There are members of law enforcement that think it’s possible the 2016 torture-murder of Chicago area businessman Jim Gerage was mob related. Two sources in different branches of law enforcement told Gangster Report that they view the Gerage homicide as having hallmarks of a mob hit.
Gerage’s beaten and battered body was found set ablaze in the backseat of his car in the Windy City’s Pilsen section on September 23, 2016. His official cause of death was “multiple physical assault wounds.”
Gerage was the owner of Omega Demolition Corp. in Elgin, Illinois and according to sources had ties to the Chicago mafia’s Grand Avenue Crew. What exactly those ties are and how much attention the FBI is giving the 43-year old Gerage’s murder is unclear at this moment.
Omega Demolition Corp. donated a combined $80,000 over eight years to a pair of election campaigns for Rosemont, Illinois Mayor Bradley Stephens and in 2014 was awarded a $200,000 city contract. The awarding of the contract to Omega Demolition Corp. raised some eyebrows, per sources.
In the months after Gerage was killed, Omega Demolition Corp. was smacked with a $150,000 penalty for negligence in the death of an employee on a job tearing apart a bridge on Interstate 90 near the Touhy Road exit in Des Plaines, Illinois. Omega Demolition Corp. was cited for health-code violations as well.
Going on more than five years now, the Grand Avenue regime and its leader, reputed capo and “Outfit” street boss, Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena, have been under investigation in a wide-scale racketeering probe, sources have long maintained. Part of the inquiry focuses on the reexamination of a series of cold-case mob slayings dating all the way back to the 1970s.
One source says some of Gerage’s family members used to be acquainted with the “Godfather of Grand Avenue” himself, Joseph (Joey the Clown) Lombardo, the Chicago mob’s former consigliere currently serving a life prison sentence from his conviction at the epic 2007 Operation Family Secrets trial. Up until his indictment in 2005, Lombardo was a nighty fixture at La Scrola, an upscale Italian restaurant located right next door to Richard’s Bar on Grand Avenue which is where Vena, 70, holds court most days.
The diminutive yet volatile Vena, a convicted violent felon suspected of taking part in several mob hits through the years and called by some the most feared man in the Windy City underworld today, took over as capo of the Grand Avenue crew in the late 2000s. The last few years he’s been running the entire Chicago mafia on a day-to-day basis on behalf of reputed Outfit don Salvatore (Solly D) DeLaurentis, per sources.
Some of the cold-case murders getting a fresh looksee from the feds, according to sources, include the slayings of underworld figures, Anthony (Little Tony) Zizzo, Leonard (Little Lenny) Yaras, Charles (Chuckie the Typewriter) Nicoletti, Charles (Chuckie English) Inglese, Anthony (Tony the Hatchet) Chiaramonti, Norberto (The Bull) Velez, Ronnie Jarrett and Allen Dorfman. Zizzo, the Outfit’s underboss, disappeared in August 2006 and was supposedly rendezvousing with Vena on the day he went missing to head to a mob sitdown on Rush Street he never made it home from. Teamster union pension fund king Dorfman’s murder was depicted in the 1995 movie Casino, another hit Vena has been tied as a suspect to.
The oldest mob rubout being looked at is the Chuckie Nicoletti hit from back in 1977. Nicoletti was a prolific Outfit hitman and enforcer linked to the John F. Kennedy assassination by conspiracy theorists. The most recent murder getting attention (not counting the possibility that the Gerage homicide could be getting a glimpse) is the slaying of Norberto Velez, a Wrigleyville bouncer and debt collector known as “The Bull” or “The Tank” for his muscle-bound frame and found shot to death in the hallway of his Northside apartment building on Thanksgiving night 2010.