St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

It was about 10:30 in the morning on a cold Chicago day, Valentine’s Day to be exact, when seven men were gunned down gangster style in the Clark Street garage at 2122 N. Clark St.

All of the victims, but one, (an unlucky optician who enjoyed the company of criminals) were gangsters marked for killing by Al Capone.Though Capone was the one behind ordering the killings, he wasn’t present that day. Instead he was at his vacation place in Palm Island, Fla. He had a solid alibi. No one was ever jailed for the shootings; not even the henchmen who did Capone’s bidding.

The heinous slaughter accomplished Capone’s desired result, which was to permanently take-out his gang rivals, so that he could move into the top dog spot with full control in the infamous crime world of that era. Capone and his successors triumphed in winning mob rule that lasted for decades.

The massacre made headlines during that decade of the “Roaring ’20s”. A time when underground crime thrived during the prohibition of liquor. They made a killing, in more ways than one, in the illegal distribution of whiskey and beer. The gangster’s world became romanticized in books and movies and is still so even in the present day.

valentine's day shootings

The grisly scene inside the SMC Cartage Company after gunmen dressed as policemen mowed down members of the Moran gang. (Chicago Tribune / February 14, 1929)


Source: Chicago Tribune