John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Some of my recent books

Writing fiction: This is worth a read

From Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters by Michael Tierno. The Greek philosopher Aristotle's book Poetics has given countless writers a guidepost for creating great fiction:

"One  of  the  many  things  we  can  thank  Aristotle  for  is  his  writings  on  how  to  create  characters  that  seem both realistic and able to captivate an audience. First, make them good enough that we can root for them. Second, make them 'appropriate,' meaning give them characteristics that make sense for the type of person they are. Third, make them human -- give them flaws or quirks that make us believe that they exist. Finally, whatever characteristics you do give them, make sure you keep them there throughout the length of the screenplay. As Aristotle says, make sure they are 'consistently inconsistent.'...

"Additionally, he gives us five principles of life that we can use to create character in our stories:
1.         Nutritive Life
2.         Desiring Life
3.         Sensitive Life
4.         Locomotion
5.         Capacity for Rational Thought
"Because these five principles all belong to the makeup of a real-life person's 'psychology,' they can be used to create convincing three-dimensional characters. Let's examine each one.

" 1. Nutritive Life. Do you wonder about your characters' eating habits? Wouldn't that tell you (and your audi¬ence) a lot about them? Don't your eating habits say a lot about you? You should brainstorm as much as you can to get a clear picture of what the eating habits of your characters might be, to gather clues about who they are. How do they eat, what do they eat? Do they think about food a lot? What do your characters' refrigerators look like? Not that any of this ever has to make it to the page, but it's a window into their character. I mean, when Rocky gets up at 4 a.m, and drinks four raw eggs, isn't that worth a gazillion pages of psychological notes on him? That image is so powerful and evocative that you know without further elaboration that he is serious about this boxing match. Look at Lester Burnham [in the Oscar-winning American Beauty]. What does he eat? By the end of his transformation from miserable mid-life-crisis guy to seeker of eternal youth, he's blending and drinking health drinks. What could tell us more about Lester's new attitude toward life? What could make Lester seem more human?
" 2.  Desiring Life. At the heart of all action is the desire of the hero. Basic human desire is really what makes char¬acters come alive on the screen. In The Godfather, when Michael Corleone goes to Italy and falls in love with an Italian woman from the mountains, doesn't that make him seem truly alive? It's a probable incident that flows with the action, reflecting his deep commitment to his Italian 'roots.' In Gladiator, Maximus yearns to go home to his family and, after they have been murdered, to join them in eternity. In The Blair Witch Project, the kids' ambition to tape the Blair Witch and make a film leads them to their death. Desiring is at the heart of what it means to be a living, breathing human being.

" 3.  Sensitive Life. It goes without saying that our five senses are a big part of being alive. If a human being faces the prospect of losing sight or hearing, it's devas¬tating. In fact, all of the five senses -- sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste -- define our lives at the most ba¬sic level. Lester Burnham spends a lot of time mastur¬bating, doesn't he? In fact, it's how we are first introduced to him. What more do we need to sense that Lester is real and to 'know' who he is? In cinema, perhaps the most important sense in regard to character development is visual perception. Great screenwriters know how to feed information to the audience through the eyes of characters, such as when Lester sees Angela at the pep rally and fantasizes about her. Showing how characters actually see things with their own eyes ena¬bles the audience to experience 'causes' of the action. It also puts to use a powerful aspect of the cinematic medium, which is the hero's literal point of view.

" 4. Locomotion. Carefully depicting movement is vital to a screenplay. For example, The Blair Witch Project is a tapestry of rest and locomotion, in which the characters' use of their eyes and ears is also notably important. Heather, the lead character in the story, spends a lot of time running around, screaming, and trying to videotape the ground in front of her. The lifelike aspect of all the characters is transmitted largely by their physical move¬ment, as they trudge through the woods.

"5. Capacity for Rational Thought. Thinking about the mind and thought processes of people can be a fun way to brainstorm characters into existence. In Annie Hall,
Alvie is a rational man who has bouts of irrationality. This surfaces when a cop pulls him over and he tears up his license. In TitanicRose jumps from the lifeboat to return to Jack, a slightly more irrational than rational act -- but hey, this is a love story, and romantic love is rooted as much in animal nature as it is in the higher mind. (Rose is also slightly larger than life, and she's being consistent with what we've seen of her.)
"In summary, to create a real human being for an audi¬ence you must have them do things that convince the audience that they are alive, really alive, giving details that even a scientist like Aristotle would appreciate."

Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets From the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization
Author: Michael Tierno
Publisher: Hachette Books
Copyright 2002 Michael Tierno
Pages: 123-128

DelanceyPlace.com is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy. 


The word nightmare is a compound formed from night and mare, while the night in nightmare makes sense, the mare part is less obvious. Most English speakers know mare as a word for a female horse or similar equine animal, but the mare of nightmare is a different word, an obsolete one referring to an evil spirit that was once thought to produce feelings of suffocation in people while they slept. By the 14th century the mare was also known as nightmare, and by the late 16th century nightmare was also being applied to the feelings of distress caused by the spirit, and then to frightening or unpleasant dreams.


Tenured Son Theatre currently seeking full-length plays for inaugural 2018 season. No restrictions on subject matter however set changes and tech requirements should be kept to a minimum. Looking for great dialogue, excellent character development and a new/unique perspective. Please read the following guidelines before submitting:
1. Play must be new, full-length (preferably 80-120 minutes). One act plays are permitted as long as they meet the preferred time span. Going over or under the preferred time will not exclude your play from consideration. It is merely a suggested length. Plays that have received a production on any scale are not allowed. However, staged readings or workshopped plays are allowed.

Princess Grace Award
We encourage emerging playwrights to apply at the beginning of their careers so that through the New Dramatists Fellowship, they can develop their work as well as benefit from being a part of a unique, diverse, dynamic community of professional playwrights. An applicant’s status as an emerging playwright is evaluated during the adjudication process. One playwright will be selected to receive:
• A grant in the amount of $7,500
• A one-season (September – June) artistic residency at New Dramatists, Inc. in New York City (For Award recipients living outside of the New York metro area, your on-site residency can be adapted according to your schedule with reimbursement provided for transportation costs to/from New York)


Following Nick Darke's death the Nick Darke Award was conceived in 2006 by his wife, the artist and film-maker Jane Darke, with the support of his family. Nick Darke wrote in many forms but earned his living in the world of theatre, screen and radio. The Award is funded by Falmouth University through the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) and the School of Writing & Journalism. The relationship between Falmouth and the Award recognises Nick Darke's impact across the arts and endeavours to continue his legacy through the promotion of talent.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


Stage combat is a specialised technique in theatre designed to create the illusion of physical combat without causing harm to the performers. It is employed in live stage plays as well as operatic and ballet productions. With the advent of cinema and television the term has widened to also include the choreography of filmed fighting sequences, as opposed to the earlier live performances on stage. It is closely related to the practice of stunts and is a common field of study for actors. Several actors famous for their stage fighting skills have backgrounds in dance or martial arts training.


Swinging Swords And Side Shuffles: The Dangerous Tango Of Stage Combat

Most theater-goers are familiar with the iconic Shakespearean scene from “Henry V” when the titular king shouts out to his soldiers: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”
But how do the actors — many of whom are swinging swords and shields — ensure that once they go unto the breach, no one gets an eye poked out? That’s where stage combat training comes in.


Student was seriously injured by sword during school play rehearsal, lawsuit alleges
According to the suit, the injury occurred June 4, 2010, during a rehearsal of the play “The Revenge of Three Sisters." The plaintiff's son was 14 at the time, playing the town sheriff. As the other student made his way toward him, the suit says, he attempted to "deflect the sword." However, the suit says, the "thrust of the sword pierced into his right orbit." The boy suffered lasting injuries, the suit says, including weakness to his left side and an inability to properly raise his eyelid.


The Society of American Fight Directors is an internationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safety and fostering excellence in the art of stage combat. Whether you are a producer, director, actor or teacher, we can help accelerate your stage combat skills.


How to Have a Happy Fight Call: A Guide for Directors, Stage Managers, and Fight Captains

The time has come. The punches have been knapped and all the falls are safe. Now it is time to work those fights until we know them in our bones. Fight call is upon us. You excited about it? I am. Before we start swinging at each other, a few tips, tricks, and reminders:
Fight call is the time to check in with performers about how things went last night and to address any problems from the previous rehearsal or run. Checking in with the performers can be as simple as asking, “Are there any concerns or questions from last night?” The actors need to check in with their fight partners (“How did that grapple sequence go for you last night?”) and tell you about any concerns they are having (“So and so is actually pulling my hair, even after I let them know. Can you talk to them?”).


Swordplay is New York City's oldest continuously running stage combat teaching organization, dedicated to providing training to professional actors in the techniques of safe and effective stage combat. Established in 1995, Swordplay continues to offer an eclectic array of classes and workshops, all taught by some of New York's most experienced, sought after and internationally recognized stage combat professionals.


Blanchett injured in stage fight

A witness, who was at last night's performance at the Sydney Theatre in Walsh Bay, said Edgerton accidentally hit Blanchett in the head with a '60s-style radio. The impact could be heard in the audience and the actress and STC co-artistic director fell down on all fours. Several people said they could see blood streaming down the back of Blanchett's head. She went off stage to fetch clothes for Stanley's wife, Stella (Robin McLeavy), and used some of them to try to staunch the flow of blood.

Why Everyone Should Study Stage Combat

“Professional Fight Director and Stage Combat Instructor” is apparently one of the best jobs one can possibly have when attending a cocktail party (though for the record, I would like to state that I always say “playwright” first). Outside of the worlds of theatre and film, a surprising number of intelligent and educated people are unaware that the job actually exists. And once they do know, there is a lot of curiosity about how our work is done.
Over the past few years I’ve been teaching a whole lot of Intro to Stage Combat workshops in various settings, and I’ve been saying for quite some time that the basics of stage combat are essential skills for actors, as well as incredibly useful for other disciplines within theatre and film. I would add that taking such a workshop could be a really interesting adventure for those outside of professional entertainment, and in many ways one of the clearest ways to experience how theatre works.


Conan O’Brien “Stage Combat Class”

If you want to be successful in this life put these two beliefs into practice. 

One is that the future is going to be better than present and the past. Believe that as a given fact.

 Secondly, train yourself to understand that you have the power within you to make it so.

John Tuohy's history of organized crime in Chicago

Svobda, Steve: A Capone brew master

Suburban Cigarette Co: Owned and operated by Ralph Capone and Eddie Vogel. The company had vending machines throughout Cook County from the 1940s through the late 1950s. Vogel also owned the Apex Cigarette Service, one of the largest distributors of phonograph and cigarette machines in Cook County.

Spellisy, William: Operated the mobs wire service in Morris, Ill. In the 1940s and 1950s. He testified before Congress that his handbook operations grossed $200,000 a year.
He also ran the Seven Gables Tavern in Grundy County, which contained a bookie operation with a play of about $200,000 a year. The clubs crap table, a roulette wheel, and slot machines which were repaired by the father of the State's attorney for Grundy County.

Soda King: When mob boss Sam “Teets” Battaglia moved to the tiny village of Pingree Grove, Illinois, (He purchased a farm on Damisch Road) locals remembered that he dolled out free soda to the children “He wanted to make a good name for himself” one recalled.

Simonelli, Mary: Tony Accardo’s sister. She lived at 1922 South Wenonah Ave. and later at 915 Franklin Street in River Forrest. Her husband was Simon L. Torquin who was indicted in the Martin Accardo tax trial in 1953

Sue your bookie: On Feburary 24 1946 Mrs. Linette S. Hoeberg, who was divorcing her husband, convinced a Chicago judge to order a bookie named Barney Snadmill to stop accepting bets and money of any type from Mr. Fritz Oscar Hoeberg. According to Mrs. Hoeberg, her husband lost $3000 in Snadmill’s hand book, which was run out of a bowling alley at 851 Belmont Ave.     

Schroeder, Arthur C: 1400 Edgewood Ave. Chicago Heights. Former Chicago Heights mob political operative and friend of Charles Weber (State official)

Stone, Frank: 1200 Edmeer Ave. Oak Park. A syndicate gambler, active 1930-1960s 

Sturch, Eddie 20 East Delaware St. Ex-con and political operative to (State Senator) Botchy Connors 

Saint Clair and East Gate Hotels: Both of these Chicago landmarks were purchased secretly by mobsters Gus Alex and Frank “Strongy” Ferraro by mob lawyer Sidney Korshak who worked for many decades from his office at 131 North LaSalle Street.

Schemel, Donald: Born 1951, died 1999. Schemel ran a Chicago water taxi service, Schemel Marine Services.  Since Schemel docked his boats on the Chicago River which is controlled by the mobbed up 1st Ward, police suspect that pressures were put on him to pay a shake down fee for using the river. Apparently he refused. City inspectors cracked down on his company and cited him with a series of petty complaints.  Finally on August 14, 1999,  he was shot and killed at 1900 South  Lumber St. by persons unknown who fired several shots into Schemel as he sat in his truck.
Shumway, Leslie A:  AKA Shumway was a book keeper and business agent for the Capone organization. He was indicted in 1929 for attempting to perjury testimony. When the police raided Capone’s Hawthorne Hotel they found a ledger Shumway was keeping that documented the financial operations of the Hawthorne for the years 1924-1926. The records went untouched for several years until the federal government became involved in the struggle to put Capone behind bars. Finding the seized records, government agents then tracked down Shumway to the Hialeah racetrack in Florida where he was working in records. He agreed to cooperate with the government’s case he really didn’t have a choice, in exchange for protection from the mob. The government hid him away in Peru until the Capone income tax trail began. All was forgiven after Capone was jailed. In 1948, Shumway was still with the Outfit, as the mutuels manager of the Miami Beach Kennel Club.

Serritella Dan: Born 1898. 1501 Glen lake Ave.  A ranking member of the Unione Siciliano, Serritella became the society’s representative in “Big Bill” Thompson’s administration when he was appointed to the office of City Sealer. In 1953, Serritella’s family had him declared mentally insane and committed to a mental asylum.

Shaving cream fights: In January of 1955, police watching the Chicago mobs New Year’s Eve party reported that the top hoods in the outfit welcomed in the New Year with a shaving cream fight followed by a shaken champagne fight

Shine Joe:  Born Joe Amabile in 1912.  A top mobsters who rose to prominence under Sam Battaglia. Shine and another Capo, Dave Evans were convicted with Battaglia in federal court in 1969 for trying to extort money from builder William Riley.

Sibly Distillery In 1924, the North Side Gang robbed the Sibly Distillery, then under federal guard since the beginning of Prohibition. Dion O’Bannon’s gunmen looted the distillery in broad daylight carrying away 1,750 bonded whiskey worth around $1 million and were escorted by Police Lieutenant Michael Grady and four detective sergeants (although later indicted, charges against Grady and the other police officers

Silver Hill Mental Sanitarium: In New Canaan Connecticut was the institution of choice for Chicago mobsters who suffered from nervous collapse. In 1961, Gus Alex, who had a history of nerve problems, entered the sanitarium due to hypertension and emotional stress

Simonelli, Tarquin AKA Queenie. A distant relative of Tony Accardo, he worked at the Armory Lounge for Sam Giancana on Holidays, packing Christmas turkeys and liquor for Giancana to distribute to his men.

Singapore nightclub: Located at 1011 North Rush street, in the late 1950s and early 1960s it was the ultimate mob watering hole. The FBI assumed the barroom/ restaurant was owned, in secret by Charles “Chuckie” English, a Giancana loyalist. It was operated by Tommy Downs who was once in charge of Security at the Sportsman Park Race track which was once owned by Bugs Moran.

Soup kitchen: Towards the end of 1930, Capone set out on a major publicity campaign to improve his public image, on the theory that it would keep him out of jail. On the advice of a professional public relations company, he opened a free soup kitchen for the thousands of people thrown out of work by the Great Depression. During the last two months of the year, the soup kitchen served three free meals a day.  "The soup kitchen was” wrote Louis Bergreen “carefully calculated to rehabilitate his image and to ingratiate himself with the workingman, who, he realized, had come to regard him as another unimaginably wealthy and powerful tycoon"

Spignola Henry: In 1926 Chicago’s Unione Siciliano was raising of funds for Albert Anselmi and John Scalise’s defense against charges of killing two policemen. It extorted payments for their release from within the Italian community. Angelo Genna’s brother-in-law, Henry Spignola, was shot to death on January 10, 1926 while leaving a South Halsted restaurant. Spignola, who had already contributed $10,000 to the fund, balked when pressed for more.

Spigoosh: In the 1940’s, Spigoosh was Black’s Chicago’s name for the crime syndicate

Spilotro Tony: The mobs leading hit man in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Spilotro was dubbed “The Ant” by FBI agent Bill Roemer “Because he just never stopped working” The Man with the Golden Arm and The Manchurian Candidate: Both of these Sinatra films were Sam Giancana’s favorite.

Stevenson, Adlia: According to Murray Humphreys, in 1952 he reached an understanding with Illinois Senator and Presidential candidate Adlia Stevenson. However, later that year, the mob, on Humphreys recommendation, supported Eisenhower’s bid for President over Stevenson.  Humphreys claimed that the mob shifted contracts to Stevenson construction company in 1948

Simonelli Shelia: The daughter of Queenie and Marie Simonelli. Marie was one of Tony Accardo’s sisters. In the 1980s, Shelia was arrested and convicted of selling $23.5 million in stolen securities.

Sprovieri, Mario:  A hood who worked under Joey Gags Gagliano in the 1960s. Born 1929. 2631 Superior Street.  On December 10, 1969, Sprovieri was arrested with hoodlums Jimmy Cozzo, Sam Nicosia, Phil Amato, and Emanuel Roberto for forcing a car driven carrying federal narcotics agents off the road and then threatening to kill the agents. They then pulled the agents from the car and beat them into submission. Remarkably the case again them was dismissed. 

Stoffel, John: In April of 1948, John C. Stoffel became President (Mayor) of Cicero in a citizen uprising. Stoffel appointed patrolmen Joseph Horejs to be supervisor of police and charged him with closing Cicero’s gambling dens, all of which were run by the mob. First the mob offered the Stoffel $100,000 in cash, but he rejected it. Then they resorted to threats against the mayor and Stoffel but they refused to relent and the Mobs casinos were closed. However the village board voted to take the office of the police chief out from under the mayors office and place it under their control. Their next step was to fire Horejs.  In protest, Stoffel resigned and waged a war to change Cicero’s form of government. He was aided by former states attorney, Frank J Christenson. On December 9, 1949, Christenson was murdered outside of his home. A few days later two men with shot guns stepped out in front of Stoffels car, but he escaped

Sugar Ray Robinson: In 1956, Rocky Graziano was scheduled to fight Sugar Ray Robinson in Chicago where Robinson was the three to one favorite. Tony Accardo sent for Robinson. When Robinson arrived Accardo offered him one million dollars to lose the fight with an understanding that Robinson would be given a rematch in which he would win and then the third fight would be a legitimate fight. Robinson declined the offer. 

Show Tap Cocktail Lounge: 2024 Milwaukee Ave. A saloon, popular in the 1940s, owned by gangsters Frankie Skippy Cerone and Smokes Aloisio

Svoboda, Ted: Chief of the Cicero police, he was forced to resign in October of 1934 after getting caught participating in a Mob run gambling operation.

Scarpelli Gerald Hector Born 1938 Died May 2, 1989. Jerry Scarpelli came from a stable working class background in Chicago’s  Italian-American Taylor Street neighborhood on the Near West Side, but it wasn’t a life that Scarpelli wanted for himself. He always dreamed of being a gangster which is what he became but unfortunately for him, he wasn’t very good at it.  For the most part, Scarpelli 
was collector  who worked under Joe Ferriola. In the late 1980s, he gained a reputation as a leading loanshark. He was arrested in July of 1988 for his role in an interstate robbery.
While he was in jail, FBI agents played tapes of him discussing murder methods with  mob informant James "the Duke" Basile. At that point, with 18 arrests on his record since 1960, Scarpelli, became an informant and admitted to his role in the 1980 murder of mobster Billy Dauber and his wife. “That was” he said later “Just business”
On May 2, 1989 while awaiting trial in the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center Scarpelli committed suicide by asphyxiation

Spadavecchio Joseph  AKA Joe Spa. Born 1927.  In 1989 Spadavecchio, Dominic Cortina,  Don Angelini, the so-called Wizard of Odds and several others were indicted for running a multimillion dollar betting empire that took wagers on college and professional football, basketball and baseball games. According to the police, the syndicate took in an amazing $188,000 a day at 16 different locations.

Scaccia Charles AKA Charlie Scotch. Born 1910. Resided at 612 North Ogden Ave.  (He also owned a bar, Charlie’s, at 677 Milwaukee Ave.) A syndicate member and Republican Ward heeler who, in 1960, appointed himself to a patronage position as a city inspector at $380.00 a month.

Severino, James: 2013 Elmwood Ave. Oak Park. Mob gambler active in the 1950s

Segvich, John J. 7705 Yale Ave.  Mob gambler active in the 1950s

Smith, Fred, Tom AKA Juke Box. Born 1900. 6118 Sheridan Road. A long time labor racketeer and later a business agent for the electrical workers union. Smith worked under Joey Glimco in the suburban juke box racket. He was said to hire scores of “ghost workers” for the juke box companies he owned and charge a kick back fee of $160.00 a week to keep them on the books. 

Talarico, Michael: A member of the 26th Street crew, active in the 1990 and 2000. Talarico is said to be primarily a book maker and restaurant owner who married into the extended Roti family and is a nephew to one time mob power Angelo “The Hook” Lapietra who once ran the Chinatown/26th street crew. Regardless, Capo Frank Calabrese Jr. forced Talarico to pay a street tax. Talarico’s brother Al, acted as an unofficial advisor to Calabrese during the infamous Family Secrets Trial in 2007.
The Taylor Manufacturing Company. The firm was located in Cicero, Ill and manufactured gaming-house equipment to gambling houses, especially to Las Vegas. The company was owned by one Joe O’Brien who was actually Joey Auippa. His cash partner in the business was Claude Maddox. Maddox had once been listed as Chicago Number One Public Enemy. He was also a suspect in the St. Valentine's Day massacre in February 1929. Maddox was from St. Louis, Mo., where he was convicted for burglary on August 5, 1919 and for robbery in 1920.
Taylor Street faction: A name attached to most of the 42’s and Sam Giancana among others who grew up along the Taylor street neighborhood which, by 1940, was a Black neighborhood.   

Tarsch, Willie: AKA Wilie Kolatch. Born 1900. Residence 1855 South Kominsky  Once a mob insider and one of Chicago’s biggest gamblers and a partner to Zuckie the Bookie, Tarsch refused to knuckle under when the Chicago mob decided to control all gambling in the city in the mid 1940s. Tarsch was gunned down in the rear of a vacant building at 3710 West Roosevelt Road on April 7, 1945. he was shot through the head by a shotgun blast and died immediately. He had been lured to a nearby restaurant by an unidentified man who strolled with him to the gear of the building where the gunman was waiting.

Turio Helen Brothel madam in the Levee arrested for pandering underage girls for vice on august 13 1912, she fled Chicago to avoid conviction

Taylor Manufacturing Co: Located in Cicero in the 1950s, it was one of the largest manufacturers of gaming equipment in the country and was owned in part by Claude Maddox, and Joey Aiuppa, (probably on behalf of Tony Accardo) From 1950-1954the gross income for the company averaged between $200,000 and $300,000 a year. (In 1954 value)

A Take Down Guy: A Chicago mob term for a professional robber

Tomaras, Steve: A Chicago mob related robber active in the 1990s

Testa, Joe: A Chicago underworld figure for decades, Testa, a real estate developer,  owned a saving and loan that was thought to be actually owned and controlled by several mob bosses. At some point, Testa crossed swords with mob enforcer Marshall Caifano who believed that Testa owed him $2 million dollars. Testa denied that he owned Caifano anything. In 1981,  Testa turned on the ignition of his car as he sat parked in a country club parking lot near Ft. Lauderdale, and the car exploded. The results of the blast eventually killed Testa. Caifano was believed to have planned the murder form prison with the permission of Joe Lombardo, technically Caifano’s boss at the time.
  Testa left mobbed up former Willow Springs Police Chief Michael Corbitt $125,000 in his will. He also willed $125,000 to John Hinchy, a former high ranking Chicago police officer who once headed a countywide task force on drugs.

The Take: The federal government estimated the Capone mobs gross income in 1927 to be $125,000,000. A staggering sum in light of the fact that in that same year, the average American earned less then $9,000 a year, gross.
The government claimed the breakdown was as follows.
Beer, liquor, home-cooked alcohol ...$60,000,000
Gambling places and dog tracks ......$25,000,000
Brothels, dance halls and inns ........$10,000,000
Miscellaneous rackets ...................$10,000,000

The Man with the Golden Arm and The Manchurian Candidate: Both of these Sinatra films were Sam Giancana’s favorite.

Tisci, Anthony: Sam Giancana’s son-in-law. Sent to Washington DC in the early 1960s to act as an aide to Congressman Frank [1]

Taran, Sam: In 1953, on record, Taran was the head of the Taran Distributing Co., records and appliance division in Miami, Fla. Taran was an ex-bootlegger with a long record for violations of the internal revenue laws. A one time prize fighter, he served two years in Illinois state prisons in 1934. Taran distributing was widely known as the Chicago mobs front company in Florida in the juke box business.

The Tia Juana A South side wheel active in 1938 and owned by Ily Kelly

Trade Winds: Another Rush Street bar popular with the Chicago mob, and, oddly enough, FBI agents. When Milwaukee Phil Aldersio was boss of the mob, he mad the Trade Winds his official working office.

Trunk Music: A term mostly used in Chicago. It signifies the sound a mob victim makes after they’ve been thrown into a car trunk to be taken to an isolated location to be killed.[2]

Tremont, Peter: 1124 East 46th Street. An auto dealer and syndicate policy dealer.
Trapper, Alex: In 1980 Gus Alex was revitalized and was now the boss of the connection guys for the outfit and now at age 75 he was busted by the FBI on the grounds that he had approved extortion schemes he was indicted along with Lenny Patrick now seventy eight also indicted were enforcers Nick Gio and Mario Rainone. The roof came down on them after Rainoe threatened a construction company owner named Alex Tapper "Pay up or your entire family will wind up in Mount Carmel Cemetery" Tapper refused to bend and Gus Alex ordered Gio and another hood named Jimmy LaValley to beat Tapper up, they went overboard and put him in the hospital LaValley turned states witness Gus Alex and Lenny Patrick were picked up and held in the new Correctional Institution in Chicago however Alex was soon allowed to be house arrest confinement on Lakeshore drive because he claimed that the food at the center made his stomach ulcer bleed and only allowed to visit his doctors and lawyers and had to submit unannounced guests to the FBI worse yet he was forced to wear a monitoring device on his ankle he was forced to surrender his passport, deeds to his two homes, one in Florida and post a 25,000 cash bond By this time Lenny Patrick was already working the FBI having carried a body mic and recorded a conversation between him and Gus Alex they met in a hospital corridor and the tape was damaging. Then Patrick flipped back to crime even though he had taken $7200 in cash payment from the FBI over a two month period, then for some reason he went back to the FBI and said that he would stool pigeon for them again in exchange for leniency when the case went to court the judge was US District Court Judge James H. Alesia (Who was Roger Touhy’s nephew) who sentenced Alex to 15 years  and eight months plus 823,000 in fines plus 1400 a month "rent" as it were for the cost of keeping him in jail under federal sentencing guidelines he had no chance for parole at the age 77 he would die in jail he appealed but it was denied

Tuffanelli, Constant AKA Babe 11844 Bell Ave. Blue Island A one time bootlegger and gambler active in the 1950s

Tenuta William: Chicago mob operative

Termini Salvatore: AKA Sal Mango Chicago mob operative

Tocco Albert AKA Caesar, Chicago mob operative

Tolomeo Philip AKA Philly Beans, Chicago mob operative

Tominello Ray Chicago mob operative

Torello James AKA Turk, Chicago mob operative

Tornabene Alphonse Born 1922. AKA "Pizza Man," (He once owned a suburban pizza parlor.) An extremely low profile hood, in 2006 police assumed that Tornabene, then 84-years-old, would become acting boss of the overall organization. Tornabene has no criminal record and is related by marriage to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich [3]
Tornabene Frank AKA Freche. Brother to Al Tornabene. Frank was convicted of vote fraud and prostitution and authorities say was active in outfit vice rackets in the 1980s.
Tornabene Louis Chicago mob operative

Tuffanelli George AKA Babe Chicago mob operative

Tuffanelli Luigi, Chicago mob operative

Tomaras Steve: Born 1933 Resided at 2902 North Ave. A syndicate burglar associated with Peanuts Panczko and Paul Needle nose Labriola. By 1963 he had been arrested more than 100 times. He was never convicted or served any jail time.  On March 5 1963 Tomaras was arrested in Las Vegas and changed with planning to burglarize Manis Furs

Valicento, Joe:  Mad Sam DeStefano’s bodyguard.

Vena Albert, Born 1949. In 1995, Cook County prosecutors accused Vena of shooting Sam Taglia twice in the head and then slitting his throat for good measure in a dispute over money and drugs. Further, the prosecutors claimed that although both Vena and Taglia were Outfit associates, that Vena made the murder look like a Mafia hit to take pressure off of him. The problem was, all the state had to convict Vena was circumstantial evidence and most of that was questionable at best.
The victim, Taglia, had an extensive record of criminal convictions and a history of being both a dealer and user of heroin. Taglia's girlfriend, Donna Gibellina testified that Vena and Taglia left her Melrose Park home the night before Taglia's body was found in the trunk of Taglia's car because locals reported to police that blood was dripping from the trunk. Officers found Taglia’s body, its throat slit and two shells lodged in the left temple area. They also found Taglia’s blood in the front passenger’s seat and noted that the driver’s seat had been adjusted to the most forward position. Verna is only five foot five inches tall. Taglia was over six feet.

 Volpe Mike On January 9 1978, a gang of burglars supposedly broke into Tony Accardo River Forest, Illinois mansion on 1407 North Ashland Avenue while Accardo and his wife were vacationing in California. The break in was discovered by Accardo’s handy man, 75 year old Mike Volpe who promptly called Accardo in California (The police were never called)  
   Accardo launched his own investigation and soon learned that Mike Volpe had played a hand in the burglary and let the robbers into the property. The theory was that Accardo, who was said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, kept piles of “getaway” cash in a walk-in vault in the basement of the house. Volpe disappeared shortly afterwards. His body has never been found.  Over the next eighteen months the trial led to a crook named Vince Moretti he was found, frozen, on Feburary 4, 1978, in the back of a Cadillac in Stickney Township. His throat had been cut from ear to ear, he had been castrated and disemboweled and his face severely burned with an acetylene torch. Frozen to him was Donnie Swanson, another of the burglars. Like Moretti his throat was slashed. On February 20, Johnny Mendell, the electronic expert who was supposed to have beaten the sophisticated alarm system at Accardo’s home, was found with his throat cut. He was found in the trunk of his 1971 Oldsmobile on the south side. Johnny McDonald had his throat slit ear to ear and shot in head and neck, as did Bobby Hertogs.[4]

Vertucci, George:  Born 1925. Resided at 1347 Home Ave. Berwyn. A loan shark active in the early 1970s

The Vernon Country Club: In 1948, Cook county gamblers were being harassed on different fronts in the city by the Kennelly  administration, which was cracking down and only allowing the bare minimum of dens to operate within the city. The mob moved its dens out into the suburbs but were soon the victims of armed thugs who robbed the casinos with ease. On May 2 1948 during the robbery of a gambling room in Elmwood Park, Paul Waszczk, an innocent bystander, was killed which brought in the newspapers and the police. In January 1948 the Vernon Country Club, a gambling den in Lake County, outside of Chicago, run by Charles Fischetti was raided. Fischetti and his casino manager August D. Liebe and others were arrested

Vignolas Furniture Store: In the in place for the Chicago mob to buy it’s furniture. Joanna Battaglia, the daughter of Capo Sam Battaglia worked there as a clerk. In the 1970s, furniture from Siblano’s Store in Midtown Chicago was popular. 
“Wasteful and unproductive” Were the words that Attorney General Ramsey Clark used to describe wire taps on the Chicago Mob while he was Attorney General. Clark ordered all of the bugs in Chicago to be disconnected. Clark’s father, who had also been Attorney General, had been caught up in the Bioff scandal. According to Giancana, the Chicago mob had black mail evidence on Ramsey Clark gathered while he was a law student in Chicago. In 1971, through wire taps alone, the Department of Justice had nearly every mob boss in America either convicted or under indictment based on wire tap evidence.

Vogel Edward: AKA Eddie. Vogel, known as the “Slot machine king of Cook County” started with the Outfit under Jim Colosimo and stayed with it until the 1960’s. On October 1, 1926, he was indicted, together with Al Capone, the mayor and chief of police of Cicero, and others for conspiring to violate the prohibition laws. Vogel worked with George "Babe" Tottenelli, who was the trouble-shooter for Vogel. In 1949, Vogel and his partners mobsters Gus Alex and Ross Prio ran the biggest bookie joint in the city, perhaps in the country, across from the United States Post office on Canal and Van Buren. The place brought in over $100,000.00 a month. The outfits average large hand book, and there about 15 of them across Cook County was taking in $5,150,000 a year. In the 1960s, Vogel was officially employed by the Apex Cigarette Service, Inc., (A cigarette-vending machine company. At the time, a package of cigarettes cost  20 cents)  at 1010 George Street., Chicago. Sam Giancana was also employed there. The company was started in n December of 1937. In 1958, the company paid Vogel $1000,000 a year in salary.

Voiler, Harry: Born 1892 in Romania. One time manager of prohibition personality Tex Guinan. During the prohibition Voiler owned several speakeasies including The Sunset Café and the Planet Mars. He and Guinan rented the Green Mill Gardens in the 1930s however the relationship ended when Leo Sweitzer, the owner, accused Voiler of shooting him during an argument. Voiler had also served prison time in the 1920 for armed robbery. During Martin Accardo’s 1954 tax trial, Voiler testified that he never spoke to Accardo or negotiated on his part for Accardo to buy an interest in the company which published the short lived and mob owned Miami Morning Mail. A judge sentenced Voiler to six months in prison and fined him $2,000.00 and referred Voiler’s case to the US Department of Immigration  

Vallo, Danny: A Capone hood shot and killed by the Touhy gang as he entered Charles Landerer’s Café on Lincoln and Oakton Streets in Morton Grove. A year later baby Face Nelson’s bullet riddled body was found in a nearby cemetery.

Vartolo, Anthony: 828 North Harding Ave. Vartolo ran the Mesi brothers republican organization in the 31st ward in the 1950s.

Wlekinski, Henry: The chief of police of Calumet City, in 1949 he was indicted for corruption. During his trial he admitted to the jury that gambling was rampant in the city and defended. his action on the grounds that the license fees from illegal taverns were supporting the town and were responsible for the low tax rate enjoyed by its citizens. He was acquitted and reappointed to office. [5]

"Wasteful and unproductive" Were the words that Attorney General Ramsey Clark used to describe wire taps on the Chicago Mob while he was Attorney General. Clark ordered all of the bugs in Chicago to be disconnected. Clark’s father, who had also been Attorney General, had been caught up in the Bioff scandal. According to Giancana, the Chicago mob had black mail evidence on Ramsey Clark gathered while he was a law student in Chicago. In 1971, through wire taps alone, the Department of Justice had nearly every mob boss in America either convicted or under indictment based on wire tap evidence.

Windy City Sports Enterprises: In 1945, Sam Giancana, flush with cash from his gambling casinos across the city, purchased Windy City Sports in a partnership with US Representative James Adducci

West Side Block: The outfit owned and managed “West side block”, the name given to a pack of Mob owned politicians. One member was Ronald V. Libonati who was first elected to the state legislature in 1931. Several months later was photographed with Al Capone, his son and Machine Gun Jack McGurn at a Chicago Cubs home game. “Al treated me with respect and I never did anything not to merit his respect” He also referred to Paul Ricca and Anthony Accardo as “charitable men” and “patriotic”  Libonati served in the state house for twenty-two years, six terms as a republican the rest as a Democrat. As the Kefauver committee pointed out Libonati remained incredibly loyal to questionable characters he had grown up with. By 1949, the West side block was the most feared group in the states legislature where it was known they would resort to anything to have their way. In 1947 and 1949, five bills were introduced to improve the administration of crime control but the west side block killed them all[6]

Weiss Ed: AKA Jew Kid A levee pimp and cohort of Colosimo, active in 1912. His nephew, Louis, was also a pimp in the business

Weis Louis: One of the Big Eight brothel owners in the Levee arrested for pandering underage girls for vice on August 13, 1912. In September 1926, while running a brothel at 2127 Armour Avenue, he and his partner Sam Hutch were indicted for harboring a 16 year old prostitute named Anna Adelmann

Womack John: One of three major Black lieutenants under Ralph Pierce’s gambling empire[7]


[1] Peter Dale Scott Deep Politics and the Death of JFK


Organized Crime about to Receive a Slapdown, Chicago Tribune Op-Ed, April 23, 2003, Carol Marin

[3] Sun Times, No Telling who’s boss of Chicago Outfit Steve Warmbir August 19, 2007

[4] The Death of the Don: The Legacy of Tony Accardo by Richard Lindberg 1992

[5] Kefauver Committee Interim Report #3 May 1, 1951


[7] The Black Mafia: African-American organized crime in Chicago 1890–1960 Springer Netherlands Robert M. Lombardo