Al Capone And St Valentines Day
Al Capone and St. Valentine’s Day Massacre are synonymous with one another. It was the killing of Bugs Moran gang members by Al Capone on 14 February 1929 that earned this dubious title. This was during the time when prohibition was imposed in the US. As a result, gangs in cities were becoming rich by bootlegging, and owning breweries, speakeasies, gambling dens and brothels. This also led to a lot of gang rivalry as each gang wanted to dominate and control these businesses in the cities they were operating in.
In the 1920s, Al Capone and Bugs Moran fell out with one another and went their separate ways. However, they tried everything possible to kill one another. So, in the early part of 1929 when one of Capone’s associates named Jack McGurn came to see him in Miami to discuss about the problem of Moran and his gang, Capone decided to finance the assassination of Moran and his gang to wipe them out completely. He made McGurn in-charge of the whole operation.
So, McGurn decided to have a plan. First, he got lookouts and placed them near Moran’s headquarters. He also hired gunmen, who were not natives of Chicago. This was because if any gunman survived, the unfamiliar faces would not be linked back to Capone and his gang. Somehow, McGurn also managed to steal a police car and 2 police uniforms.
Once all the parts were in place. McGurn decided to lay a trap to catch Moran and his gang members. So, he got a local alcohol hijacker to get in touch with Moran on 13 February. The hijacker passed a message to Moran that he had managed to lay his hands on high quality whiskey and wanted to sell it for $57 a case. Moran agreed to do the deal and asked the hijacker to come the following day to his headquarters at 10.30 am.
The following day, which was Valentine’s Day, the lookouts placed by McGurn confirmed that all the gang members and Moran himself were assembled at the gang’s headquarters. This was the signal to the hired guns to get into the stolen police car and make their way to Moran and his gang. On reaching the headquarters, the 4 gunmen jumped out of the car and made their way into the headquarters, which was a garage. Two gunmen were dressed as policemen. So, when Moran’s gang saw the police, they did not resist as they thought it was a usual police raid. All gang members were made to stand facing the wall and the gunmen began firing at them with shotguns and machine guns.
While the plan was successful, it had a flaw. The person identified as Bugs Moran was in fact Albert Weinshank. So, this meant that Moran had escaped the massacre. This was primarily because Moran was running late and when he saw a police care outside his headquarters, he decided not to enter. This ended up saving Moran’s life.
Seven people were killed in cold blood at the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. However, Al Capone could not be found guilty because he was in Miami when the killings took place. McGurn had an alibi that he was with his girlfriend in a hotel. So the police had nothing against the two men, but were certain that they were involved in the killings. However, the people knew that Capone was responsible for this massacre and it was these killings that actually put Capone on the federal government’s radar. These killings also made Al Capone into celebrity and everyone finally knew his name across the United States.
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