"Unquestionably, it was going to be highly dangerous. Yet I felt it was quite natural to jump at the task. After all, if you don't like action and excitement, you don't go into police work. And, what the hell, I figured, nobody lives forever!" - Eliot Ness
On February 14, 1929, members of Bugs Moran's North Side gang arrived at a warehouse on North Clark Street in Chicago, only to be approached by several police officers. The officers then marched them outside up against a wall, pulled out submachine guns and shotguns, and gunned them all down on the spot. A famous legend is that one of the shot men, Frank Gusenberg, dying from 14 gunshot wounds, told police that nobody shot him. Though Gusenberg's statement is probably apocryphal, nobody opened their mouths.
Nobody was ever convicted for the "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre," the most famous gangland hit in American history, but it's an open secret that it was the work of America's most famous gangster, Al Capone. Indeed, "Scarface" has captured the nation's popular imagination since Prohibition, managing to be the most notorious gangster in America while living a very visible and high profile life in Chicago.
Born a Brooklyn tough, Capone engaged in a life of crime even as a teenager and had come to Chicago as a young man to smuggle liquor during Prohibition. Allying himself with Johnny Torrio, Capone began to accumulate power almost as quickly as he accumulated a reputation for being merciless, and after an attempted hit severely injured Torrio, Capone's rise to gangland supremacy was ensured.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors
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