by The Other Guy | August 29, 2020
The city of Chicago holds a special place in gangland. It always has! The “Windy City” has been at the very core of organized crime in this country since the first days of Prohibition.
Chicago, the town of Cicero, illegal bootleg booze and bathtub gin, Alphonse “Scarface Al” Capone, Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti, George “Bugs” Moran, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre are virtually synonymous with the early development of organized crime.
In fact, the very thought of Chicago most often conjures up images of machine-gun-toting gangsters and gangland murders, the most infamous, of course, being the historic St. Valentine’s Day Massacre where seven of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang got theirs in that damp garage that early morning back in 1929 from Capone’s boys…it’s just the way it is!
They were a formidable bunch of racketeers and gangsters. Their iron-clad control over their city of Chicago and its outer territories is legendary.
The Chicago Outfit’s reach extended to California and Hollywood itself, Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, and its strip of world-famous casinos as well as a near 100% “domination” of every labor union that functioned within the Windy City. Not just the “Locals” but right into the highest levels of the Internationals themselves. Prime examples of this are the Hotel, Restaurant & Bartenders Union, and the Laborers & Hod Carriers Union International, which were based in Chicago giving The Outfit control over those unions.
Chicago is the borgata that allowed all the other borgatas around the country to infiltrate the “Locals” in their respective areas… it is the way of Cosa Nostra, to share the “wealth” and spread around the influence of each Family in order to strengthen the over brotherhood.
They also held influence and operated in Arizona, Wisconsin, and other nearby states. Because the Chicago Outfit was the dominant Family in the midwest territories, they more or less held sway over many smaller Families and ran what amounted to a “second” small Commission from the later 1960s forward.
They kept in constant touch and communication with the larger Luciano/Genovese Family in New York City and worked in tandem with the New York Families in setting policy and enforcing the same.
We here at Button Guys thought it would be fun to compile thumbnail sketches to profile many of the Chicago Outfit’s more colorful mafiosi and gangsters who’ve operated on its streets through the years.
Most everybody is familiar with Capone, Nitti, and the more notorious in their bunch. What I thought would be more interesting would be to dig into the backgrounds of some of their “rank and file”: capos, soldiers, and non-member associates, both well-known and not so well-known, Italian or not, who formed the very backbone of who and what the Chicago Family was really all about… I hope you like it.
Antonio (Joe Batters) Accardo
aka “Big Tuna”
FBI # 1410106, Chicago PD # D-83436
He was born April 28, 1906 in Chicago. As he climbed in the rackets, Accardo would reside at 915 Franklin Street in suburban River Forest on the outskirts of Chicago. He married the former Clarice Evelyn Porter. Together they would have three children: Anthony Jr., Marie and Lindy Lee. Tony Accardo was arguably one of the most powerful members of the Chicago syndicate to ever operate. Starting out as a young gunman under Capone and Nitti, Accardo was thought to have done “plenty of work” in his early career. In fact, Accardo was thought to have been one of those handling the “Choppers” that faithful day when the Moran Gang was cut down on that bloody Valentine’s Day. Built solid at 5-feet 9-inchs tall and weighing 200 pounds, Accardo had a deadly reputation. His early arrest record included entries for gambling, concealed weapons, disorderly conduct, and murder investigation (twice). He listed employment as a salesman for Premium Beer Sales Inc., 2555 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago. As a top member of the Old Capone Mob, Accardo was familiar with virtually all major mob figures in the Illinois area and for that matter, all top mafiosi across the entire United States. But numbering among his inner circle was his lifelong partner Paul (The Waiter) Ricca, Sam (Mooney) Giancana, Jackie (The Lackey) Cerone, Murray (The Camel) Humphreys, (Greasy Thumb) Jack Guzik, Felix (Milwaukee Phil) Alderisio, and the Fischetti brothers. Accardo died on May 27, 1992 but for upwards of 60 years, Joe Batters was the ruling “Don” of the Chicago syndicate, whether he was in the “official” position of Representante, Underboss, Consigliere, or as the “Elder Statesman” who ruled over everybody else… he was the man. Period!
Joseph (Joe Doves) Aiuppa
aka “Joey O’Brien”
FBI # 951184
Born on December 1, 1907 in Chicago. He stood 5-feet 7-inches tall and weighed 185 pounds with thinning black-grey receding hair, brown eyes with glasses and a hawk-like face. He resided at 4 Yorkshire Drive, Elmhurst, IL. His criminal record dated to 1935: assault with intent to kill, criminal contempt of court before a Senate Rackets Committee, and interstate transportation of gambling devices (slot machines and gaming tables). Aiuppa was the longtime acknowledged gambling boss of Cicero. Aiuppa was behind The Turf Club – a Cicero gambling casino. He was a partner with other mob elements (Robert Ansoni and Joey DiVarco) in Taylor & Co., a manufacturer of gambling equipment. He was also a “director” and the hidden power behind Local # 450 of the Bartenders Union in Cicero. By the 1970s, Aiuppa was considered by the FBI to be one of three top mafiosi who ruled the Chicago Family, the others being Accardo and DeLucia (Ricca). He was actually named the “Acting Boss” at one point.
Felix (Milwaukee Phil) Alderisio
aka “Philip Alderisio”
FBI # 1021382, Chicago PD # D-62062
Alderisio was born on April 26, 1910, in Chicago. He stood 5-feet 9-inches tall and weighed 190 pounds. He had a medium build and soft hazel eyes which belied his reputation as one of the deadliest killers of the Chicago syndicate. Even into his later years, Milwaukee Phil was well-known as one of their top “enforcers” and hitmen. He was the married father of one son. His arrest record commenced in 1933 for bootlegging and auto theft, but he was knee-deep in bodies and narcotics trafficking for which he was known as a “financier.” He was also active in labor-union racketeering. Ostensibly, he was a partner with fellow soldier Albert (Obie) Frabotta in ownership of the Hickory House Restaurant located at 750 N. Rush Street in Chicago. He numbered among his top associates, bosses Tony Accardo, Mooney Giancana, Fiore (Fifi) Buccieri, and Marshall (Shoes) Caifano, all well-known hoodlums…his power was said to have emanated even from the grave. Mobster Sam (Sambo) Cesario was shot to death after Alderisio had died for daring to disrespect the mafioso by taking up with Alderisio’s former girlfriend. Legend has it that Milwaukee Phil had ordered his 1971 killing from beyond the grave.
Robert (Bobby Taylor) Ansoni
FBI # 178416
This little known mafioso was born on January 12, 1904. At 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighing 160 pounds with light brown hair and bespectacled brown eyes, Ansoni drew little attention to himself. One certainly wouldn’t have taken “Bobby Taylor” as one of the top gambling controllers of syndicate gambling in Cicero, but that’s what the feds had to say about him. He was alleged to be close to both Aiuppa and Accardo himself. He resided at 3320 Oldstead Road, in Riverside. He had a police record for attempted assault, speeding, and interstate shipment of gaming devices. He was a listed owner of Taylor & Co., the same gambling equipment manufacturing firm as Joey Aiuppa and Caesar Di Varco.
Salvatore (Teets) Battaglia
aka “Sam Rice”
FBI # 320614, Chicago PD # D-20339
He was born on November 5, 1906, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sam resided at 114 N. Ridgeland Avenue in the Oak Park suburb of Chicago. He stood 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighed 140 pounds, with blue eyes, grayish-brown hair and a light complexion. His record starts in 1924 for burglary, larceny, armed robbery, murder (he was a suspect in seven homicides), and possession of guns…Battaglia was a serious guy, as clearly evidenced by his police yellow sheet. He was never known to engage in any legitimate business. Top associate of mob boss Sam Giancana. He was also an intimate of Paul Ricca, Louis (Lou Farrell) Fratto, and Marshall Caifano. Battaglia was appointed “boss” over the West Side and oversaw the organization’s gambling and prostitution interests there. He was a regular at Giancana’s Armory Lounge, the de facto headquarters for many years of the Chicago mob, and Sam Mooney’s daily hangout. Once when subpoenaed before a federal grand jury, he invoked the Fifth Amendment 60 times not to answer a single question put to him. In 1967, Battaglia fell for 15 years on a Hobbs Act extortion case. That essentially took him out of the running for the “acting boss” position for which he had been a contender. He died on September 7, 1973.
Antonio (Tony) Bello
aka “Tony Cello” “Tony Bacino” “Philip Bacino”
FBI # 2020359, Cleveland PD # 32767
This little known mafioso was born back in Ribera, Sicily on January 4, 1902. After immigrating to the U.S., he settled in Calumet City where he resided at 14 163rd Street. Tony stood 5-feet 5-inches tall and weighed 170 pounds, with jet black hair and brown eyes. He had a limited but very serious police record for murder, liquor law violations (bootlegging), and conspiracy investigation. One of the higher-ranking mafiosi in the United States. He attended and was detained at the infamous 1928 Cleveland Mafia Meeting with top members of the Sicilian mafia. This was even before the formation of the national Commission in 1931 as we know it. He ostensibly operated John’s Pizzeria at 121 State Street in Calumet City but, in truth, was the overseer of several large gambling operations in that territory of Illinois. He numbered among his intimates Paul DeLucia, Anthony Accardo of Chicago. Giuseppe Profaci, Giuseppe Magliocco, Andrew Lombardino, and Emanuele Cammarata of the New York/New Jersey area, and Anthony Pinelli, Paolo Mirabile, Antonio Mirabile, and Frank Bompensiero of Southern California. Bello also held close ties to the borgata based in Elizabeth, New Jersey that would later become better known as the DeCavalcante Family. Many of its members including Giuseppe Lolordo hailed from the same town in Sicily as Bello.
Nathan (Moe) Biegler
aka “Roy Howard” “Moe”
Originally born on August 21, 1904, in New York City, Biegler relocated to Chicago where he became FBI # 587489, Chicago PD # D-22718. His arrest record started in 1932 and consisted almost exclusively of narcotics-related arrests. He had no less than three convictions for violations of the federal narcotics laws (heroin). He resided at the Pratt Lane Hotel at 1246 Pratt Blvd., Chicago. His makeshift headquarters was the Lakeside Tavern on South Lake Park in which he held an ownership interest. He numbered among his narcotics contacts the notorious Jewish traffickers Moische (Moe) Taubman and Jacob Klein. At one time, Biegler was considered one of the most important drug traffickers in the midwest. But regardless of the era, he was capable of supplying kilo quantities of heroin and opium from his previous associations with top Italian and Jewish narcotics smugglers on the east coast.
Dominick (Butch) Blasi
He resided for years at 1138 Park Avenue in suburban River Forest. Although a notorious ex-convict with an arrest record dating to 1932 for auto theft, counterfeiting, and possession of a machine-gun, Blasi was able to become a licensed real estate broker in the 1940s. He continued in the real estate business, and in 1966, opened up the Park Avenue Realty Company at 4907 Chicago Avenue in Chicago. Butch was a very close companion to boss Sam (Momo) Giancana and served for years as Giancana’s driver-bodyguard and de facto appointment secretary with other mobsters… he also became the prime suspect after Sam was shot to death in the basement of his own home by a silenced .22 caliber automatic “hitman’s” weapon. This was after Giancana was under subpoena by U.S. officials probing attempts by the CIA and Mafia to kill Cuban President Fidel Castro…I suspect the government was “cleaning house” as it were.
Dominick (Nags) Brancato
FBI # 732118, Chicago PD # C-26383
Born on February 26, 1906, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Arrests since 1928 for burglary, suspicion of murder, and armed robbery. He never married and had no known children of his own. He resided for years at the Commonwealth Hotel. He was also never known to be engaged in any legitimate business. At 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighing 170 pounds, Brancato was not an outwardly intimidating guy. But he was indeed one of the top enforcers of the Chicago Family working in tandem with Dominick DeBello and Dominick Nuccio. Together, they were notoriously known as “The Three Doms” and had all previously been strong-arm men and enforcers for the old Capone mob. They operated handbooks on Chicago’s near north side. They were also tasked with collecting the “shakedowns” from other handbook operators, dice games, shylocks, and prostitutes in that territory. He was also an intimate of boss Sam Giancana and soldier Rocco DeGrazia.
Marshall (Johnny Marshall) Caifano
aka “Shoes” “Joe Rinaldi” “Marshall Cafano”
FBI # 552863, Chicago PD # C-30104
He was born on July 19, 1911 in Chicago. By the 1950s, he was residing at 415 Aldine Street, Apt # 6-D, in Chicago. At 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighing 155 pounds with smooth features and brown hair and eyes, Caifano was a nice looking man. His appearance belied his reputation as one of the top killers and executioners of the Chicago syndicate. He had a brother, also a mobster, named Leonard (Fats) Caifano, who was murdered in 1951. Arrests included burglary, compounding a felony, and grand larceny. Never known to engage in any legitimate business or hold a job. He was tasked with overseeing certain gambling operations in both Chicago and Las Vegas. Caifano was a courier of sorts who was utilized to ferry messages and orders among their membership as well as other crime families. A good example of this was his constant contacts with Los Angeles boss Louie Dragna and Nick Licata. Close associate of Sam Giancana, Tony Accardo, Felix Alderisio, and Obie Frabotta. Caifano was another habitué of the Armory Lounge in Forest Park… he was also suspected of interstate wholesale heroin sales.
Leonard (Lenny Green) Calamia
aka “Lenny Calamis”
Born on January 11, 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri, Calamia resided at 1119 West Drummond Street in Chicago. FBI # 366116, Chicago PD # C35054. At 5’-4”, 140lbs soaked and wet, with a droopy face and eyes, looking at Calamia would conjure up anything but a “professional killer” for the mafia. But according to the FBI and FBN that exactly who and what he was. It was well documented that he was a wholesale heroin dealer and killer utilized for his talents and nerve. He was said to operate between Illinois and California ferrying kilos loads of drugs to mob-connected dealers on the west coast. He had a record that included truck hijacking, murder, and narcotics violations. Calamia was also suspected of being the finger man in the 1948 gangland killing of Nick DeJohn out in San Francisco. He was known to be associated with Dom Nuccio, and Al LaRocca of California.
Ermino (John) Capone
aka “ Johnny Ermino”
FBI # 282094, Chicago-PD # D-93525
Born on April 12, 1904 in Downtown Brooklyn, New York by the Brooklyn Navy Yards. He was the brother of the notorious Al Capone. After establishing themselves in Chicago, John resided at 5423 Hyde Park Blvd. He held business interests in the Steelco Drilling Co., in Chicago, and the Ocean Inn at Miami, FL. Also suspected of holding a hidden ownership in the Tradewinds Bar in Chitown. John Capone was said to be active in bookmaking and floating crap games in both IL and FL. Close associates included Ross Prio, Rocco and Joey Fischetti, Joe Fusco, Sam Giancana, Jimmy (The Monk) Allegretti, and Murray Hunphreys. Capone had arrests for investigation, suspicion of robbery, and bootlegging conspiracy. By virtue of his blood, John Capone always held an honorary spot in the Family despite his brother having retired years earlier.
Jack (Jackie the Lackey) Cerone
He was born in the city of Chicago on July 7, 1914. Resided at 2000 N. 77th Avenue in exclusive Elmwood Park. He stood 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighed 190 pounds.’ Bald pate with brown eyes and a stout build. He had an older brother who was also connected to the Outfit named Frank (Skippy) Cerone. Cerone was a highly trusted associate of boss Tony Accardo, Paul Ricca, and John DeBiase. Since 1932, he had over 20 arrests for traffic offenses, armed robbery, bookmaking, illegal gambling, embezzlement, and suspicion of a contract murder. Cerone held a legitimate position with Premium Beer Sales Co., and used his underworld position and reputation to expand beer sales and distribution throughout the Chicago area through fear and strong-arm tactics on behalf of Accardo and the syndicate. He started off as a driver for boss Tony Accardo and later became a protege of Sam Giancana. One of his more public displays of terror and depravity was his alleged participation in the torture-murder of loan shark “juice” collector William (Action) Jackson who was beaten, carved up, hung on a meat hook and then wet down and was repeatedly hit with an electric cattle-prod. It burned and seared his skin while the victim screamed out in pain for mercy from his captors. It was also said the Cerone and company stuck the electric cattle-prod up Jackson’s ass as a final act of degeneracy…nice guy that Jackie the Lackey! It was said for all his loyal service as a “sick fuck”, Cerone was later elevated to serve as the “acting boss” in the early 1980s. He was later snagged in a massive case against the Chicago, Kansas City, and Milwaukee Families for skimming $2,000,000 from Las Vegas casinos. He received 28.5 years on that conviction and died only several days after he was finally released on parole on July 26, 1996.
William (Willie Potatoes) Daddano
aka “Little Potatoes”
FBI # 1922776, Chicago-PD # D-30878
He was born in Chicago on December 28, 1912. He later resided at 8109 26th Street in the Riverside suburb. A daily visitor to Giancana’s Armory Lounge and one of Sam’s closer aides and associates along with Dominick (Butch) Blasi. Since 1936 arrested for burglary, bank robbery, and grand larceny. Daddano was never known to be legally employed or to hold interests in any legitimate business. Willie Potatoes had the well-earned reputation as a torturer and murderer and was widely considered one of the most dangerous killers among a slew of dangerous killers. Close associate of Giancana, Accardo, capo Frank LaPorte, James (Jimmy the Monk) Allegretti, and Joseph (Black Joe) Amato.
Rocco (Gramps) DeGrazia
FBI # 389499, Chicago-PD # D-26847
He was another original born on December 8, 1897 in Melrose Park, an area he’d operate in all his life. He resided at 171 25th Avenue, Melrose Park. He was married to Margaret but they had no children together. He also had a mistress named Etta Fisher and had one son by her named Nicholas. He had a record of nine arrests since 1914 for burglary, grand larceny, narcotics, and income-tax evasion. As a former bootlegger and Capone associate, DeGrazia was considered a respected member of the mafia and one of the gambling powers in that city. He owned a notorious gambling parlor called the Casa Madrid at 171 25th Avenue, the same address where he resided in an apartment above the club. He was a known associate of Rocco Fischetti, (Al Capone’s cousin), Al and John Capone, Anthony (Tough Tony) Capezio, Samuel (Teets) Battaglia, and gangster Claude Maddox.
Anthony (Peachey) DeLardo
Chicago-PD # C-17630
He was born on February 17, 1907 in Chicago. Resided at 6914 S. Marshfield in Chicago. He was suspected of a hidden interest in Coletti’s Celebrity Inn on South Ashland Avenue. Close associate of top capo Frankie LaPorte. DeLardo was a well-known strong-arm man for the Chicago mob. He was repeatedly arrested for murder over the years including being tried and acquitted for the gangland-style murder of Martin (Sunny Boy) Quick. In 1929, he was again tried and acquitted for assault with intent to murder police officer James Kelly. In 1933, he was finally convicted of conspiracy to intimidate Illinois state witnesses and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. DeLardo was considered by authorities to be one of the controlling interests on the south side. He was also said to own a sizable block of “stock” in the famed Mercury Record Corp., on 35 E. Wacker Drive in Chicago.
Felice (Paul Ricca) DeLucia
aka “Paul the Waiter”
FBI # 832514, Chicago-PD # D-78267
This iconic mafioso was born on July 10, 1898, in Naples, Italy. Since 1943, arrested for extortion, anti-racketeering act, and federal income-tax evasion. Resided at 1515 Bonnie Brae Place, River Forest, IL. He married Mary and they had two children: Paul Jr. and Mary. DeLucia was without question one of the most important mafiosi and racketeers in Chicago. He ranked and at times possibly outranked the likes of Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana. Other intimates included Rocco Fischetti, Jake Guzik, Charles (Chuckie English) Inglese, Eddie Vogel, Murray (The Camel) Humphreys, and (Golfbag Sam) Hunt. DeLucia was on par with “compare” Vito Genovese who was a fellow Napolitano, and Frank Costello. A highly respected mafioso, he was one of the controlling racketeers over all racket operations in Illinois. In the early 1940s, he was one of many top Chicago figures pulled into a highly publicized federal indictment charging a far-flung conspiracy to extort millions from several Hollywood major motion-picture studios out in California. They would all later be convicted and sentenced to 10-year terms in prison, but Ricca and the others would all make parole after 3 years. It was thought but never proven that they had bribed top government officials to gain their release. Frank Nitti shot himself in the head during this time at the prospect of going to prison in this same case. In 1959, he again served a three-year term for an income-tax evasion conviction. He also figured into a major, highly publicized extortion conspiracy against Hollywood movie studios out in California by the mob.
Dominick (Dom) DiBella
FBI # 305340, Chicago PD # 24186
He was born in 1902 in Franklin, Louisiana. He resided at 918 Wellington Avenue, Chicago. Since 1923, eight arrests for auto theft, murder, manslaughter, carrying concealed weapons….A very serious guy! DiBella was a “strong-arm”, plain and simple. He was a remnant of the old Capone mob, was very active in policy and horse bookmaking, as well as a specialist in shakedown-tactics. Along with Dom Nuccio and Dom Brancato, he was known as one of “The Three Dom’s”. They were entrusted with the weekly extortions of all independent underworld operators active within their bailiwick. He was known to hang around the various nightclubs and restaurants around State and Division Streets in Chicago proper.
Anthony (Tony Dee) DiChiarinte
aka “Tony Decca”
FBI # 1797682, Chicago-PD # C-87471
Heavyset at 200 pounds and 5-feet 10-inches tall with dark wavy hair and hazel eyes. He was born in May of 1918 in St.Paul, Minnesota. He lived at 6455 Longmeadow Drive in Lincolnwood, IL. He ostensibly was the owner-operator of A & S Auto Sales, Co., 601 W. Madison in Oak Park, IL. Since 1939, arrests and convictions including robbery, theft from interstate shipment, and narcotics. He was known by the FBN as an interstate narcotics violator with connections in New York City that allowed DiChiarinte to conduct a wholesale trade. Suspected sources of supply were Joseph Vecchio, Salvatore Pisano, and Carlo Urbanati.
Placidio (Joey Caesar) DiVarco
aka “Joseph DiVarco” “Little Caesar”
FBI # 1095466, Chicago-PD # E-33232
He was born on December 17, 1910, in Chicago. He stood 5-feet 5-inches tall and weighed a stout 170 pounds, with dark brown hair and eyes and an olive Mediterranean complexion. He resided at 4275 Jarvis, Lincolnwood, IL. One of the top mafiosi on the North Side for decades, in control of nightclubs, restaurants, gambling dens, etc. He was the owner of a glassware and dishwasher distributor at 405 N. State Street, that used muscle tactics to secure a near monopoly on that industry service to area businesses. DiVarco handled bookmaking and “juice loans” in his territory. His arrest record dated to 1937 and included one conviction for currency counterfeiting. Close associate of boss Tony Accardo, Jimmy Allegretti, Dom DeBello, and Joe Sica of Los Angeles.
Rocco (Rocky) Fischetti
FBI # 3854015
He was born on March 17, 1904 in New York City. One of the notorious “Fischetti brothers”, they were the cousins of the Capone brothers and had been born in the Downtown Brooklyn section of NYC. He resided at 3100 Sheridan Road, and/or 9356 Forest View in Evanston, IL. With his brothers Charlie and Joey Fischetti controlled most gambling operations in the city of Chicago under the auspices of the Chicago mob. He was considered by law enforcement as one of the six top mafia powers in the Windy City. A close personal friend of the iconic singer Frank Sinatra. His arrest record listed conspiracy, bootlegging, refusal to testify before a grand jury, and gambling. He was believed to have a silent interest in the Vernon Club in Lake County, IL., and held interests in several Miami Beach gambling casinos in the 1940s and 1950s. He numbered among his personal friends mob glitterati that included Frank Costello, Trigger Mike Coppola, Meyer Lansky, Vincent Alo, Jake Guzik, Tony Accardo, and Paul Ricca. Repeatedly questioned about his friendship with Sinatra and possible gambling interests in Las Vegas and the Cal Neva Lodge.
Luigi (Lou Farrell) Fratto
aka “Louie Fratto”
FBI # 1194703, Chicago-PD # C-77091
He was born on July 17, 1908 at Chicago, IL, but after first operating there decided to relocate to Des Moines, Iowa, where he resided at 115 Caulder Avenue. He had several arrests since 1933 for mail fraud and conspiracy. He was a well-known racketeer and close associate of top mobsters the Fischetti brothers, Sam Giancana, and Tony Accardo. He owned Superior Distributing Co., of 618 E. 2nd Street, Des Moines, Iowa. He was an active labor racketeer and the most influential mafia member in the state of Iowa during his tenure.
aka “Joe Carey”
FBI # 854516
He was born on May 6, 1902 in Chicago. The Chicago Crime Commission reported that Fusco’s police file disappeared from the Chicago PD files in the late 1930s. He was known to have had at least two convictions for violation of the National Prohibition Act while affiliated with the Capone Syndicate during the Prohibition era. A very influential mafia member. He was listed as the president of Merit Liquor Co., 372 W. Ontario Street. During 1959, he took over control of Kusper Liquor Corp., Fort Dearborn Wholesale Liquors, and Casey & Evans Wholesale Liquors, all of which were relocated to 36th and Racine Streets in Chicago. A top associate of Anthony Accardo, Paul Ricca, Joseph Fischetti, Charles Fischetti, Jake Guzik, Murray Humphreys, and other leaders of the Family.
Salvatore (Sam Mooney) Giancana
aka “Momo” “Sam Giancana” “ Mooney”
FBI # 58437, Chicago-PD # E-27465
He was born July 16, 1908, in Chicago. He was raised in a notorious Italian ghetto called “The Patch”, an area that produced many future members of the Chicago mob. He resided at 1147 Wenonah Avenue in Oak Park. Since 1925, he had 13 arrests on such charges as murder, grand larceny, auto theft, burglary, bootlegging, etc., and as of 1963 already had two felony convictions. He was long considered one of the most powerful members of the Mafia. He was also known as a very close friend of singer Frank Sinatra. Giancana was married for decades with three daughters but was still well known to have gone out for years with popular singing star Phyliss McGuire of “The McGuire Sisters”. He held interests in many varied businesses including the Forest Lounge, R & S Liquor Corp., Lohmar Vending Distributors Inc., all in Chicago. He had legal gambling interests and a shrimp business in Cuba. He was also long suspected of having hidden ownership in Las Vegas Casinos and the Cal Neva Hotel & Gambling Lodge in Reno, Nevada, that came under scrutiny by the Casino Control Commission probing underworld interests and Sinatra’s connection as a frontman for them in the casino’s ownership. Giancana held court for years from his de facto headquarters at the Armory Lounge. Among his closest aides were Dominick (Butch) Blasi and Frank (Strongy) Ferraro. By the mid-1970s he and fellow top mafioso Johnny Rosselli came under federal investigation for their collaboration with the CIA and FBI operatives in the “black bag” job attempted assassination of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. It was proven out that the CIA and the U.S. government had conspired with the American Mafia to kill Castro with the promise that the Mafia would be allowed to regain their ownership in Cuba’s casinos if they helped kill him for Washington…during the intense federal grand jury probes and open testimony, both Rosselli and Giancana would be murdered in the midst of this investigation. It was publicized in newspapers across the nation that Giancana was murdered by his associates. A more interesting and plausible consideration is that the U.S. Government and powers that be had him silenced. The same with Rosselli, who was found sawed in half and stuck in a steel drum floating in Biscayne Bay in Miami… So much for law and order, huh, folks?
Giuseppe (Joey Glimco) Glielmo
aka “Joseph Glimco” “Giuseppe Primavera” (TN)
FBI # 233623
He was born on January 14, 1909, at Salerno, in Campania (Naples), Italy, and was naturalized in 1943. He resided for years at 628 Selbourne Road, Riverside. He stood a stocky 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighed 170 pounds. Brown eyes and grey hair swept back. He was married to Lena and had a son and daughter, Joseph Jr., and Joan. Numerous arrests from disorderly conduct to murder, but no convictions. Repeated efforts to deport him back to Naples for falsification of a naturalization application were unsuccessful. Glimco was a labor racketeer extraordinaire with a nationwide reputation in labor-union plunder and jukebox racketeering. He was the longtime president of Local # 777 Chicago Taxi Drivers Union. He was also affiliated with Automatic Phonograph Distributing Company, located at 806 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago. A highly respected and very important figure within the hierarchy. On par with the likes of notorious New York labor racketeer Johnny Dio with whom had kept close relations. Additional close associates were Tony Accardo, Paul Ricca, Frank LaPorte, and Willie Daddano.
Frank (Al Brown) Laino
aka “Albert Bruno”
FBI # 256733, Chicago-PD # C-20378
Born on November 16, 1908 in Chicago. A bartender by trade. Laino was an “associate” of the Family. He resided at 4649 West Lexington Street, in Chicago. Since 1925: robbery, grand larceny, assault, murder, conspiracy, investigation. A lower echelon member serving under Rocco DeGrazia, Laino was considered a distributor of heroin supplied by DeGrazia and other mafia associates. Laino also had a reputation and was utilized by DeGrazia as a strong-arm man. Additional associates included soldier William Daddano, Frank Santoro, and Patrick Russo.
Daniel and John Lardino
Born in 1914 and 1907 respectively, the Lardino brothers were utilized as frontmen and strong-arms in the labor-union field. Both were listed as “business agents” for Local # 593 of the Hotel & Apartment Employees Union (a Capone dominated union). Danny’s criminal record started in 1943 for burglary, malicious mischief, drunken driving, and disorderly conduct. John’s record commenced way back in 1927 and included armed robbery, and criminal investigation counts. They were each closely affiliated with bosses Anthony Accardo and Joseph Aiuppa, John Cerone, Joseph Glimco, and Sam Battaglia. They mostly focused their activities on the North Side and employed muscle tactics against druggists, hotels, motels, apartment house owners, and others in related industries.
Angelo (The Hook) LaPietra
Born 1920 in Chicago to parents who hailed from the Campania (Naples) region of Italy. He had a kid brother James (Jimmy the Lapper) LaPietra who was his lifelong partner and mob sidekick. Together they would help wreak havoc across the Windy City’s “First Ward” and Cicero districts. He started off as a strong-arm and enforcer for the Outfit who quickly gained a reputation as a merciless killer and torturer of his victims. LaPietra was said to have actually enjoyed killing and being cruel. It was said that he concentrated his early efforts on expanding a loan shark business or “juice” racket into a large operation loaning money to desperate gamblers and other unfortunates and when they’d fall behind on their weekly payments, took a perverted glee out of beating and debasing them. Those who fell too far behind or incurred his wrath for other reasons were bound and gagged and hung on a meat hook like a side of beef. He would then beat them, use a sharp cutting blade to slice chunks of their flesh from their bodies, and sometimes put a blow-torch to them….medical examiners say that victims would typically die from suffocation from the steel hook lodged into their rib cages before the blow torch actually accomplished its dirty deed. He was a sick fuck, to say the least! It is how LaPietra earned his macabre nickname “The Hook”. (PS: I can only imagine how his brother Jimmy earned his nickname of “The Lapper”) LOL… Angelo had an extensive criminal record dating to 1939 for murder, kidnapping, and narcotics. It was said that he served directly under Family boss Joseph (Joey Doves) Aiuppa and had such men as the murderous Calabrese brothers Frank (Frankie Breeze) and his kid brother Nicholas (Slim) under his control. Frank Calabrese was among the “sickest puppies” of the entire Chicago Family. He was another deviant who enjoyed the act of not only killing but defiling his victims. In the early 1980s, LaPietra figured centrally in a massive federal indictment against the Outfit for its illicit control of several major Las Vegas Casinos. It was a multi-Mafia Family operation in partnership with the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Chicago mobs. The feds charged that since the 1950s-1960s, the mobsters had skimmed at least $2,000,000 from the tables of the casinos after securing badly needed Teamsters Pension Fund loans for the ownership of said casinos. In 1986, LaPietra, Aiuppa, capo Jackie Cerone, and several others for their “secret” ownership of the casinos. He received 16 years in federal prison. Aiuppa and Cerone got 28.5 years each. Angelo LaPIetra died in 1999 shortly after he was finally released from jail…. I don’t imagine too many tears were shed for this guy.
James (Cowboy) Mirro
Resided at 1548 South 61th Street, Cicero, IL. He was a well-liked “soldier” who had once served a 5-year prison term in 1966 for a conspiracy to possess and pass stolen money-orders. He once led police on a high-speed chase after getting pulled over for driving erratically. When the cop approached his vehicle “Cowboy” hit the car and led cops on a chase that reached speeds of almost 90 MPH through residential neighborhoods before he was subdued. They charged him with drunk driving, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a policeman, and speeding of course lol….”The Boys” obviously gave Mirro the perfect mob nickname – “Cowboy”!
Dominick (Little Libby) Nuccio
aka “Ercoli Liberatori” (TN)
FBI # 559718, Chicago-PD # D-15232
He was born on April 9, 1895, in Chicago. At 5-feet 4-inches tall and weighing 135 pounds, with black hair and dark brown eyes, he was a quiet and unassuming presence. He had been married to Inez, and had two sons Dominick Jr. (who died), and Philip. He resided at 602 North Park Hotel in Chicago. His area of plunder was generally the North Side and The Loop where he held dominion. Since 1918, had arrests for murder (twice), burglary, assault to commit murder, violating internal revenue laws. He was partnered with Dom DeBella and Dom Brancato in overseeing the “shakedown” collections of all independent racketeers, as well as heading up horse handbooks and other gambling rackets. At one time, he owned a tavern but was not generally known to engage in legitimate business. Associates included Accardo, Fischetti, DeGrazia, Giancana, Leonard Calamia. A feared and respected hoodlum!
James (Jimmy the Monk) Allegretti
aka “James Policheri” (TN) “Monk” “James Millo”
FBI # 1500264, I&NS # A-5551562
He was born on May 31, 1905 in Oliveto Citra, Salerno, Italy (Campania region). He resided at 21 East Cedar Street, Chicago. He had arrests for counterfeiting and bootlegging. Allegretti was a more low-key mafioso who mostly kept his activities to bookmaking, policy, and fronting for mob-owned nightclubs around the Rush Street area. He handled the “police payoffs’ and collections from “Outfit” bookmakers. He owned Ciro’s Nightclub at 816 N. Rush Street. He was suspected of hidden interests in other area nightclubs and holding “points” in Las Vegas Casinos as well. Close associate of Paul Ricca, William Daddano, Frank LaPorte, Joseph DiVarco, John Capone, and Joseph Amato. Also friendly with the Sica brothers in Los Angeles.
Rosario (Ross Prio) Priolo
He was born in Sicily on May 5, 1901. After immigrating to the United States with his parents as a young child, Prio would quickly get involved in crime as a young man rising to eventually become an important “made” member of the Chicago Outfit. He was said to have accumulated a lengthy police record but somehow had it expunged from the records of the Chicago PD early on so his exact yellow sheet is murky. He was said to have been a key figure in the bribing and corruption of both policemen and law enforcement officials, as well as politicians. This “ability” to “reach” into high places to indemnify Chicago crime figures only added to his stature. Another key attribute was Prio’s reputed propensity for extreme violence and torture. He additionally was viewed as somewhat of a mob terrorist by law enforcement because of a bombing campaign he embarked on against a dairy farmer’s co-operative and milk producers in Illinois and Wisconsin during the late 1930s-1940s era. Ross Prio led the Outfit’s “push” into extortionate control over several major dairy and cheese manufacturing companies including the famous Reddi-Wip Corp., Gloverdale Dairies, Blue Ribbon Dairy Co., Gourmay Cheese Co., and the famous Grande Cheese Corp. These early “Dairy Wars” between several mob-connected firms would eventually lead to New York boss Joseph Bonanno interceding and gaining control of Grande, the industry leader even today in the manufacture and distribution of mozzarella cheese in America. Prio’s territory was primarily Chicago’s North Side where he was said to have control over all the B-girl “clip joints” and strip clubs, and “gay bars” and prostitution rackets. His troops also controlled certain gambling rackets within that territory. Prio was an intimate of capo Frank LaPorte, Murray Humphreys, and the overall boss himself Anthony (Joe Batters) Accardo. When Robert Kennedy brought Prio before a U.S. Senate Investigating Committee in the early 1950s, Prio invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege over 90 times when grilled about mob operations and his infiltration of major industries. Ross Prio died in 1972. By the time of his death, it was said that he was an extremely wealthy man, with ownership or hidden interests in the aforementioned dairy manufacturing firms, extensive real estate that included hotels, motels, and office buildings that provided him and his family with huge monthly rental incomes, a vending machine company, a finance company, and nightclubs. His massive wealth was such that he was even said to own extensive stock shares in several oil wells and a “points” in a Las Vegas casino….now THAT’S what I call real wealth.
Frank (Ozzie) Santore
FBI # 731130A
Born January 1, 1915 in Melrose Park. Resided at 7508 W. Harrison Street in Forest Park, IL. Frequented the Casa Madrid and was an intimate and known narcotics distributor for soldier Rocco DeGrazia. Since 1951, Santore had several arrests and convictions for federal narcotics laws violations. A known wholesaler of heroin under the auspices of DeGrazia. He worked in tandem with Patrick (Buck) Russo, Jack Rizzo, Joe Bruno, Michael Stasi, Frank Panatera, James Russo, and others receiving their supply from top violators in New York City.
James (Turk) Torello
aka “Jimmy the Turk”
He was born on December 15, 1930 in Woodbridge, Illinois. A hulking framed hoodlum, Torello served for years as one of Chicago’s leading enforcers. He had a serious arrest record dating to 1945 for auto theft, armed robberies, truck hijacking, burglary, and possession of a firearm. He served a short two-year bid for a gun as a young hood. He was suspected in numerous killings ordered by the hierarchy, and eventually gained the position of “captain” over a crew of soldiers and associates specializing in strong-arm work, gambling, “juice loans”, and porno shops. With his growing position and wealth, The Turk bought a home out in Palm Springs, California, but he never got to enjoy the spoils of his bloody efforts. He died of cancer in April of 1979. He was only 49 years old.
Of course, there were so many other top mafiosi and hoodlums connected to the Chicago mob that it would be a monumental task to list them all. But some of the more dangerous hoods with colorful names were Fiore (Fifi) Buccieri and his brother Frank (The Horse) Buccieri, Alfonso (The Pizza Man) Tornebene, the aforementioned gambling boss Samuel Cesario who was later killed, loansharks William (Wee Willy) Messino and James (Turk) Torello, Teets Battaglia’s aide Joseph (Joe Shine) Amabile, gambling boss and loanshark Joseph (Joe Gags) Gagliano and his aide Chris Cardi, north side leader Rosario (Ross) Prio, the Inglesia brothers – better known as Charles (Chuckie) English and his sibling Sam (Butchie) English, Lawrence (Larry the Hood) Buonaguidi, Mike Glitta, Joseph (Joe Nagells) Ferriola, Frank (Strongy) Ferrara who served for a time as underboss to Giancana, Samuel (Wings) Carlisi, John (No-Nose) DeFronzo, Joseph (Joey the Clown) Lombardo
Many of the aforementioned would serve in the hierarchy of the borgata as the years went on as either boss, acting boss, or underboss (with Accardo and DeLucia in the background pulling the strings of course), the executioner Charles (Chuckie) Nicoletti, the screwball loan shark Samuel (Mad Sam) DeStefano and his brother Mario who took a sick perverted pleasure out of abusing and torturing people, Rocco (The Parrot) Potenza… this list could go on and on naming top guys because at their peak the Chicago Family and all its top-flight non-Italian associates collectively could hold their own with anybody, and were stronger than most other Families in the country.
As late as 2003, the FBI was suggesting that capo James (Little Jimmy) Marcello was now at the helm steering the “Windy City” Mob ship. But he too would soon fall in the “Family Secrets” case along with Joey Lombardo and most of the remaining hierarchy of the Chicago syndicate.
Today, the Chicago crime syndicate is but a wisp of what they once were. In fact, the Chicago Family or “Outfit” is in worse shape than the New York Families, Philadelphia and New England as well. A once extremely powerful organization has fallen on hard times. Between death and attrition, and a changing Illinois demographic and mindset, as well as law enforcement’s unrelenting investigations and indictments, the Chicago Family, or what’s left of it, is on its knees.
But without a doubt, once upon a time, not so long ago, the Italian criminal organization formed from the ashes of the old Capone mob of the 1920s Prohibition era was one of the premier players in the American underworld landscape.
Until the next time folks…. “The Other Guy”
This article was originally posted “here“