1973, NARA Record No. 124-90073-10053.

47 FBI, Top Echelon Criminal Informant Program, Chicago Office, Jan. 20, 1967, NARA Record No. 124-90059-10073.

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The Murder Chicago Didn’t Want to Solve

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The man who called me, a long-retired Chicago police officer, was alternately charming and curt. He insisted he had nothing to do with the murder.

“All the things you wrote in your letter to me are not true,” he said, speaking slowly, his voice occasionally shaky. “Everything in there is a fucking lie.”

In the letter, I had asked him about a murder I’d been examining: the unsolved killing of a prominent Black politician in Chicago. I had reason to think he knew something about it.

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On Feb. 26, 1963, Ben Lewis, the first Black elected official from Chicago’s West Side, won what was set to be his second full term on the City Council. Lewis, 53, appeared to be climbing the political ladder. Newspapers were reporting talk — encouraged by the alderman himself — that his next stop would be Congress, a move that would have made him one of the highest-profile Black politicians in the country.

Two days later, Lewis was found shot to death in his ward office.

A maintenance worker found Lewis’s body, sprawled facedown behind his desk, wearing a business suit, arms extended beyond his head, his wrists handcuffed. The index and middle fingers of his right hand still held a cigarette, long burned out. A bloodstained couch cushion covered his head.

As police questioned Lewis’s wife and girlfriends, word leaked that he had been threatened by a jealous husband. Newspapers reported that, like other politicians, he had done business with gamblers and mobsters. Investigators soon concluded that a police sergeant was likely the last person who had talked to Lewis, fueling speculation that cops were involved. But the investigation soon went cold.

Nearly six decades later, no one has been brought to justice for executing Lewis, thought to be the last elected official murdered in Chicago. Officially, the case is still open, but Ben Lewis has faded from public memory.

Flyers for Alderman Ben Lewis were posted in his ward on Chicago’s West Side leading up to city elections on Feb. 26, 1963. Two days after Lewis won easily, he was found dead. Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum

Several years ago, after conversations with longtime West Side residents, I began to realize that the case was more than just a troubling episode from the past. For many, it remained an open wound. Lewis was killed at a time when white officials and gangsters worked to control and profit from Black communities in Chicago, often through violence. It isn’t hard to see a straight line to the neglect and disinvestment that continues to devastate those neighborhoods. Though forgotten by many, the Ben Lewis murder case illustrates Chicago’s enduring legacy of political corruption, police misconduct and systemic racism.

To report this story, I interviewed dozens of people and examined thousands of pages of records from local and federal law enforcement agencies as well as court files, political archives and other historical documents. I’ve concluded it was no accident authorities never solved Lewis’ murder. Hampered by political pressures and racial stereotyping, authorities repeatedly passed up chances to investigate crime figures, politicians and police who likely had knowledge of the murder — and may have been involved in committing it.

Eventually, my search brought me to the retired officer. He confirmed that he had known Lewis. He said he had even been interviewed during the initial investigation. When I asked if he was involved, he denied it and said he passed two lie detector tests.

“I swear to God, on everything that’s holy, that I had nothing to do with the killing of Ben Lewis,” he told me.

But he said he knew why Lewis was murdered and who was behind it.

“I was — I don’t want to use the word fortunate, but I happened to be present and knowledgeable of certain circumstances where I know what transpired,” he said.

He wouldn’t say anything else. What he knew, he said, could only be revealed after he was dead.

After we hung up, I had the feeling that everything he said could be true — or that none of it was.

Symbol of Hope

Looking back, it's hard not to see Lewis’ rise in politics as a long, doomed fight for power.

Most of the stories about his political background came from reporters who heard them from either Lewis or other political operatives. These sources typically had an interest in portraying Lewis as a leader of his people, rooted in the community or as a hustler and a player, claiming to advocate for young people and civil rights while looking for ways to profit from his position. The conflicting pictures were each grounded in truth but overstated. Lewis was both respected and manipulated. He projected strength even while forced to follow orders, and was well liked and gregarious though in the end a mystery even to many who spent time with him.

Lewis, right, was known for his sharp dress and gregarious personality as he worked his way up in the Democratic machine. Credit: Collection of the Chicago History Museum

He was born Benjamin Franklin Lewis in 1909 in Macon, Georgia. When he was 4, his mother moved north with him and his brother, stopping in New Jersey before settling on Chicago’s South Side. In 1919, the neighborhood exploded in a weeklong race riot that left 38 people dead. Soon after, Lewis’ mother packed up the family and moved to the predominantly Jewish and immigrant Maxwell Street area on the Near West Side.

Lewis later told the Chicago Defender, then one of the nation’s leading Black-owned newspapers, that he and his family were the first Black residents in the area. By some accounts, he had grown up around so many Jewish people that he could speak Yiddish. Years later, Lewis stressed his friendships with white kids as well as the threats he sometimes faced. “I learned to run before I learned to walk because I was the first Negro to live in my neighborhood,” he said.

During the Depression, Lewis worked as a laborer for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration later he had a shovel, which he said was from his first WPA job, mounted on his office wall. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and after his discharge held a range of jobs including elevator operator, union organizer and bus driver.

According to newspaper stories, Lewis got started in politics by volunteering for the Republican organization in what was then known as the “Bloody” 20th Ward. Encompassing much of the Near West Side, the ward had been controlled by the city’s crime syndicate since the days of Al Capone. Eventually, the area was redrawn as part of the 1st Ward, but it continued to be dominated by the Outfit, as the syndicate was called. People who knew Lewis said he maintained ties there the rest of his life.

Around 1950, Lewis moved farther west, to the 24th Ward. Based in the Lawndale neighborhood, the ward was starting to lose its Jewish voters as they moved to less congested areas on the North Side and in the suburbs. At the same time, African-Americans looked for new opportunities in Lawndale after leaving the crowded South Side or the deep South.

After Lewis was killed, the Chicago Daily News recounted how he had become the first Black leader of the “turbulent 24th” Ward. Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times

Lewis was recruited to the ward, according to one story, by his former classmate Erwin “Izzy” Horwitz, a rising star in the local Democratic organization. By other accounts, politicians tied to the Outfit engineered the move and essentially agreed to sponsor Lewis’ political career. The 24th Ward, like much of the city, was dominated by Democrats, and Lewis switched parties when given the chance to climb the ranks.

True power in the Democratic machine rested not with aldermen but with the committeemen, party officers who led the ward organizations and dispensed the patronage jobs that went with them. Many ran real estate and insurance firms local business owners understood that if they wanted to stay open, it was wise to work with these ward bosses.

In the 24th Ward, Black voters were beginning to demand more representation. By 1951, committeeman Arthur X. Elrod, who was white, had picked Lewis as the ward’s first Black precinct captain. Six years later, when the ward’s seat on the City Council opened up, Elrod decided the time had come for the 24th to have a Black alderman. More than 80% of ward residents were Black by then, and it was widely known that Elrod no longer lived there himself, having moved to the North Side. Critics derisively called such absentee leadership “plantation politics.”

With the backing of the Democratic ward organization, Lewis was elected alderman in a romp in 1958 and reelected to a full term a year later. In 1961, after Elrod and a white successor died, Mayor Richard J. Daley tapped Lewis to be the first Black committeeman on the West Side.

Many Black residents saw Lewis’ climb as a hopeful sign. “There was a sense that maybe change was in the air,” recalled U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, at the time a graduate student who was just learning about Chicago politics after migrating from Arkansas to the Lawndale neighborhood. “We were moving into power. We’ve got our own guy who represents us.”

Lewis projected an air of cool confidence. At 6 feet, he was tall and thin, wearing expensive suits and driving a Buick Wildcat sport coupe. “Some folks say that he was cocky, that he was braggadocious, that he was kind of fast-moving,” Davis said.

Yet beneath his bravado, Lewis was fighting to gain control of the ward. Most of its precinct captains and patronage workers were still white Lewis promised to start bringing on more Black workers who lived in the neighborhood but offered no timetable. Horwitz, installed by Daley as the county’s building commissioner, oversaw his own patronage jobs and was viewed by many as the real ward boss. Meanwhile, Elrod’s old insurance firm was squeezing Lewis out of what was a lucrative side business.

Some of Lewis’ own ward workers wondered whether he had any real authority. “The Jewish people ran the 24th Ward organization, and they picked Ben Lewis because they figured he could be worked with,” said Fred L. Mitchell, 91, a precinct captain who held a patronage position as a bailiff downtown.

Lewis also faced a host of deepening problems in the ward. Though the neighborhood’s main commercial corridor along Roosevelt Road was still thriving, a growing number of homes and buildings in the ward had been neglected or divided up into crowded apartments. Troubled neighborhood teenagers had formed street gangs. And Lewis, along with other aldermen, was under pressure to speak out about school segregation and overcrowding that forced thousands of Black students to attend classes in shifts.

But it was clear that Daley and his machine offered little room for independence. When Lewis finally called for new schools leadership, the mayor summoned him to a meeting. Afterward, reporters asked him again if the superintendent should go. He backed down.

Still, Lewis crushed his challenger by a count of 12,422 votes to 931 during the first round of city elections on Feb. 26, 1963.

That evening, Lewis ran into a friend from childhood, police officer Eugene Belton, who joked about leaving the force to work as Lewis’ bodyguard. Lewis assured Belton, “I don’t need a bodyguard.”

Robert Shaw, one of the ward organization’s precinct captains, said he talked with Lewis at a neighborhood restaurant the next day. They discussed a recent Defender story in which Lewis all but declared his intention to run for the U.S. House.

“I said, ‘It looks like you’re on your way to Congress,’” recalled Shaw, 83, who later served as a Chicago alderman. “And he said, ‘I’m sitting here whittling my sticks.’”

Shaw understood: Lewis was just waiting to make his move.

A Lack of Evidence

When Belton saw the suit, he knew. The dead man was Lewis.

Belton happened to be the first officer to arrive at Lewis’ office after a maintenance worker found the body on the morning of Feb. 28, 1963. Belton reported finding a few bullet casings on the floor, but otherwise the office was in order. Souvenirs from Lewis’ political career, including an autographed photo of President John F. Kennedy, decorated the room.

When the office phone rang, Belton picked it up. It was Lewis’ wife, Ella. She was surprised to hear Belton’s voice, according to testimony from her and Belton during a coroner’s inquest.

“Well, Mrs. Lewis, we’ve had a little trouble here,” Belton said.

“Ben — did he get hurt?” she asked. “Is he shot? Did you take him to the hospital?”

Lewis had been shot three times in the back of the neck and head with what investigators determined was a .32-caliber revolver.

Police found small amounts of blood on an air conditioner and television in Lewis’ office, as well as on the right side of the stairs leading down from it. The evidence suggested that the killer or killers had probably entered the building through the back door, which had been found ajar.

Less than three hours after police started going over the crime scene, they allowed reporters to examine it. Photographers took close-up pictures of Lewis’ lifeless body before it was transported to the morgue, where he was identified by his only child, his adult daughter, Joan.

Lewis’s death became a national news story, with headlines proclaiming that Chicago was back to its old gangster ways — the kind of bad press that made Daley irate. As the news spread, people came up with their own theories to explain why Lewis had been slain. Mitchell, the 24th Ward precinct captain, remembered that he was at his job at City Hall when he heard about the murder.

A police officer outside the office where a maintenance worker had found Lewis’ body. Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum

“A guy came in and told me, ‘Ben Lewis got killed last night,’” Mitchell recalled. “And I said, ‘What? What happened?’ And he said, ‘The syndicate killed him.’”

People speculated that someone may have taken Lewis out in a dispute over gambling, possibly involving policy, the illegal lottery games that generated big money in many wards. Some Lewis allies suspected he was killed because he had started challenging the West Side’s plantation politics. Perhaps, they said, his increasing demands for patronage jobs and insurance business had alienated the last of the old white power brokers in the ward.

Many West Siders simply found it too frightening or unwise to discuss.

“I remember going to the barbershop, and I’m asking questions about this, and the barber said, ‘Shhhh! Don’t talk about that! We don’t talk about that in here,’” said Davis, a Democrat who represents much of the West Side in Congress. “And I was kind of dumbfounded by that, because in my mind, that’s all there is to talk about.”

A Smear Campaign

As police talked to reporters about the investigation, they let it be known that Lewis had a secret life: He was a womanizer and a con man. Though the killing looked more like a crime of precision than passion, police reports indicated that they were searching for a possible jilted lover or angry husband, or perhaps a client cheated out of money. Ella Lewis was questioned by police, as were several other women Lewis knew. Detectives noted that Lewis was “keeping company with white women.”

Police also released information suggesting Lewis was a shady and failed businessman. They uncovered evidence that he had dipped into his clients’ insurance premiums for his own uses and borrowed money to keep his real estate business afloat. Though he dressed impeccably, was often seen dining out and furnished an apartment where he met with a girlfriend, he died without enough money to pay for his funeral.

Within a day of finding Lewis dead, police leaked the names of two suspects. The newspapers reported that Thomas “Shaky Tom” Anderson and Jimmy “Kid Riviera” Williams were major players in the policy racket. Anderson, a 54-year-old accountant, was thought to report to Outfit leaders. Williams, 37, a former boxer, was Anderson’s enforcer.

The pair attracted police interest because Williams had reportedly threatened Lewis for hanging around Anderson’s wife. On another occasion, police were told, Anderson had loaned Lewis money. Like almost everyone else questioned in the case, both men were Black.

After a short stakeout, police nabbed Kid Riviera at a South Side apartment building. Anderson, hearing the authorities were looking for him, turned himself in. Police relied on lie detector tests to guide the investigation, and after both men passed, they were released.

Less than a month after Lewis was killed, the investigation hit a dead end. Police officials blamed Lewis: His life had been such a mess, they told the newspapers, that there were too many potential motives.

Some of the FBI’s sources in Chicago politics recognized that the police were fixated on Lewis’ personal and business problems. In a report a few weeks after the murder, one FBI agent summarized what an informant told him: “The stories concerning Lewis’ personal life are being manufactured to ‘dirty him up’ in order to make it appear the city didn’t lose too great an alderman.”

According to these sources, the agent wrote, “His death was strictly a political murder” because he wouldn’t follow orders.

Daley, fighting for reelection that April, tried to shake off criticism that the Lewis murder showed crime and corruption were out of control. He continued to express confidence in the police but said little about the investigation.

But the memos from the FBI agent suggest the police avoided looking closely at the powerful people who actually dominated the 24th Ward: the political machine, the Outfit and the police themselves.

Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum (Vanessa Saba, special to ProPublica)

As part of the Lewis case, detectives questioned a number of Black political workers in the 24th Ward. Yet the files don’t include any reports of interviews with Horwitz or other white party leaders.

Lewis had fought with the politically connected Elrod insurance company over control of ward business — a conflict some FBI sources cited as a reason for his murder. But the police records make no reference to interviews with any of the firm's owners and managers.

The police also revealed little about what their own officers knew about the murder.

As detectives tried to piece together Lewis’ final hours, they learned that Sgt. James Gilbert had called the alderman around 7:30 p.m.

Gilbert, a nine-year veteran, worked in the Fillmore police district, which included much of the 24th Ward. Seven years earlier, he had been suspended after reportedly demanding a payoff from a driver he had pulled over.

When detectives asked him about his conversation with Lewis, Gilbert was cagey, saying it concerned a “personal matter.” If the detectives followed up and asked Gilbert what he meant, they didn’t mention it in their reports.

They did note that Gilbert said his call with Lewis had ended abruptly. After 10 or 15 minutes on the phone, Gilbert told them, he “heard a noise which sounded like someone entering the victims office. The phone conversation was immediately terminated for no reason.”

Gilbert offered shifting versions of the story to news reporters, telling one that Lewis had excused himself before hanging up. Yet Gilbert said he hadn’t called Lewis back or tried to find out what had happened. Police were sure that Gilbert was one of the last people to talk with the alderman, perhaps just a half-hour before he was killed.

Could the call from Gilbert have been a warning or a threat? Was it meant to make sure Lewis was there before someone came by to kill him? Gilbert was given a lie detector test along with another police officer, who considered himself a friend of Lewis’ — the same officer who would call me many years later. Neither was arrested. If detectives wrote a report on what Gilbert and the other officer told them, it was not included in the files released to me.

Pat Angelo, one of the first detectives on the Lewis investigation, told his son Dean Angelo Sr. that it was a “heater case” that he and his partners worked hard. Before the elder Angelo died in 2017, he expressed his frustration that the investigation had petered out. Dean Angelo recalled his father raising the possibility that law enforcement officials were involved in the murder.

Find out about the legacy of disinvestment on the West Side.

“Back then, you literally had bagmen to collect and deliver” payoffs from Outfit gamblers, said Angelo, who also became a police officer and led the Chicago lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. He retired in 2017. “The aldermen handpicked the captains and commanders of their districts so they could work with them,” he said.

Police and political leaders repeatedly dismissed the idea that the Outfit was involved in the murder. Yet investigators received tips that pointed to the syndicate. One such clue came from Lewis’ former personal secretary.

The aide told police that Lewis had grown up in the Outfit-run 1st Ward and still had ties there.

“Many of his boy-hood friends were now connected with people in the syndicate,” one of the police officers wrote in his report. Lewis would sometimes meet these old friends at a restaurant near City Hall, the aide said. But the files don’t include any reference to police following up on the information.

FBI officials in Chicago sent investigation updates to top bureau leaders in Washington, including director J. Edgar Hoover. Without clear evidence of organized crime involvement, they concluded the case should remain with local officials.

Yet behind the scenes, the FBI had been collecting fresh information about a suspected syndicate figure long tied to political corruption and violence in the 24th Ward. As recently as Feb. 27 — the day before Lewis was killed — the FBI and the Police Department’s organized crime division shared a tip that Lenny Patrick was running a horse race betting operation out of the Lawndale Restaurant, just down the street from Lewis’ ward office.

Patrick was well known to law enforcement. Among his many arrests, he had been charged with murder, though never convicted. Authorities had known for years that Patrick’s gambling operations were based at his Lawndale restaurant. In fact, the FBI had been told that Patrick and Lewis knew each other well.

But according to existing records, neither the police nor federal agents ever spoke to Patrick about Ben Lewis.

The Mobster

Lenny Patrick was born in Chicago in 1913, one of four sons of Morris and Ester Patrick, Jewish immigrants from England who ended up in the Lawndale neighborhood.

Lenny’s mother died when he was 5, and with his father unable to care for the boys by himself, Lenny and one of his brothers were taken to an orphanage. After dropping out of seventh grade, Lenny learned to hustle. While still a teenager, he began running a regular dice game on the sidewalk at West Roosevelt Road and South Kedzie Avenue, in the heart of Lawndale.

Fights over territory and control of gambling profits often erupted into bombings and bloodshed. In April 1932, 21-year-old Herman Glick was shot in the neck outside a Lawndale synagogue. Glick “made a dying declaration that one Leonard Patrick was the man who shot him,” an officer wrote in his report.

Shells determined to be from a .32-caliber revolver related to Lewis’ murder. Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum

Police issued an alert for Patrick, describing him as 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, “dark comp[lexion], wears heavy rimmed glasses, brown suit, dark hat, has a slight limp in one leg, Jewish.”

When they finally tracked Patrick down a couple weeks later, he refused to open his apartment door, until officers fired shots through it. He was taken to Cook County Jail but wasn’t locked up long. After Glick died, a grand jury determined prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to indict Patrick. The murder charges were dropped.

Patrick returned to Lawndale and went to work for a group of men who ran most of the neighborhood’s gambling operations. He crossed paths with such powerful Outfit figures as Sam Giancana they would become his mentors and employers.

By 1948, Patrick had served seven years in prison for a bank robbery and was a suspect in at least three unsolved murders. That September, after three more men tied to Lawndale gambling were killed, FBI agents asked Patrick to come in for an interview. He told them that he had been friends with the slain men but didn’t know anything about their deaths. He said he was the father of two girls, ages 6 and 3, and insisted his only political connection was his father, a 24th Ward precinct captain.

The conversation was the first documented contact between Patrick and federal authorities.

Over the next several years, FBI agents kept close tabs on Patrick. For a time, agents even logged Patrick’s phone calls and monitored his new home in West Rogers Park.

A mugshot of Lenny Patrick as a younger man, from the Chicago Tribune in 1992.

But Patrick still oversaw businesses in Lawndale, including illegal gambling rooms that were allowed to operate by police and political leaders on his payroll. In February 1956, a confidential informant told FBI agents that Patrick controlled all gambling in the 24th Ward with backing from Elrod, the ward boss in return, Elrod received cash payments. A different FBI source said Patrick had “strong police protection.”

In 1960, after more than a decade of gathering information on Patrick and his operations, federal agents charged him with conspiracy to gamble. But the evidence was deemed too weak, and the charges were dropped. Once again, Patrick escaped trouble.

Patrick’s position grew even stronger once Lewis was named the 24th Ward committeeman in 1961. FBI sources said Outfit leaders had been working to ensure that someone they could trust would get the post. And an informant told agents that Patrick was close to Lewis — so much so that the alderman was considered Patrick’s “boy.” As an agent summed up the conversation in his report: “Lewis does not do anything without Patrick’s okay.”

In April 1964, a little more than a year after Lewis was killed, the FBI received a tip that, for the first time, explicitly linked Patrick to the unsolved case.

“Informant further stated that Leonard Patrick and Dave Yaras control the ward in which Alderman Ben Lewis was slain,” an agent wrote in a report. “Source heard that Alderman Lewis, before his assassination, was not cooperating with the criminal element in Chicago.”

In essence, the informant was telling the FBI that Patrick was involved in what happened to Lewis. At the very least, he had to know something about it.

The records released by the FBI offer no evidence that agents ever followed up.


Over the next 25 years, the FBI continued to keep an eye on Patrick as he ran Outfit-backed criminal enterprises on Chicago’s West Side and then North Side, according to bureau investigative records. In 1977, Patrick refused to testify before a federal grand jury about payoffs he’d allegedly made to a police officer. He served 18 months in prison for contempt of court. But even after the FBI and the Chicago Police Department repeatedly gathered evidence on Patrick, he continued to profit. By the 1980s, agents learned that he was supervising a street crew that specialized in extorting well-off business owners.

It was still dark on the morning of Nov. 6, 1989, when two FBI agents stepped onto the front porch of a yellow-brick two-flat on the far Northwest Side. When Patrick came downstairs, they let him know he needed to start answering some questions. If he didn’t cooperate, they told him, they had enough on him to put him in prison for 20 years. The leader of Patrick’s street crew had already been talking. In case he didn’t believe it, they played him tapes.

Patrick was stunned. He was 76 years old and had a heart condition. The agents were telling him that they could lock him up for the rest of his life.

In addition to his extortion schemes, federal authorities had other reasons to try to get Patrick talking: Another wave of violence had left more people dead. In 1982, Allen Dorfman, an Outfit-connected insurance executive who worked with the Teamsters union, was convicted of attempted bribery. As he awaited sentencing the following January, Dorfman was shot and killed outside a hotel not far from Patrick’s turf. His murder was viewed as the Outfit’s way of making sure he didn’t talk. Two years later, Lenny Yaras, a longtime member of Patrick’s crew and the son of his late friend Dave Yaras, was murdered on the West Side.

By 1992, as the feds built cases against the Outfit’s top leaders, Patrick agreed to cooperate. Almost immediately, FBI agents and federal prosecutors began grilling him about his time in the Outfit.

“Some days you’d feel sorry for him, like he was your grandfather, walking with a cane, slumped over,” recalled Mark Vogel, a former federal prosecutor who questioned Patrick in preparation for his trial testimony. “And then other times he would look you in the eye, and if looks could kill, you’d be gone.”

Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum, Robert Stiewe for Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum and the John Binder Collection (Vanessa Saba, special to ProPublica)

And as other lawyers and law enforcement officials had found, Patrick was practiced at evasion. “You couldn’t get a direct answer out of this guy,” Vogel said.

Patrick was worried that other Outfit figures would kill him when word of his cooperation got out. He had good reason. On May 17, 1992, a bomb exploded outside the home of his daughter, Sharon, blowing a crater in her driveway, destroying her fiance’s BMW and shattering the windows of neighboring homes.

Over the course of several weeks, Lenny Patrick confirmed what informants had told the FBI for years: His gambling operations in Lawndale were rarely disturbed because he paid off politicians and police, who did favors for him and top Outfit leaders.

Eventually, the federal officials started asking Patrick about old murders. Chris Gair, another former federal prosecutor who had convinced Patrick to cooperate, said they told Patrick “no one was going to believe he’d never killed anyone.”

“He would deny stuff and then I would dig up a 45- or 50-year-old FBI report, and he would be livid,” Gair said.

The federal officials went back to the first murder Patrick had been suspected of, the 1932 shooting of Herman Glick. Patrick confessed that he’d done it, just as Glick had said before he died.

By the end of the summer of 1992, Patrick had confessed to being involved in six murders and offered new information about another. Officials suspected there were likely other killings. But they said they went through all the files they could find that included evidence or witness testimony pointing to Patrick.

Gair and Vogel both said they don’t remember FBI officials or Patrick mentioning Lewis.

If Patrick had brought up the Lewis murder, “the FBI agents would have been on top of that like a duck on a junebug,” Vogel said. “When you have the mob go into city government, that is a big deal. That’s not just an ordinary mob murder.”

Vogel noted that, as much as he and other officials wanted Patrick to own up to his past, they had to stay focused on building cases against Outfit leaders who were still operating.

“The only way to do that is to go through the lower guys,” Vogel said. “Priests and ministers and rabbis are not going to be the ones involved in this. The ones who can tell you firsthand what happened are the criminals.”

In September 1992, Patrick testified in the trial of longtime Outfit leader Gus Alex and a former member of his own street crew on extortion and racketeering charges. To establish his credibility, Patrick discussed his criminal background. He described bribing police officers, the late 24th Ward boss Arthur X. Elrod and other “aldermen.” Asked which aldermen, Patrick claimed he couldn’t remember their names.

Patrick again admitted his involvement in six murders.

Sam Adam, a defense attorney for Alex, responded by portraying Patrick as a sociopath and noting he had admitted to lying under oath before.

“Who else did you kill?” Adam asked.

“That’s about it,” Patrick said.

“Well, anybody — anybody you can think of you haven’t told us about yet?”

“No, I haven’t,” Patrick told him. “I run out of cemeteries.”

But Adam wasn’t the only one who thought the government’s star witness was downplaying his history. Gair said an attorney who had represented other crime figures approached him following Patrick’s testimony about the six murders.

“He came up afterward and said, ‘I believe your witness misplaced a decimal point,’” Gair said.

Prison Time

Patrick’s cooperation helped prosecutors win convictions of Alex and other Outfit leaders. In return for his help, Patrick was given a seven-year sentence and sent to Sandstone federal prison in Minnesota.

In prison, Patrick hit it off with another inmate. Daniel Longoria Sr. was in his early 50s, and serving 16 years for dealing heroin and cocaine in Portland, Oregon. A former college psychology student, Longoria fancied himself a jailhouse lawyer.

There is no statute of limitations on murder, and some prosecutors and investigators in Chicago were outraged that Patrick might not be held to account for the murders he’d testified about in federal court. In February 1994, Cook County prosecutors secured indictments against Patrick for three of those killings, which occurred between 1947 and 1953.

Patrick’s mugshot in 1994, when he was indicted for murder, from the Chicago Tribune.

Patrick turned to Longoria. In return for help with his case, Patrick signed a document promising to give Longoria “a portion” of the proceeds from a book about his life he was thinking about writing.

But Patrick likely didn’t know that Longoria was in the federal witness protection program, or that he had repeatedly served as an informant to get his sentence reduced.

In June 1995, Longoria got in touch with the organized crime division of the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. He said he had collected statements from Patrick about the six murders he had discussed in federal court.

In addition, Longoria’s lawyer told county officials that his client could provide details of other killings he had learned about from Patrick.

The state’s attorney’s office was interested. Over the next few months, officials from the office spoke on the phone repeatedly with Longoria. In two calls, Longoria said Patrick had discussed the unsolved 1983 hit on Dorfman, the insurance agent who had worked closely with the Teamsters. Longoria said Patrick told him one of the killers was the former West Side police officer who had been questioned about the Lewis killing, according to a state’s attorney report summarizing the call.

The information Longoria passed on was detailed and jarring — and if true, would offer fresh leads in some of the most notorious open murder cases in Chicago history. But he wasn’t done.

On Oct. 4, 1995, Longoria recounted a conversation he said he’d had with Patrick about Ben Lewis. According to a report of the call, Longoria said the alderman had been killed because unauthorized horse race betting was run out of his office. Patrick had sent a Chicago police officer to kill Lewis, according to Longoria — and it was the same officer who had allegedly helped carry out the Dorfman hit. The officer and his partner “tied up, chained, tortured and killed Lewis,” Longoria told the officials.

Longoria’s account raised questions of its own. According to the original police and coroner’s reports, Lewis was found in handcuffs — not rope or chains. The reports did not mention signs of torture.

Investigators couldn’t know whether Patrick or Longoria had mixed up the details, or if one of them was lying.

Wayne A. Johnson, then a detective in the Chicago Police Department’s intelligence section, worked with the state’s attorney’s office on the Patrick investigation. After participating in a call with Longoria, Johnson found him credible.

“This guy’s talking a hundred miles an hour — you can tell he’s scared to death,” Johnson recalled.

But Johnson said his investigation was cut short. Longoria was transferred to another prison. The police brass weren’t interested in the old murders. And the state’s attorney’s office decided not to pursue any cases beyond the three that Patrick had already been charged with.

“It was a lost opportunity,” Johnson said. “Whatever Lenny gave up on the witness stand, there was a lot more to it.”

In 1996, after doctors concluded Patrick was showing signs of dementia, a Cook County judge found Patrick unfit for trial on the three decades-old murders of his former associates. The charges were dismissed.

After his release from prison, Patrick spent his last years living in the northern suburb of Morton Grove. He died in 2006 at the age of 92.

Inside Information

I was not the only person who heard that the retired West Side officer might be connected to the Lewis murder. Joe Kolman, a writer based in New York, was doing research for a possible novel seven years ago when he came across old news stories about Lewis. He was fascinated and outraged that the case had never been solved.

Kolman had his own connection to Chicago politics. His family has roots on the West Side, and his father and uncle were politically involved lawyers. When Kolman’s father died in 1967, Mayor Daley attended the funeral, making sure to shake Kolman’s hand before he left.

Joe Kolman shows research about Lewis in 2019 at his home in New York. Credit: Andrew Seng, special to ProPublica

“I was 12 years old, and I couldn’t stop staring at the wattles on his chin,” Kolman said.

When Kolman started gathering information on Lewis, a former politician told him that the word was out that a cop was involved. Kolman’s contact even gave him a name. It was the retired West Side police officer who had been questioned in the early days of the investigation — the same officer whose name had been raised by Longoria.

Kolman called him. The retired officer said he had been friends with Lewis, but denied having anything to do with his murder. Almost six decades after the killing, the retired officer said it was unsafe for him to discuss it. Still, he made Kolman a promise: He would leave him a note revealing who did it — but Kolman wouldn’t get it until the officer died.

By the time the retired officer called me, I’d learned that Longoria, the jailhouse informant, had linked him to two notorious murders 20 years apart. In a series of phone conversations, he said that was “crazy” and “bullshit.” He said he knew nothing about the hit on Dorfman other than what he’d read in the newspapers. When I asked him about Lewis’ murder, he told me what he’d told Kolman: He and his family could be in danger if he discussed what he knew.

But the retired officer said he wanted me to know some background about Lewis and the West Side. He asked that I not use his name, noting he had never been charged in connection with the murder.

Lewis, he said, had been picked to take over the 24th Ward because its political and organized crime leaders knew they needed someone Black as a front. They paid for Lewis’ house, car and clothes, he said.

“They took care of him,” the former officer said. “He lived pretty good. He golfed a lot. They took him to country clubs.”

Because he had spent time with Lewis, the former officer said, he was taken to police headquarters for questioning hours after the body was found. He denied having anything to do with the murder, and a polygraph test found that he wasn’t lying, he said. News stories at the time offered a similar narrative, though they didn’t identify the officer by name.

“If I had flunked the test, they would have charged me,” he said.

He said his former colleague Gilbert, the sergeant who was also questioned in the case, had called Lewis the evening of the murder to talk about a tavern owner who had complained to the alderman about Gilbert demanding payoffs. But the retired officer said he didn’t think Gilbert was involved in killing Lewis.

The retired officer told me he had never met Patrick. And he was just as insistent that Patrick had no part in the murder.

He said he hoped he had been helpful.

Not everything he said added up. While he admitted he knew West Side underworld figures, he distanced himself from Patrick. Yet Patrick obviously knew the officer well enough to mention his name to Longoria. That is, if Longoria was telling the truth.

A Possible Clue

After Kolman first reached out to her, Sharon Patrick began sharing some of her recollections about her father. Eventually, she agreed to sit down with Kolman and me.

Now in her 70s, Sharon Patrick calls people “dear” and “hon,” and enjoys talking about the feral cats she feeds on the South Side. She often pauses, speaking carefully, when discussing her father. She said their relationship was sometimes rocky.

From an early age, she said, she understood “he was a big shot and he controlled certain areas of Chicago.”

Sharon Patrick also saw another side of her father, who often gave food or rent money to struggling neighbors. “A lot of people would call him if they needed help,” she said. “He had a lot of compassion.”

After her father went to prison in the 1990s, Sharon Patrick embraced the idea of working with him on his book project. They never finished, but she thought she still had notes from their conversations.

Soon after our interview, Kolman was helping Sharon Patrick dig through her old files when they found some of those notes. On a sheet of lined paper, she had scribbled two sentences about the slain alderman: “Lewis was killed by certain people all he knows. He was giving information to FBI.”

Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum and Chicago History Museum/Getty Images (Vanessa Saba, special to ProPublica)

If Lewis was suspected of sharing information with federal agents, that could very well have gotten him killed. Still, there is no public evidence that Lewis talked to the FBI. In 40 pages of FBI reports on Lewis and more than 900 pages on Patrick that I obtained through open records requests, nothing suggests Lewis was an informant.

One thing was clear: Over the course of more than three decades, officials with the Police Department, the state’s attorney’s office and the FBI all gathered information that connected Patrick to the 24th Ward and to Lewis. Yet there is no evidence that those agencies ever talked to Patrick himself about the case.

Mourners view Lewis’ casket during his wake on the West Side. Credit: Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago History Museum

Seeking Justice

At the time, Lewis’ murder was widely seen among Black Chicagoans as a message of what would happen to anyone who challenged the white political bosses, said Mitchell, the former precinct captain.

“He didn’t obey orders,” Mitchell said. “It was a power struggle.”

After spending years looking into the murder, Kolman reached the same conclusion. Patrick was almost certainly involved, he said, but the white politicians he worked with may have signed off on the murder.

“Maybe it was clear there would have been no consequences for doing this thing,” said Kolman, who has written a book manuscript and is finishing a documentary about the case.

After Lewis’ murder, the West Side remained under the grip of absentee political leadership. No West Side ward elected an alderman independent of the machine until 1979, when Danny Davis won the 29th Ward seat. In the 24th Ward, a succession of Black aldermen served at the pleasure of Horwitz, the de facto ward boss, through the 1970s.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis at his office on Chicago’s West Side in 2019. Davis was a graduate student and learning about Chicago politics when he first met Lewis. Credit: Tonika Johnson for ProPublica

Decades of failed government programs and private sector neglect have left North Lawndale and other West Side neighborhoods reeling from disinvestment. Across the city, police solve only a fraction of homicides, most of which involve Black victims, and community leaders continue to demand greater police accountability.

About 20 detectives are currently assigned to the Chicago Police Department’s cold case unit. It doesn’t follow a strict protocol in deciding when to reexamine an old case, said department spokesperson Luis Agostini. But given its modest size, he said, “solvability” is a key consideration.

The last activity in the Lewis investigation came in 2000, Agostini said, when a detective made a request for case records.

“We encourage anyone who may have any information related to the murder of Alderman Benjamin Lewis to reach out to Area Detectives,” Agostini wrote in an email, noting police could also be contacted anonymously at CPDtip.com.

Most of the people who might have known what happened to Lewis are ailing or dead both Gilbert and Horwitz are deceased. Others still don’t want to talk about it. But at a minimum, a new inquiry could reexamine the earlier investigation, laying out what was done and what wasn’t.

“I think it would be a revelation,” Davis said. “Not just in terms of looking at what may have happened, but also understanding that as things change, they also have a tendency to very much remain the same.”

Mick Dumke is a reporter for ProPublica. His work has focused on politics and government, including investigations of local and federal gun policies, secret police databases and corruption at Chicago City Hall.

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