My Bloody Valentine
[one_half]Gangland violence was nothing new in the city of Chicago in the late 1920’s, but February 14, 1929, things escalated to a whole new level. Five members of George “Bugs” Moran’s North Side Gang, plus two gang collaborators, were lined up against the rear inside wall of a garage on North Clark Street and executed.
Two of the shooters were dressed as uniformed police officers, while the others wore suits, ties, overcoats and hats, according to witnesses who saw the “police” leading the other men at gunpoint out of the garage after the shooting.
George “Bugs” Moran was the boss of the long-established North Side Gang. Everyone who had previously taken command of the North Siders had been murdered, and all of the killings were in some traced back to associates of notorious mobster “Scarface” Al Capone.
The plan was to lure Bugs Moran to the SMC Cartage warehouse on North Clark Street.
Contrary to common belief, this plan did not intend to eliminate the entire North Side gang – just Moran, and perhaps two or three of his lieutenants.
It is usually assumed that they were lured to the garage with the promise of a stolen, cut-rate shipment of whiskey, supplied by Detroit’s Purple Gang, also associates of Capone. However, some recent studies dispute this, although there seems to have been hardly any other good reason for so many of the North Siders to be there.
One of these theories states that all of the victims (with the exception of John May) were dressed in their best clothes, which would not have been suitable for unloading a large shipment of whiskey crates and driving it away – even though this is how they, and other gangsters, were usually dressed, at this time.
[/one_fourth][three_fourth_last]The Gusenberg brothers were also supposed to drive two empty trucks to Detroit that day to pick up two loads of stolen Canadian whiskey.
On St. Valentine’s Day, most of the Moran gang had already arrived at the warehouse by approximately 10:30 AM.
Moran was not there, having left his Parkway Hotel apartment late.
[/one_half] [one_half_last]As Moran and one of his men, Ted Newberry, approached the rear of the warehouse from a side street they saw the police car pull up.
They immediately turned and retraced their steps, going to a nearby coffee shop. On the way, they ran into another gang member, Henry Gusenberg, and warned him away from the place.
A fourth gang member, Willie Marks, was also on his way to the garage when he spotted the police car.
Ducking into a doorway, he jotted down the license number before leaving the neighborhood.
Capone’s lookouts likely mistook one of the men for Moran. Witnesses outside the garage saw a Cadillac sedan pull to a stop in front of the garage. Four men, two dressed in police uniforms, stepped out of the sedan and walked inside.
The two fake police officers, carrying shotguns, entered the rear portion of the garage and found members of Moran’s gang and two gang collaborators who were fixing one of the trucks. The “police officers” then ordered the men to line up against the wall.
The two “police officers” then signaled to the pair in civilian clothes who had accompanied them. Two of the killers opened fire with Thompson sub-machine guns, one containing a 20-round box magazine and the other a 50-round drum. They were thorough, spraying their victims left and right, even continuing to fire after all seven had hit the floor.
Inside the garage, the only survivor was Frank Gusenberg.
Despite fourteen bullet wounds, he was still conscious, but died three hours later, refusing to utter a word about the identities of the killers.
No one was ever charged in the crime, but the that infamous day in 1929 lives on in history, and has been depicted in numerous books, films ranging from “Some Like It Hot” to “Scarface,” and even in popular music, including songs by artists as varied as James Taylor and 50 Cent.
Would you like to know more about what happened with the bricks that these people were lined up against and murdered? Check out the link below.