a picture of a Massacre
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was a well-known event where multiple gangsters were slain by people impersonating police officers.
On February 14th in the year 1929 in Chicago, Illinois in the United States, “the most cold-blooded gang massacre in the history of this city’s underworld” took place, according to the way the New York Times described the massacre.
Prelude to the Massacre
A group of known gangsters gathered in a garage at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago. They were there to meet with seven of George Moran’s men. George was one of Al Capone’s biggest rivals. The two had often fought for control of Chicago’s smuggling and trafficking operations during prohibition. Each one of the group on North Clark Street that day had at least a thousand dollars. It was meant to pay for a shipment of illegal alcohol that was supposed to be delivered to them. Four or five other men came into the garage, two of them dressed like police officers. George’s men didn’t take out their guns, likely because they thought they were dealing with the regular police. They thought they could talk their way out of it. They weren’t prepared for a massacre.
The four or five men who just entered the garage aimed two Tommy guns and two 12-gauge shotguns at the gangsters. They ordered them to stand shoulder to shoulder, facing the north wall of the building. George’s men obeyed, because they likely believed that they were just going to be arrested—nothing unusual.
But then the five men fired at their backs, killing most of George’s men instantly. It was a massacre. A hundred machine gun shells scattered all over the floor of the garage. The bodies were nothing but a mess of meat. One of the men was Frank Gusenberg and he was taken to Alexian Brothers Hospital. But he had suffered from severe blood loss and was too weak to be able to handle surgery. “No one shot me,” he allegedly said, likely to keep from being a snitch, even though he was dying.
Frank and his brother, who also died in the attack, had recently failed to kill one of Al Capone’s top men, named Jack McGurn. The other men killed were George’s brother-in-law, his business manager, a saloon manager who worked for George, and the gang’s mechanic, and another associate of George’s. They were likely behind the massacre.
Conspiracy theorists believe that George was the target, but he was away at a nearby park when the massacre happened. Each man had been shot fifteen times or more, but no one has ever been convicted for the shooting. Two of Al Capone’s men were charged, but a lack of evidence caused them to be released. Other suspects include more of Al Capone’s men, which is why most people believe that Al Capone was behind the massacre.
A book written by the wife of another mobster named Gus Winkler, mentioned how the couple had moved to Chicago in 1927, along with Fred Burke and that dressing as police officers was a tactic often used in robberies. This is exactly what happened the day of the massacre. Two years later, Frank was convicted of murdering a police officer in a different case and the bullet shells found in that case matched the ones on the Valentine’s Day massacre. Frank got a life sentence, but was never charged with anything to do with the massacre.