20. The Mob’s Most Notorious Payback Massacre
Prohibition fueled organized crime by pouring unimaginable riches into its coffers. It also fueled a cycle of escalating violence and payback between gangsters competing for a slice of the increasingly lucrative illegal alcohol. In Chicago, that competition reached a crescendo on February 14th, 1929. Seven members of George “Bugs” Moran’s North Side Gang were stood up against a wall, then cut down by automatic weapons gunfire, in what came to be known as the Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Capone had hatched a plan to lure Moran to a warehouse, with the promise of a delivery of cut-rate stolen whiskey, then kill him along with his chief lieutenants. However, just before reaching the warehouse, Moran spotted a police car nearing the warehouse, and turned around. Four men in police uniforms exited the vehicle, entered the warehouse, and ordered its occupants to line up against a wall for a pat down. The cops were fake, and soon as the men turned around to face the wall, the “policemen” opened fire with shotguns and Thompson submachine guns. Six died on the scene. A seventh, despite taking 14 bullets, refused to ID the shooters, telling investigators “nobody shot me”, before expiring.