St. Valentine Day Massacre

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Valentines Day Massacre

The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre that took place on February 14, 1929 at North Chicago is actually a true crime story of guns and gangsters. The massacre is said to be the most spectacular gangland slaying in the mob history.

The massacre was result of the never-ending competition between two gangster rivals Al “Scarface” Capone and George “Bugs” Moran. It all began with Al Capone having arranged for Chicago mobster George “Bugs” Moran and most of his North Side Gang to be eliminated on February 14, 1929.

The Massacre Plan
It is likely that Al Capone’s henchman Jack McGurn, popularly known as “Machine Gun”, devised the plan of the massacre. Though the plan was deviously clever yet Capone’s prime target, George “Bugs” Moran, became able to escape. According to the plan a bootlegger loyal to Capone told Moran that a truck of smuggled whiskey was on its way to Chicago. The delivery of the truck was set for a red brick warehouse, named S-M-C Cartage Company at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago at 10:30 a.m. on the Valentine’s Day.

The Seven Victims
At S-M-C Cartage Company a group of seven men who were all Moran’s men waited inside the warehouse for Bugs Moran to arrive. Among them were Johnny May, an auto mechanic hired by Moran; Frank and Pete Gusenburg, who had previously attempted to kill “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn; James Clark, Moran’s brother-in-law; Reinhardt Schwimmer, a young optometrist who often hung around for the thrill of sharing company with gangsters, Adam Heyer and Al Weinshank.

What Happened On February 14, 1929
It was a snowy Valentine’s Day morning. When the seven men were inside the warehouse a police car had pulled up outside and no one could know about it. At the same time Moran’s car turned the corner onto North Clarke and he along with his lackeys, Willy Marks and Ted Newbury, spotted that police car and immediately took over.
In that police car there were five men. Three of them were dressed in police uniforms and two in civilian clothing. They all entered the warehouse and it could be possible that at their arrival Moran’s men would have assumed it to be a routine bust by the policemen. The so called “cops” would have ordered all the seven men to line up against the rear wall of the garage, which all of them followed. And the disguised criminals would have sprayed them all with their ‘Thompson submachine guns’.
Just after few minutes of the killing the five men came out of the warehouse. While coming out of the front door of the garage uniformed policemen were escorted by the plain clothed men who held their hands up in the air, as if they were under arrest. They all successfully drove away in the same police car.
Six of Moran’s men, out of seven, died on the spot whereas one of them, Frank Gusenberg, survived the attack and died only after he was taken to the ‘Alexian Brothers Hospital’.

The Aftermath Of Massacre

All the newspapers dubbed this heinous crime as the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre”. The crime story was published on the front pages of the newspapers. Bugs Moran instantly targeted Capone as ordering the hit and also proclaimed “Only Capone kills guys like that”. On the other hand Capone said he had been in Florida when the massacre was committed and he stated, “The only man who kills like that is Bugs Moran”.
The unfortunate case of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre seems to contain every element of mystery, but the clear ending. Authorities had no concrete evidence against Capone as he managed to prove that he was in Florida at the time of crime so he was never arrested for the crimes. Even no one was ever tried for this most spectacular slaying in the mob history because those mysterious gunmen were also never identified. However some years later Capone was blandly indicted for tax evasion and hence sentenced seven years imprisonment. He was released only to retire in Florida, where he died from Syphilis in 1947.

The place where the massacre was committed later became a tourist attraction.