Dean O’Banion’s Killers

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On the 10th of November three men entered Schofields flowershop, Dean O’Banion had been arranging flowers for mobster and president of Unione Siciliana.

An employee, William Crutchfield, who had assumed O’Banion had known the men said O’Banion greeted the men saying “Hello boys, you here for Merlo’s flowers, O’Banion extended his hand for a handshake”. Crutchfield left and went into the backroom, soon after he heard gunfire. When he came out of the backroom, the killers were gone and Dean O’Banion was dead on the floor.

William Crutchfield described them as two Italian men “who were short, stocky and looked rough” and the third man as “tall, well built, well dressed, smooth shaven, wore a brown overcoat and brown hat. He might have been a Jew or a Greek”. It is believed the three men were Frankie Yale, a mobster from New York, who was described as wearing the brown overcoat and brown hat. Frankie Yale had shook Dean O’Banion’s hand and held onto it while the gunmen shot him. The gunmen were believed to be John Scalise and Albert Anselmi, Chicago gunmen.

Frankie Yale or real name Ioele was from New York, he was a friend of John Torrio who had brought him into the Five Points gang was he was a teenager. Yale was the owber of the Harvard Inn, the bar where Al Capone worked as a bouncer and the same bar that Capone received the scars on his face in a dispute with Frank Galluccio.

Its been long regarded that Frankie Yale battled with Brooklyn’s Irish White Hand Gang, however much of that is in dispute recently with new information coming to light that Yale had more to fear from his own criminal cohorts than the White Hand Gang. However there were certainly shootings and animosity between both gangs.

Frankie Yale rose to prominence as one of Brooklyn’s most powerful mobsters throughout the 1920’s, he was involved in bootlegging, racketeering and dockside extortion to name a few. yale became a huge importer of Canadian whiskey and was a Al Capone’s main supplier, Yale would import and load trucks for Chicago and ensure they made it out of New York without being hijacked but around 1927 Yale and Capone’s relationship began to sour leading to many of the shipments being hijacked before they even left Brooklyn. It was confirmed by Capone’s spy, James DeAmato that Frankie Yale had been behind the hijackings. Some time later James DeAmato was gunned down on the street. Al Capone was was furious with the double cross ordered the hit on Frankie Yale.

On 1st July 1928 Frankie Yale received a phonecall at the Sunrise bar, he left in a hurry and drove towards his home, believing that something had happened his wife. As Yale was driving up New Utrecht Ave a car with four men pulled up beside him at the traffic lights. Yale’s car had been fitted with armor plating but the windows hadnt been, Yale took speeding off with the car following behind. The chasing car caught up with Yale and pulled alongside when one of the gunmen blasted him with a shotgun, while another opened fire with a Tommy Gun killing Yale instantly, Yales car swerved and crashed into a brownstone house. This hit represented the first time a machine gun had been used in gangland in New York. The Tommy Gun would be balistically matched to one of the Tommy Guns that would be used to carry out the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre months later.

John Scalise and Albert Anselmi were also known as the Murder Twins, they had both been linked to some high profile assassinations throughout Prohibition Era Chicago. Thought they worked mainly for Al Capone, its believed they secretly defected to the Genna Brother’s, another gang of bootleggers. Its believed that Anselmi, Scalise and Mike Genna had ambushed George “Bugs” Moran and Vincent “The Schemer” Drucci, shooting their car with shotguns, wounding Schemer Drucci.

On the 8th of May 1929 the bodies of John Scalise, Albert Anselmi and Joseph “Hop Toad” Giunta were found on a lonely road in Indiana, the three men had been beaten badly and shot to death. At first it was thought that the three had been the victims of the North Side Gang, but information came to light that suggested the three had been lured to a dinner with friends, where they had been fallen victim of the violence. One story said that Al Capone had found out that the three had been conspiring with another mobster, Joe Aiello to take out Al Capone.


Posted on

August 16, 2020

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