Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Father of the Bride

BY J.P. RICH Off The Cuff/ganglandchicagowebsite@yahoo.com

Tony Accardo and his daughter
On April 27, 1961, the Outfit social event of the year began early that day at St. Luke’s, 528 Lathrop Avenue, River Forest.

Linda Lee Accardo, daughter of Outfit overlord Tony Accardo, traded “I do’s” with Michael A. Palermo, nephew of Nicholas Palermo, a suburban Melrose Park plumbing company owner and Outfit player who had known Accardo for 30 years.

After the young couple exchanged vows, some of the guests ventured off to re-group at Tony Accardo’s mansion, 915 North Franklin Avenue, River Forest, for a so-called “wedding breakfast.”

The real wedding festivities didn’t begin until later that evening at the reception, which was held at the syndicate-controlled Villa Venice Supper Club in suburban Northbrook.

The reception was packed with syndicate bosses, soldiers, gamblers, hijackers, hitmen, and mob terrorists, mingling with guests who were upstanding members of their community. The cross-section of the upperworld and underworld was not lost on news reporters and police and federal investigators who covered the extravagant affair.

Reporters and investigators snapped pictures of those in attendance who consisted of a Who’s Who of the Chicago mob, circa early 1960s.

They saw Anthony (Tony) Pinelli, former boss of Outfit rackets in Northwestern Indiana. He flew in from Los Angeles. Also flying in to attend was Nicholas (Nick) Civella of Kansas City, Missouri. He was the Chicago mob-affiliated boss of that city’s crime family.

Venturing down from Wisconsin was a noteworthy hood by the name of Vincenzo DiGiorgio, also known as James (Jim) DeGeorge. He once ran Chicago’s Near North Side rackets until he was exiled to Wisconsin for dereliction of duty back in the mid-1940s.

Other gangster guests included:

Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa
Felix “Milwaukee Phil” Alderisio
William “Smokes” Aloisio
Joseph “Big Joe” Arnold
Salvatore “Sam” Battaglia
James “Jimmy the Bomber” Catuara
John “Jackie the Lackey” Cerone
William “Willie Potatoes” Daddano
Rocco “Rocky” DeGrazia
Samuel “Mad Sam” DeStefano
Dominic “Bell” DiBella
John “Johnny Bananas” DiBiase
Joseph “Caesar” DiVarco
Ralph Emery (nee Ammeratto)
Charles (Chuck) English (nee Inglesia)
Samuel (Sam) English (nee Inglesia)
Momo Salvatore “Sam” Giancana
Joseph (Joey) Glimco
Albert “Obie” Frabotta
Murray “the Camel” Humphreys
Joseph “Ruffy” Lisciandrello
Charles (Chuckie) Nicoletti
Rocco “the Parrot” Potenza
Rosario “Ross” Prio (nee Priolo)
Tarquin “Queenie” Simonelli
Fred “Jukebox” Smith
James “Turk” Torello
David (Davey) Yaras

Collectively, these men had been arrested for everything from gambling, burglary, and armed robbery to rape, bombing, and murder. Only the Cook County Jail exceeded these nefarious characters as the largest collection of law-breakers in one place in the Chicago area.

The following day, an article in the Chicago Tribune, bylined Sandy Smith, the ace crime reporter, read: “The Chicago mob — 700 hoodlums, gamblers, and racketeers who brought along their wives and girlfriends — jammed a Cook County roadhouse [Villa Venice] last night at a riotous wedding reception thrown by Tony Accardo.”

To paraphrase what one investigator later wrote, if you were an Outfit guy and you didn’t get an invitation, you had a problem.

Copyright © 2010, 2011 | J.P. Rich Off The Cuff. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments Links to this post


At April 21, 2011 at 10:03 PM , Blogger Frank said...

Ross Prio Sr was my grandfather, and i remember the Villa Venice as a kid.
It was quite a place, and those people could put on quite an event, like out of a movie. They were always
very nice to me. Of course. My grandfather didn't allow foul language, and disapproved of drinking
by his partners and employees. he was very businesslike, and avoided all the drama you see in the movies. It was a business, and i guess a deadly one if you were on the wrong side.

At December 23, 2017 at 1:17 PM , Blogger Dave Grabowski said...

I could only imagine rubbing shoulders with outfit legends like those that attended this event. These were all bosses and capos that owed Tony Accardo a lot and I'm sure he felt the same. Nothing fascinates me like the Chicago outfit of the past. Post Capone. They had things together


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