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When, Where and How did they die?
Due to many requests, I have made this page to answer "Whatever happened to?" some key and not so important figures in Chicago gangland roaring twenties.Let's have a look shall we?
Sam Genna, one of the six famous Genna brothers who fought for control of the alky business in Chicago died December 20,1951, of a heart attack in his home at 865 Blue Island Avenue.
He was 67.
Peter Genna, died on May 13,1948 after being ill for a month in Columbus hospital.
Hymie "Loudmouth"Levine or Levin Capone loop collector. Son of a Chicago junk dealer, Levin rises in Capone's organization for his collecting and bookmaking skills. Supposedly big enough in the organization to run things while Capone and Nitti are both in the slammer. Suffers a stroke in the late 40's, which leaves him paralyzed and wheelchair bound. Although he cannot speak, he still writes his orders on paper for his minions to follow. Levin dies June 19,1951, in St. Luke's hospital. He refuses any gangland funeral of which he despises and is simply cremated.
Jack Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik,Capone accountant and once said by Capone as the only man he really trusted dies February 21,1956, in bed of a heart attack. He was staying under an assumed name (Jack Arnold) at 5492 Everett avenue. He was 69 years old.
Hirschie Miller bootleg era gangster who fought alongside and against Dean O'Banion dies in his sleep on July12,1939 of a heart attack in his cottage at the Sheridan beach resort in Michigan City,Ind.He was 47 years old.
William F. Schofield florist and business partner of Dean O'Banion at the flower shop at 738 North state street where the latter was killed in 1924. Schofield dies at age of 68, on December 2,1947. He had been ill for months. He began as a florist in 1896 and last operated a shop at 731 N. Dearborn st.
Michael J. Ahern, part of Capone's team of lawyers, dies of a heart attack in his home at 4536 North Mozart street on September 22,1943. He was 56 years old.
Albert Fink one half of the lawyer team who defended Al Capone at his tax trial of 1931 .
Fink dies on March 25,1941 at his home in Tucson, Arizona. He was 67, and was previously suffering from poor health.
James "Fur" Sammons Sammon, 76 years old is found dead May 20,1960, in his hotel bed from a heart attack.One time machine gun killer and psychopath.Supposedly said that when sending him on a hit, another gang member was dispatched to make sure he didn't get carried away.
Spent many years in prison.
Edward J. "Spike" O'Donnell Southwestside booze king, 72 years old dies August 26,1962 from a heart attack in his Southside home .
Mike "The Greek "Potson real name D. Mihail Bodoglou gambler /bookie and part owner of Colosimo's restaurant and cafe, dies on September 27,1955, at the age of 71, while visiting his native Greece.
Claude "Screwy" Maddox real name John Edward Moore, Ex St. Louis egan's rat, later Capone member who ran the Circus Cafe at 1857 North Avenue and overlooked the gang of the same name. Chief suspect in St.Valentine's day massacre of 1929 and who was at least involved in the planning stages. On January 1929, Claude Maddox is arrested in the Circus cafe with a thompson drum full of cartridges and many overcoats strewn about the back of the cafe. A loaded .45 is found in one overcoats. The garage next to the cafe is later used to torch cut one of the getaway cars from the massacre, Instead it explodes and catches fire. Maddox is let go as a suspect as he was in court at the time of the massacre. Maddox later climbs up in the Capone organization.
On June 21,1955 Maddox, 58, is found dead in bed by his wife Alice in their home at 3536 South Harlem Avenue, Riverside.
Judge John H. Lyle Chicago Judge who sentenced many a famous prohibition gangster on vagrancy charges dies on November 24,1964 at age 82. He passed away in Oakwoods hospital were he had been since August of that year.
Judge John Sbarbaro owner of the famous funeral home in which many famous gangland funerals are held (O'Banion,Weiss, Drucci etc..) is killed in a plane crash on March 17,1960. The Miami bound Northwest Airlines turbo-prop plane explodes over Tell city, Indiana killing all 63 aboard.
Walter Stevens " Dean of gunmen" died on February 15, 1931 in the Streeter hospital that was located at 2646 Calumet avenue. He had been suffering from pneumonia for 10 days. He was in his early 70's.
William "Willie" Heeney of 1538 S.Austin blvd dies July 13,1951, in Mercy hospital at age 63. He had been long suffering from cancer.Capone close associate who was to be at the time of his death to be the reputed gambling boss of Cicero. Willie's career was a long one with his first arrest being in St. Louis on a larceny charge back on May 13,1907.
Heeney was questioned in 1926 for the murder of William McSwiggin and also for the murder of Hymie Weiss.
His body was sent to a funeral home at 6301 Cermak road in Berwyn. His services were held at St. Francis of Rome church and he was interred at Mt. Carmel.
Anthony "Big Tuna" "Joe Batters" Accardo once Capone bodyguard and McGurn close friend, later rises as supreme boss of the Chicago outfit, dies on May 27,1992, peaceably in his St. Mary of Nazereth hospital bed at age 86. He died of congestive heart failure and acute respiratory failure.
Daniel F. Healy dies on July 8,1980 in the Veterans Administration's Lakeside Medical center at age 85. Healy was the officer who killed Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci in the car they were travelling enroute to the police station. Healy claimed self defense, but many claimed he was also a gangster hating cop, who often liked to provoke them. Healy's career began in 1919 and retired in 1958. He served one year as police chief of suburban Stone Park.
Tommy "The Terrible" Touhy dies of (liver ailment) cancer May 16,1960 at age 67. He under went treatment under the name Toohey. He was the last of the Touhy brothers.
Dr. Herman N. Bundesen who was coroner and chief investigator into the St.Valentine's day massacre, dies on August 25,1960 at 78 years old in Wesley Memorial hospital from cancer.
Peter Von Frantzius of 1823 Estes Avenue, well known gangland armourer dies on April 6,1968.
He is buried in Graceland cemetary. Supplied many Thompson submachine guns and handguns to Capone gang and rivals. For a small fee serial numbers were filed off. Von Frantzius did not care who his guns killed and sold to all gangs.
William Hale Thompson, ex-Corrupt Chicago mayor dies March 19,1944 at the Blackstone hotel in Chicago. He had been in bed under an oxygen tent after suffering a heart attack a week earlier.He was 74. Believe it or not Thompson killed some guy in the late 1890's. Some guy was drunk and started hitting Thompson. Thompson pushed the fellow who fell over dead.
Tough Tony Capezio dies from a massive heart attack on the golf course at White Pines country club July 7,1955. He collapsed at the fourth hole and his golf buddy placed him on the electric cart and took him to the clubhouse.The Bensenville firemen were called and they worked on him for 45 minutes with an inhalator before Dr. Paul Hasbrouck pronounced him dead. He had been suffering from a heart ailment for some time.
John Kobler the famous biographer of Al Capone dies in Manhattan on Dec.11, 2000, at the age of 90.
George E.Q. Johnson United States district attorney who vigorously went after Capone for income tax charges and won, dies on September 19,1949, of a brain hemorrhage in his home at 7327 Crandon Avenue.He was 75.
Dwight H.Green former federal prosecutor who helped put Capone behind bars dies February 20,1958, in St. Luke's hospital from cancer. He was 61.
Frank J. Wilson the man responsible for bringing down Capone through ledgers found accidently in his cramped Chicago office, dies at Georgetown University Hospital on June 22,1970 at age 83
Elmer L. Irey government tax expert who helped nail Capone, dies on July 19,1948, at age 60 in Maryland.
Herbert Asbury Author of "Gem of the Prarie" dies on February 24,1963 after a long illness at University Hospital in New York. He was 71.
John P. Stege (Stedge) Defiant of all Chicago gangsters, the brave ex-police captain died on May 13, 1956 in Santa Monica, California. He had been living there with his wife Nellie for 10 years after leaving Chicago. He was 71 years old.
He had retired from the police force 15 years earlier after serving approx. 31 years.
Anthony "Mops" Volpe Once listed as no: 2 on the public enemies list ,Argentinian born Al Capone gangster who succeeded in avoiding be deported by the U.S. government.The Government kept at him for many years to get him out of the country. Volpe won the battle.
Mops Volpe finally dies in a Cicero restaurant (2816 S. Cicero avenue) of a fatal heart attack January 1965. He was 72 years old. His resting place is Calvary cemetary.
James "Bomber" Belcastro Capone gangster reknown as the "King of bombers" dies in his father in law's home (1011 Polk street) of a heart attack August 23,1945, at the age of 49. Firemen on the scene vainly try to revive him. He was once no:4 on the Crime commission's public enemies list. He is often suspected of the liquor and labor bombings of the1920's and 30's.Belcastro had been arrested a total of 150 times during his criminal career. In 1917, he was sentenced to a year at Bridewell for assault. Belcastro is almost killed in 1931 when he is shot five times by hoodlums. James had various tailoring and food businesses and ran handbook operations with his equally famous brother in law Rocco Fanelli. Belcastro had a wife named Rose, one son and daughter.
Murray "The Camel "Humphreys Top Capone hoodlum, mob financier and political fixer for the Chicago mob dies of a heart attack November 23,1965 after a struggle with FBI agents in his apartment.
November 26,1965 his body is taken from the funeral chapel at 7651 Jeffrey avenue shortly after 1 p.m. and driven to the crematorium at Oakwood cemetary at 1035 E.67th street. There was no cortege. In a brief ceremony, only two detectives attend the rainy day cremation. None of his gangland pals attend, although his first wife Mary Clemma Brendle visited the chapel with an unidentified blonde woman. His daughter Miss Louella Humphreys also came to the chapel on thanksgiving day.
Ashes are reportedly later buried in Oklahoma on Humphreys' property.
Ralph "Bottles" Capone Alphonse Capone's brother and top gangster in his own right dies November 22,1974 at a senior retirement home in Hurley,Wisconsin. He was 81 years old. Nicknamed "Bottles" for his soft drink operations and for persuading tavern owners to buy Al's beer and liquor,Ralph was a smart gangster and was often taken lightly in the history books.1931 Ralph served three years in a Federal penitentiary for income tax evasion.He moved to Wisconsin in 1942 and operated a small tavern in Mercer. Ralph managed his brothers affairs and took care of Al near the end of his life.Just a small example of his power, Ralph was still on top in his 70's as to of what beer was sold at the local taverns in Wisconsin. Ralph in his later years contributed to churches, sponsored Christmas parties for the needy and financed tours for high school students.
John J. Creedon One of the two detectives (Along with James "Shooey" Malone) who arrested Al Capone in a Philedelphia movie house in 1929, dies July 12,1939. He was 58 years old.
Judge James H. Wilkerson The judge who sentenced Al Capone to 11 years for income tax evasion, dies of a heart attack in an Evanston Hospital on September 30,1948.He was 78.
Reverend Henry C. Hoover the pastor who lead a gang of black frocked raiders into Capone's Cicero gambling dens and defied Capone, dies Oct.10,1955 at age 68. He also testified against Capone in his tax trial.
Jacob I. Grossman was one of the attorney's who prosecuted Al Capone in his tax trial and maintained to keep Al in prison for his appeals case, dies March 1975 in St. Joseph's hospital at age 82.
Captain William H. Shoemaker Chicago law enforcer respected for his straightforwardness and honesty dies November 21,1938 of a heart attack at his home,6237 North Oak Park avenue. Captain Shoemaker was 70 years old. He was loved by officers and gangsters alike, even once being visited by flower offering gangsters when he was once hospitalized.
Mayor William Emmett Dever honest Chicago mayor (1923-1927) succumbs to cancer at the age of 67 on September 3,1929 at his residence 5901 Kenmore Avenue. After his stint as mayor Dever became vice president and trust officer for the Bank of Ameria.He was also an avid golfer and fisherman.
Morgan A. Collins Noted as a vigorous foe of the gangster the dry era chief of police (1923-1927) dies on March 21,1946 at his home 7074 Ridge blvd. , after being ill for three years.
William F. Russell Irish former Police Chief was police commissioner from September 12,1928 to June 16,1930 dies on April 1,1946 at age 75, after a long illness at the Sacred Heart Sanitarium. June 11,1945, He files for divorce after his wife Mary J. Russell 54 attacked him with a knife, cut his finger, slapped his face causing his glasses and denture to hit the floor. She tried to step on it. Russell was a veteran of the Spanish American war. He had been an undertaker before his entry into the police.
Frank S. LaPorte (Liporte, Lipperatta) Chicago Heights gangster. Was boss of gambling,rackets and vice in south Cook County and Will County dies in his home (1730 Cambridge road,Flossmoor) on October 30,1972, of a heart attack
Sergt. Thomas J. Loftus First policeman at massacre scene. Sergeant Loftus retired in 1937 after 43 years of service in the police force. Loftus passes away on May 6,1939. He was 69 years old
More to follow as time permits!
First Posted November 2006