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Sam Giancana

Salvatore "Sam" Giancana (July 16, 1908 – June 19, 1975) was an Italian-American mobster and boss of the Chicago Outfit from 1957 until 1966. Among his nicknames were, "Momo", "Sam", "Mooney", "Sam the Cigar," "Sam Flood" and "Sam Gold". He was a notorious crime boss who mingled with stars and was involved in a CIA plot along with fellow mobsters Johnny Roselli and Santo Trafficante, Jr. to assassinate Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro.

It is also alleged that Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante, Jr. and Carlos Marcello was able to successfully kill John F. Kennedy with the help of corrupt (Central Intelligence Agency) CIA Agents in Sam Giancana's pocket. Sam Giancana was later exiled to Mexico and replaced as boss of the Outfit and upon his return to Chicago was murdered in his home. At his peak, Sam Giancana was the most powerful, influential and dangerous crime boss in the world, and for 30 years, Giancana was one of the most powerful and richest men in the world.

Net WorthEdit

In 1958, Gianacana had an incredible net worth of $10 Billion (which is equivalent to $75 Billion as of 2017). During his 10-year rule of the Chicago Outfit, Giancana ruled the entire city of Chicago with an iron fist. Giancana was considered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to be "The Most Dangerous Man In The World", and "The Most Powerful Person In The World." According to the FBI, Sam Giancana is the most powerful, influential, dangerous and feared crime boss in history of the world. Sam Gianacana is one of the richest and most powerful criminal's of all time."

Biography Edit

Born 'Salvatore Giangana' to Sicilian immigrants from Partanna, in the province of Trapani, in Little Italy, Chicago, also known as "The Patch". His father, Antonino (later Americanized to Antonio) Giangana, operated a pushcart and later briefly owned an Italian ice shop, which was later firebombed by gangland rivals of his son. It has been alleged by relatives that Giancana's father would have become legitimately wealthy had he not always been forced to bail his eldest son out of prison.

Giancana joined the Forty-Two Gang, a juvenile street crew answering to political boss Joseph Esposito. The name of the 42 Gang came from associating themselves with Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.[1] They thought they were one better. He soon developed a reputation for being an excellent getaway driver, a high earner and vicious killer. After Esposito's murder, which Giancana was allegedly involved in, the 42 Gang was transformed into a de facto extension of the Chicago Outfit. Giancana's leadership qualities and knack for making money on the street gained him the notice of Mafia higher ups like Paul Ricca.

The Outfit was initially wary of the 42ers, thinking they were too wild. However, Giancana's leadership qualities, the fact that he was an excellent "wheel man" with a get-away car, and his knack for making money on the street gained him the notice of Cosa Nostra higher-ups such as Ricca, Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, and Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo. He was arrested for the first time in 1925, for auto theft. He soon graduated to "triggerman," and by the age of 20 had been the prime subject in three murder investigations, but was never tried.[2]

FamilyEdit

Sam married Angeline DeTolve, the daughter of immigrants from the Italian Region of Basilicata, on September 23, 1933. They had three daughters. Angeline died in 1954 and left Sam to raise his daughters. Sam never remarried after the death of his wife and was known as a good family man, despite frequent infidelities, and held his wife in high regard and respect during their marriage and after her death. All of the Giancana daughters have married at least once. At least one daughter has taken the "Giancana" name again. It has been suspected that during Giancana's many affairs he had other children, including one that may reside in the prison system in Oregon.

Rise to power in Chicago Edit

After serving a term in the Illinois Prison System, from where he told his children he was away "at college," Giancana made a name for himself by forcefully staging a take-over of Chicago's African-American bookmaker's, supposedly, nickel-ante, pay-out games for The Outfit. Giancana's crew is believed to have been responsible for the murder of Teddy Roe, an African-American gang leader from Chicago's South Side. Roe had allegedly refused to give over his stake in the games that Giancana had demanded and had also fatally shotLennard "Fat Lennie" Caifano, a made man and a member of Giancana's crew.

Over an FBI wiretap during the early 1970s, Giancana said of Roe, "I'll say this. Nigger or no nigger, that bastard went out like a man. He had balls. It was a fuckin' shame to kill him."[3]

When the money began rolling in after this Southside gambling war, the amount that this nickel-ante game had produced for the Mafia was staggering and brought Giancana further notice. It is believed to have been a major factor in his being anointed as the Mafia's new boss when Tony Arcardo retired from being the front Mafia boss, in 1957. .[4]However, it was generally understood that Accardo and another veteran of the Capone era, Paul Ricca, still held the real power. Giancana had to consult them on all major business transactions and assassinations.

Giancana was purported to have been present at the Mafia's 1957 Apalachin Meeting, in upstate New York at the estate of Joseph Barbara.[5] Later, Buffalo crime boss Stefano Magaddino and Giancana were overheard on a wire saying the meeting should have taken place in the Chicago area. Giancana claimed that the Chicago area was "the safest place in the world" for a major underworld meeting because he had several police chiefs on his payroll. If the syndicate ever wanted to hold a meeting in or around Chicago, Giancana said, they had nothing to fear because they had the area "locked up tight."[6]

Alleged CIA connections Edit

It is widely reputed and partially exposed in the Church Committee Hearings that Giancana and other mobsters had been recruited by the CIA during the Kennedy administration to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who had taken power in January 1959. Giancana was himself reported to have said that the CIA and the Mafia are "different sides of the same coin." The association between Giancana and JFK is indicated in the infamous "Exner File", written by Judith Campbell Exner. Exner was reputed to be mistress to both Giancana and JFK and some allege she may have delivered communication between the two regarding Fidel Castro.

However, Giancana's daughter, Antoinette Giancana, has stated her belief that her father was running a scam in order to pocket millions of dollars in CIA funding.

According to the recently-declassified CIA "Family Jewels" documents, Giancana and Miami Syndicate leader Santo Trafficante, Jr. were contacted in September 1960, about the possibility of an assassination attempt by a go-between from the CIA, Robert Maheu, after Maheu had contacted Johnny Roselli, a Mafia member in Las Vegas and Giancana's number-two man. Maheu had presented himself as a representative of numerous international business firms in Cuba that were being expropriated by Castro. He offered $150,000 for the "removal" of Castro through this operation (the documents suggest that Roselli, Giancana nor Trafficante accepted any sort of payments for the job). According to the files, it was Giancana who suggested using a series of poison pills that could be used to doctor Castro's food and drink.

These pills were given by the CIA to Giancana's nominee Juan Orta, whom Giancana presented as being a corrupt official in the new Cuban government, and who had access to Castro. After a series of six attempts to introduce the poison into Castro's food, Orta abruptly demanded to be let out of the mission, handing over the job to another, unnamed participant. Later, a second attempt was mounted through Giancana and Trafficante using Dr. Anthony Verona, the leader of the Cuban Exile Junta, who had, according to Trafficante, become "disaffected with the apparent ineffectual progress of the Junta". Verona requested $10,000 in expenses and $1,000 worth of communications equipment. However, it is unclear how far the second attempt went, as the entire program was cancelled shortly thereafter due to the launching of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

At the same time, Giancana, according to the "Family Jewels," approached Maheu to bug the room of his then-mistress Phyllis McGuire, whom he suspected of having an affair with comedian Dan Rowan. Although documents suggest Maheu acquiesced, the bug was not planted due to the arrest of the agent tasked with planting the device. According to the documents, Robert Kennedy moved to block the prosecution of the agent and of Maheu, who was soon linked to the bugging attempt, at the CIA's request. Giancana's behavior was too high profile for Outfit tastes, and attracted far too much federal scrutiny. He also refused to cut his underlings in on his lavish profits from offshore casinos in Iran and Central America. Both of these factors resulted in much bitterness among the Mafia's rank and file. As a result, Giancana was deposed as day-to-day boss by the still in control Accardo and replaced by "Joey Doves" Joseph Aiuppa. After about seven years of exile inside a lavish villa in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Giancana was arrested by Mexican authorities and deported unceremoniously back to the United States.

Alleged JFK Assassination conspiracy plotEdit

According to the FBI, Salvatore Bonanno, Selwyn Raab and many other sources Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante, Jr., Carlos Marcello, Frank Sheeran, Johnny Roselli, Charles Nicoletti and Jimmy Hoffa were all allegedly involved in the JFK assassination.

Some sources claim that Sam Giancana, Carlos Marcello and Santo Trafficante, Jr. hired Harvey Lee Oswald to be the fall guy, and also hired mafia hitman Jack Ruby to silence Oswald. It is alleged that Johnny Roselli was the one who shot and killed the president of the United States of America John F. Kennedy with a high-powered sniper rifle from a storm drain on Elm Street.

Return to Chicago and death Edit

Shortly after returning to Chicago, Giancana was shot in the back of the head on 19 June 1975 while frying Italian sausage and peppers in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Illinois. After falling, his body was turned over and shot a further six times in the face and chin. It was believed by investigators that his murderer was a close friend whom he had let into the house. At the time he was scheduled to appear before a Senate committee investigating CIA and Mafia collusion in plots to assassinate Fidel Castro.

Some have alleged that the CIA was responsible for the shooting as Giancana had a somewhat troubled history with the agency. However, former CIA Director William Colby has been quoted as saying, "We had nothing to do with it." Most investigators believe that Joey Aiuppa, Giancana's onetime friend and successor as Chicago Outfit boss, was responsible for ordering the hit on the disgraced former boss.

Giancana had reportedly continued in his refusal to share the profits from his offshore gambling operations and was also scheming about how to regain his former post as boss. According to former Mafia associate Michael J. Corbitt, Aiuppa seized control of Giancana's casinos in the aftermath of the murder, strategically sharing them with his capos.It is widely believed that longtime friend and associate Dominick "Butch" Blasi was Giancana's assassin. Other Mafia suspects are Harry Aleman, Charles "Chuckie" English, and Anthony Spilotro. Giancana was interred next to his wife Angelina in a family mausoleum at Mount Carmel Cemetery (Hillside) in Hillside, Illinois.

DownfallEdit

Giancana's behavior was too high-profile for Outfit tastes and attracted far too much federal scrutiny. He also refused to cut his underlings in on his lavish profits from offshore casinos in Iran and Central America. Both of these factors resulted in much bitterness among the Outfit's rank-and-file. Giancana was the subject of many hours of wiretaps. On one, he was heard to say, "We're whacking a lot of the wrong guys lately."

When Giancana was called before a grand jury in 1966, he was orderedTemplate:By whom to stay silent, which put him in prison for over a year. Meanwhile, Giancana was deposed as day-to-day boss by Ricca and Accardo, and replaced by Joseph "Joey Doves" Aiuppa.[7]

DeathEdit

After Giancana's return to the U.S., the police detailed officers to guard his house in Oak Park, Illinois. However, on the night of June 19, 1975, someone recalled the police detail.[8] A gunman later entered Giancana's basement kitchen and shot him in the back of the head as he was frying sausage and peppers.[9] After Giancana fell to the ground, the gunman turned him over and shot him six more times in the face and neck. Investigators suspected the murderer was a close friend whom Giancana had let into the house. One reason for this suspicion was that Giancana, due to his heart problems, could not eat spicy foods. Therefore, he might have been cooking for a friend. Giancana was killed shortly before he was scheduled to appear before the Church Committee[10][11] investigating CIA and Cosa Nostra collusion in plots to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.

Hit man Nicholas Calabrese told the FBI in the 2000s that he knew that Tony Accardo was part of the killing, and Angelo LaPietra got rid of the gun. The gun used to kill Giancana was equipped with a silencer that Frank Calabrese, Sr. and Ronnie Jarret had made.[12]

Giancana was interred next to his wife, Angelina, in a family mausoleum at Mount Carmel Cemetery, in Hillside, Illinois.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. The name of the 42 Gang came from associating themselves with Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. They thought they were one better, hence 42.
  2. Sam Giancana at Biography.com. Biography.com.
  3. Ron Chepesiuk, Black Gangsters of Chicago, Barricade Books, 2007. Page 95.
  4. Roemer 1995, pp.125-129.
  5. Giancana 1984, pp. 190, 195-197.
  6. Sifakis, Carl (1987). . Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-1856-1.
  7. Carl Sifakis (2005). The Mafia Encyclopedia pp. 6. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-6989-7.
  8. "Chicago", Underworld Histories, History Channel. 
  9. Congress 1983, p. 182
  10. http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/program.pl?ID=240608
  11. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=m2pPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wiQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6699%2C5312620
  12. Family Secrets: The Case That Crippled the Chicago Mob
  13. Giancana family mausoleum location: Template:Coord

External linksEdit

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