8. “Cherry Nose” Stuck His Nose Where It Didn’t Belong
Charles “Cherry Nose” Gioe was a high ranking Chicago mobster. A specialist in extortion and blackmail, he was sent to Des Moines in 1936, to expand the mafia’s activities there. From his base in Iowa, Gioe bankrolled a Hollywood extortion scheme, which shook down studio executives, by threatening them with costly labor strikes and disruptions by a mob-controlled union. The racket was eventually busted, and Gioe was convicted of extortion and locked up for four years, before getting paroled in 1947.
In 1954, a fellow Chicago mobster, Joseph “Joey” Glimco, dynamited a Chicago Howard Johnson restaurant then under construction, in a bid to shake down the building contractor. When Gioe was asked to intercede on the contractor’s behalf, he foolishly agreed. Totally misreading the situation and the dynamics involved, he asked Glimco to “lay off”. That invited payback. On the evening of August 18th, 1954, Gioe left a business meeting and got into his car. Soon as he sat down, another vehicle pulled up, and its occupants opened fire. A bullet to Gioe’s temple killed him instantly.