Prohibition Chicago

The Northsiders

1924 -- Prelude 

1925 -- War in Chicago

1926 -- "A Real Goddamn Crazy Place!"

October 11, 1926

October 11, 1926
Part II

St. Valentine's Day Massacre
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Top Ten Myths
Part III: Ten Questions
(and ten answers)


Photo Gallery






Hymie Weiss appears to be about 20 years old in these shots, which would mean the photos were taken in 1918. They have the look of police mugs, but without the police ID numbers across the chest. Weiss looks contained, with just a hint of a smile on the full front shot.

I like the O'Banion photo because it seems to be a candid shot, possibly taken by the press in some courtroom. O'Banion, unlike his fellow Northsiders, has many photos on file.

I have seen only two photos of Morton; this is the most common.

There are two well-known photos of Drucci: this one (sometimes with a coat and tie literally drawn in), and a shot of him on a morgue table after he was shot and killed by the police. Drucci, like Weiss, seems to be in his late teens or early twenties.

Moran did not seem to shy away from the camera-- unlike his fellow Northsiders, there are about a dozen photos of George Moran, but only several of the young Moran. Here he seems to be in front of Judge Lyle, petulant as the windy Lyle rambles on about the evils of criminal behavior.

This is Al Capone at the height of his reign in Chicago, 1928. In later Hollywood gangster films, the look would become a cliche-- but this was the real deal, as it was happening.

Johnny Torrio leaving the hospital to do his Sieben brewery jail time. A heavy scarf covers the nasty neck and jaw gunshot wounds inflicted by Weiss and Moran.

Frank Nitti, in three piece suit, probably at a court hearing. A thinking man's gangster whose emotional problems eventually overwhelmed him. In 1932, Chicago Mayor Tony Cermack's hand-picked police detectives shot Nitti after being paid off by former Northsider Teddy Newberry. Nitti survived, and within two months had both Newberry and Cermack murdered.

"Machinegun" Jack McGurn (Vincenzo de Mora). A key player in Capone's organization.

Photo Gallery