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Chicago Crime Now & Then Presents A Couple of 1980’s Mob Hits

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

This morning we present a pair of clips from our series “Chicago Crime Now & Then” that can be found on ChiTownView / YouTube.

Charles Carmen Inglesia or as he was more commonly known as Chuckie English was at one time a high ranking mobster and close personal friend of one time outfit boss Sam Giancana. They grew up as neighbors as kids and rose through the ranks of the Chicago underworld. He was at the height of his power in the 1960’s and early 70’s. His record distributing company Lormar controlled what records were put in jukeboxes in the Chicago area and beyond. He also made high interest juice loans and woe came upon those that did not pay up.

After Giancana was whacked in his home, right before he was slated to testify before Congress about the Kennedy assassination, Chuckie saw his career go into decline and it was suggested he leave town. He did for a few years but in the early 80’s he was allowed to return and run some low level action. This seems to have been a mistake.

On Valentines eve February 13, 1983 Chuck went up to Horwaths with an old friend and dined on roast pig. After they finished they went into the parking lot and as Chuckie reached his car two men in ski masks walked up and opened fire killing him. Following that they run off into the alley behind the restaurant and were never caught.

Horwaths was a favorite meeting spot for leaders of the Chicago mob as it was in the neighborhood where most of them lived. English, Giancan, Tony Accardo and Paul Ricca all lived within a mile. It began as a roadhouse / speakeasy in the 1930’s and was known as a place where good friends come to meet. Horwath’s also made an appearence in a 2003 episode of West Wing. Although it was a stand in for a Dayton Ohio eatery.

Horwaths is gone now replaced by another box store so another little slice of history, and a pretty cool neon sign, are gone. When Horwaths was there the position of the sign, parking lot and sign are reversed from the layout of Staples today.

The Chicago mafia unlike their counterparts in NY was open to non Italians who showed the right stuff. Ken Eto like his father before was a gambling racketeer for the mob. His specialty was operating a Latin version of the numbers game called the Bolita. Even though the state of IL. had introduced the lottery during the 70’s there were still enough players loyal to Eto’s racket that he was still employing nearly a hundred workers to operate it in the early 80’s. Then he got indited by the Feds for felony gambling and for the first time in his life was looking at serious jail time. Not a good thing.

On the evening of February 10, 1983 Ken received an early Valentine gift from some old friends. He was sitting in his car in the parking lot of the Mont Clare theater meeting with a couple of associates when they pulled out guns and pumped hot lead into him. They quickly exited the car and headed towards a waiting car.

A little too quickly though because they didn’t finish the job because despite having a bullet in his head he was able to get out of the car and stagger into a nearby drug store. He lived and ended up turning on the mob and “singing” for the government. In fact this hit along with the botched coverup of the Spilotro hits proved to be the undoing of the Chicago mob in the final years of the 20th century. For while the Chicago outfit is still around they are not the force they were.

The Montclare and the drug store are both gone now as this quite little stretch of Grand Ave. gets redeveloped. It is in an area of the “Mafia riviera” of near western suburbs where the Italian gangsters relocated as they became wealthy. They settled in towns like Oak Park, River Forest and Elmwood Park.

The Cotton Club, Al Capone’s Cicero Jazz Hot Spot As It Looks Today

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Uploaded by on Oct 30, 2011
Al Capone owned along w/brother Frank a number of speaks and bars in Cicero during the 1920’s. None were as famous as the Cotton Club located at 5542 W. Cermak. The club was a real hot spot, a favorite with Chicago mayor Bill Harrison even though booze was being sold there.  They were one of the few places where whites could come and see the top black performers of the day. Artists like Milton Mezzrow, Judge Hinton, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellingon, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and even Milton Berle got his start here.

This clip is part of the series “The Outfit Now & Then” produced by MindsiMedia and presented on ChiTownView’s YouTube station. We show a mixture of crime scenes and homes associated with different Chicago mobsters and tell a little history with each clip.  On our blog we have started posting a history of this organization that for many years had an incredible amount of influence and power over the second largest city in the country. While this may have been true for most of the big cities the level of influence in Chicago and many nearby suburbs was much stronger. In the HBO series Boardwalk Empire they have a storyline that is based the Chicago outfit and that’s where we start our series.

Follow this link to our blog then link up to different videos from there.
https://mindsimedia.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/the-outfit-a-look-at-big-jim-scarface-momo-the-rest-of-the-chicago-mob-part-1/

In researching our information we have come across some great sources. MyAlCaponeMuseum is a one for Chicago underworld history they provide a wealth of information and have a lot of photos posted.
http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/index.htm  Another great resource is The Outlaw Journals:
http://www.babyfacenelsonjournal.com/index.html

MindsiMedia is an Internet broadcaster with a series of YouTube channels under development that cover a broad range of topics; history, music, art, politics and much more. Visit our web portal http://www.mindsimedia.info/

Fig Leaf Rag Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons
“Attribution 3.0″ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/”

 

The Hawthorne Hotel Machine Gun Attack On Al Capone

The latest clip in our Chicago Crime History Series

 This sunny tree shaded bank parking lot looks a lot different today than it did in the roaring 20’s. This stretch of Cermak Rd, was lined with hotels and businesses and was the nerve center for the Capone organization when they moved into Cicero following the 1924 Chicago elections.

 In 1926 the gang war between Al Capone and the north side gang then headed by Hymie Weiss was raging. Scarface’s driver was found tortured and murdered quickly followed by an attempted hit on Weiss in broad daylight in the Loop. The retaliation for that failed attempt was probably the most spectacular attack of the whole era. Outdoing the St. Valentines Day Massacre for it’s brazenness if not for it’s body count.

On September 20th a group of anywhere from 6-10 cars launched a ferocious machine gun attack on The Hawthorne Hotel on 22nd and Cicero Ave. in Cicero.. Fist there was a feint attack by one car to draw out any Capone gunmen than the rest of the cars cars rolled past putting more than a thousand rounds into the hotel and restaurant where Scarface was eating. He was saved by Frank Rio his bodyguard.

 Less than two months later Weiss would be gunned down in the assassination that that took place on the steps of Holy Name Cathedral. This is right across the street from the headquarters of the northsiders. Schofield’s Florist where the previous head Dion O’Bannion was killed in 1924. We have a video of both those sites as part of our collection.

 This clip is part of a series produced by MindsiMedia and presented on ChiTownView ‘s YouTube station. We are getting some Chicago crime history in HBO’s series “Boardwalk Empire” and more will be on display when the film version of Eric Larsen’s “Devil In The White City”. Our series shows some of the famous places in Chicago crime history as they exist today. While telling some of that history with each clip.

 Machinegun sounds via: http://www.audiomicro.com/

 Theme Music:
Constansy Part 2 Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons
“Attribution 3.0” http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 MyAlCaponeMuseum is a great resource on Chicago underworld history and has been used extensively in our series:

http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/index.htm

 Another great resource is The Outlaw Journals:

http://www.babyfacenelsonjournal.com/index.html

Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, Bullet Scarred From Capone Era Hit

The latest in our History of Chicago Crime series we are posting on ChiTownView.

The the roaring 20’s in Chicago was a time of open warfare between two powerful crimminal organizations each seeking to control the cities illegal vice industry. It was the south side Italians led ny Johnny Torrio then Al Capone against the northside Irish headed by Dion O’Bannion, Hymie Weiess, and Bugs Moran. In the end the Italians were victorious because they could deliver the big hit while the north siders blew there big chances. And this spot on Chicago’s near north side was the site of two of the biggest hits delivered by the south siders.

The second assassination spot is the one you see first on the video clip. The steps of Holy Name Cathedral was the site of the execution of “Hymie” Weiess then leader of the northsiders. Gunmen in a apartment across the street opened fire on Weiss and his enterouge. He was killed by a wild shot fired by his own bodyguard. You can still see marks on the cornerstone from bullets fired in the shooting.

The men were heading into a flower store across the street. Next door to the rooming house where the gunmen fired from. The flower store was owned by the gang and was the site of the hit on Dion O’Bannion who was the previous head of the northside gang, That had happened a couple of years earlier and resulted in the failed hits on Johnny Torrio and Al Capone. Taking us back to the second hit.

Of course the war between north and south would continue and three years later Capone would (allegedly) make his third big hit this time against Bugs Moran. But they missed their target and the outcry over the slaughter of so many at once was the downfall of Big Al. It would also result in a stronger, smarter organization headed by Paul “the Waiter” Ricca. One that would control the city and surrounding area for all practical purposes for almost forty years. It was in fact the most powerful crimminal organization in the country because of it’s local control.

This clip is part of a series produced by MindsiMedia and presented on ChiTownView ‘s YouTube station. We are getting some Chicago crime history in HBO’s series “Boardwalk Empire” and more will be on display when the film version of Eric Larsen’s “Devil In The White City”. Our series shows some of the famous places in Chicago crime history as they exist today. While telling some of that history with each clip.

Anyway there is a whole lot more to mad Sam’s story and a lot of the details are pretty gruesome more can be found here http://www.crimemagazine.com/mad-sam-destefano-mob%E2%80%99s-marquis-de-sade

MyAlCaponeMuseum is a great resource on Chicago underworld history and has been used extensively in our series:

http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/index.htm

 Another great resource is The Outlaw Journals:

http://www.babyfacenelsonjournal.com/index.html

Indi Mob Flick Blackstone; Chicago, Mafia CIA, Kennedy Assassination

March 5, 2011 1 comment

 

Chicago film maker Vito Brancato has created a nice little story of historical fiction with Blackstone. This 2004 film centers on a fictitious assassination of JFK by the Chicago mob ant the behest of the CIA. Anybody that’s ever looked into the Kennedy murder know how parts of this story fit in with the generally accepted theory behind the events of 11/22/63. That is president Kennedy was killed by mafia assassins w/ the support of the CIA.

The actual assassination plot in Blackstone takes the motivations of the JFK hit and adds the RFK murder plot. So we get a idealistic Cuban waiter who is lured into this CIA/Outfit scheme to kill the president. While not a classic this movie still very good, well written, solid acting (for the most part) and some cool jazz music. There have been a lot of east coast gangster films but not a lot of stories based on the Chicago mob. Other than the Capone era so this is a welcome addition. I give it three out of four stars.

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