To Die in Hell

"We often give our enemies the means to our own destruction."

-- Aesop

By midnight of July 19, 1975, Momo was dead. A "person or persons unknown" had entered the sanctuary of his home and shot a .22 caliber bullet through the back of his head and five more into his mouth. There being no signs of forced entry, the killer had been someone Momo completely trusted.

Who did it is still unanswered. Common belief is that somebody fretted that Momo might talk The CIA might have worried; the Outfit might have worried.

Chuck Giancana insists, however, that that was not the motive: "(My brother) never would have revealed his vast knowledge of covert CIA operations or any of the thousands of skeletons buried in the closets of Chicago’s outfit. Quite simply, the code of omerta ran too strongly through his Sicilian veins." Omerta is the Outfit’s code of silence.

Who then? Who put a bullet into Momo and ended his 50-plus years of crime? Suspects range from Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo, who thought Momo had brought to much attention to the Outfit, to Santo Trafficante, a Florida- based drug king and long-time partner of Momo. Since he was aware that the FBI had already tied him to the Chicago mob (and was looking for a reason to nab him) he might have felt his operations were the most imperiled. Curiously, a .22 caliber handgun identified as the murder weapon was discovered in Florida following Momo’s assassination.

But, who killed him -- and why -- is hardly the point when examining the life of Sam Giancana. What is relevant is the lesson learned through his life and death. Stereotypical as it seems, the way he lived begged for the kind of death he finally encountered. He himself should have suspected it all along.

He had mumbled it many times: "Live by the sword, die by the sword."

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Sam Giancana's body at the Cook County morgue

1. Fondless Memories

2. Born in Hell

3. Killin' for Capone

4. Changing of the Guard

5. Moving Up

6. Eyeing the World

7. Kennedy Connection

8. Wayward Politics

9. Betrayal

10. Marilyn Monroe

11. Nov. 22, 1963

12. Downfall

13. To Die in Hell

14. Bibliography

15. The Author
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