- Buster from Chicago
Buster from Chicago's real name was Sebastiano Domingo. His life story is found at:
under the title of the article by David Critchley, "Gangsters in Southwest Michigan"
The information given below is based on outdated and untested data, mixing fact and myth indiscriminately. Almost every allegation is wrong. David Critchley's article is based on newly discovered materials and includes sources of information.
Buster from Chicago (d. September 1931 ?) was a
pseudonymused for an alleged unidentified Chicago mobster and freelance hitman during Prohibition.
Little is known of Buster from Chicago, however government informant
Joe Valachidescribed Buster as a "college boy" in appearance and was known to frequently carry a Tommy guninside a large violin case. While working with the unknown assassin, Valachi noted his exceptional skill with a wide range of weaponry including pistols, shotguns and machine guns.
Buster is first recorded being brought to New York mafiosi as a gunman with
Salvatore Maranzanoand, during the Castellammarse War, he was responsible for the deaths of top Masseria lieutenants Alfred Mineoand Steve Ferrignogunning them down with a 12-gauge shotgun as they walked through a Bronxneighborhood on November 5, 1930. As his accomplices Joe Profaci, Nick Capuzziand Joe Valachi fled the scene, Buster allegedly ran into an investigating patrolman who had heard the gunfire. In the guise of a frightened bystander, Buster told the officer the direction of the shooting and calmly walked away as the officer rushed to the scene.
In another gangland slaying, Buster killed
James Catania(or Joe Baker) as he and his wife left a building. Buster was supposedly proud of the fact that, despite the numerous bullets fired, Catania's wife was unharmed.
However, many details of Buster's career have come under suspicion as certain events described in Valachi's testimony have proven inaccurate or exaggerated such as his claim of Buster's killing of Masseria underboss Peter "The Clutching Hand" Morello, which would begin the Castellammarse War between Masseria and Maranzano. Yet Morello's death was never ordered by Maranzano, but by members of Masseria's own organization specifically
Albert Anastasiaand Frank Scaliseof Charles "Lucky" Luciano's Young Turks. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that an unknown person such as Buster could have infiltrated Morello's headquarters and surprised Morello and his associate Giuseppe Perianoas they were counting out an estimated $30,000 in cash receipts (while Masseria gunmen Anastasia and Scalise would have come and gone without notice).
Although surviving the Castellammarse War, Buster disappeared from New York's underworld soon after. According to Valachi however, Buster wanted to continue fighting against Luciano believing "They'll take us away, one by one.". Fearing Buster could have been recruited by rivals, Luciano and
Vito Genoveseordered his death and, in September 1931, he was allegedly killed in a Lower East Sidepool hall and his body secretly disposed of. Just as the origins of Buster from Chicago remain a mystery, so too does his ultimate fate.
*Sifakis, Carl. "The Mafia Encyclopedia". New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3
* [http://www.americanmafia.com/Mob_Report/6-10-02_Mob_Report.html AmericanMafia.com - Castellammarese War (Part One)]
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