18. The Murder of Dean O’Banion Did Not Settle the Feud With His Gang, But Merely Intensified It
Dean O’Banion owned a flower shop in Chicago’s North Side, so Frankie Yale and a team of Brooklyn hitmen visited, under the pretext of arranging floral arrangements for a mobster’s funeral. The visits were actually reconnaissance trips to study the layout of the place. On November 10, 1924, Yale returned to the store with two men. When he and the proprietor shook hands, his accomplices shot O’Banion in the chest and throat, then finished him off with a bullet to the back of the head. Rather than settle the feud with the North Side Gang, however, the murder merely intensified it, as O’Banion’s successor Hymie Weiss vowed revenge.
As to Yale, he was arrested, but was released when police failed to shake his alibi. Capone returned the favor a year later, when he helped Yale murder three rivals and wound a fourth in an ambush outside a New York City nightclub. The friendship ended in 1927 when Yale, Capone’s whiskey supplier, got greedy and began to hijack the Chicago gangster’s trucks. Negotiations failed to resolve matters, so Capone went after his former boss. On July 1, 1928, Yale received a call that something was wrong with his wife. Refusing to wait for his usual escort of bodyguards, he jumped into his armor-plated car and sped off, only to be intercepted en route by gunmen who riddled his vehicle and shot him to death with armor-piercing bullets.