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Dean O'Banion assassination...



Item # 582175

November 11, 1924

CINCINNATI TIMES-STAR, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 11, 1924

* Dion O'Banion assassination (1st report)
* Chicago mobster & gunman


This 30+ page newspaper has a two column headline on page 10: "'ARCH CRIMINAL' OF CHICAGO SLAIN IN HIS FLOWER SHOP" and "Dead Gunman and Gangster Responsible for 25 Murders, Police Chief Says"

This tells of the assassination of Chicago mob boss Dean O'Banion. This is early for Chicago mob news prior to Al Capone becoming a nationally known figure.

Other news of the day. Light browning with some margin wear, otherwise good.

wikipedia notes: Charles Dean O'Banion (8 July 1892 – 10 November 1924) was an Irish-American mobster who was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during the brutal Chicago bootlegging wars of the 1920s. The newspapers of his day made him better known as Dion O'Banion, although he never went by that name.

Heretofore, Mike Merlo and the Unione Siciliane had refused to sanction a hit on O'Banion. However, Merlo had terminal cancer and died on November 8, 1924. With Merlo gone, the Gennas and South Siders were free to move on O'Banion.

Using the Merlo funeral as a cover story, over the next few days the Unione national director from New York City, Frankie Yale, and other gangsters visited Schofield's, O'Banion's flower shop, to discuss floral arrangements. However, the real purpose of these visits was to memorize the store layout for the hit on O'Banion.

On the morning of November 10, 1924, O'Banion was clipping chrysanthemums in Schofield's back room. Yale entered the shop with Torrio/Capone gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. When O'Banion attempted to greet Yale with a handshake, Yale clasped O'Banion's hand in a death grip. At the same time, Scalise and Anselmi fired two bullets into O'Banion's chest, two in his cheeks, and two in his throat. Dean O'Banion died instantly.

Since O'Banion was a major crime figure, the Catholic Church denied him burial on consecrated ground; however, the Lord's Prayer and three Hail Marys were recited in his honor by a priest O'Banion had known from his youth. Despite this restriction, O'Banion received a lavish funeral, much larger than the Merlo funeral the day before. O'Banion was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. Due to the opposition from church officials, O'Banion was originally interred in unconsecrated ground. However, his family was eventually allowed to rebury him on consecrated ground elsewhere in the cemetery.

The O'Banion killing sparked a brutal five-year gang war between the North Side Gang and the Chicago Outfit that culminated in the killing of seven North Side gang members in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.

Category: The 20th Century

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