Former First Ward Alderman Don Parrillo, 78, is the most admittedly corrupt Chicago politician you likely never heard of. But that's likely to change.
Parrillo, who represented the city's notorious 1st Ward from 1964 to 1968, is about to self-publish a controversial book concerning organized crime and political corruption in the city Al Capone made famous.
His father, William "Billy" Parrillo, was the attorney of choice for the Chicago mob's elite, he says - Al Capone, Frank Nitti and Sam Giancana, among them.
Consequently, the alderman has a lot stories. "I started talking into my tape recorder," Parrillo explains. "I've got 16 chapters."
"I name names unless the person is still alive or a member of their family is still alive," he says, adding with a laugh, "I want to stay that way."
Parrillo also admits that getting into Chicago politics wasn't exactly his idea.
He was asked to run for alderman as a personal favor by Chicago Outfit boss Sam Giancana, who used to drive him and his brother to school as kids, Parrillo says. "This was before Giancana was anybody...I used to call him Mr. Sam."
Other Parrillo tales range from the simply curious - it was American film sex symbol of the 1930s, Jean Harlow, who infected Al Capone with the syphilis that eventually killed him - to the simply conspiratorial - the Kennedy brothers' (JFK & RFK) alleged involvement in the death of another American film sex icon, Marilyn Monroe.
For an unauthorized account of both Parrillo and his book, see reporter Anthony DeBartolo's 4,000-word Hyde Park Media web exclusive: "The Untold Stories of Alderman Don Parrillo."
Anthony DeBartolo is a Chicago-based reporter who has frequently contributed to the Chicago Tribune. His feature work has also appeared in daily newspapers across the U.S. and in Canada, including the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Sun-Times, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Toronto Star.
DeBartolo is also the author of the special interest health book, "Lupus Underground: A Patient's Case for a Long-Ignored, Drug-Free, Non-Patentable, Counter-Intuitive Therapy That Actually Works"
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