Buckle up kids, I'm about to give you a history lesson. Also, happy Valentine's Day! Go love on someone.
This story is not about love, this story is about death and murder and true crime.
First a little back story and set up. In Chicago during the Prohibition of the 1920s there was a booming organized crime industry, with Al Capone being the most famous and powerful crime boss in the area. His territory was huge and took up most of the south side of Chicago all the way down to Chicago Heights and as far south-west as Cicero. (This map will give you an idea) The other huge syndicate, and the Capone gang rival, was the North Side gang. This gang was mostly Irish and lead by George "Bugs" Moran, and Dean O'Banion.
In 1920 Johnny Torrio and Al Capone came to O'Banion and other gang leaders and divided the city into territories in order to make peace and establish revenue streams in the different neighborhoods. So Torrio, Capone, and the Italian Chicago Outfit ran the south side, and O'Banion ran the north side, with a few smaller gangs exsisting in the in-between and working other areas.
However, in the years to follow, O'Banion did not like how this deal was shaping up for him. Cicero was in the territory of the Capone gang and since the city was right outside Chicago and didn't have the harsh laws against vice, the Chicago Outfit was able to grow.
This background sets up the scene for what would take place on February 14th, 1929.
Now at this time, Dean O'Banion had been killed and the leader of the Northsiders was his partner George "Bugs" Moran. Capone had grown powerful in the city and the Northsiders were still some of his biggest competitors, and earlier that year, the Northsiders had tried to take out Jack McGurn, a trusted gun for Capone and the Chicago Outfit. Capone could not let that go unpunished.
Moran was smart and cautious and so he took precautions as to who he kept around him. No Italians working for him could come near him, he had body guards go head of him on the street so they could scout it and make sure no one would get close to him.
Capone had to be smart on how he would take out his rival, so he hired out of town guns, guys that Moran wouldn't recognize and who didn't look Italian.
On the morning of February 14th, there was a plan to lure Moran and several of higher-ups in the gang to a warehouse in Lincoln Park under the premise of buying Canadian Whiskey.
Several Capone hired guns dressed as cops and drove to the warehouse where they went inside and lined up the men inside. It was not unusual for cops to raid gang areas for show, so the men didn't suspect anything as the cops lined them up and murdered them with Thompson machine guns. Several high ranking members of the North Side Gang were killed including hit men and the bookkeeper for the gang.
However, the lookout for the job mistook a man for Bugs Moran and so Moran was not killed that day. He was within a few blocks when he heard the shooting and turned around.
The real police showed up a few minutes later to find the bodies and Frank Gusenberg, a hit man, still alive despite 14 bullet wounds. He died three hours later.
Al Capone never faced charges.