Born in Chicago on May 24, 1908, Sam Giancana was left motherless when Antonia Giancana died in 1910. His father Antonio remarried and had four more children. Lonely, misguided, and growing up on Chicago’s west side, Sam began his criminal education early. As a youth, he ran with the 42 Gang, working for Joe Esposito. Giancana rose to the top of the pack, with his driving and killing skills among the best. After Esposito was murdered, the infamous Chicago Outfit recruited Giancana, and he joined their ranks. By the tender age of 20, Giancana was already an experienced killer.
During the ‘40s and ’50s, Giancana began a career of high crime, making him the king of gambling and racketeering. He had friends in high places that allowed him to gain control of liquor licensing, among other things. This gave Giancana the power to make or break a business and he used it.
After several high ranking mob murders, including the retaliation murder of Theodore Roe. The Chicago Outfit was keen on taking over all the crews at the time, and they continued their violent efforts. After the attempted murder of “Big Jim” Martin, the crew finally succeeded. Money began pouring in for the Outfit, with Giancana souring to the top of the crew. By 1957, Sam Giancana was their leader.
During the ’60s, Giancana was investigated for possible involvement in the Kennedy assassination. It is rumored that Giancana was commissioned by the CIA itself to assassinate Castro. This was substantiated in 1997 with the release of documents pertaining to Castro. It reveals that several attempts were made on Castro’s life via poisoning that was obviously not successful. These attempts ended with the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.
After the high profile activities of Giancana, the Chicago Outfit decided that he was too much of a heat up for their organization. He remained loyal, however, even after a stint in jail after being offered immunity during a grand jury proceeding. After this ordeal, he left for Mexico. There he proceeded to take up his old pastime of gambling. He refused to share his winnings with the old crew, and The Outfit had finally had enough.
Sam Giancana was returned to the USA via the Feds in July 1974. Whilst under guard by the police in Oak Park, Illinois, Giancana was shot several times while preparing sausage and peppers for dinner. He is buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.
Recommended Reading:Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America
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