Unsolved Chicago Mob Porn Racket Murder From ’80s Gets New Look In Grand Ave. Probe, Sources Claim

According to sources, the 1985 murder of Chicago mobster and porn king Patrick (Patsy Rich) Ricciardi is one of the many cold-case gangland hits being probed in an ongoing federal racketeering investigation of current Outfit leaders. The inquiry’s principle target is alleged to be reputed Grand Avenue crew chief and overall street boss Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena. Upwards of a dozen unsolved mob homicides are getting a fresh set of eyes, per sources Patsy Ricciardi, 59, was found shot twice in the back of the head in the trunk of a stolen car on the outskirts of Lincoln Park on July 26, 1985. He headed a large portion of the Chicago mafia’s pornography racket. Ricciardi and Albie Vena were both members of the Outfit’s now-shuttered Northside crew in the 1980s. The Northside crew merged with the Grand Avenue regime, sometimes called the Westside crew, approximately two decades ago. The man they called Patsy Rich never made it to the merger. He was slain for being a suspected informant. And maybe some other reasons, like a longstanding feud within the crime family over porn and the illicit sex trade. For years, the Northsiders and Westsiders fought for dominance in the Windy City pornography racket. The Grand Avenue gang planted a flag in the near Northside neighborhood of Old Town in the late 1960s. Repeated attempts by Northside soldiers to get a foothold in the area brought brewing tensions. Ricciardi’s slaying was one of three high-profile gangland hits in less than ten years connected to beefs in the Chicago porn business. Vena, 70, came up through the ranks of the Outfit as a ruthless enforcer for legendary Northside shot-callers like Lenny Patrick, Gus (Slim) Alex and Vincent (Innocent Vince) Solano. He beat a murder rap at trial in 1995, but remains a suspect in several high-profile Chicago gangland slayings. Ricciardi’s cousin was notorious mob killer and one-time Chicago mafia don Felix (Milwaukee Phil) Alderisio. In 1971, Ricciardi bought the Admiral Theatre on Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park section of the Northside and turned it into a porn palace. Per FBI records, he ran sports book and juice loan operations out of the Admiral, too. By the 1980s, the Admiral transitioned to a strip club. Ricciardi and the Chicago mob porn racket was the subject of two grand juries, first in 1979 and then again in the mid-1980s. In the months before he was killed, indictments were filed against mob-affiliated figures in the pornography industry out of Illinois, Ohio and Michigan for tax fraud. His absence from the indictment allegedly raised some eyebrows within the Outfit and rumors began circulating that Patsy Rich was a snitch. On the afternoon of July 24, 1985, Ricciardi took a cab from his office at the Admiral Theatre to a meeting he had at a bar on Webster and Halsted and never returned. Two days later, he popped up dead in the trunk of a boosted Oldsmobile near a viaduct under some elevated train tracks at Webster and Ashland. His killers had taken his shoes and $1,000 in cash out of his wallet.

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