Plunging into the thrilling and often murky depths of the criminal underworld, let’s uncover five jaw-dropping tales about infamous gangsters.
1. Hymie Weiss, the notorious gangster from Chicago, was known for his audacious encounters with the formidable Al Capone, earning him the unique distinction of being “the only man Al Capone feared.” Weiss’s fatalistic approach to his own life can be traced back to his terminal cancer diagnosis. Fearlessly embroiling himself in gang wars against Capone, he even assaulted Capone’s car and lodging place. However, Weiss’s brazen actions led to his demise, as he was assassinated on October 11, 1926.
2. Famously known as ‘The Teflon Don’ for his uncanny ability to evade legal charges, John Gotti was a notorious figure in the criminal world. Yet, his brutal and conspicuous methods eventually led to significant crackdowns on the Gambino crime family. In 1992, Gotti was convicted, and by the start of the new millennium, half of the made men in the Gambino family found themselves behind bars.
3. Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, once the underboss of the Gambino family and instrumental in Gotti’s downfall, now freely shares his mafia tales on a YouTube channel. Gravano, with his self-proclaimed immunity from testifying against the mob, unabashedly discusses his involvement in numerous murders. His stories, while always taken with a pinch of skepticism due to the notorious unreliability of mob members, often bear an uncanny resemblance to a Martin Scorsese script. Gravano’s exploits dwarf the characters of “Goodfellas,” affirming him as a genuine figure in the mafia world.
4. In a peculiar turn of events in 1926, acclaimed jazz pianist Fats Waller was abducted by gangsters and held for three days in Chicago. The surprising reason? To perform as the “surprise guest” at Al Capone’s birthday celebration. Waller was eventually discovered in a state of extreme fatigue and intoxication, his pockets bulging with thousands of dollars he had received as tips from Capone and other party guests.
5. In a chilling display of gangster loyalty, Frank Gusenberg, a mobster riddled with 14 bullets during the infamous St Valentine’s Day massacre, steadfastly refused to reveal his attacker. His final defiant words, “I ain’t no copper,” went down in underworld history.