Sunday, November 22, 2009

Who is your valentine this year? Mine is John Thompson

February 14th, 1929. Currently, two rival factions of the mafia, one led by Al Capone, the other by Bugs Moran, are battling it out to control Chicago’s illegal liquor supply, gambling action, and “protection rings.” The battle has thus far been bloody, but nothing like the events of this day had been seen in America yet.
On that day, February 14th, seven members of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang went to a warehouse to supposedly look at some cases of bootleg whiskey that could be acquired cheaply. Like most things in life, this turned out to be too good to be true. As the men entered the warehouse, several of Capone’s men entered the warehouse dressed as Chicago police. After placing the men under arrest, the disguised gangsters lined them up facing the back wall of the warehouse, telling the men that they were to be frisked for weapons. Instead, two more men, dressed as civilians, entered the warehouse carrying classic gangster “Tommy Guns,” or M1A1 Thompson Submachine guns, capable of firing six hundred .45 caliber bullets a minute. And fire the guns did. Bullets tore into the men, killing six instantly and wounding one, Frank Gusenberg, so severely that he died a few hours later. Then, all the members of Capone’s gang, fake police and civilians alike, entered a car and drove away, leaving their human carnage to rot in the alley.
No one was ever convicted of the killings. Al Capone was purposefully in Florida on vacation, and although he was suspected of ordering the hit, was never officially charged. According to rumor, Bugs Moran was the target of the assault, but he was confused for one of his men, who looked like him, and survived the day unscathed.
The area of Lincoln Park where the event took place is today a nursing home parking lot. According to legend, sometimes at night, you can still hear the screams of the gangsters crying out in surprise and horror as they realize their fates.
Of course, that may just be the elderly patients, trapped in the nursing home, realizing their own grim fates, in lives nearing their end.
Although the massacre initally sparked public outcry, it soon, like everything else in Chicago, was used for profit.

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