April 15, 2024

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

On the 2100 block on North Clark Street, you’ll find a vacant lot between an apartment building and a retirement center. There are many trees over the lot and cars. People think it’s just any other place at Lincoln Park but there’s a dark past behind it.

-History behind the land-

8 years ago, the site is home to one of the bloodiest moments in Chicago history. It was in 1929 at 10:30 am on Valentine’s Day. Members of the North Side Gang killed seven members. It was said that the men were working for Al Capone. They all rounded up at the Lincoln Park Garage, and after they rounded up, they were forced to line up on the wall of the warehouse. They were shot by individuals who were dressed as police officers and businessmen. All seven of the men were killed within 70 rounds of ammo.

The rival gang leader, known as George Bugs Moran, was the target of the shooting. He escaped without being unharmed. Bugs arrived late for the meeting with his lieutenant and when they arrived, he saw phony police officers getting out of a parked car. Bugs had decided to avoid the situation, so he wasn’t entangled in law enforcement. So, he went inside a nearby coffee shop. He was lucky enough to miss the whole massacre and aftermath.

One of the lookouts for Capone had been mistaken for one of the lieutenants for the leader himself. He was wearing the same hat and coat. The meeting was meant to lure George by telling him there was a shipment of illegal booze for him and him only. But it was Capone’s men who ended up getting busted.

20 years later after the murder, in 1949 the front half of the garage ended up being converted. It’s now used for business. Before it was an antique furniture storage shop. The people who started and owned the business didn’t know what happened because they were new to the area. The business ended up not being successful because only tourists would come to the shop and also people from town knew about the history.

A few years later, (1967) the building was torn down. But where the wall shooting happened it was integrated into the wall of the men’s restroom at a nightclub. Some bricks were smuggled by those who were tearing the building down. Today there’s a fenced lawn that belongs to a nursing home. It was built where the garage was once. There are five trees planted on the same site. The large tree that is located in the middle of the yard is the marker to indicate that it’s where the brick wall once stood.

This is where the shooting happened, and this is what it looks like today.

-Facts about the massacre-

  • Two of the killers were disguised as police officers while the other men wore business suits. After the shootings happened, there were policemen who held those who shot the people at gunpoint.
  • There were two other men who survived. One’s name was Frank Gusenberg. He passed at the hospital after he told the police that he didn’t get shot. 3 hours after the police questioned him he passed away. Another man was named Highball, he wasn’t hurt but he wouldn’t talk.
  • Al Capone claimed that he wasn’t even near the incident when it happened. He said that he was in Florida at his home. The investigation ended up being extensive and exhausting. Despite investigations and searching, nobody was convicted or tried for the murders of those who died.
  • Even though nobody got arrested, Capone didn’t really get away. Both the police and the public were alarmed by the increasing number of mob-related crimes that had been happening. Later that year 64 murders were related to mobs. Law enforcement was put under a lot of pressure to end it. Capone was known as the largest threat and became a target to everyone. He investigated in multiple federal investigations. They soon lead to his arrest. When he did get arrested, he served most of his time in Alcatraz. He was then released in 1939 and died 8 years later.
  • Today all the bricks except 100 of them that were from the garage wall where the men died are on display. They are displayed at the Mob Museum in Vegas. The bricks that had gone missing have been sold over the internet to gangster buffs.

-The Paranormal-

The location where the mass killings were said to be haunted. It has been haunted for years. The bricks that were taken are said to bring people bad luck. It was also said that Capone had seen the entity and got haunted by it until he passed away.

People have reported unusual mists and lights going off. They have said to hear men’s voices when nobody is in sight or near the area. There is screaming from men and machine guns going off when you are near the area. People who are sensitive stand in front of the fence and notice a sense of fear. Even if people are walking past it, they sense panic. Animals who have been over there have been reported to be scared as well.

So, the bricks that the men had lined up are said to bring bad luck and caused them to soak in negative energy. When the nightclub had shut down, the bricks were sold for over a thousand dollars apiece. Many of them have been given back because so many owners had suffered from bad luck.

Others have said that the bricks were sold together in a box. It had been said that the box was numbered and there was a diagram of how many people reassembled the wall. Thankfully it never sold.

Moran’s brother-in-law entity started haunting Capone immediately after the killings happened. He tried to send the entity to the other side while using a medium in the year 1931. It didn’t work. The entity is said to be James Clark, who was one of the men who died in the shooting. But after Capone’s release from prison, he was haunted by the spirits until his death.

If you walk by the fence of the nursing home, you can see figures of the gang members in the nursing home.