Chicago: A Gangster History

9237019089?profile=originalLong before Al Capone strolled into town, Chicago was teeming with gangsters and mobsters. In this piece, Puparo details the city’s criminal history starting in the early 1900s and working his way up to Al Capone and his cronies. Digging in his archives, Puparo wiped the dust off of old names, familiar places, and violent gangland executions. Any feedback and comments are welcome.

By Puparo

Little Italy based Morici brothers and Joseph Novello

Chicago’s 19th ward (Little Italy) leader Salvatore Di Giovanni
Salvatore Di Giovanni was prominent in the 19th ward politics (pro John Powers or anti Powers???).

Chicago’s 19th ward (Little Italy) leader Salvatore Di Giovanni (Napolitan??) killed
Salvatore Di Giovanni was shot 21 February 1901 when he passed a dark alleyway after being lured from his home, he died on his way to hospital. He was the leader of the Italian colony in Chicago and police arrest next to the dying man Carlo Battista. Carlo Battista identifies Joseph Mariso as the shooter. Also arrested Joseph Morici (Sicilian)

George Morici
George Gundura got extortion letters and George Morici came to him to negotiate

George Morici and Giovanni Scardina
Wine merchant Lucian Tomaselli got extortion letters and was visited by George Morici and Giovanni Scardina

Jeweler Antonio Lumia was extorted and police arrested Joseph LaPaglia (hhmm family of the other killed one??)

Sam Sapienza was extorted but when he met Onofrio Puccio and Mike Rizzo he shot and wounded extortionist Puccio

18 November 1907 was Mariano Scardina (22) stabbed to death

Milton Avenue
Joseph Concillo was killed after Morici man Giovanni Scardini saw Concillo in Sarciti’s saloon at 66 Milton Avenue. Half a hour later was Concillo killed

Milton Avenue
2 February 1908 was Joseph Cancillo (37 of Gault court) shot and killed by Batiste Scardina in the rear of the saloon of Isadore Sorcit at 66 Milton avenue. 2 February 1908 was Joe Concillo (31) shot and killed by Batiste Sodritini. Joe and Vito Morici were arrested. ???Joe Morici is George Morici??????

Police also arrest for the Concillo murder Nicholas Milio who was wanted in Portland (Oregon) for murdering an Italian saloonkeeper (name and date ??) who had gotten Black hand extortion letters.

Little Italy detectives Gabriel Longobardi and Julian Bernacchi
Little Italy detectives Gabriel Longobardi and Julian Bernacchi raided in February 1908 the home of George Morici a suspect in the ordered murder of Joseph Concillo

Little Italy detectives Gabriel Longobardi and Julian Bernacchi
Little Italy detectives Gabriel Longobardi and Julian Bernacchi also arrested Vincent Crapa for extorting grocer Benedetto Cairo

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza
Rosario Dispenza became Chicago capo mafia in 1909 and had contacts with the Morello family in NY

"Death Corner"
"Death Corner" was at the corner of Oak St. and Cleveland St. (previously Milton St.) the Aiello confectionary on Oak Street. Oak and Crosby streets, two blocks from Death Corner. Milton Avenue near Death Corner

Antonio Mareno (Morecca?)
Black Hand leader Modesto Barona (25) had been shot and killed 24 March 1909 by Antonio Mareno (father of the child Angelo Mareno).

Little Italy
12 April 1909 was Joseph Phillipelli shot and killed while his attacker Tony Baffa (18) was arrested and then he turned in Antonio Nudo, Rafaelo Nudo and Pasquale Nudo, Giuseppe Caro and Ernesto caro

Little Italy based Gault Court
24 April 1909 was Vincenzio Cantazam (38) shot and killed in his saloon at 112 Gault Court. Arrested were Prospero Caldone, Antonio Garaglono (Garuglono), Antonio Mantato (Montato) aka Salvatore Agugino

Little Italy
26 May 1909 was Giuseppe Cusumano (34) shot and killed

Giuseppe “Joseph” Nicolosi
police had questioned the brothers Carmelo Nicolosi and Giuseppe “Joseph” Nicolosi in May 1909 regarding the murder of Giuseppe “Joseph” Nicolosi’s father in law Mariano Zacone (45 when shot and killed 8 May 1909)

Chicago Black Hand man Joseph Bertucci
22 June 1909 the Black Hander Joseph Bertucci stands trial for the 19 January 1909 murder of Vito Unbrello (47). His helper Bruno Nordi would testify but refuses.

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza
6 January 1910 police found clothing merchant Benedetto Senene (Cinene) (Genene) (60) shot to death at his home (store??) at 500 Oak Street, Little Sicily on the near North side. They also found letters sent to Senene (Cinenne) demanding money and threatening his life. Police arrest as a suspect Frank Seruso who was discharged.

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza
After the murder of clothing merchant Benedetto Senene (Cinene) police raided in Little Sicily several saloons on Milton Avenue a notorious hotbed of Black hand activities. Police raided Coniglio and Manina at 926 Milton Avenue, Charles Plumeri at 924 Milton Avenue, Philip and John at 860 Milton Avenue, I. G. Le Vatino at 872 Milton Avenue, Salvatore Pinachi at 501 Milton Avenue and the saloon of Chicago capo mafia Rosario Dispenza at 1021 Milton Avenue while he lived at 147 Milton Avenue, all near Death Corner

Little Italy
5 June 1910 was Philippo Catalano (32) shot and killed

Little Italy
30 June 1910 Frank Scarlato shot and killed Tony Gnoffa and by accident the child Dominick Lomano (9 months)
Frank Scarlatto (Scarlata) was himself killed 5 October 1927

Oak Street (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
17 February 1911 was Vincenzio Luboy (49) shot and killed in his saloon in oak Street

Little Italy
13 March 1911 was Pasquale Marcadnano shot and killed

Little Italy
14 March 1911 was Phillippo Maniscalio (39) shot and killed

Little Italy based "Death Corner"
2 April 1911 was Frank Fernerno (23) shot and killed at Death Corner

George Matrisciano aka George Martini (Matrisceano??)
George Matrisciano aka George Martini (16) shot and killed 16 April 1911 William Gregory (21) in front of a west side theater and was sent to Pontiac prison for that in 1911.

Antonio Mareno son kidnapped
Angelo Mareno (6) was 6 August 1911 kidnapped. The police assigned detectives Longobardi, Riccio and Parodi of the Black Hand Squad to the investigation. Angelo Mareno was returned 11 august 1911. Police suspect saloonkeeper Carmelo Nicolosi (associate of Gianni Alongi), his mother in law Biagia Cutrona. Carmelo Nicolosi and his brother Giuseppe “Joseph” Nicolosi owned a saloon at 134 Gault Court. Undertaker Antonio Sbarbaro and real estate agent and banker Joseph De Voney provided the 10000 dollar needed to post Nicolosi’s bail. Other suspects were Calogero Costandino and leoluca Macaluso.

Three weeks later detectives Longobardi, Bernachi, Riccio and De Vito raided a grocery store at 908 Sholto Street where they found explosives and a list of 150 persons who allegedly were contributing to a fund to defend Joseph and Carmello Nicolosi. Anthony Loungora and another man were taken into custody

Antonio Mareno
In November 1911 died Bernarda Nicolosi the wife of Antonio Mareno and mother of Angelo Mareno (6)

Chicago mobster Big Jim Colosimo
22 November 1911 were at the Rock Island Railroad underpass at Archer Street shot and killed the Black Hand extortionists Pasquale D’Amico (26) and Francesco Denello (Danelo) (28) and was wounded his brother Stephano Denello. Stephano Denello asked police to bring Big Jim Colosimo to his bedside in hospital but when Colosimo was brought in Stephano Denello refused to speak

In December 1911 was police informer Joseph Sutero shot and killed by Vito Barone (Victor Barone??) and Vito Ingraffia. Sutero had been approached by Pietro Distenzo and Joseph Ilordi, proprietors of a saloon at Hobbie and Townsend streets who warned him they would kill him if he didn’t stop informing police

Little Italy
20 December 1911 was Charles Crapa (48) shot and killed

Chicago mafioso Anthony D’Andrea
In 1911 Antonio D’Andrea co owned a company at 20 East 31 Street with Martin Merlo (a brother of Mike Merlo)

International Hod Carriers Building and Construction Union Local 286 president Joseph D’Andrea
In 1911 Joseph D’Andrea (no family of Antonio D’Andrea) was elected president of Local 286 of the International Hod Carriers Building and Construction Union. Joseph D’Andrea appointed Antonio D’Andrea the Local treasurer and business agent

Chicago: John Torrio
In 1912 Torrio married the Jewish Anna Jacobs, they lived in a large leased apartment on the South side.

Chicago mobster Big Jim Colosimo
Black hander Sunny Jim Cosmano also tried to shake Big Jim Colosimo down for $10,000 and Torrio's boys fired a shotgun into his stomach in 1912. He lived but lying in the hospital under police guard, detectives grilled Sunny Jim Cosmano day and night, they wanted to know who shot him and why. Troubled, Sunny Jim asked one of his visitors, a labor racketeer named Big Tim Murphy what he should do. Big Tim laid out the plan. Sunny Jim should have his boys come and visit, knock out the cops, drag Sunny Jim and bring him out of state for a while and that's what happened.

31 December 1911 was Joe Rebella (25 Reballa aka Rabella) shot and killed near 457 Hein Place

Little Italy
6 April 1912 was Frank Frank Lardo aka Tardo aka Tardio (31) shot and killed on Gault Court as he left a church meeting. Police arrested Baldasarro Cacioppo

Antonio Morici and his brothers Filippo Morici and Agostino Morici
In May 1912 was Antonio Morici’s bakery on Milton Avenue blown up and police find out Antonio Morici and his brothers Filippo Morici and Agostino Morici had themselves blown up the bakery for the insurance. Witness was the arsonist Ben Fink

Little Italy
2 June 1912 was Sam Lozallo (45) shot and killed

Little Italy
4 August 1912 was Joe Cina (40) shot and killed

Chicago’s Bella Napoli Café owner “Diamond” Joe Esposito
The Bella Napoli Café was run by Esposito’s enforcer Tony “mops” Volpe and was owned by Diamond Joe Esposito and was opened at 850 Halsted in 1913.

Chicago’s Bella Napoli Café owner “Diamond” Joe Esposito
In 1913 Esposito (41) married Carmela Marchese (16).

Oak Street ( Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
21 February 1913 was Giovani manelli (35) (Manolla) found with his head nearly severed at Oak and Crosby streets, two blocks from Death Corner

Little Italy
16 April 1913 was Giuseppe Pecoraro (30) shot and killed

Crosby Street ( Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
In April 1913 an unidentified man was shot seven times at Elm and Crosby streets

Capone’s nephew Charles Fischetti (in NY???)
Charles Fischetti was arrested in 1913 for the murder of Sidney Masser.

Little Italy
30 November 1913 was Giovanni Battaglia (21) stabbed to death by Giachimo Sciara

Little Italy
14 December 1913 was Michael Laporta (51) stabbed to death in home at Archer Avenue

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza friend Pucci killed
22 February 1914 was Anthony Pucci (24) shot and killed as he exited his saloon at 1031 Milton Avenue. Police believed that Pucci was murdered in revenge for his part in the recent murder of Charles Catolina in Urbana (Illinois)

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza killed
A moment later on 22 February 1914 was Chicago capo mafia Rosario Dispenza (44) shot and killed as he was examining the bloodstained street where Puccio had been killed and was as boss succeeded by Anthony D’Andrea
Chicago capo mafia Anthony D’Andrea

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) saloon owner and capo mafia Rosario Dispenza friend Barone killed
Victor Barone (Vito Barone??) a friend of the killed Pucci and Dispenza was shot and killed 2 days later (so 24 February 1914), he was a wine merchant at 1024 Cambridge Avenue (the new name for Gault Court) and a suspected Black hand member

Little Italy capo mafia Anthony D’Andrea

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
21 March 1914 was Antonio Montalbano (35) shot and killed in the rear of 881 Milton Avenue. His brother Stephano Montalbano swore revenge

Little Italy
23 March 1914 was Santo Labruzzo (43) shot and killed in front of his home at 1156 Cambridge Avenue (the new name for Gault Court)

Little Italy
2 August 1914 was Samuel Scaletta (40) shot and killed

International Hod Carriers Building and Construction Union Local 286 president Joseph D’Andrea killed
16 September 1914 was Joseph D’Andrea (36) shot and wounded and died days later and the new president became Antonio D’Andrea (no family)
International Hod Carriers Building and Construction Union Local 286 president Antonio D’Andrea

Little Italy
21 November 1914 was Frank Romano (34) shot and killed by Tony Bertucci in self defense

Little Italy
Salvatore DiAgostino (50) was killed 10 January 1915 and his brother Antonio DiAgostino swore revenge

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
1 March 1915 was Sam Moleno (31) shot and killed while walking with Paul Toreno at N. W. corner of Milton Avenue and Elm Street

Chicago based Pietro Catalanetto “King of the Black hand”

Pietro Catalanetto “King of the Black hand” killed
Pietro Catalanetto, the alleged leader of a gang of fifteen Black hand members , and his underboss Pietro Barone

Locascio (Locassis) family
Angelina Locascio and her sons John Locascio, Michael Locascio and Joseph Locascio

Angelina Locascio (Locassis) son in law Joseph Igno
Angelina Locascio (51 and the mother of Michael Locascio) had already in about 1913 helped police when they investigated the murder of her son in law Joseph Igno

Joseph Locascio suicide
Joseph Locascio was married with Maria Catalanetto (the daughter of the Black Hand boss Pietro Catalanetto) and committed suicide

Pietro Catalanetto “King of the Black hand” killed
Pietro Catalanetto, the alleged leader of a gang of fifteen Black hand members , was shot and killed 11 June 1915 at 1228 North Sedgwick (Lincoln park??). The next day police identify Michael Locascio as the killer

Angelina Locascio killed
When confronted by police Angelina Locascio (51 and the mother of Michael Locascio) promised to tell all she knew but one hour before she would testify she was shot and killed 12 June 1915 as she sat on the doorsteps of her home. Detectives Gabriel Longobardi and Julian Bernacchi suspected Pietro Barone the underboss of the killed Pietro Catalanetto

John Catalanetto killed
18 November 1916 was John Catalanetto (26) killed on the Belmont Avenue streetcar, he was the son of the killed boss Pietro Catalanetto. Police suspect John Locascio (the brother of Pietro Catalanetto’s killer Michael Locascio).

Little Italy capo mafia Anthony D’Andrea

Little Italy
14 September 1915 was Tony Romano (38) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
27 September 1915 was Vito Costolluzzo (52) shot and killed while passing front of 1129 Milton Avenue

Little Italy
26 October 1915 was saloon keeper Agostino Giovenco (24) killed

Little Italy
29 December 1915 was Vincenzo Monco (41) killed

Little Italy
10 February 1916 was Nick desimone (32) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
15 February 1916 was Gennaro Scrimmento (34) shot and killed in Milton Avenue

Taylor Street based Little Italy (Near West side)
21 February 1916 was Frank Lombardi (48) shot and killed in his saloon at 1120 W. Taylor Street

Little Italy
11 April 1916 was George melcia aka Russ (35) shot and killed

Little Italy
4 May 1916 was Antonio Militello (49) shot and killed on Elm Street

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
7 July 1916 was Frank Gerambis (23) shot and killed and Frank Spezelle (30 and died 12 July 1916) wounded at Hobbie Street and Milton Avenue by Paul Giglio

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
4 September 1916 was Charles Davarca (33) shot and killed in front of his grocery store at 840 milton Avenue by Phillip Scaletta (29 may 1934 killed in Cicero)

9237019869?profile=originalMilton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
22 November 1916 were Frank DiLeonardo (45) and Tony Gariti (45, photo right) shot and killed while passing alley entrance on Hobbie Street between Milton Avenue and Townsend Street

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
26 November 1916 was Joseph Duvardo (28) shot to death in front of 851 Milton Avenue

Little Italy
7 December 1916 was Paul Cosmano (26) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
28 December 1916 was Peter Parrino (49) shot and killed through front window of a poolroom at 868 Milton Avenue

Chicago’s Bella Napoli Café owner “Diamond” Joe Esposito
10 April 1917 Conceno Coletta (29) wounded Sam Esposito in the Bella Napoli Café after which Joe Esposito’s bodyguard Charles Baces (31) shot and killed Conceno Coletta who shot back and also killed Baces.

Elm Street (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
16 April 1917 was Tony Cali (40) shot and killed on Elm Street

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
29 April 1917 was Joseph Cutaia (28) shot and killed in front of 852 Milton Avenue

Oak Street (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
23 June 1917 was Frank DeMaria (27) shot and killed at oak Street. Police held Peter Saitta (Sciatto)

Little Italy
1 July 1917 was John Alongi (30) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
24 September 1917 was Frank Marino (20) shot and killed in front of 1018 Milton Avenue

Little Italy
13 February 1918 was Thomas galiato (45) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
18 April 1918 was Rosario Cutroma (28) shot and killed in front of 872 Milton Avenue

Little Italy
19 may 1918 was Damiano Plumeri (45) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
8 September 1918 was Joseph Albanese (39) shot and killed on west side of Milton Avenue

Little Italy
30 November 1918 was John Feannaca (38) shot and killed

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
12 January 1919 was Joseph Introvaia (23) shot and killed near Milton Avenue

Milton Avenue (Little Italy) near "Death Corner"
21 June 1920 was Nick Valenti (30) shot and killed in front of 900 Milton Avenue

Little Italy
7 April 1921 was Sam Caruso (28) shot and killed

Morici brothers and Joseph Novello

James B Moore (54) was shot and killed 24 August 1914 in a holdup by Lorenzo Spigola and Nicols Gattuso and also arrested was Joseph Nevello (Novello)

In May 1915 police sergeants George de Mar and Joseph McGuire arrest suspected Black hand member Tony Titcola but the policeman were then shot at by Joseph Novello and John Barone who wounded McGuire after which all three escaped.

An anonymous letter accused Novello of the murders of William Moore, Fanny Bracciavento, Pietro Castello and detective Frank Daly.

Novello and Barone were arrested and served 4 years after which they came free

While Novello and Barone were in prison was Tony Titcola shot and killed in September 1918

Novello and Barone came free and tried to extort the brothers John and Michael Gagliardo the owners of a wholesale grocery business on West Randolph Street. 5 February 1919 Peter Montalbano (cousin of John Gagliano’s wife) (family 21 March 1914 killed Antonio Montalbano??) told the gagliardo brothers he was sent by Novello to collect 1000 dollars from them. They refuse and were soon shot at and when police arrived they found Gagliardo in conference with Augustino Morici an other West Side whole sale grocer

18 February 1919 police arrest Novello at the house of Augustino Morici with a gun. It is believed Morici was behind the attempt to extort the Gagliardo brothers. John gagliardo testified and Joseph Novello received 5 years prison.

8 September 1919 was John gagliardo (31) shot and killed with his chauffeur Charles Ramondy (Raymond) (22) in a grocery store at 900 North Milton Avenue

Chicago Macaroni Company run by A. Morici Co and Giuseppe Matalone (the founder of Contadina Foods) wholesale grocers 2148- 80 Canalport Avenue

Giuseppe Matalone his sons were Joseph Matalone, Steve Matalone and Fred Matalone (61 when he died 1944 and his wife is Mary Scarpace)

Chicago Macaroni Company president Fred Matalone, vice president Philip Morici, secretary Stephen Matalone and general manager Antonio Morici

Pietro Morici and Anna Di Vita had as son Salvatore morici who married 27 July 1931 Domiana (Mamie) Panzica (her father is Francesco Panzica and mother is Corcifissa “Rose”)

Francesco Panzica owned a grocery store on the corner of Emerald and 26th Street and his brothers were Calogero and Giuseppi Panzica and their sisters were Domenica (Miga) and Fania Panzica

In 1919 the owners of the largest macaroni concerns in Chicago (Viviano, Caravatta, Morici, Varco, Arrigo, Mataloni, D’Amico, Alghini and Fresci Salduto) met in the offices of the Chicago Italian Chambers of Commerce to form an association of macaroni manufacturers for the Chicago area

Chicago based Unione Siciliano boss D'Andrea

Chicago: Black hand boss D'Andrea
In 1916 the Black hand boss Anthony D’Andrea tries to be chosen into a political position in the 19th district of Chicago that is better known as the Bloody Ward and there also lays Little Italy which was the domain of the Irish Johnny Powers whose man James Bowler opposed D’Andrea in the elections.

Genna family
Powers Italian supporter Frank Lombardi was in his Taylor street saloon killed 21 February 1916 by Samuel Amatuna (17) on the orders of the Genna brothers at the orders of D'Andrea, but D’Andrea loses the elections

Chicago based Unione Siciliano boss D'Andrea
In 1919 Anthony D’Andrea became head of the Unione Siciliano in Chicago. He becomes with that the leader of Black Hand members like Samuzzo Amatuna, Salvatore Cardinella, Cosmano and the Genna brothers. Soon they want to extort saloon owner “Diamond” Jim Colosimo but he is married to the aunt of John Torrio (formerly a member of the Five Points Gang and a friend of Uale).

Chicago based Unione Siciliano boss D'Andrea at war with alderman John Powers
In 1919 the Gennas are most important in Little Sicily and turn their interest to the West Side where John Powers has the political power.

Chicago Crime Commission (CCC) started
In 1919 the Chicago Crime Commission (CCC) gets started.

Charles Gloriana Gang

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??

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

Charles Gloriana Gang
17 January 1921 were believed Gloriana members Joseph 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.

Black hand boss Cardinelli

Black hand boss Cardinelli
24 June 1919 were saloon owner Andrew P. Bowman (58) and Ben Wendell (35) shot and killed.

Black hand boss Cardinelli
14 October 1919 Sam Cardinelli’s gang robs a pool hall and Frank Campione shoots to death saloon owner Albert C Kublanza and they flee in their car stirred by Santo Orlando who was found shot to death 10 days later in a canal.

Black hand boss Cardinelli
15 July 1921 Salvatore Cardinelli “The Devil” and his capos Nicho¬las Viana “the Choir Boy” and Frank Campione get convicted for murder and hung. Also arrested were Thomas Errico and Leonard Crapo.


Yellow cab driver Thomas Skirven killed by Checkers cab men
Once Checker cab driver Philip Fox arrived at the Checker garage, Fox and Stuben were told to take the back seat inhabitants of a Stutz touring car on a survey of neighboring Yellow cabstands. The fact that the occupants in the rear seat of the Stutz were concealed by curtains did not concern the two cabbies who proceeded to the Yellow cabstand located at the corner of Roosevelt Rd. and Kedzie Ave. Once they arrived the concealed men, Charles Goldstein, James Mogley aka Jimmie Mogley and Max Podolsky opened fire on the waiting Yellow cabs, fatally shooting Yellow driver Thomas Skirven. June 10, 1921 Philip Fox, Checker driver, who repudiated his confession that he was in the cab from which Thomas Skriven, a Yellow driver, was slain, was booked at the detective bureau on charges of murder and assault to kill.

Daniel McGeoghegan gang

Daniel McGeoghegan
14 December 1921 was Terry Sullivan (21) shot and killed when Daniel McGeoghegan tried to disarm him

Daniel McGeoghegan
John Walsh aka Danny McGeoghegan. He had been indicted for the $11,000 robbery of the Pulaski Building and Loan Association in which the treasurer, Michael Swiontkowski (65), had been shot to death 19 March 1925.


Chicago’s South side based Spike O'Donnell gang
7 September 1923 the brothers Steve O’Donnell, Walter O’Donnell and Tommy O’Donnell go with their men George ¬Bucher, George Meeghan and Jerry O’Connor to several bars to convince the owners to buy their beer instead of Torrio's. The six men smashed up some bars and bar owner Jacob Geis and his barkeeper Nick Gorysko were put into the hospital.

Chicago’s South side based Edward “Spike” O'Donnell gang at war with Saltis McErlane
Finally they went to the bar of Joseph Klepke where their brother Spike O’Donnell waited and gave him the orders for beer from the bars. Suddenly armed cop agent Daniel McFall entered (a member of Ragen’s Colts) and everybody tries to escape. Jerry O’Conner went for the back door but when he opens it he was shot in the face with a shotgun by the waiting Frank McErlane.

Chicago’s South side based Spike O'Donnell men killed
17 September 1923 Joe Saltis, Daniel McFall, Thomas Hoban and Frank McErlane shoot to death from their car O’Donnell’s men George Bucher (26) and George Meegan (23).

Chicago’s South side based Spike O'Donnell man killed
18 September 1923 was Tony Raymond killed, possibly by Saltis McErlane gang.

Chicago’s South side based Spike O'Donnell men killed
1 December 1923 McErlane shoots with William Channell (once convicted of killing a woman and out on parole, 2 December 1911 was Hattie Kaufman , 35, shot and killed in a robbery, Rabinau gets life, John Stacey, William Channell and Fredrick Boneham get 25 years) at a beer transport of the O’Donnell gang and kills Thomas “Morris” Keane and wounds William “shorty” Egan.

Willie Niemoth (Neymoth)
Willie Niemoth was indicted for the 1 December 1923 murder of Maurice Keane.

Chicago’s South side based Spike O'Donnell
5 December 1923 was Dominic Armato killed because he was suspected of being one of the killers of Keane.

Chicago femme fatale Mary Margaret Collins

John Sheehy girlfriend Mary Margaret Collins
7 December 1923 John Sheehy aka George Thomas (27) and girlfriend Mary Margaret Collins (23) were in The Rendezvous café at 626 Diversey Parkway and Sheely shot and killed there barkeeper Henry Bing (49) and steward Leopold Guth (62) after which patrolman John O’Malley shot and killed Sheehy


Chicago’s South side based Spike O'Donnell
18 December 1923 was roadhouse owner Homer Finch killed by Spike O’Donnell gang.


Checker Taxicab Manufacturing Company president Morris Markin
6 June 1923 was union organizer Frank Sexton shot and killed allegedly by Jack Rose. The following day was Checker Taxicab Manufacturing Company president Morris Markin’s home bombed.

John Foley and Daniel Stanton
9 February 1924 were Leo Gistenson (28) and Israel Jack Rapport (27) shot and killed in the Checker Cab Garage. Police wanted to arrest John Foley, Daniel Stanton, James Mogley, Dave Ostren, John Charbo and Sid Gordon aka Sidney Morley

Frank Sexton killer Jack Rose was himself shot and killed 20 April 1924 by Patrick Sexton the father of Frank Sexton


Frank McErlane
4May 1924 was Thaddeus Fancher killed by McErlane friends john O’Reilly and Alex McCabe, for which later Frank McErlane was indicted. Frank Cochran the state witness was murdered

Walter O’Donnell
4 July 1924 was Alfred Deckman killed by Walter O’Donnell

VINCI BROTHERS and Calumet City boss Genero aka Annoreno

West Hammond changed its name in 1923 to Calumet City

Chicago’s Vinci brothers of the Southwestern side
There were the brothers James “Jimmy” Vinci (killed 18 July 1925), Sam Vinci, Philip Vinci and Michael Vinci (killed 20 November 1925).

Mike Vinci
16 December 1924 was James Amedes (18) shot and killed by Mike Vinci who was unloading his rifle

James Vinci killed
18 July 1925 was Joseph “Joe Machinegun” Granato (27) shot and killed by James Vinci and he himself shot and killed James Vinci (31)

Mike Vinci killed
Mike Vinci (25) was killed 20 November 1925 by Joe Genero aka Annoreno.

Sam Vinci
Police question John Minatti about the murder of Mike Vinci, when the court frees him 21 November 1925 Minatti (31) gets killed in front of court by Mike’s brother Sam Vinci. Sam Vinci declared he and his brother had done bootlegging with John Minatti. Sam Vinci got 26 years in Juliet prison.

Calumet City based Phil Bacino ran John’s Pizzeria
Phil Bacino ran John’s Pizzeria and was arrested at the 1928 Cleveland meeting under the name Tony Bello.


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

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.

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.

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, 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

Chicago femme fatale Mary Margaret Collins

Johnny Phillips girlfriend Mary Margaret Collins
John Phillips (30) and a friend got 27 August 1924 in a fight in the Northern Lights café and Phillips was shot and killed by patrolman Frank Sobal (Sobel)

Eugene “Red” McLaughlin (had later as girlfriend Mary Margaret Collins)
11 December 1924 was Homer Finch killed and accused were Eugene “Red” McLaughlin, Reggie Moran and Edward “Ted” Newberry


Willie Niemoth
In March 1925 were William Niemoth, sammon and William Dickman arrested.

Walter O’Donnell shot and dies
17 April 1925 was Walter O’Donnell shot while sticking up a road house and died 9 May 1925

Saltis McErlane
In July 1925 was George “Big Bates” Karl killed by Saltis McErlane gang

Chicago femme fatale Mary Margaret Collins

Irving “Sonny” Schlitz girlfriend Mary Margaret Collins
Eugene “Red” McLaughlin murders pilot Irving ‘Sonny” Schlig and west side gunman Harry Berman
Capone’s pilot Irving Sonny Schlig (21) and West side gunman Harry Berman (20) were found shot to death 28 august 1925 in a rock pit near the Ashburn Field (the air harbor in South west Chicago of the Illinois Acre Club) he had flown in booze for the Capone gang but had started for himself. Accused of their murder was Eugene “Red” McLaughlin


Chicago’s South side based Saltis McErlane gang
McErlane was officially suspected of the murder of William Dickman (34) who was shot and killed in 3 September 1925

Introduction of the machinegun in Chicago by Frank McErlane
leader Edward “Spike” O'Donnell was forced to leave Chicago after being severely wounded, by Frank McErlane, during a drive-by shooting on September 25, 1925 in which for the first time in Chicago was used a machinegun.

Once the O'Donnell's were eliminated, the Saltis-McErlane Gang attacked their ally the Ralph Sheldon 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.

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 killed at Isadore Paul's barbershop at 805 Roosevelt Rd. on November 10, 1925. Just as he stepped out of the barber's chair, two men walked in and each fired four times at Amatuna. The killers were reported to the Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci and Jim Doherty (a killer of 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.

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.

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 little 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.

17 July 1926 was Joseph Novello wounded.

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)

Chicago Heights

Chicago Heights boss Sanfilippo killed
In April 1924 was former alderman Antonino “Tony” Sanfilippo killed by his partners and Piazza becomes the new gang leader, police suspect as killer Lamberta.
Chicago Heights boss Phil Piazza

Chicago Heights boss Dominic Roberto
Piazza gets into war with the gang of Roberto and Emery who are supported by Capone and the Costello brothers. In 1925 police raid Piazza's Milano Cafe in Heights and found the largest still in Cook County.
Diamond Joe Esposito’s Milano Café in Chicago Heights??

Click here for Part 2 of Chicago: A Gangster History by Puparo

For more articles by Puparo check out his section at Gangsters Inc.

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  • My Great Grandfather Frank Scarlato. A turning point in the Family history... There's quite a story behind the name change and his ultimate demise.


  • Those were very bloody years indeed.

  • the heyday for gangsters, not many got to see their twilight years though.

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