November 9, 2019 — Aging Chicago mafia soldier, Joseph (Jerry the Hand) Scalise and his best friend and longtime partner-in-crime Art (The Genius) Rachel were recently released from federal prison after serving seven years on burglary charges. Local mobologist Chuck Goudie, the leading reporter on Outfit activities for years, broke the news of the releases as part of his award-winning I-Team on Channel 7 ABC-TV Friday night.
Scalise, 81, has been free since the summer. Rachel, also 81, was just put into a halfway house. The pair pulled off the infamous 1980 Marlborough Diamond heist in London, an armed-robbery in which Scotland Yard investigators never recovered the precious jewel, but Scalise and Rachel did over a decade in an Isle of Wight prison.
Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, Scalise was a member of the notorious Wild Bunch, an elite Chicago mob hit squad working out of the Outfit’s Cicero crew. The FBI considers him a top suspect in at least a half-dozen gangland slayings, all linked to his membership in the Wild Bunch.
In 2012, Scalise and Rachel were convicted for attempted robbery and racketeering after being caught on a wire planted inside Scalise’s car plotting to boost an armored-car and planning out a string of home invasions, including a break-in to deceased Chinatown capo Angelo LaPietra former residence in the Bridgeport neighborhood.
Scalise got his nickname “The Hand” because he’s missing four fingers on his left hand that is deformed due to a birth defect. He’s sometimes referred to on the street as “The Monk” as well. His arrest record is littered with a litany of offenses dating back to the early 1960s.
Scalise took a drug pinch in 1998 when he was nabbed for trying to purchase 20 kilos by an undercover FBI agent and did eight years behind bars. Upon his release, he was hired as a script consultant by acclaimed Chicago-born film director Michael Mann for his 2009 movie Public Enemies about famous Prohibition era outlaw John Dillinger.
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