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William Daddano

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William "Willie Potatoes" Daddano

William Daddano, Sr. (December 28, 1912 – September 9, 1975) also known as "William Russo" and "Willie Potatoes", was a top enforcer and loan shark for the Chicago Outfit. He was also a participant in some high-profile robberies. Daddano had a reputation as a torturer and murderer.

Biography Edit

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Daddano became a member of the Forty-Two Gang, a local street gang from Maxwell Street on Chicago's West Side. Gang members included future Outfit heavyweights as Sam Giancana and Sam Battaglia.

By 1936, at age 24, Daddano had accumulated an extensive criminal record in the 42 Gang, including nine counts of bank robbery, larceny and auto theft. Giancana and Battaglia eventually recruited Daddano into the Chicago Outfit. In 1944, Daddano was arrested for attempting to steal three million war ration stamps. While police suspected that the Outfit was behind this crime, Daddano refused to name his accomplices. After World War II, Daddano had become a leading enforcer for The Outfit. He also controlled illegal gambling operations in Dupage, Will and Kane counties and in the Chicago suburbs of Cicero and Berwyn.

Though a "made" and valued member of the Chicago Outfit, Daddano was not unlike "Mad Sam" Sam DeStefano. Daddano has been described as a "ruthless and pitiless killer" who was refined in torture with ice picks and blowtorches, keeping victims alive for hours while torturing them. In 1963, he had left a Capone-era mobster's wake with DeStefano, in his Cadillac, with the Chicago police in hot pursuit. Daddano was the main suspect in at least seven murders.

Daddano also had the responsibility to know who every Chicago burglar was, so that the Chicago Outfit could take a "street tax" percentage of everything he stole. A legitimate business that Daddano owned and operated in much of Chicago was a garbage collection company named, "West Suburban Scavanger Service."

In May 1966, Daddano was arrested for hijacking $1 million in silver bullion, but was later acquitted. Daddano was later arrested for conspiracy to rob a Franklin Park Bank, a heist planned by him six years earlier. Daddano was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in the Marion, Illinois, federal penitentiary. On September 9, 1975, he died of natural causes in prison.

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