Monday, October 29, 2007

Haunted Chicago - the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre

The unassuming yard next door to a senior citizens' apartment building located on North Clark Street in Lincoln Park is the spot of the gangland killing of seven men during a shootout between Al Capone's South Side Italian gang and Bugs Moran's North Side Irish & German gang.

For a city that is so filled with the history of crime, there has been little preservation of the landmarks that were once so important to the legend of the mob in Chicago. But most tragic, at least to crime buffs, was the destruction of the warehouse that was located at 2122 North Clark Street. It was here, on Valentine's Day 1929, that the most spectacular mob hit in gangland history took place.

The building was called the S-M-C Cartage Company and was a red, brick structure on Clark Street. The events that led to the massacre began on the morning of the 14th. A group of men had gathered at the warehouse that morning, set up by a Detroit gangster who told Moran that a truck was on its way to Chicago.

One of them was Johnny May, an ex-safecracker who had been hired by George "Bugs" Moran as an auto mechanic. He was working on a truck that morning, with his dog tied to the bumper, while six other men waited for the truck of hijacked whiskey to arrive. The men were Frank and Pete Gusenberg, who were supposed to meet Moran and pick up two empty trucks to drive to Detroit and pick up smuggled Canadian whiskey; James Clark, Moran's brother-in-law; Adam Heyer; Al Weinshank; and Reinhardt Schwimmer, a young optometrist who had befriended Moran and hung around the liquor warehouse just for the thrill of rubbing shoulders with gangsters.

Bugs Moran was already late for the morning meeting. He was due to arrive at 10:30 but didn't even leave for the rendezvous, in the company of Willie Marks and Ted Newberry, until several minutes after that.

Continue reading at Wierd and Haunted Chicago...

The tree that branches out at the trunk is the center of five trees in a row. That's the exact spot Bugs Moran's men met their deaths. Even today, people walking along the street at night have reported the sounds of screams and machine guns as they pass the site.