Saint Valentine's Day massacre

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The Saint Valentine's Day massacre is the name given to the murder of seven people as part of a prohibition era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Illinois, in 1929: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. Former members of the Egan's Rats gang were also suspected to have played a large role in the St. Valentine's Day massacre, assisting Capone. Capone might have ordered it after Bugs' gang machine-gunned Al Capone's headquarters.


The Victims

The seven men killed that morning were:

The Massacre

On the morning of Thursday, February 14, 1929, St. Valentine's Day, five members of the North Side Gang, plus non-members Reinhardt H. Schwimmer and John May, were lined up against the rear inside wall of the (2122 North Clark Street) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's North Side, possibly by members of Al Capone's gang, possibly by gangsters hired from outside the city so they would not be recognized by their victims, or a combination of both.

Two of the shooters were dressed as Chicago police officers, and the others were dressed in long trenchcoats, according to witnesses who saw the "police" leading the other men at gunpoint out of the garage. When one of the dying men, Frank Gusenberg, was asked who shot him, he replied, "Nobody shot me" despite having 14 bullet wounds. Capone himself had arranged to be on vacation in Florida. The St. Valentine's Days Massacre resulted from a plan devised by a member or members of the Capone gang to eliminate the Polish-Irish Bugs Moran.

Moran was the boss of the North Side Gang which had been formerly headed up by Dion O'Banion, who had been murdered nearly five years earlier. Jack McGurn is the person most frequently cited by researchers as a suspected planner. The massacre was planned by the Capone mob for a number of reasons: in retaliation for an unsuccessful attempt by Frank and his brother Peter Gusenberg to murder Jack McGurn earlier in the year; the North Side Gang's complicity in the murders of Pasqualino "Patsy" Lolordo and Antonio "The Scourge" Lombardo; and Bugs Moran's muscling in on a Capone-run dog track in the Chicago suburbs. Also, the rivalry between Moran and Capone for control of the lucrative Chicago bootlegging business led Capone to plan the hits and the O'Banion gang's demise.

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