"Mafia Princess" Antoinette Giancana, daughter of the late Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, claims in her book that her father ordered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. If true, this would make Sam Giancana guilty of one of history's worst crimes. But that doesn't trouble Antoinette Giancana. "The Kennedys were not kind to my father," she said. "They were just as evil and corrupt as any mafioso."
Giancana teamed up with two University of Illinois at Chicago doctors to write JFK and Sam: The Connection Between the Giancana and Kennedy Assassinations. The 217-page book was published by Cumberland House Publishing. Giancana's co-authors are Dr. John Hughes, a neurologist, and Dr. Thomas Jobe, a psychiatrist.
Jobe earlier wrote Lyndon Baines Johnson: The Tragic Self, a Psychohistorical Portrayal. He and Hughes then teamed up on a book about the JFK assassination, and enlisted Giancana's help. Hughes said he did the bulk of the research and writing. But he said Giancana is getting top billing in the list of authors because she's better known.
Giancana's best-selling 1984 memoir, Mafia Princess, was made into a TV movie starring Tony Curtis as Sam and soap opera star Susan Lucci as Antoinette. Now 70, Giancana lives in Elmwood Park. She's a sales associate for a retail chain and markets Giancana Marinara Sauce ("Just Like Dad's, Maybe Better").
Hughes said he read more than 40 books on the JFK assassination and spent almost every weekend for 13 years writing and rewriting the book. He wrote that he used his expertise in neurology to analyze how Kennedy's body moved after he was shot. This led Hughes to conclude that there must have been a shooter on the infamous grassy knoll to Kennedy's right.
The mafia, Hughes wrote, helped Kennedy carry Illinois in the close 1960 election, assuring his victory. In return, JFK was supposed to go easy on the mob. Reneging on the deal, Kennedy unleashed his brother Bobby, the attorney general, on organized crime, the authors claim.
In 1975, Sam Giancana was gunned down while cooking sausage in the basement kitchen of his Oak Park home. The book says the CIA killed Sam Giancana to prevent him from telling a congressional committee about his role in CIA plots to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
These theories, scoffs Sam Giancana biographer Bill Brashler, "are as old as the Easter bunny. It's just silliness." Brashler said Kennedy owed his election to the first Mayor Daley, not to the mob. And even if Sam Giancana felt betrayed, it wasn't the mob's style to murder politicians, much less the president. Finally, it was a trusted bodyguard who killed Sam Giancana, not the CIA. "It was a classic mob hit," Brashler said. Brashler said he interviewed Antoinette Giancana for his book, The Don: The Life and Death of Sam Giancana. He concluded she knew next to nothing about her dad's business.
Antoinette Giancana said that for her book she was able to recall long-buried memories during extensive interviews conducted by Jobe.
Conspiracy buffs have proposed 250 theories to explain what "really" happened Nov. 22, 1963, said Ruth Ann Rugg of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, a JFK assassination museum in Dallas. But Rugg said the only credible explanation is that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists simply can't accept that such an insignificant drifter changed history by himself. "We want to believe that there was more to it, that there were huge forces involved," Rugg said.
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