Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Al Capone: Chicago's Most Infamous Mob Boss

Problem of Competitors

Al called six of his Chicago partners to Florida to figure out how to handle the problem with the powerful Yale:

"Toward midafternoon on July 1, a Sunday, Frank Yale, his jet-black hair and dark skin set off by a Panama hat and light-gray summer suit, was drinking in a Borough Park speakeasy when the bartender called him to the phone.  What he heard sent him hurrying out to his car parked nearby.  A few minutes later on Forty-fourth Street a black sedan crowded him to the curb;  bullets from a variety of weapons -- revolvers, sawed-off shotguns, a tommy gun --nailed him to the seat.  The tommy gun was the first ever used to kill a New York gangster." (Kobler)

In the summer of 1928, Capone made his headquarters in the once highly respected Lexington Hotel, occupying two floors of the large and imposing structure.  He lived like a potentate in his six-room suite with a special kitchen for his catered meals.  Secret doors were installed so that Capone could escape undetected if the need arose.

It was clear to Capone that Prohibition would not last forever, so he began to diversify into the rackets.  A Chicago business newspaper explained that a "'racketeer' may be the boss of a supposedly legitimate business association...Whether he is a gunman who has imposed himself upon some union as its leader, or whether he is a business association organizer, his methods are the same; by throwing a few bricks into a few windows, an incidental and perhaps accidental murder, he succeeds in organizing a group of small businessmen into what he calls a protective association.  He then proceeds to collect what fees and dues he likes, to impose what fines suit him, regulates prices and hours of work...Any merchant who doesn't come in or doesn't continue to pay tribute, is bombed, slugged or otherwise intimidated."

Like in the bootlegging business, Capone ran into the same old antagonist Bugs Moran.  Moran had tried twice to murder Al's friend and colleague Jack McGurn.  When Capone went to Palm Island for the winter, Jack McGurn went to visit him in early February to discuss the enduring problems with Bugs and his North Siders gang.

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