The 1920's were a time of Prohibition, Illegal Gambling, and Prostitution. The 18th amendment made the sale and distribution of alcohol illegal. Many people including Al Capone were involved in those illegal activities. Al Capone was notorious for this illegal activity. He got rich by manufacturing and distributing alcohol. He also owned many illegal bars. Many other gangs were doing the same illegal activity. There was competition over the alcohol. Every gang wanted it since that was how they made their money. In order to make money they had to eliminate the opposing gangs to decrease the competition. Al Capone never did any of the killings. He had his gang members
do the killing. They would usually rent a room in front of the victim's house to stay hidden. Then they would wait for the victim to come outside. Then the gang members would shoot the person. Another way is they would do a drive-by and has someone in the car blast the victim with an Uzi or Thompson machine gun.
One of the most famous and recognizable gang wars was between Al Capone and George Bugs' Moran. This took place in Chicago, Illinois on February 14,1929. This was called The Saint
Valentines Day Massacre
'. In the morning at a brick building which was a liquor storage building. Five men who were members of the Irish/German gang under control by George Moran. They were there because they thought there was going to be a truck of hijacked whiskey. While the 7 men were inside the building, a black car pulled up to the building. George Moran had spotted the car and he took cover. He thought it was a police raid since the car was a police car.
Four men came out of the car, 2 were dressed as policemen and the other 2 were in civilian clothing. Minutes later there was machine gun fire. Right after the gunfire took place the 4 men walked outside. The 2 men in civilian clothing held there hands in the air while the other 2 were behind them in the police clothing. They wanted it to seem like there was an arrest going on. The four of them got into the vehicle a drove away.
After the vehicle left, curious neighbors went to check inside the building. What they saw was a blood-splattered crime scene. The 6 men were lined up against a wall and were shot. All 6 of the gangsters were dead. They were James Clark, Frank and Pete Gusenburg, Adam Heyer, Johnny May, Dr. Reinhardt Schwimmer, and Al Weinshank (http://www.crimelibrary.com/). The only survivors were Jim Mays dog and George Moran. No one ever knew who the killers were but they suspect the hit men behind it were Jack Machine Gun' McGurn. He was Al Capone's most trusted man. He had a personal interest in killing Moran. The murders that happened that morning really crippled George Moran's criminal empire and his gang disappeared. That left Al Capone to take over the area.
Right away George Moran blamed Al Capone for the killings. The Police were puzzled because Al Capone was in Florida during the time of the murders. Right away newspapers picked up on the massacre and deemed it "The Saint Valentines Day Massacre". The Story was in every newspaper across the country. It brought fame to Al Capone. It also brought attention from the Federal Law Enforcement. This ultimately led to Al Capone's downfall. In 1931 Al Capone was arrested under the for tax evasion charges. He was convicted and prisoned under the Volstead Act. Ultimately no one was ever convicted for the massacre.
However 5 gunmen at a bowling alley killed Jack McGurn. That took place on February 13,1936. Jacks real name was James Demora and he had over 25 kills for the Capone mob. Morans power decreased and his luck went downhill. He left Chicago and moved to Wisconsin and then Minnesota. He was near the breaking point of poverty. He moved back to Illinois where he robbed banks and gas stations. In 1940 he moved to Ohio where he joined another gang called the Virgil Sumers-Albert Fouts Gang. Moran was arrested in 1946 and spent 10 years in prison. He was released in 1956. Then he went straight back to prison for ten years because he robbed another bank. He died of lung cancer in 1957
Al Capone was known as a generous gangster because he gave to the needy and helped the elderly and he loved kids. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion. He served his prison sentence on Alcatraz Island. He died on January 25,1947 of a cardiac arrest. Some say it was actually syphilis that he contracted from a whorehouse. He was buried in Chicago but later his body was removed and transported to cook county, Illinois.
The building where the massacre took place was turned into a tourist attraction. In 1949 the building was turned into a furniture store. The people who bought it didn't know the history of the building. In 1967 the building was demolished. A Canadian man bought the wall and made a club. A couple years later the club closed and the owner dismantled the bricks. He put all of the 417 bricks into storage. The bricks sold for 1000 dollars a piece. Another legend says that the bricks were never even sold. Many of the bricks were returned soon after because the people say that the bricks caused them bad luck.
Today the site of the building is now a nursing home. There are five trees in a row in front of the nursing home. The middle tree marks where the rear wall once stood. Passerbies often hear paranormal voices and gunfire as they walk by. People who have dogs with them when they walk by often report there dogs barking, howling, and whining.
Organized crime was a big part of the cultural in the 1920's. Without this organized crime the FBI would have not been formed. Also Alcohol would still be illegal today. The organized crime would have not made the 21st amendment witch made alcohol legal.
Roger Corman made the Saint Valentines Day Massacre into a 1959 movie. It also inspired the song "The Massacre" by rapper 50 cent. It also gave its name to the World Wrestling Federation Saint Valentines Day Massacre. That is a pay per view event held in 1999. In one of the Simpson's episodes aired on October 10th, 1991, in that episode Bart shows Fat Tony an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon show where Itchy lines up six cats against a wall and shoots them. Fat Tony then laughs and replies "Its funny cause its true". Also in the Simpson's cartoon show there is a cartoon character called Johnny Tight Lips. He hardly ever gives any information to anyone, not even his own gang. He is based on Frank Gusenburg. His catchphrase is "I ain't sayin nothing!" He says that after a stray bullet has shot him.
As you can see the Saint Valentines Day Massacre is still used today as songs and movies and in cartoon show.