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Post St. Valentine's Day massacre...

Item # 585685

February 22, 1929

THE DETROIT NEWS, Michigan, February 22, 1929 

* Post Chicago Saint Valentine's Day Massacre 
* Al Capone vs. George 'Bugs' Moran

This 60 page newspaper has one column headlines on the front page: "MASSACRE CAR FOUND IN FIRE" and "Machine, Formerly Used as a Police Auto, Discovered in Chicago Garage". Coverage on the ongoing investigation of the most famous gangster related event in American history.
Other news, sports and various advertisements of the day throughout. Minor margin wear, otherwise in good condition.

wikipedia notes: On the morning of Thursday, February 14, 1929 St. Valentine's Day, four members of Dion O'Banion gang (some researchers believe five), a gang "follower", and a mechanic who happened to be at the scene were lined up against the rear inside wall of the garage of the SMC Cartage Company in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's North Side. They were then shot and killed by the men, possibly members of Capone's gang, possibly "outside talent", most likely a combination of both. Two of the men were dressed as Chicago police officers, and the others were dressed in long trenchcoats, according to witnesses who saw the "police" leading the other men at gunpoint out of the garage (part of the plan). When one of the dying men, Frank Gusenberg, was asked who shot him, he replied, "I'm not gonna talk - nobody shot me." Capone himself had arranged to be on vacation in Florida at the time.

The St. Valentine's Massacre resulted from a plan devised by a member or members of the Capone gang to eliminate Bugs Moran, the boss of the North Side Gang, formerly headed up by Dion O'Banion, who was murdered nearly five years earlier. Jack McGurn is the person most frequently cited by researchers as a suspected planner. The massacre was planned by the Capone mob for a number of reasons; in retaliation for an unsuccessful attempt by Frank and his brother Peter Gusenberg to murder Jack McGurn earlier in the year; the North Side Gang's complicity in the murder of Pasqualino "Patsy" Lolordo as well as Antonio "The Scourge" Lombardo, and Bugs Moran's muscling in on a Capone-run dog track in the Chicago suburbs. Also, the rivalry between Moran and Capone for control of the lucrative Chicago bootlegging business led Capone to plan the hits and the O'Banion's gang demise.

The plan was to lure Moran and his men to the SMC Cartage warehouse on North Clark Street. It is assumed usually that the North Side Gang was lured to the garage with the promise of a cut-rate shipment of bootleg whiskey, supplied by Detroit's Purple Gang. However, some recent studies dispute this. All seven victims (with the exception of John May) were dressed in their best clothes, hardly suitable for unloading a large shipment of whiskey crates and driving it away. The real reason for the North Siders gathering in the garage may never be known for certain.

A four-man team would then enter the building, two disguised as police officers, and kill Moran and his men. Before Moran and his men arrived, Capone stationed lookouts in the apartments across the street from the warehouse. Wishing to keep the lookouts inconspicuous, Capone had hired two unrecognizable thugs to stand watch in rented rooms across the street from the garage.

At around 10:30 a.m. on St. Valentine's day, four men arrived at the warehouse in two cars: a Cadillac sedan and a Peerless, both outfitted to look like detective sedans. Two men were dressed in police uniforms and two in street clothes. The O'Banion Gang had already arrived at the warehouse. However, Moran himself was not inside. One account states that Moran was supposedly approaching the warehouse, spotted the police car, and fled the scene. Another account was that Moran was simply late getting there.

The lookouts allegedly confused one of Moran's men (most likely Albert Weinshank, who was the same height, build and even physically resembled Moran) for Moran himself: he then signaled for the gunmen to enter the warehouse. The two phony police, carrying shotguns, exited the Peerless and entered the warehouse through the two rear doors. Inside they found members of Moran's gang, a sixth man named Reinhart Schwimmer who was not actually a gangster, but more of a gang "hanger-on" and a seventh man, John May, who was a mechanic fixing one of the cars, and technically not a member of the gang, but an occasionally hired mechanic. The killers told the seven men to line up facing the back wall. There was apparently not any resistance, as the Moran men thought their captors were real police, and it was likely a "show" bust merely to garner good press for the police department.

Then the two "police officers" let in two men through the front door facing Clark Street. This pair, riding in the Cadillac, were dressed in civilian clothes. Two of the killers starting shooting with Thompson sub-machine guns. All seven men were killed in a volley of seventy machine-gun bullets and two shotgun blasts according to the coroner's report. To show bystanders that everything was under control, the men in street clothes came out with their hands up, prodded by the two uniformed cops. The only survivor in the warehouse was John May's German Shepherd, Highball. When the real police arrived, they first heard the dog howling. On entering the warehouse, they found the dog trapped under a beer truck and the floor covered with blood, shell casings, and corpses.

The photographs of the St. Valentine's Day massacre were taken immediately after the shooting by professional photographer, Jun Fujita and published in the Chicago Daily News. Mr. Fujita was born in Japan near Hiroshima on December 13, 1888. Fujita received American citizenship by an act of the United States Congress at a time when Asian immigrants were prohibited from becoming naturalized United States citizens.

Category: The 20th Century

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