The Chicago Syndicate: Dion O'Banion
Showing posts with label Dion O'Banion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dion O'Banion. Show all posts

Friday, January 11, 2019

THE OUTFIT'S GREATEST HITS

The Chicago Outfit's Greatest Hits from 1920 to 2001.

1920: Big Jim Colosimo is slain in his popular Wabash Avenue restaurant, making way for the rise of Al Capone. Largely credited with taking the steps to create what would become known as the "Chicago Outfit"

1924: Dion O'Banion is shot dead in his flower shop across from Holy Name Cathedral. Chief suspects are his beer war enemies, the Genna brothers. Started hijacking whiskey right before the start of prohibition kicked in.

1929: Seven members of the Bugs Moran gang are gunned down, allegedly on orders of Capone, at 2122 N. Clark in the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Moran himself, lucky man, is late for the meeting at the S.M.C. Carting Co.


38 Detective Special1930: Jake Lingle, a Chicago Tribune reporter in the mob's pocket, is slain in the Illinois Central train station. He had crossed many mobsters, including Capone. Shot behind the ear with a 38 caliber detective's special on the way to the racetrack, Lingle was given a hero's funeral. It was only later that it was learned that he was really a legman for the mob.


1936: Capone gunman and bodyguard "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn is gunned down at a Milwaukee Avenue bowling alley, the day before Valentine's Day. Given the timing, the Moran gang was suspected. In addition to his skill with a machine gun, McGurn was also considered a scratch golfer who considered going pro and boxed as a welterweight where he was known as Battling Jack McGurn. He is credited with over 25 mob kills and McGurn was also suspected of being the principal gunner and planner of the St. Valentines Day Massacre.


1975: Mob boss Sam Giancana is killed, while cooking sausage, in the basement of his Oak Park home after he becomes a liability to the Outfit. "The Don" calls Giancana the Godfather of Godfathers - The Most Powerful Mafioso in America. Started as a hitman for Capone. Rose to boss of the Chicago crime family. Friend of celebrities such as Frank Sinatra & Marilyn Monroe. Rigged the Chicago vote for John F. Kennedy in 1960.


Joe Batters1978: Six burglars who struck at mob boss Anthony Accardo's (AKA Joe Batters by the FBI and THE Big Tuna by the Chicago media) house are found slain across the city.


1983: Worried he will sing to the feds, mobsters gun down crooked Chicago businessman Allen Dorfman outside the Hyatt Hotel in Lincolnwood. Dorfman had already been convicted under operation Pendorf: Pentration of Dorfman, along with Teamsters President Roy Williams and Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, when he was hit by the Outfit afraid he would look to reduce his sentence.


1983: Mob gambling lieutenant Ken Eto is shot three times in the head. Miraculously, he survives and testifies against old pals.


1986: The mob's man in Vegas, Anthony Spilotro, and his brother Michael Spilotro are beaten and buried alive in an Indiana cornfield. Glamorized in the movie Casino in which Joe Pesci played "Tony the Ant". Opened up a gift shop at the Circus-Cirus Hotel and Casino where he based his operations. The Family Secrets Trial revealed that the two were originally murdered by a crew led by James Marcello in a house in Bensonville. 


2001: Anthony "the Hatch" Chiaramonti, a vicious juice loan debt collector, is shot to death outside a restaurant in suburban Lyons by a man in a hooded sweat shirt. Chiaramonti had been caught on a tape played at the trial of Sam Carlisi, grabbing a trucking company owner, Anthony LaBarbera, by the throat, lifting him in the air and warning him not to be late in paying juice loan money. LaBarbera was wearing an FBI body recorder at the time. Interesting enough, the restaurant where he was shot was a Brown's Chicken and Pasta, where I have had lunch a handful of times.

Thanks to the Chicago SunTimes and additional various sources.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Untouchables Tours to Celebrate Milestone of their Live Action @GangsterTour

Beverly-based Untouchable Tours is preparing to celebrate a significant milestone as one of the top-rated downtown bus tours. With its distinct black bus and cast of theater-trained guides, the company credits its nearly 30-year success to a unique entertainment philosophy.

“The production level of our tour is second-to-none,” said co-owner Craig Alton of his gangster theater-on-wheels. “Our guides are talented actors who have studied Chicago crime chronicles and Prohibition society and conventions. They have truly perfected their personas and offer plenty of laughs while providing a knowledgeable voice on the rise of the Chicago mob.”

This formula has proven a hit since Alton, along with his sister and brother-in-law, Cindy and Don Fielding, first launched the concept.

“The three of us worked individually for not-for-profits,” said Cindy Fielding. “But with a shared interest in theater and design, we quickly slipped into a life of crime.”

The one hour, 45 minute live action tour continues to sell out regularly and reflects an unwavering interest in Chicago mob history. From Dion O’Banion’s flower shop to Holy Name Cathedral, the 18-mile journey takes passengers on a comprehensive and compelling trip back in time to Al Capone’s Chicago. With guides including “Johnny Three Knives” and “Matches Malone,” the tour company enjoys multi-generational appeal and repeat customers.

In addition to their regular public tours, the company also offers private tours to groups.

“The tone of the tour is light and fun. We book many private tours including school-aged children as well as seniors,” said Don Fielding. “We felt it was important to reiterate how the ultimate result of crime is prison or worse. This is the reason we embraced the word ‘Untouchable.’ Eliot Ness and his colleagues did incredible work in ridding Chicago of organized crime. We wanted to tip our hats to them.”

To commemorate its 30th year anniversary, Untouchable Tours is offering a special discount code to Beverly residents who book any tour online before Thursday, June 15. Simply enter the code: beverly and receive $2 off a seat.

Bookings can be made online at gangstertour.com or by calling (773) 881-1195.

Thanks to The Beverly Review.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chicago's Bloody Gang War of the 1920's

On this day in 1924, Dion O'Banion, the Irish-American leader of North Side Gang is assassinated in his flower shop by members of Johnny Torrio's gang, sparking the bloody gang war of the 1920s in Chicago.

O'Banion, who had a thriving bootlegging and floral business, was the main rival of the Chicago outfit, led by Torrio and his henchman, Al Capone.

When O'Banion learned there was going to be a raid on his brewery, he offered to retire to Colorado if Torrio bought out the business. Torrio wound up in jail and O'Banion kept the $500,000 for the padlocked brewery.

O'Banion was in his floral shop fixing flowers when three gangsters came in. When O'Banion reached out with a handshake, one of the men held it in a death gripe, while the other two shot O'Banion twice each in the chest, cheeks and throat.

The O'Banion killing sparked a five-year war that culminated in the killing of seven North Side gang members in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.

Thanks to Scott McCabe

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

On this frigid morning, in an unheated brick garage at 2122 N. Clark St., seven men were lined up against a whitewashed wall and pumped with 90 bullets from submachine guns, shotguns and a revolver. It was the most infamous of all gangland slayings in America, and it savagely achieved its purpose--the elimination of the last challenge to Al Capone for the mantle of crime boss in Chicago. By 1929, Capone's only real threat was George "Bugs" Moran, who headed his own gang and what was left of Dion O'Banion's band of bootleggers. Moran had long despised Capone, mockingly referring to him as "The Beast."

The St. Valentine's Day MassacreAt about 10:30 a.m., four men burst into the SMC Cartage Co. garage that Moran used for his illegal business. Two of the men were dressed as police officers. The quartet presumably announced a raid and ordered the seven men inside the garage to line up against a wall. Then they opened fire. Witnesses, alerted by the rat-a-tat staccato of submachine guns, watched as the gunmen sped off in a black Cadillac touring car that looked like the kind police used, complete with siren, gong and rifle rack. The victims, killed outright or left dying in the garage, included Frank "Hock" Gusenberg, Moran's enforcer, and his brother, Peter "Goosy" Gusenberg. Four of the other victims were Moran gangsters, but the seventh dead man was Dr. Reinhardt Schwimmer, an optician who cavorted with criminals for thrills. Missing that morning was Capone's prize, Moran, who slept in.

Capone missed the excitement too. Vacationing at his retreat at Palm Island, Fla., he had an alibi for his whereabouts and disclaimed knowledge of the coldblooded killings. Few believed him. No one ever went to jail for pulling a trigger in the Clark Street garage, which was demolished in 1967.

Although Moran survived the massacre, he was finished as a big criminal. For decades to come, only one mob, that of Capone and his successors, would run organized crime in Chicago. But the Valentine's Day Massacre shocked a city that had been numbed by "Roaring '20s" gang warfare over control of illegal beer and whiskey distribution.

"These murders went out of the comprehension of a civilized city," the Tribune editorialized. "The butchering of seven men by open daylight raises this question for Chicago: Is it helpless?"

In the following years, Capone and his henchmen were to become the targets of ambitious prosecutors.

Thanks to John O'Brien

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Chicago’s crime shrines

Friends of ours: Al Capone, Dion O'Banion, Johnny Torrio, George "Bugs" Moran

Chicago has a rich mob history, and Craig Alton capitalizes on the fascination of tourists and Chicagoans alike with his Untouchables Tour, a bus trip to some of the city's infamous gangster sites. Alton, better known by his nickname "Southside," suggests a few stops for those interested in checking out the history of Chicago's underworld.

Across from Holy Name Cathedral
Dion O'Banion, leader of the North Side gang, owned a flower shop here and was killed on the store steps in 1924 by some of Al Capone's men after he allegedly double-crossed Capone's mentor, Johnny Torrio. The shop is no longer there.

Green Mill in Uptown
A favorite hangout of Capone and his gang. Capone would sit at a table with a view of both doors. The club, which was connected by a tunnel system to a building across the street, still has a trap door behind the bar.

Site of Valentine's Day Massacre

The murders occurred on Feb. 14, 1929, at a garage at 2122 N. Clark St., where Capone's men, dressed as police officers, tried to set up George "Bugs" Moran, then the head of the North Side gang. Seven of Moran's men were gunned down, but Moran wasn't in the garage at the time. The building is no longer there.

The Biograph Theater
John Dillinger, named the FBI's "Public Enemy No. 1," was set up in 1934 by a woman who told the feds he'd be at the movies with her. When Dillinger walked out of the theater, located at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., he was shot in the alley.

Capone's grave
Capone was buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Rd. in Hillside.

Thanks to Kathryn Masterson

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