Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Clown caught in Elmwood Park

Lombardo just caught in Elmwood Park last night.

I had lunch at the Onion Roll on North Ave last week.

All brings back memories of walking town to Sam Giancana's house as a kid on warm summer evenings to watch the FBI watch Giancana.

So the old neigborhood nostalgia put me in the mood for mob surfing, and I found this history of John (No Nose) DiFronzo over at Big Al's Corner.

John (No Nose) DiFronzo was a colorful member of the Chicago Outfit who worked his way up the ranks and reached the top spot solely by surviving.

Although the rumor was that he got his nickname by having his nose shot off during a shootout with police, the truth is a little less exciting. According to veteran journalist Sandy Smith, when DiFronzo was younger he was a common thief who developed a taste for Michigan Avenue furs.

He would stake out a nice fur shop and at the appropriate moment smash the plate glass window, strip the fur from the mannequin, jump in his car and split.

This technique was eventually DiFronzo's undoing. Once, his face hit a jagged piece of glass as he jumped back out of the window, and police were able to follow the blood trail and arrest him. He had left his nose in the window. Police gave it back to him, and doctors were able to successfully reattach it.


diane said...

Wasn't Giancana's house in River Forest? I remember all that house watching too and the cemetary in Hillside, near the old Hillside shopping center supposedly had a lot of the old gangsters buried there.

Bill Baar said...

Accorado's house was in River Forest. We would drive up there around Christmas time to look at the decorations.

As I recall, he had two large dober pinchers you could see policing the grounds. It was a huge place taking up the whole block.

He sold it and later moved to a more modest home nearby.

You're thinking of Mont Carmel. Supposedly Al Capone is buried there, and there is a bench near his grave with the words from the boys chisled in it. I've never seen this though and have never driven through.

I don't know were Giancianna is buried. I thought the Church put it's foot down on burrying him in a church cemetray. I believe he donated a lot of money to St Bernadines in Forest Park. We were in that parish.

His home was a nice but modest brick bungalow in South Oak Park on Wenonah or Wisconsin Ave (I lived there 27 years but still get them mixed up) a block north of Roosevelt road.

He was one of the first people to own a snowblower and his hired man would do the whole block in winter time.

He always gave a full, regular size box of cracker jack on holloween. You'd knock on the back door where the maitainance guy answered. The door mat said not welcom but they were always good to us kids.

My mom went to the open house when it was put up for sale because she wanted to see a bedroom used by one of the McGuire sisters.

Anonymous said...

Capone and his family are buried at Mt. Carmel, near the 22nd St. entrance. As you enter, you'll see a large Irish cross marked "Heeney" on your right. Behind it, and to the left, is another large cross marking the Accardo family plot.
From the Heeney plot, look across the path and to the left for a small clump of bushes, behind which is a marker for the Capone family, who are buried in front of it. There may be other members of the Capone gang and the Outfit buried in the vicinity.