Part III: Chicago's Unione Siciliana 1920 – A Decade of Slaughter

Oct 14, 2009 - by Allan May - 0 Comments

Antonio "Tony" Lombardo

Antonio "Tony" Lombardo

Being the president of Chicago's Unione Siciliana was a ticket to the morgue, but that didn't stop Tony Lombardo, Capone's man, and Joe Aiello from wanting that job more than any other.
by Allan May

With the death of Samoots Amatuna in November, 1925, Al Capone was finally able to place his own man, Tony Lombardo, into the leadership of the Unione Siciliana. It was not an easy task. Opposing the Capone interests was Joseph Aiello, one of nine brothers active in the Unione. Aiello desired the throne himself. He bided his time…and plotted.

Antonio "Anthony, Tony" Lombardo

By his own account he came by boat to America, arriving in Chicago by train with just $12 in his pockets. Lombardo got into the commission business. Some accounts describe him as a wholesale grocer and a cheese merchant in partnership with the Aiello family. Another source claims he was a sugar broker and became rich by supplying the Genna brother's alky cookers.

Although not much else is known about Lombardo's earlier years, two things are certain. He was the man Capone wanted as president of the Unione Siciliano, and second, when he became president, his friendship with the Aiellos deteriorated into what some historians called the "War of Sicilian Succession."

Author Alson J. Smith, in his 1954 classic Syndicate City: The Chicago Crime Cartel and What To Do About It, wrote that Chicago Municipal Court Judge Bernard Barasa was the "top dog" in the Unione Siciliana in the wake of Amatuna's murder, but only in a figure-head position. Smith provided this description of the Unione Siciliano:

"Up until 1920 or thereabouts it had been a reasonably law-abiding organization. It provided insurance and burial benefits for its members and functioned as a go-between for Sicilian immigrants and American politicians, police authorities, labor leaders, etc. On the side it acted as an intermediary in the settlement of personal feuds between various members of the Sicilian community who did not wish to take their dispute before the legal authorities. Quite often these private matters involved extortion, kidnapping, etc., which in the Old World had been the province of the Sicilian Mafia, the old Black Hand. The Unione was also the custodian of a set of weird medieval customs by means of which the Sicilian community in America was bound to that back in Sicily, such things as 'blood brotherhood' and 'omerta,' the law of silence."

Smith wrote that Amatuna was "succeeded as president not by one man but by two – Antonio Lombardo and Joe Aiello." Smith claimed that a "beautiful friendship came to an abrupt end" when Capone "installed" Lombardo as president. Aiello's appeals to the Unione's national president in New York, Frank Uale, went unheeded – initially.

Lombardo changed the name of the Chicago chapter of the Unione to the Italo-American National Union and opened the society's membership to all Italians. Major changes soon followed, including moving the organization's offices, opening a publishing house, starting a youth program, and hiring a New York University professor to write a history of Italians in Chicago. Unione member Dan Serritella became the society's representative in "Big Bill" Thompson's administration when he was appointed to the office of City Sealer.

Despite these positive accomplishments, and Capone's backing, Lombardo faced a dangerous road. With Amatuna's death, the raising of funds for Albert Anselmi and John Scalise's defense against charges of killing two policemen continued – with bloody consequences for those who were not making significant contributions. Angelo Genna's brother-in-law, Henry Spignola, was shot to death on Jan. 10, 1926 while leaving a South Halsted restaurant. Spignola, who had already contributed $10,000 to the fund, balked when pressed for more. Later that month two local grocers, brothers Augustino and Antonio Moreci, yeast suppliers for the Genna alky-cooking operators, were approached for contributions. Both men gave $2,000 apiece, but made it clear that would be the end of their generosity. On Jan. 26 the two brothers were found shot to death.

The overseeing of Amatuna's collection efforts had fallen on Orazio Tropea, a former Genna gunman so widely feared that he had been given the nickname "the Scourge." After the murders of Spignola and the Moreci brothers, retaliation was swift, but by whom was unknown. In a period of just nine days, between February 15 and 24, 1926, Tropea, and two other fund collectors – Ecola Baldelli and Vito Bascone – were found shot to death. It was rumored that Tropea and his collectors were holding out on the two jailed gunmen. (On June 23, 1927 Anselmi and Scalise were acquitted of the murders of the two policemen.)

Meanwhile, North Side mobsters were still gunning for Capone in the wake of O'Bannion's death. Capone forces struck back twice during August 1926. Within a six- day period two attacks were orchestrated on Earl "Hymie" Weiss and Vincent "the Schemer" Drucci, both times in front of the Standard Oil Building on South Michigan Ave. The North Siders fought back in spectacular fashion on Sept. 20, when a motorcade of 10 automobiles shot the Hawthorne Hotel in Cicero to pieces in an attempt to kill Capone.

At this point Lombardo, who acted as a consigliere to Capone, was commissioned by "Big Al" to arrange a peace initiative with the North Side leadership. Willing to agree to anything within reason, Capone had Lombardo meet with Weiss at the Hotel Sherman. Weiss demanded that Anselmi and Scalise be turned over to him for execution for the slaying of O'Bannion. When Lombardo telephoned with this demand Capone responded, "I wouldn't do that to a yellow dog." Weiss then stormed out of the hotel. Perhaps he should have been more conciliatory: three weeks later Capone's gunmen slaughtered him.

With Weiss dead, Drucci was more open to a peace proposal. It wouldn't take long. One-time Capone ally Joe "Pollack" Saltis, who was fearful that his recent commitment to the Weiss camp in Chicago's ongoing beer war would make him Capone's next target, initiated this one. Maxie Eisen, a Chicago labor racketeer representing Saltis, called for another meeting to be held at the Hotel Sherman on Oct. 20. Eisen, flanked by Lombardo, spoke to a gathering of approximately 30 of the city's top mobsters and a five-point peace plan, submitted by Capone, was accepted by the warring factions.

For almost the next seven months there was relative calm between the warring gangs in Chicago. Then Aiello offered the chef of Capone's favorite restaurant, Joe Esposito's Bella Napoli Café, $35,000 to put prussic acid in Capone's soup. The chef allegedly agreed, but later changed his mind and exposed the plot to Capone. Infuriated, Capone prepared for war. Aiello then offered $50,000 to anyone who would kill Capone. William Helmer, in his book Public Enemies: America's Criminal Past, 1919-1940, chronicles the chain of events:

May 25, 1927 – New York gangster Tony Torchio is machine-gunned to death in Chicago, after responding to Joe Aiello's bounty on Al Capone.

June 1, 1927 – Aiello gangster Lawrence LaPresta is killed by the Capone gang.

June 29-30, 1927 – Diego Attlomionte, Numio Jamerrico and Lorenzo Alagna, Aiello gangsters, are gunned down by the Capone gang.

July 11, 1927 – Giovanni Blandini, an Aiello gangster, is shot to death in Chicago.

July 17, 1927 – Dominic Cinderello, an Aiello gangster, is murdered in Chicago.

September 23, 1927 – Sam Valente, Cleveland gangster hired by Joe Aiello to kill Capone, is machine-gunned in Chicago.

Aiello, who was suffering huge loses, aligned himself with the North Side gang now under the control of George "Bugs" Moran. Included in the Moran group were Jack Zuta, Billy Skidmore and Barney Bertsche. At the time of the Hotel Sherman Peace Treaty, this trio ran several North Side prostitution houses and gambling dens. As a result of the treaty, their operations now came under Capone who collected a percentage of their profits. The three men, who hated Capone, snubbed him and conspired with the Moran – Aiello combination against him.

Nov. 9, 1927 – "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn shot and wounded by the Moran gang's Gusenberg brothers, Pete and Frank, in the cigar store of Chicago's McCormick Hotel.

Nov. 10, 1927 – Robert and Frank Aiello, rivals of Capone, are shot to death at Springfield, Ill.

Nov. 20, 1927 – Bombs damage restaurant owned by gangster Jack Zuta at 323 North Ashland in Chicago.

Nov. 23, 1927 – Bomb damages headquarters of Jack Zuta/Billy Skidmore/Barney Bertsche vice syndicate, at 823 West Adams in Chicago.

On Nov. 13, police raided an apartment across the street from Lombardo's home on Washington Blvd. and discovered shotguns and a large supply of ammunition. Lombardo's followers went to Joe Aiello's home to get an explanation but were told he was away in New York City.

Aided by a series of tips, the police made three more raids. At an apartment on Western Ave. they found a cache of dynamite and percussion caps. Next they went to the Rex Hotel on North Ashland where they arrested Milwaukee gunman Angelo La Mantio and four Aiello associates. Taken to the South Clark Street station to be questioned, La Mantio, only 23, confessed that he had been hired by the Aiellos to kill Capone and Lombardo. He told police he had been paid a $5,000 advance.

From the Rex Hotel, police went to a room in the Atlantic Hotel where they found two rifles and ammunition in a room that overlooked a saloon owned by former alderman Michael Kenna. Both Capone and Lombardo were known to frequent the place. Capone and Lombardo were brought to the detective bureau on South Clark Street to view the suspects. Both Capone and Lombardo refused to identify any of the men.

In the meantime, police, acting on the La Mantio confession, went to the Aiello home and found him there. When word got back to Capone that Aiello was being held at the South Clark Street station he reacted as Capone normally did – sensationally. Six taxicabs soon approached the station house, one behind the other. Twenty to twenty-five gunmen got out and began to take up positions around the station.

Louis "Little New York" Campagna, a top Capone bodyguard, along with two other men, stood near the front door of the station. Campagna drew a revolver from his shoulder holster and stuck it in his coat pocket. This caught the attention of a policeman inside the station and he went outside with several other officers and seized the three men. They were placed in a cell next to Aiello. The police then placed into a nearby cell an officer, disguised as a prisoner, who understood Sicilian. Aiello quickly recognized his enemies and became terrified.

"You're dead, friend, you're dead," Campagna told Aiello. "You won't get to the end of the street still walking."

"Can't we settle this thing?" Aiello pleaded. "Give me 15 days, just 15 days, and I will sell my stores and my house, and leave everything in your hands. Think of my wife and my baby, and let me go."

"You dirty rat," replied Campagna. "You started this thing. We'll end it. You're as good as dead now."

A short while later, Aiello was booked for conspiracy to commit murder and had his bond approved. Aiello and his wife and child were given a police escort to a taxicab and driven away to safety. The following day, three bakery shops owned by the Aiellos were found closed. Due to appear in court the following day, his lawyer announced Aiello had suffered a nervous breakdown. This brought smiles to the faces of Campagna and the other Capone associates in the courtroom. Joe Aiello then disappeared from Chicago – for a while.

The assault continued however, into early January 1928.

Jan. 3, 1928 – Bombs damage the Forest Club, an alleged gambling resort at 7214 Circle Avenue, Forest Park, Ill., and the Newport Hotel, a Zuta/Bertsche/Skidmore gang hangout, at West Madison in Chicago.

Jan. 5, 1928 – Capone gangsters shoot up the Aiello Bros. Bakery at 473 West Division Street in the Capone-Aiello war. Dago Lawrence Mangano and Phil D'Andrea, Capone lieutenants, are sought by the police.

Joe Aiello and several of his brothers reportedly headed to Trenton, N.J. to lie low. While there Aiello visited Brooklyn to meet with Frank Uale. According to Alson Smith in Syndicate City, "Frankie was not particularly concerned about justice, but the dues hadn't been poring into national headquarters from Chicago in their customary volume and Frankie assumed that Al and Tony were holding out on him. So he listened to Joe Aiello's tale of woe and issued a ukase (order) – Tony was to step down and let Joe run the Chicago Unione."

If Uale felt that Capone had been holding out on him, this might have been the reason the Brooklyn leader of the national Unione Siciliana had been hijacking liquor shipments headed for the Chicago mob boss beginning in June 1927. Capone certainly suspected as much after an old Brooklyn friend, James DeAmato was gunned down on July 7, 1927. DeAmato had been asked by Capone to watch a few of his shipments. DeAmato reported back that Uale had been behind the hijackings.

With the latest edict from Uale to remove Lombardo, and because of the hijackings, Capone decided to move against his old mentor. On July 1, 1928, a brilliant Sunday afternoon, Capone gunmen snuffed out the life of one of New York City's most popular gangsters. The killing was the city's first Tommy gun murder. Uale's funeral was one of the grandest ever held in the Big Apple.

With many of his gunmen dead and now Frank Uale in the grave with them, the Aiellos resorted to one more plan of action. This plan struck at the pocket book of Capone and Aiello, but it also tore apart the Chicago neighborhood known as "Little Sicily." Never in the history of gang warfare in American – or SINCE – has any war except the Capone-Aiello war had such results among the populace of a city.

A Chicago Daily Tribune reporter, with the unlikely name of Orville Dwyer, went into the Sicilian community and, with the help of an informant, described the neighborhood and what happened there. Here are the highlights of his investigation:

"The north side Sicilian colony called 'Little Sicily,' bounded by Division street on the north, Chicago avenue on the south, Sedgwick street on the east, and Larrabee street on the west, has been one of the numerous battlegrounds stretching away to New York and elsewhere.

"Once, years ago, this district was one of Swedish and Norwegian and German immigrants. The Sicilians followed and in a few years had established themselves in one solid community. They had their feuds which they brought with them from the south of Italy; but in the main they drank their red wine and made music and sang and danced in happiness and in peace.

"Then came Prohibition and stills and moonshine and gangsters and shotguns and machine guns and the transformation began. Almost every man became a potential alcohol cooker, almost every home a potential cookery. They found they could make more money out of cooking alcohol and moonshine than they had ever dreamed of having.

"Lombardo and the Aiellos (who own much property in this area) in their last two years of fighting have battled not alone with bombs and terrorism, shotguns and machine guns, but they have employed economic measures as well. As a result of it all, terror has seized the community. A campaign of threats and warnings has been carried out – cross currents of intimidation have sent the people into panic.

"More than 300 families have moved away from here since August 1… 'Why did they all go?' They were told to go. They got a mysterious telephone call or anonymous letters. And the next day they were gone. A few weeks ago laughter and music came out of these houses, lights twinkled in them in the evening. Now they are empty and their windows stare like blind eyes in the sun. There are hundreds of vacant flats, whole buildings.

"There are 300 to 400 fewer children in the (Edward) Jenner School this year than there were last year. St. Philip's has lost more than 200 children. 'Do you know you cannot buy any meat in practically this whole district?' It is true. A few weeks ago the butcher shops started suddenly and mysteriously to close, one by one. They have all been closed for several weeks now. The same sinister, inexplicable force.

"The Sicilian people, unorganized, are peaceful and industrious. Organized, with bad leaders, they are a terrific power for evil. They (Lonardo and the Aiellos) have chased dozens of families out of each other's properties just so those properties would stand vacant and fail to be a source of income."

Friday, Sept. 7, 1928 was a normal business day for Tony Lombardo. Alson Smith tells us that at "exactly four o'clock" the phone rang in the Italo-American National Union headquarters. Lombardo was said to have been in his office speaking to nine men, seven of whom were never identified, when the call arrived from Pete Rizzito, a Unione Siciliana president wannabe. Rizzito kept Lombardo on the phone until 4:15. Lombardo then let his office with bodyguards Joe Ferrara and Joe Lolordo.

Stepping out onto Dearborn Street into a sunny afternoon in the heart of Chicago's famous Loop, the trio was surrounded by crowds bustling along the sidewalk heading home from work or a day of downtown shopping. At the corner of Madison and Dearborn, which the Chicago Daily Tribune stated was "a block from the world's busiest corner," Lombardo and the two Joes stopped and watched as a small airplane was being pulled up the side of the Boston Store, one of the city's largest department stores, for a display.

As the men passed Raklios Restaurant at 61 West Madison, bodyguard Lolordo would later testify he heard someone say, "Why, there they are." With that a man wearing a gray suit stepped out of Raklios, hurried up behind Lombardo, aimed a .38 caliber revolver loaded with dum-dum bullets behind his left ear and pulled the trigger twice. Lombardo, killed instantly, plowed to the pavement face.

The Chicago newspapers associated the Unione Siciliana almost generically with the Mafia. The Chicago Daily Tribune ran the headline, KILL LOMBARDO, MAFIA CHIEF. Father Louis M. Gianbastiano, who had once implored his congregation to help police in the wake of the Joseph Laspisa murder outside his church, posted a sign outside his San Filippo Benizi house of worship. In translation, "He urged his brothers – for the respect they owed God in Whom they believed and the honor of their country and humanity – to pray for an end to the horrid slaughter that dishonored the Italian name before the civilized world."

While one assassin had been shooting Lombardo, another gunman, dressed in a brown suit, fired two shots into the back of Ferrara. The bodyguard fell to his knees while trying to pull his gun from a shoulder holster. The two gunmen dropped their weapons and took off in opposite directions.

Lolordo drew his own gun and took off after the man in gray. According to Lolordo, the killer dashed into a shoe store at 53 West Madison and when Lolordo went in after him he ended up in the arms of a Chicago police officer who disarmed him.

Despite the shooting taking place in broad daylight on a crowded city street, there were few eyewitnesses. Warrants were immediately issued for Joe and Dominic Aiello and Jack Zuta. All three men had airtight alibis. Witnesses claimed "a big man dressed in brown and a medium-sized man dressed in gray, neither of whom appeared to be Italian", did the killings. The three were then released. The police then issued a "guarded" statement claiming the killers were thought to be Frank and Pete Gusenberg.

The Chicago Police Department was under the gun as newspapers in the city and across the country editorialized on the brazen daylight assassination on a crowded city street.

Lombardo's murder made for a truly great "who-done-it," especially in the first 20 years after his death. Today most organized crime historians have come to the conclusion that Lombardo's murder was carried out for Joe Aiello at the hands of Frank and Pete Gusenberg. However, Alson Smith, in 1954, offered several more theories to ponder. The first of which questioned Joe Lolordo's involvement.

Lolordo was on Lombardo's left and the Unione president was shot behind the left ear. Why hadn't the gunmen tried to shoot or kill Lolordo? The two assassins fired a total of four bullets before dropping their weapons and running off in opposite directions. Could one of the two .38 caliber revolvers left behind have been used by Lolordo? When captured, Lolordo was carrying a .45, but he had six .38 caliber dum-dum bullets in his pocket.

During the coroner's inquest, held on Sept. 13, Assistant State's Attorney Samuel Hoffman didn't believe Lolordo's account of the shooting. First Lolordo claimed he was not a bodyguard of Lombardo and that he had been in the Italo-American Loan Plan Bank making a loan payment and just happened to leave the building at the same time Lombardo and Ferrara did. The police officer who disarmed Lolordo claimed he never saw a man in gray enter the shoe store, nor did anyone in the store. Famed Chicago Police Captain John Stege "essentially" believed Lolordo's story and finally convinced Hoffman that Lolordo had no apparent motive to kill Lombardo. However, Hoffman's theory reared up again when Lolordo's brother, Pasquilino, became the new president of the Unione Siciliana.

The next question was about the telephone call from Pete Rizzito. Police and historians contend that the call was placed to keep Lombardo in his office while the hit team took their places. Police questioned him for hours during which Rizzito adamantly denied putting Lombardo "on the spot." On Oct. 27, 1928 Pete Rizzito was murdered while standing at the corner of Oak and Milton Streets, shot from a passing automobile.

A rumor soon surfaced that Lombardo had cut his ties to Capone and had made an alliance with Lawrence "Dago" Mangano. The rumor claimed that the seven men in Lombardo's office that Friday were Mangano's men who were making final plans for Lombardo's split with Capone. Mangano was actually a lieutenant for Capone, but the rumor, if true, would account for an order to kill Lombardo by Capone.

Still, another theory had the killers coming from New York to avenge the murder of Frank Uale. Ferrara was murdered because he was believed to have been part of that hit team. Ferrara succumbed to his wounds on Sept. 9, two days after the shooting. The bullets that struck him had severed his spine and he would have been paralyzed had he lived. He refused to divulge anything to the police.

Ferrara himself was a mystery. He told police his name was Tony Ferrea, even though a passport with his picture indicated he was Giuseppe Ferraro. When he died his body was taken to the county morgue because there were no relatives to claim it. Lolordo claimed he didn't know Ferrara. A few days later, an aunt by marriage claimed the remains. Later a brother came forward and revealed Ferrara was really Joe Moreci. It was believed he was related to the two grocery owners murdered in January 1926.

On Sept. 11 the funeral for Tony Lombardo was held. Mrs. Lombardo had considered a private ceremony without the pomp that surrounded the funerals of the previous Unione Siciliana presidents, but she relented. A massive crowd gathered early outside Lombardo's South Austin Ave. home. In front of his house, across two trees, was strung a huge floral arrangement that spelled out "T. Lombardo." The T was made of pink carnations, the rest of the name was in white. The flowers sent to Lombardo's home filled the entire house, the back yard, the front lawn, the passageways between the houses, and a neighboring lawn.

Al Capone held court in the back yard. Funeral attendees wishing to talk to Capone, or shake his hand, had to pass through an army of bodyguards.

Lombardo was refused a church funeral and burial in consecrated ground. The Chicago Daily Tribune reported:

"Women seemed to predominate in the vast congregation outside the home as the hour arrived for the body to be borne to the cemetery. They pushed and tugged and perspired as they forced their way closer to the lane through which the twelve tuxedoed pallbearers carried their burden of bronze and silver and silk and mortal remains."

The two-mile long funeral cortege, containing 17 flower cars, circled the Lombardo home once before heading to Mount Carmel Cemetery. There the coffin was placed in a mausoleum until a final resting-place was determined. In a tent erected around the mausoleum a male quartet sang in Italian what had become the customary tune at gangster burials, "Nearer, My God, to Thee." The 36 year-old Lombardo left a wife and two young children, Sammie, 6 and Rose, 3.

Cleveland Statler Hotel Meeting – Organized Crime's First Summit

During the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 5, 1928, a police patrolman in Cleveland, Frank Osowski, was winding up his tour of duty, a foot patrol assignment that brought him to the Statler Hotel at Euclid Avenue & East 12th Street. He watched while 11 men alighted from two touring cars. "These boys look tough," he thought to himself as he decided to follow them into the hotel and wait while they checked in. Osowski then copied down their names from the register and dropped off the list at the detective bureau before going off duty.

When detectives arrived later that morning, they were floored by the names on Osowski's list, which included some of the most well-known bootleggers in the country. Within hours a small army of law enforcement officers descended on the Statler. By now the number of "suspicious guests" had grown to 23. The police quickly rounded up the men, took them to the police station and booked, photographed and fingerprinted each of them. Then each of the hoods was questioned individually by detectives.

Of the 23 men arrested, nine were from Brooklyn, seven from Chicago, two each from New Jersey and St. Louis and one each from Buffalo, Gary and Tampa. All were believed to be of Sicilian origin. Included in the Chicago contingent were Pasqalino Lolordo and Joseph Guinta.

Once informed of the arrests by Sam Tilocco, Cleveland "Sugar Baron" Joseph Porrello contacted family and friends in the neighborhood and headed down to the police station to post bond for the gangsters, who had been booked on "suspicious persons" charges with bonds set at $10,000 each. Approximately $400,000 worth of homes, small business, and real estate in the Woodland - East 110th Street neighborhood would be pledged to furnish the bail. All but one gangster, who was wanted on a murder charge in New Jersey, were released pending a hearing.

At the time William R. Hopkins was Cleveland's City Manager (Cleveland was using the city-manager form of government instead of an elected mayor). Hopkins blasted the police department for their handling of the arrests and then attacked the clerk of municipal courts for accepting the over-inflated pledges that had been offered as bail, claiming them to be near worthless, most of them having already been pledged in other cases.

While the police department was giving itself a pat on the back, Hopkins was wondering why they had arrested the men in the first place, thinking it might have been wiser just to keep them under surveillance and find out what they were up to.

What were they up to? Much speculation has taken place over the years as to why the meeting was being held. It was rumored that other gangsters had checked into several hotels in Cleveland, or were on their way when the arrests were made. It was also rumored that Al Capone was planning to attend. Further investigations failed to establish there were any other hoodlums in town other that those staying at the Statler. What is known is that at least four of the men arrested had met with the Porrello brothers at their sugar warehouse, and that Joe Porrello desperately wanted to be recognized by the national crime cartel as the leader of the Cleveland underworld. Porrello had his childhood friend and rival, Big Joe Lonardo and Lonardo's brother John, murdered on Oct. 13, 1927. Lonardo had been the recognized head of the Cleveland underworld up until that time.

There is a high probability that this was the first national meeting of the Unione Siciliana. In the past six months both Frank Uale of Brooklyn and Tony Lombardo of Chicago had been murdered on the streets of their respective cities. If this were indeed the case it would explain why gangsters of other ethnic backgrounds were not present.

On Dec. 15, 15 of the arrested pleaded guilty to "suspicious persons" charges and were fined $50 each and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Both the fines and jail time were suspended if the men agreed to leave town immediately and not return for one year. Five pleaded "Not Guilty" and later that same day they were tried and found "Not Guilty," and quickly left town with the others.

Among those arrested in Cleveland were men who would become powerful heads of two of the original New York City crime families. Joe Profaci, who along with Joseph Magliocco would also have the distinction of being the only gangsters to be arrested at two different nationally organized crime meetings – the second being the 1957 Apalachin summit – headed the Profaci crime family until his death in 1962. Joseph Magliocco would succeed Profaci for one year before his death in 1963. That family today is known as the Columbo Crime Family. Vincent Mangano was the other leader to run a New York City family until his disappearance in 1951. Today that group is known as the Gambino Crime Family.

In July 1930 Joe Porrello and Sam Tilocco were murdered in the Little Italy section of Cleveland during a meeting with members of the Mayfield Road Mob.


Next: Part IV of Chicago's Unione Siciliana: 1920 – A Decade of Slaughter
The final chapter. The short reign of Pasqualino Lolordo. The treachery of Joseph Guinta. The demise of Joe Aiello. And peace finally comes to the Unione.


Allan May's e-mail address is:

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