Organized crime in Chicago

Organized crime in Chicago

The following is a timeline of Organized Crime in Chicago.

see also: Timeline of organized crime


Events - Timeline


  • 1890 - John "Mushmouth" Johnson opens the Emporium Saloon and gambling establishment, begins reign as first Chicago south side Policy king.[1][2]
  • 1882 - Chicago Police Chief William McGarigle, in the pay of Chicago crime lord Michael Cassius McDonald, is indicted for graft later fleeing to Canada.
  • 1907 - A group of leading Italian citizens, prominent businessmen, several ethnic organizations, and the Italian Chamber of Commerce form the White Hand Society, a legal organization, to combat La Mano Nera (The Black Hand) in Chicago.
  • 1907 - Chicago gambling racketeer Bud White's gambling vessel, City of Traverse, is closed down.
  • 1908 - Earl "Hymie" Weiss is first arrested for burglary. Weiss was caught robbing a perfume store and was immediately dubbed the "Perfume Burglar" by Chicago reporters.


  • 1910 - Chicago police arrest over 200 known Italian gangsters and known Black Hand members in a raid in Little Italy. However, none are convicted as many of the notes of extortion threats cannot be traced to them.
  • 1910 - Chicago racketeer James "Big Jim" Colosimo brings his nephew Johnny "The Fox" Torrio, then with New York's Five Points Gang, to Chicago to eliminate the Black Hand due to their extortion demands. Within a month, ten Black Hand extortionists had been killed.
  • 1910 - Jim Cosmano, a major Chicago Black Hand leader, is severely wounded in an ambush by Johnny Torrio on a South Side bridge. Cosmano had previously demanded $10,000 threatening to destroy Colosimo's Cafe.
  • March 15, 1910 - The Chicago Vice Commission, a civic organization to close the brothels and panel houses of the Levee district, is organized.
  • January 1-March 26, 1911 - Thirty-eight Black Hand victims are killed by Black Hand assassins, many by the unidentified assassin known only as Shotgun Man, between Oak Street and Milton Street in Chicago's Little Italy.
  • 1919 - Chicago Crime Commission


  • February 2, 1920 - Chicago labor racketeer Maurice "Mossy" Enright is killed.
  • May 11, 1920 - Chicago gambling racketeer Jim Colosimo is gunned down outside his restaurant. The alleged killer was Al Capone.
  • 1923 - Al Capone establishes his headquarters at the Lexington Hotel at the corner of 22nd Street and Michigan Avenue, in Chicago. He also gained control of the Chicago suburb of Cicero, Illinois, as a safe base of his illegal operations.
  • September 17, 1923 - George Meegan, a Chicago bootlegger allied with the Southside O'Donnell's, and Southside O'Donnell member George Bucher are killed by Frank McErlane.
  • April 1, 1924 - Frank Capone, brother of Al Capone, is killed by policemen during the fighting which broke out while leading around 200 gunmen into Cicero during the 1924 Chicago elections in support of gangster-backed Republican politicians.
  • November 10, 1924 - North Side Gang leader Dion O'Banion is killed when three unidentified men enter his flower shop, on the 700 block of North Clark Street, across from Holy Name Cathedral, and shoot him several times. This begins a five-year gang war between the North Side Gang, under Hymie Weiss, and Al Capone's Chicago Outfit.
  • January 12, 1925 - North Side Gang members Hymie Weiss, George "Bugs" Moran, and Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci attempt to kill Al Capone at a Chicago South Side restaurant, firing at Capone's car and injuring chauffeur Sylvester Barton, but leaving Capone unharmed.
  • January 24, 1925 - Weiss, Moran, Drucci, and Frank "Tight Lips" Gusenberg ambush Chicago Outfit leader Johnny Torrio as he returns from shopping with his wife, shooting him several times, wounding him and his chauffeur Robert Barton. As Moran is about to kill the wounded Torrio the gun misfires and is forced to flee as the police arrive on the scene. Soon after this attack Torrio retires to Italy and was succeeded by his lieutenant, Al Capone.
  • February 9, 1925 - Johnny Torrio is sentenced by Judge Adam Cliffe to 9 months in the Lake County Jail, in Waukegan. The jail is chosen by Torrio's lawyers as a facility necessary for Torrio to receive proper medical treatment however it was actually chosen for Torrio's protection as the prison warden Sheriff Edwin Ahlstrom was in the pay of Torrio's organization. Torrio was later escorted by Capone out of the city after his release.
  • June 13, 1925 - "Bloody" Angelo Genna is killed, possibly by members of the North Side Gang or the Chicago Outfit.
  • November 13, 1925 - Samuzzo "Samoots" Amatuna, an ally of the Genna Family, is gunned down outside a Chicago West Side barber shop by the North Side Gang.
  • 1926 - Al Capone and his crew try to kill Myles O'Donnell and William "Klondike" O'Donnell, leaders of the Westside O'Donnell Mob, in Cicero.
  • 1927 - Al Capone's Chicago Outfit earns a yearly income of $108 million.
  • 1927 - Sam Valante, recently hired by Joe Aiello, is killed while arriving in Chicago.
  • August 24, 1927 - Green Ones members Anthony F. Russo and Vincent Spicuzza are killed in Chicago, supposedly lured there by the rival Cuckoos Gang in an attempt to murder Al Capone. Hours later Green Ones member Benjamin Giamonco is killed in a gunfight attempting to avenge their deaths.
  • April 21, 1928 - Illinois gangster Charles Birger is executed for the ordered murder of West City, Illinois's Mayor Joe Adams.
  • July 25, 1928 - Aiello gang member Salvatore Canale is killed outside his home in Chicago.
  • September 7, 1928 - Capone's former consigliere and Unione Siciliane president Antonio "The Scourge" Lombardo is killed. This could have been a motivating factor for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
  • 1929 - Capone serves a brief sentence on a concealed weapons charge.
  • 1929 - Tony Accardo is made head enforcer for Capone's "Chicago Outfit".
  • January 8, 1929 - Unione Siciliane leader Pasquale "Patsy" Lolordo is killed in his apartment supposedly by Joe Aiello and members of Moran's North Side Gang.
  • February 14, 1929 - Four unidentified men, dressed as Chicago police officers, storm into a Near North Side garage, at 2122 N. Clark Street, and murder members of George Bugs Moran's North Side Gang and two gangster groupies. Known as the St. Valentines Day Massacre, the attack effectively ends the five year gang war between Capone and Moran.
  • May 29, 1929 - Thomas McElligot of the Westside O'Donnells is killed in a Chicago Loop saloon.


  • Taxi Wars of 1930s - rival gangs threw dynamite into the other rival's cabs.
  • May 1932 - Outfit namesake, Al Capone, began serving his 11-year sentence for tax evasion, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was out in six years for good behavior and because of declining mental and physical health.
  • February 4, 1935 - Thomas Maloy is killed by two blasts from a pair of gunmen while he drove down Lake Shore Drive near the Century of Progress. FBI agent William F. Roemer believed the two gunmen were Tony Accardo and Gus Alex.


  • March 19, 1943 - Facing extended incarceration for the extortion of Hollywood film studios and being claustrophobic, Outfit boss Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti committed suicide.
  • 1943 - The Hollywood extortion trial finds seven Outfit higher-ups (Paul Ricca, Louis Campagna, Phillip D'Andrea, Frank Maritote, Charles Gioe, Johnny Roselli and Ralph Pierce) guilty and sentenced to 10 years each in Leavenworth Penitentiary.
  • 1943 - Outfit boss Paul "The Waiter" Ricca meets Sam "Mad Sam" DeStefano in Leavenworth.
  • The Latin Kings criminal organization is formed. The alleged motivation for forming this group was an attempt to overcome the prejudices that Hispanics faced at the time.
  • 1947 - Al Capone dies on Palm Island, Florida.
  • 1947 - In a stunning turn of events that could only mean someone did a political favor, the Outfit higher-ups who were each sentenced to 10 years in prison in the Hollywood extortion case get out of Leavenworth in 42 months. One condition of Paul Ricca's release from prison by the court was that he was banished from ever associating with the criminal element or face the rest of his prison sentence.


  • Nov.4, 1955 - Extortionist and informer Willie Bioff was blown to smithereens after getting in the driver's seat of his car, in his garage, in Arizona. He testified against his Outfit friends for a lighter sentence, in the, "Hollywood Extortion Case."
  • 1956 - Political fixer Jake Guzik died of a heart attack.
  • 1957 - Tony Accardo retired from the day-to-day leadership of the Chicago Outfit and appointed Sam "Momo" Giancana to oversee these operations of the crime syndicate. However, Accardo remained a presence in the organization serving in an advisory capacity as consigliere on all major Outfit business and assassinations.
  • 1958 - The Vice Lords criminal organization is founded in St. Charles Correctional Facility by a group of young thugs from 16th Street, on Chicago's west side.


  • Sam Giancana allegedly "fixed" the 1960 presidential election in favor of John Kennedy, for Cook County.
  • The CIA conspired with a Chicago gangster described as "the chieftain of La Cosa Nostra and the successor to Al Capone" in a bungled 1960 attempt to assassinate Cuban revolutionary and dictator, Fidel Castro, the leader of that country's communist revolution, according to classified documents published by the agency.[3] See also: Family Jewels (Central Intelligence Agency), Operation Mongoose
  • Summerdale scandals, see: Chicago Police Department
  • 1965 - Giancana thrown in federal prison for one year for a federal Contempt of Court citation, when he refused to testify to his or the Chicago Outfit's alleged criminal activity.
  • 1966 - Giancana deposed as Outfit head, due to a lifestyle that brought heat and light on Chicago's underworld. He moved to Mexico and oversaw the Outfit's international gambling operations.
  • Nov. 23, 1965 - The ultimate Outfit "fixer", Murray "The Camel" Humphreys suffers a fatal heart attack.
  • The Black Gangster Disciples criminal organization is formed on the south side of Chicago, in the 1960s, by uniting two separate gangs. The two gangs conjoined were The Supreme Gangsters, led by Larry Hoover, and The Devil's Disciples, led by David Barksdale.


  • Oct. 11, 1972 - Secret boss and ultimate Outfit consiglier, Paul Ricca, died of a heart attack.
  • April 14, 1973 - Outfit loanshark Sam DeStefano is shotgunned to death in his garage, allegedly by his brother Mario and one-time Sam DeStefano protégé Tony Spilotro.
  • December 20, 1973 - Richard Cain, cop turned mobster, turned informant for William F. Roemer, Jr., is shot at Rose's Sandwich Shop on 1117 W. Grand Avenue. Suspects are Marshall Caifano and Joseph Lombardo.
  • June 17, 1975 - Former boss Sam Giancana was shot in the back of the head while cooking a snack of sausages and escarole in his Oak Park home on his birthday. It has been debated whether it was the Outfit or CIA that murdered Giancana.
  • Aug. 9, 1976 - The decomposing body of Johnny Roselli, "Handsome Johnny", was found floating in a 55-gallon drum, in a bay near Miami. His legs were sawed off and shoved in the barrel with the body.
  • March 29, 1977 - Feared hitman Charles Nicoletti was killed by three .38-caliber slugs to the head while waiting in his Oldsmobile at a Chicago-area restaurant.
  • 1977 - Helen Brach, heiress to the Brach's candy fortune, disappeared. Suspects are Victor Spilotro and Curtis Hansen. Her body has never been found.
  • 1978 - Jimmy "the Bomber" Catuara is found dead near his car at Hubbard Street and Ogden Avenue. Bill Dauber is suspect, who, at the bidding of his boss, Albert Tocco, was trying to take over Catuara's rackets.[1]


  • 1980s - Operation Greylord
  • 1980s - "Marquette Ten:" 10 police officers in the Marquette District convicted of taking bribes from drug dealers. Among those is Chicago police officer Thomas Ambrose, the father of former U.S. Marshall John Ambrose, who was convicted 20-years later of leaking information to the Chicago Outfit about federal informant, Nick Calabrese, who testified against top Chicago mobsters in the, "Family Secrets" trial.
  • January, 1986 - Joe Ferriola was appointed boss of The Outfit. With the approval of his top captains and consiglieri, Tony Accardo, he decided it's time to kill Anthony Spilotro for causing a multitude of problems in Las Vegas and in Chicago.
  • June 14, 1986 - The bodies of Outfit enforcer, Tony Spilotro, and his brother Michael, a small-time hood, were found in a shallow grave, in a cornfield, in Enos, Indiana. Due to authorities finding sand in their lungs, they were probably buried alive.
  • 1989 - James Basile, a bookmaker, agreed to become a government informant, later identifying a "Mafia graveyard" in the suburban neighborhood of Hillside.


  • 1990s - Operation Silver Shovel
  • March 21, 1990 - Outfit gambling boss of west suburban Elmhurst, Donald Angelini, who had operated a highly successful sports betting empire along with Dominic Cortina, is arrested and sentenced to prison.
  • May 27, 1992 - Tony Accardo, Chicago's Boss of Bosses, died of congestive heart failure after almost 50 years at the helm of The Outfit.
  • September 1997 - Harry Aleman is retried for the murder of William Logan based on testimony by former Outfit attorney Robert Cooley and evidence showing the first trial was fixed. This is the first time in U.S. history someone has been retried for the same crime after being acquitted.
  • December 23, 1999 - Ronald Jarrett, a mob lieutenant to John "Johnny Apes" Monteleone of the South Side Crew, is shot while going to a funeral. It is the first hit in seven years.

2000 to present day

  • January 25, 2000 - Ronald Jarrett dies from the gunshot wounds he sustained in late 1999.
  • January 15, 2001 - William Hanhardt, former chief of detectives is indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of masterminding a ring of Outfit-related thieves who stole $4.85 million in jewels in heists across the nation.[4]
  • November 20, 2001 - Anthony "the Hatch" Chiaramonti is shot outside a Brown's Chicken & Pasta in south suburban Lyons.
  • Hired Truck Program scandal
  • April 25, 2005 - The U.S. Department of Justice's Operation Family Secrets indicts 15 Outfit mobsters and associates under the RICO Act. Joseph "the Clown" Lombardo and Frank "the German" Schweihs evade the indictment and become fugitives.
  • January 13, 2006 - Joe Lombardo is apprehended in Elmwood Park. FBI agents find him while a "person of interest" is under surveillance, most likely John "No Nose" DiFronzo, but this is yet to be confirmed.
  • April 17, 2006 - Former governor of Illinois George H. Ryan is found guilty of all 22 racketeering- and bribery charges against him.
  • June 14, 2006 - Former city clerk James Laski sentenced to 24 months in prison after admitting he pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in bribes as part of the Hired Trucking Scandal.
  • June 15, 2006 - A 26-year-old member of the Vice Lords on Chicago's West Side, is arrested. He may have information on where the supply of fentanyl-laced heroin is coming from which has already killed at least 60 people.[2]
  • August 31, 2006 - Mobster Anthony Zizzo disappears. His car was found in Melrose Park, and there was no sign of foul play, because his body hasn't been found.
  • September 6, 2006 - George Ryan is sentenced to six-and-a-half-years in prison.[5]
  • June 18, 2007 The trial for, "Operation: Family Secrets", begins.
  • September 10, 2007 - The Family Secrets trial's anonymous jury finds guilty verdicts on all counts of the five defendants. The five defendants were Joseph Lombardo, James Marcello, Frank Calabrese, Sr., Paul Schiro and Anthony Doyle.[3]
  • October 2008 - Patrick Fitzgerald has former CPD commander Jon Burge arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, with a trial date of October 29, 2009.
  • 2009 - Joseph Lombardo and James Marcello are sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • April 2, 2009 - Federal grand jury issued 19-count indictment for Rod Blagojevich and his aides. The trial will be presided over by James Zagel. See also: Rod Blagojevich corruption charges
  • April 28, 2009 - Deputy U.S. Marshal John T. Ambrose is convicted for leaking secret information to the mob about a protected witness in a federal organized crime investigation.[4] He was originally charged with theft of U.S. Justice Department property, disclosing confidential information and lying to federal agents who questioned him about the leak. He was however acquitted of two charges of lying to federal agents.


Chicago Outfit

North Side Gang

  • Dion O'Banion, Chicago North Side Gang leader
  • Vincent Drucci (Victor D'Ambrosio), Chicago North Side Gang
  • Hymie Weiss (Earl Wajciechowsky), Chicago North Side Gang leader.
  • George Moran, Chicago North Side Gang leader.

Chicago Mafia Leaders

Prohibition Gangs


  • Maurice Enright, Chicago labor racketeer
  • Jim Colosimo, Chicago gambling racketeer

See also


Further reading

  • Lesy, Michael (2007). Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties. W. W. Norton. ISBN 0393060306. 
  • Thompson, Nathan (2003). KINGS The True Story of Chicago's Policy Kings and Numbers Racketeers. The Bronzeville Press. ISBN 0972487506. 
  • Russo, Gus. The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld In the Shaping of Modern America ISBN 1582342792

External links

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