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THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE
February 14th,1929.
 (M.Gomes collection)

Seven men are killed in a garage on the North side of Chicago. Ordered by Al Capone, who is conveniently away in Miami at the time. Planned by McGurn and members of the Circus gang, imported hired killers are sent in the Moran warehouse to kill George "Bugs"Moran. Moran is a rival and thorn in Capone's side. Moran and his gang have posession of the lucreative Northside booze business and other rackets. The crews awaiting at the Circus Cafe are called in from this rooming house tipster to begin  their fake raid.Once they arrive there is no turning back. Moran is nowhere to be found.The hired killers sent in to kill Moran mess up the hit by thinking that Moran is in the garage. One of the lookouts across the street  had mistakingly taken one of the men entering the garage as Moran. Being late, Moran wasn't there and he had spotted the fake police cars on his way to the garage and mistook it for a raid. He doubled back and disappeared with his henchman. Inside the garage, the killers lined up the Moran men consisting of 5 Moran gangsters, one mechanic and an optometrist who gets a kick out of hanging around gangsters. A dog tied to a truck howls madly. The killers level their weapons consisting of two thompsons, one with a 20 round clip, and one with a 50 round drum. The killers know that the drum has a tendancy to jam on occaision, so just in case they make sure the 20 round clip is used to kill flawlessly. Two shotguns are also part of the arsenal.

 (M.Gomes collection)

70 spent shells hit the floor and two shotgun casings follow. All seven men are shot to pieces.The killers crazily have killed everyone inside.They leave the building pretending to be arrested by putting the guns in the back of their fellow gang members.They leave the scene.Two women, Jeanette Landesman and Mrs. Alphonse Morin, hear the machine gun clatter. One of them sends a roomer to go and investigate. He goes in and comes right out face completely white. He tells them to call the police.The police arrive and find six dead men and one near death crawling to the door.
 Frank Gusenberg miraculously survives the massacre and lives for 3 hours with 14 slugs in his body.
He refuses to mention anything about  the massacre even though he knows he will die.
Originally believed as only one car of killers at the scene, it is now noted that two fake police cars seemed to be part of the massacre. One in the alley, who's occupants leave their car and enter the garage at 2122 North Clark as a truck enters the two panel doors at the rear of the Moran warehouse. The Occupants keep the Moran men lined up and walk to the front of the office to let in the other car load of killers dressed as cops and civilians.Two cars are indeed later found burnt and cut up in an effort to destroy them. Both have police gongs and one is found to contain a notebook belonging to Al Weinshank killed in the garage. One was a 1926 Peerless found in Maywood and the other a 1927 Cadillac touring car that was found in a fire at 1723 North Wood street.The fire was caused by a gang member trying to cut up the vehicle with an acetelyne torch. He did not realize that the car contained a canister that had a reserve of gasoline in the engine. Detectives search hospitals for anyone that may have burned himself in the hours that followed.

First carload of killers arrive at the back of 2122 North Clark and obtain access to the garage. Once inside they line up the Moran gang and relieve them of their weapons.One of the fake cops then goes to the front and lets in the other set of non uniformed killers to unleash their hail of .45 bullets into the Northside boys.
(Photo courtesy of author Mr. Bill Helmer)


 
Front of 2122 North Clark Street.  
(Photo Mr. Jeff Maycroft)



To see a precise layout of 2122 North Clark Street circa 1929, click on layout link below.
This layout was done and supplied by mathematician Mr. Robert Smith.

Layout of 2122 North Clark Street



Front window at 2122 North Clark had the following sign;

S-M-C-Cartage - Co
Not inc.
Shipping        Packing
Phone Diversey 1471
Long Distance                    Hauling

On the door the windows have the following;

SMC Cartage co
Moving Expressing


Diagram showing how massacre might have happened.
(M.Gomes collection)


10:30 am at 2122North Clark street

The Cadillac touring car is found not far from the Circus gang Cafe owned and run by St. Louis gangster Claude Maddox (John Moore aka Screwy) and Tony "Tough Tony" Capezio. This is a Capone satellite gang that has produced the likes of Jack McGurn.   
The next door address of the Circus cafe is given as residence to the owner of the garage for rental. In total about 14 men are used in the Massacre killing crew. Most ,will in turn, be themselves killed. Witnesses such as the two women are threatened to death, the Coroner is also threatened.Lots of compelling evidence ,but  no one is ever brought to trial for these seven murders called the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.


"All done, now let's get the hell outta here!"




Crowds gather in front as police arrives.
(Photo: Jeff Maycroft)




Carnage
(M. Gomes collection)



Sgt. Thomas J. Loftus


Loftus knew the Gusenbergs real well. Detective Clarence J. Sweeney erroneously puts himself in the massacre story, claiming he was at Frank Gusenberg's bedside. As the years go by, Sweeney keeps the myth going and adds to the story, involving himself more and more. What really happened was Loftus arrived first at the scene and questioned Frank Gusenberg who was still alive in the garage.

Loftus asked "Do you know me Frank?"  
Frank replied "Yes,  you are Tom Loftus."
Loftus then asks 'Who did it or what happened?"
Frank replies "I won't talk."
The officer then replies "You are in bad shape."
 Frank  says "For God's sake get me to a hospital."
 Loftus tells Frank "Pete is here too."
He said "Yes."
 Loftus asks Frank if they were lined up against the wall, to this Frank answers again 'I won't talk.'

 Once transferred to Alexian Brothers Hospital, Loftus asks Gusenberg another time and he refuses to talk. Before Gusenberg dies, the Sgt. asked Frank if  three of the men wore police uniforms.
To this Frank answers "Yes"' and then dies.

The erroneous statements later weaved into the story were that Gusenberg said 'I ain't no copper' and ' Nobody shot me'
Sweeney claimed to be at Frank's bedside, yet Loftus detailed Officer James Mikes to be near Gusenberg at all times with no mention of Sweeney ever being there.



Calvin Goddard's evidence from the crime scene. Here are the complete amount of spent .45 caliber shells that were picked up.
14 envelopes with 5 shelss each total 70. Goddard had figured out through forensics that 20 bullets came out of one Thompson and 50 came out of the other.
One drum and one stick mag. Many had exaggerated the massacre with hundreds and thousands of bullets. In reality only seventy .45 acp rounds were fired along with two shotgun blasts.
(Neal Trickel collection)

Close up of spent shell picked up at the scene.
(Neal Trickel collection)



And another angle
( Mr. Jeff Maycroft)





another view
 (Mario Gomes collection)




One of the photographers gets his head in the macabre scene
(Photo taken by Mr. Anthony Berardi of The Chicago American)




Another view, notice one of the Gusenberg's handgun at extreme right front corner of photo
(John Binder Collection)




Close up of Frank Gusenberg's .38
(Photo courtesy of  author Mr. Bill Helmer)




Photo  courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer





Bodies being removed under the watchful eye of Dr. Herman Bundesen (Glasses).
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)




Photo of Clark street taken 13 days after massacre. Arrow on the left shows garage where massacre took place. Arrow to the right shows look out building.
 (Mario Gomes collection)




A Chicago doctor for many years, Herman Bundesen led the investigation into the St. Valentine's day massacre crime.
 (Mario Gomes collection)





Executive Vice President of Palmolive Peet Burt A. Massee. Coroner's jury foreman. He helped finance the investigation.
 (Mario Gomes collection)





Final edition for February 14,1929.
(Mario Gomes collection).








Chicago Herald Examiner February 15,1929.

Photo page of Chicago Herald Examiner February 15,1929.
(Mario Gomes Collection)






Several versions were printed during the day and evening .
Chicago Daily News  Feb.14th,1929.
(Mario Gomes collection).







                                                                                                                   Chicago Tribune Feb.15,1929
(Mario Gomes collection).






Chicago Daily News February 16,1929.
(Mario Gomes collection).






ATTENTION!

For further headlines on massacre, please visit the Newspaper sections of this website.




Other newspapers on the massacre

(Courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)






 
(Courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)





(Courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)





(Courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)





(Courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)






(Courtesy of Mr. Bill Helmer)







View of bodies and of the guns found many months later in Fred Burke's posession linked to massacre.
(M.Gomes)






Actual bullet taken from Burke's arms cache
(Special thanks to Mr. Bill Helmer who made this possible).
 (M.Gomes collection)




U.S. Cartridge Co. 17
 (M.Gomes collection)




Coroners inquest by Herman Bundesen along with ballistics expert Calvin Goddard seated at left.
 (M.Gomes collection)






Swearing in of coroner's Jury with massacre bodies laid out on makeshift tables.
(Mario Gomes collection)





Bullets removed from bodies.
(The John Binder collection)






Another view of same picture with Peter Gusenberg (Massacre Victim) and unidentified fellow next to him not part of massacre.
(M.Gomes)



Ballistics expert Calvin Goddard with coroner Herman Bundesen.
Mr.Goddard identifies the bullets removed from the massacre bodies as those coming from Thompsons found in Fred"Killer"Burke's posession.
(Mario Gomes collection)






Spent shells recently fired from Massacre Thompson  2347.
(Special thanks to Mr. Chuck Schauer for these)
(Mario Gomes collection)




Peter Von Frantzius (right) underworld gun supplier through sporting goods store that he owns is being questioned by Coroner Herman Bundesen.
 (Mario Gomes collection)



Machine gun seller Frank V. Thompson being interviewed at the massacre inquest. Thompson had sold quite a few Thompsons to various gangsters.
Thompson will later take his own life.
 (Mario Gomes collection)




Vincent Daniels (Danielski) in the hot seat. He too sold Thompsons to various gangsters such as Jack McGurn and Frank Gusenburg.
 (Mario Gomes collection)



Thought partly to blame for the massacre was the northside gangsters constant stealing of
Capone's booze by the name of Old Log Cabin made in  Montreal,Canada.
Moran's men would sometimes hijack it enroute from Detroit to Chicago.
(Mario Gomes collection)


SEE MASSACRE PART 2



Also see

The Massacre Guns Today.

Massacre weapon and drum mags at Berrien County as they look today. One of these guns was also used in the killing of Frankie Yale in New York.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Randall Ellsworth)




First Posted January 2001