Virgil Peterson Testimony
HEARINGS BEFORE THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ORGANIZED CRIME IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE UNITED STATES SENATE EIGHTY-FIRST CONGRESS SECOND SESSION PURSUANT TO S. Res. 202 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN INVESTIGATION OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE PART 2 JUNE 22, 23, 28; JULY 6, 7; AUGUST 16, 1950 ... VIRGIL W. PETERSON, Operating Director, Chicago Crime Commission ... Printed for the use of Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON 1950 DEC 18 1950
The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 : 25 a. m., in room 457 Senate Office Building, Senator Estes Kefauver, chairman, presiding. Present : Senators Kefauver, Hunt, and Wiley.
Also present : Rudolph Halley, chief counsel ; Alfred Klein, assistant counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Mr. Peterson, you may resume your statement.
FURTHER TESTIMONY OF VIRGIL W. PETERSON, OPERATING DIRECTOR, CHICAGO CRIME COMMISSION, REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you, Mr. Peterson, have you finished a general description of conditions in the Chicago area and are you passing to another phase of your testimony?
Mr. PETERSON. That is correct. Of course there are a lot of other names in Chicago that are important that I have not touched upon, but I have covered in generally.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, we cannot go into everything pertaining to Chicago in this hearing. We will have other hearings, and we will be in touch with you quite often in the future, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. PETERSON. I will be very glad to help you.
The CHAIRMAN. I did want to ask you one particular question. Will you tell us whether there is any overlapping of Chicago activities into adjacent territory such as northern Indiana? We have had some complaints about crime conditions in some of the northern Indiana cities and towns.
Mr. PETERSON. In Lake County, Ind., there is located a very well known place called the Big House, that is operated by William Gardner and "William J. "Sonny" Sheetz. That is a notorious place in Lake County. Sonny Sheetz, one of the best-known gambling-house operators in that area, has some connections with the Capone syndicate. For example, a relative of Sonny Sheetz was the caretaker on the farm of Little New York Campagna in Indiana when Campagna was spending some time in Federal prison. In 1948 it was reported that the Big House took in approximately $9,000,000 that year. So it is a big establishment.
Another individual there, in addition to William Gardner and Sonny Sheetz in Lake County, is a fellow by the name of Harry Hymes, who has controlled the race-horse wire service in that county, and there have been allegations, which we have never proved, that there is a tie-in between him and the Capone syndicate. That is, allegations were particularly prevalent a couple or 3 years ago when there was a killing in Lake County over the wire service.
The CHAIRMAN. Do these people live in Indiana or do they live in Chicago?
Mr. PETERSON. As far as I know, they live in Indiana.
The CHAIRMAN. What towns and cities are they?
Mr. PETERSON. The Big House is at Indiana Harbor. It ties in with Gary, Ind., as well. If my recollection is correct, I think William Gardner is from Gary, Ind. He is tied up with Gary.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any questions at this point, Senator Hunt ?
Senator HUNT. No; I have none.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Peterson, you may carry on.
Mr. PETERSON. Leaving Chicago, I want to discuss very briefly some of the figures in New York City.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you leave Chicago, is Paul Ricca also located in Long Beach, Ind.?
Mr. PETERSON. Paul Ricca has a home at Long Beach, Ind. I mentioned that yesterday. He has a $75,000 home there which was partially destroyed by fire a few years ago.
The CHAIRMAN. Does he operate in Indiana?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't have any information to the effect that he is operating illegally in Indiana, but I wouldn't say that he is not. I don't have any definite information to that effect.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. PETERSON. Frank Costello, the most influential underworld leader in America, has his 79 Wall Street Corp., in New York City, lucrative gambling-house interests in Louisiana, oil properties in Texas, oil and gas leases of the Kingwood Oil Co. in Oklahoma City, Okla., tremendous political power, public relations and publicity men, a personal attorney and enormous wealth—all acquired or made possible through an association of several decades of some of the most notorious criminals in America, namely, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, panderer and narcotics tradesman; Meyer Lansky and Benjamin ‘Bugsy" Siegel, who headed a mob known as the Bug and Meyer mob of executioners; Louis Lepke Buchalter, head of Murder, Inc. ; Dutch Schultz, the racket king who lived and died through violence; John Torrio, who founded the notorious Capone syndicate in Chicago; Abner "Longie" Zwillman, big-time racketeer; Joe Adonis, one of the biggest racketeers in America ; Owney Madden, known as Owney the Killer ; and scores of others who became wealthy and powerful solely through defiance of local, State, and Federal laws. Costello has continued to associate and enter into partnerships with foremost racketeers, ex-convicts, and swindlers. He remains at the top of the list of America's underworld leaders.
George Uffner, 419 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York City, is a close associate of Frank Costello and Frank Erickson, another Costello lieutenant. In the 1920's Frank Costello, George Uffner, Waxey Gordon, Philip "Dandy" Kastel, Jack Diamond, Eddie Diamond, and a host of other underworld characters were on the payroll of Arnold Rothstein, often described as the mastermind of the underworld. George Uffner was an associate of Charles "Lucky" Luciano and was once a member of the Diamond gang. When Arnold Rothstein was killed in November 1928 the police arrested George Uffner and Charles "Lucky" Luciano along with Thomas Walsh and questioned them about the Rothstein murder. They were released.
On September 7, 1929, Walsh was killed in the Miami Biltmore Hotel. George Uffner was a dealer in narcotics and received financial backing from time to tune from Arnold Rothstein. Uffner's police record dates back to 1924 when he received a suspended sentence on a bogus-check charge in Federal court. In 1933 Uffner was sentenced in general sessions court, New York City, for a State prison term of 4 to 8 years on a conviction for forgery and grand larceny. Records recovered from Frank Erickson by the district attorney's office in New York City in May 1950 revealed that Frank Erickson, Frank Costello, George Uffner, and Leonard Erickson were partners in valuable oil-lease interests in Wise County, Tex.
Frank Erickson, long known as one of the biggest gambling racketeers and a close associate of Frank Costello, has maintained lavish offices at 487 Park Avenue, New York City. Records seized by the district attorney's office in May 1950, clearly established his illegal activities in collaboration with such big-time gangsters and racketeers as Joe Adonis, Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo, Mert Wertheimer, and others in gambling operations in Broward County, Fla. Frank Costello notes found among the records of the Colonial Inn, Hallandale, Fla., clearly indicated Frank Costello's financial dealings with New York mobsters in connection with their illegal activities in States other than New York or Louisiana where he is in partnership with the convicted swindler, Philip "Dandy Phil" Kastel. Records also established that Frank Costello and Frank Erickson own oil and gas leases of the Kingwood Oil Co., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Joe Adonis is one of the principal members of the Frank Costello organization. He has been closely associated with this group for the past 20 years. With Meyer and Jake Lansky, Frank Erickson, Vincent Alo, alias Jimmy Blue Eyes Alo, and others, he has been active in gambling operations in Broward County, Fla. With William Moretti and Abner "Longie" Zwillman, who are Frank Costello associates, Adonis has been active in the gambling racket in New Jersey. Adonis has also been a close friend of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, the gangster who became a gambling czar in Las Vegas, Nev., before he was killed in 1947. Adonis has also been close to members of the Capone gang in Chicago. He has been active in labor racketeering in New York and New Jersey. He is said to have connections with leading racketeers in virtually every large city of America. In August 1949 it was revealed that Joe Adonis had muscled into the automobile industry in New York. Associated with him in that venture was Ralph Conti, who had been arrested 12 times on various charges ranging from robbery, homicide with a gun, grand larceny, extortion and policy-racket violations, but never convicted. It was brought out in court that Conti had sponsored the sale of 110 cars on the secret list of the Kings County Buick, Inc. Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto, alias Joe A., is unquestionably one of the top-ranking racketeers of America today.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you leave Joe Adonis, what is the name of that automobile business?
Mr. PETERSON. That is the Kings County Buick, Inc.
The CHAIRMAN. What is it, a distributorship ?
Mr. PETERSON. That is my understanding; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know anything about the size of the business?
Mr. PETERSON. No, but it is a pretty large automobile distributorship. In other words, it was brought out in court at that time that 110 cars on the secret list, the sale had been made and arranged by this fellow Conti.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean, 110 cars on the secret list?
Mr. PETERSON. I think it had to do with black-market operations.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. PETERSON. Meyer Lansky, an original member of the Frank Costello group, is one of the big gambling racketeers of the country with operations in several sections of the country. In New York he has been in the juke-box distributing business. There were strong indications that Lansky's juke-box operations in New York had some connection with similar juke-box distributing activities of the Capone gang in Chicago. In fact, one company with which he was connected at one time had the same financial backing as the financial backing of a company operated by Jack Guzik's son-in-law in Chicago.
On June 28, 1949, Meyer Lansky sailed from New York for Italy. It was alleged that the purpose of this trip was to see Charles "Lucky" Luciano who was deported there after his conviction in New York.
Morris Rosen, 118 Riverside Drive, New York City, became a dominant factor in the Flamingo Hotel gambling operations in Las Vegas, Nev., within a few months after Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was killed. It is claimed that Morris Rosen was friendly with Louis Shomberg, alias Dutch Goldberg, one of the biggest racketeers of the country during prohibition. It was also firmly believed in Nevada that Rosen was representing Siegel and the New York mob in Nevada.
Mr. HALLEY. Isn't it a fact that Rosen is the man who was questioned in the formal investigation on gambling that took place in Nevada?
Mr. PETERSON. No. Rosen was the man that they held hearings out in Nevada—I will go into that a little later in my Nevada statement.
Mr. HALLEY. You are going to touch on that.
Mr. PETERSON. I am going to touch on that. That was in connection with the wire service there. Morris Rosen, together with Moe Sedway out in Nevada, had, I believe it was, the Golden Nugget Racing Service, but I will get to that later in my testimony. In fact, there was a Federal suit filed in Nevada. They held hearings there and finally they kicked Rosen out of Nevada.
Mr. HALLEY. Can't you go into that tie-up at this moment? Rosen apparently admitted that he came from New York.
Mr. PETERSON. He came from New York, yes. Very briefly, here is the story
Mr. HALLEY. If you are going to go into it, save it.
Mr. PETERSON. I will go into it later, but very briefly I will go over it now. It is rather interesting. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was brought to the west coast by Joe Adonis. Siegel was a part of the New York mob. Siegel became the head of the Flamingo Hotel out in Nevada. Siegel was killed June 20, 1947. After Siegel was killed Sanford Adler had the controlling interest in the Flamingo Hotel. Morris Rosen then went to Nevada. Morris Rosen got into a fight with Sanford Adler. Sanford Adler came screaming into the hotel for help and Sanford Adler decided he didn't want to be the controlling owner of the Flamingo Hotel, and Morris Rosen became, together with Moe Sedway, and I forgot who the other party was now. Moe Sedway, incidentally, was Bugsy Siegel's partner in the operation before.
Mr. HALLEY. Isn't it right that Rosen came from New York as a virtual stranger, from the New York mob?
Mr. PETERSON. That is right.
Mr. HALLEY. And just stepped in there with no investment at all. Is that right ?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't know. He claims to have an investment. He claimed after he got kicked out of Nevada and even as late as last November I know he was questioned in New York in connection with another matter in which he stated then that he still had his interest in the Flamingo Hotel, although he was supposed to have been out of there, you see.
Mr. HALLEY. He made an investment, but was able to pay for it out of the profits ?
Mr. PETERSON. I can't answer that particular question. I have my own ideas of why he was out there and whom he represented. I don't think there is any question.
Mr. HALLEY. Can you state your ideas?
Mr. PETERSON. I think that money originally was the New York mob money. I think that is who Siegel represented up there. You have to bear in mind the original incorporators; that Louis Pokrass was part of that group. He was the one that I think filed the papers in connection with the Nevada Projects Corp. Louis Pokrass was associated with Adonis and with Costello back in New York during prohibition days. So, I think it was New York mob money. When Siegel went out of the picture, Sanford Adler took over; and they didn't want that. So, out of a blue sky here comes Morris Rosen from New York, and he becomes the dominant factor in that operation. So, to me, there is no question whom he represents; but I can't prove that, of course.
Does that answer your question?
Mr. HALLEY. Thank you.
Mr. PETERSON. Another man from New York, who doesn't spend much time there, Anthony Carfano, alias Little Angie Pisano, has been spending much time in Florida in recent years in the association of some of the biggest racketeers of the country. Carfano was an associate of Joe Adonis in New York, and was also a partner of Joe Masseria, alias Joe the Boss, before the latter was killed. It was also claimed that in 1929, after Frankie Uale (Yale) was murdered, Little Angie Pisano succeeded to the Uale enterprises in Brooklyn. These enterprises included bootlegging, industrial rackets, and slot machines.
One man who is very seldom heard about but who is important for both his New York and Chicago connections is Gaetano Ricci, alias Tony Goebels, 125 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y. He is an important link between the New York underworld and the Chicago Capone syndicate. As far back as 1928, Ricci was arrested in Chicago in the company of Louis (Little New York) Campagna, one of the leading members of the Capone gang. During the period in which the Capone mobsters were exerting every possible effort to effect the paroles of Paul Ricca, Louis Campagna, Charles Gioe, and Phil D'Andrea from the Federal penitentiary, in 1947 Ricca made numerous telephone calls to Mrs. Campagna and to the homes of Campagna's relatives as well as to Campagna 's farm in Berrien Springs, Mich. He made calls to Francis Curry, an important contact for the Capone mob in Joliet, Ill., and to individuals known as to be close to Frank Nitti before Nitti committed suicide in 1943. He is also understood to have made calls to Owney Madden in Hot Springs, Ark. Madden was a close associate of Frank Costello and other members of that group. He was also in touch with the person who controls the commercialized vice in the near North Side of Chicago. It was also alleged in June of 1949 that Ricci exerted some influence in a reshuffling of the underworld leadership of Chicago's near North Side. Ricci is a native of Italy, having been born at Viesti, Italy, on January 1, 1893. He arrived in the United States in 1898 on the S. S. Trojan Prince and became a naturalized citizen in November 1944. He is New York City Police Department's No. B-261555. He is married but is allegedly separated from his wife.
Another individual known as Joseph Profaci, alias Guiseppe Profaci, 82-15 Fourteenth Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y., is an important contact for underworld characters. His name and address were found in a confidential address book seized by the Los Angeles police early in 1950 from Giroloma Adamo, alias Mo Mo Adamo, a principal lieutenant for Jack Dragna, one of the most notorious gangsters on the west coast. Included in this list of addresses were some of the most important underworld characters of the Nation, including two leading members of Chicago's Capone gang, Murray Humphreys and Tony Accardo. Profaci was arrested in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 6, 1928, when a raid was conducted on a hotel room in which an alleged meeting of the Mafia Grand Council was taking place. Thirteen guns were found in the hotel room by the Cleveland authorities. Profaci is New York City Police Department's No. 14481, Cleveland Police Department's No. 32776, FBI's No. 4469866, and narcotics international list 11-274. Profaci was born in Italy on October 2, 1897, is married, has six children, and lives with his wife, Unifa, and family at the given address. For many years he has operated the Mamma Mia Importing Co., Inc., 1414 Sixty-fifth Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. His brother Salvatore is also an officer of this company which is engaged in the packing of olive oil and the jobbing of canned tomatoes.
Another New York individual whose name should be borne in mind is Joseph Bonanno, alias Joe Bananas, 114 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. He is tied up with several enterprises, including laundries. Bonanno is also connected with the Colorado Cheese Co., Trinidad, Colo., which is a distributor for Italian cheese. His name was also found in the records seized from Jack Dragna's lieutenant by the Los Angeles police along with the other addresses that I have mentioned before.
In many respects the kingpins of rackets in New Jersey are identical with the rulers of the underworld in New York City. Joe Adonis, one of the most important members of the Frank Costello mob in New York, is one of the most influential figures in the rackets in New Jersey. Likewise, Abner (Longie) Zwillman, who has long been considered the top-ranking racketeer of the New Jersey area, was a member of the original Frank Costello gang following the repeal of prohibition. In recent years Zwillman, like his associate Frank Costello, has attempted to create the impression he is no longer connected with the rackets. However, it is known that some of the most powerful gambling racketeers of the Nation keep in touch with him. For example, both Morris Kleinman and Lou Rothkopf, of the powerful Cleveland syndicate, have been in frequent telephone communications with him.
William Moretti, Hasbrouck Heights, N. J., together with Abner (Longie) Zwillman, Joe Adonis, and Anthony Sabio, alias Chicago Fats, make up the ruling mob in New Jersey. In South Plainfield, N. J., an extremely large crap game has been operated by the Joe Adonis crowd, and it appears probable that William Moretti and Zwillman have also had an interest in this operation. William Moretti and Abner (Longie) Zwillman are also allegedly "big shots" in the numbers-game racket as well as crap games in New Jersey. William Moretti has also been close to Frank Costello of New York. In fact, it has been claimed that Costello is the godfather of Moretti's children. The influence of Moretti has been felt on the west coast through Joe Sica, one of the most important underworld leaders in Los Angeles. Sica allegedly received his training from Moretti in New Jersey.
Joe Adonis spends a considerable amount of time in New Jersey and also has legitimate interests in the State. There is good reason to believe, for example, that Joe Adonis is the. principal owner of a company, the name of which I will give you, in Cliffside, N. J., although another man is the owner of record. That again has to do with automobiles. I have a list that I will give you.
Abner Zwillman resides at 32 South Munn Avenue, East Orange. J. James Cerce has operated a large wire room for horse-race betting on the top of the Oakley Building, 211 Market Street, Paterson, N. J. James Cerce is reportedly a lieutenant of Joe Adonis.
Nick Delmore of Elizabeth, N. J., has been a member of a syndicate that has controlled the numbers racket in Union County, N. J., in years gone by. Associated with Nick Delmore in the numbers racket has been Hoboken Joe Stassi. During the prohibition era, William J. Syms and Lee McRitchie were associated together in New Jersey. They were also associated with Joe Stassi. When the Broward County Kennel Club, Inc., Hollywood, Fla., began operations in 1934, two of the principal stockholders were William J. Syms and Joseph Stassi. Later Stassi's name was dropped as a stockholder and in his place appeared the name of Lee McRitchie. William J. Syms continued to be the dominating influence in the operation of the Broward County Kennel Club. It is also claimed that William J. Syms and Nick Delmore own certain companies in Newark at the present time and are connected with a group that operates bowling alleys, skating rinks, and other activities in the State. There are also indications that Jake Lansky has been close to William J. Syms in dog-track operations in Broward County, Fla.
In 1947 a killer for one of the mobs gave information which has not been verified, but in view of the names he mentioned it might be well to look into it. He claimed there was the formation--
The CHAIRMAN. Are you going to give that information to counsel for the committee?
Mr. PETERSON. In view of the names, I can mention some of them here and put it on the record. The people aren't apt to be slandered any.
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection, I want it understood that necessarily in this kind of testimony, for some statements which are made you must have substantiating data for everything that you say; but, if anyone feels that they have been misrepresented or if they want to make any statement of correction or explanation, they will of course be given an opportunity to do so.
Mr. PETERSON. This group, it was alleged, had formed a syndicate to control sporting events, racing, and were also engaged in the narcotics racket. That included members of the New York mob, some of the important members of the Capone syndicate, some of the New Jersey representatives, and some from Philadelphia. It covered a lot of territory.
It might be well for you to look into that information which I will give to you, because the names involved are very important.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this syndicate that you are talking about have a name?
Mr. PETERSON. The syndicate did not have a name as such, as far as I know. They were also allegedly controlling juke-box distribution companies, the names of which I will give you. In fact, Meyer Lansky was the treasurer of one of those companies. That is a matter of record.
The CHAIRMAN. What company was that?
Mr. PETERSON. That was the Simplex Distributing Co.
The CHAIRMAN. Of New York?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, Meyer Lansky and Jake Lansky are brothers?
Mr. PETERSON. They are brothers ; that is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Jake is the one who operated in Broward County?
Mr. PETERSON. Both Jake and Meyer.
The CHAIRMAN. The Colonial Inn and Green Acres?
Mr. PETERSON. Both brothers were a matter of record in that operation.
Another individual by the name of Vito Genovese, 75 Bluff Road, Palisades Gardens, Palisades, N. was formerly a gunman for Charles (Lucky) Luciano. He fled to New Jersey when Luciano got in trouble as the head of New York City's commercialized prostitution racket. Genovese has a criminal record reflecting numerous arrests since the year 1917 on charges of various crimes, including that of homicide. He is New York City Police Department's No. B-59993.
Anthony Sabio, alias Chicago Fats, is allegedly the king of the bookmakers in Passaic County, N. J., under William Moretti.
That covers very briefly some of the principals in New Jersey have one or two other connections here that I will give you without making it a matter of public information.
In New England, very briefly, Harry (Doc) Jasper Sagansky, Boston, was perhaps the principal gambling racketeer in the New England area prior to the time of his conviction a few years ago, in 1943, I believe it was. Records recovered in Boston several years ago established that Harry (Doc) Jasper Sagansky in 1942 called Frank Erickson in New York as often as six times each betting day. Canceled checks seized in raids on Sagansky's apartment reflect that they were made out to "L. Erickson," who is Leonard Erickson, brother of Frank. Leonard Erickson was Frank Erickson's banker. During July 1942 Sagansky made out 14 checks to Erickson totaling $13,520 to settle his obligations to him that month.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, that would indicate that Erickson was the betting commissioner and was handling the lay-off bets.
Mr. PETERSON. That is right, for Sagansky, who was the big racketeer there, but he also was dealing almost on as large a scale with—for example, in July 1942, he had to pay N. N. Kronenberg, of Houston, Tex., a betting commissioner, $12,864.75 in order to balance accounts. In Chicago, he issued three checks amounting to $5,142.25 in the first 20 days of July 1942 to E. M. Dobkin, a man I mentioned yesterday, one of Chicago's large betting commissioners. At that time Sagansky's headquarters was located in the Roughan Hall, 15 City Square, Boston. The extent of Sagansky's business in gambling activities during that period was reflected by bank deposits which totaled $1,114,131.78 in 1941 and $1,374,575.46 in 1942.
Frank Iaconi is head of the gambling racket in Worcester, Mass. Iaconi is closely associated with Raymond Patriarca, the king of rackets in Providence, R. I. Patriarca is also allegedly tied up with members of the Frank Costello mob in New York. Patriarca and Iaconi were associated together during rum-running days. Iaconi worked for the Patriarca gang as a Providence-Worcester agent. Booze was run between the two cities. Iaconi then left the bootlegging racket and began operating beano games, then horse betting, and then numbers. In 1940, when Daniel H. Coakley, a member of the Governor's Council in Massachusetts, was impeached for obtaining the release of Patriarca from the Massachusetts State Penitentiary, Iaconi informed Patriarca, that he should stay out of Worcester. Patriarca then brought Iaconi in line by a series of robberies of Iaconi's gambling places. There were about four robberies in a very few days. One of them involved Tony Santello, who handed over $21,000. Four days later there was a robbery of a Worcester barroom where Iaconi, a high city official and four others were present. After another robbery of an Iaconi gambling joint on Green Street in Worcester of $19,000, Patriarca was invited to come to Worcester and make peace with Iaconi. Since that time the Iaconi-Patriarca alliance has been functioning smoothly. Iaconi's monopoly of gambling in Worcester is an important part of Patriarca's gambling set-up in that particular area.
The CHAIRMAN. That was in the spring of 1940; was it not?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes; it was in 1940. I don't know the time of the year.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have the exact date?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes. I have it in our files.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you give it to the committee?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
William H. Ridings, 6 Whipple Street, Pawtucket, R. I., has also been a big lay-off man and betting commissioner there. Telephones are listed to the above address in the names of John Samuel Horton, George Ashcroft, and John Allen. Ridings formerly did business with Harry "Doc" Jasper Sagansky, the chief of New England gambling rackets until he ran afoul of the law in 1943. Frank Iaconi, the gambling king of Worcester, Mass., at one time used Ridings to lay off bets several times a day.
Jumping to Florida, that has long been a stamping ground for some of the most notorious gangsters of the Nation. This has particularly been true of the Miami area and also in Broward County, Fla., directly to the north of Dade County, in which Miami and Miami Beach are located. The Capone syndicate has had a firm foothold in Florida for the last 20 years. Al Capone maintained an estate in Florida which was visited by virtually all of the prominent members of the Chicago Capone gang. Charles Fischetti, who is unquestionably one of the most powerful underworld leaders in America today, has a palatial home located at 6475 Allison Road, Miami, Fla. Charles Fischetti has connections with the leading members of virtually every important mob from the east coast to the west.
Tony Accardo, frequently referred to as the present leader of the Capone syndicate, has maintained a residence at 9199 Collins Avenue, Surf Side, Fla., just north of Miami Beach. His brother, Martin Leo Accardo, a felon, has lived in a palatial home at 1217 Granada Boulevard in Coral Gables. Clarice Accardo is the wife of Tony Accardo. They, together with their children, live in the very fine residential suburb of Chicago, River Forest, Ill. Their home is located at 1431 Ashland Avenue, River Forest. In Florida Tony Accardo has maintained a boat, the Clare-Jo, River Forest, Illinois.
Jack Guzik, the former business manager of the Capone syndicate, has spent a large amount of time in Miami Beach, as has virtually every important member of the gang. Property owners in Miami Beach include Ralph Buglio, Pat Manno, and Peter Tremont. Ralph Niglio has long been known as an associate of prominent members of the Capone syndicate. Buglio has owned a house at 261 North Cocoanut Lane, Palm Island, Miami Beach. Many years ago Buglio was a suspect in some of Chicago's gang killings. On February 2, 1936, Ralph Buglio, Rocco De Stefano, and others were arrested by the Chicago police in connection with alleged holdups of liquor wholesalers in the State of Illinois. It was claimed they had been involved in hijacking merchandise amounting to over $75,000 in 1 year. Bonds in the sum of $90,000 each .were required. Prosecution was later declined. On July 10, Rocco Do Stefano, his father, Michael De Stefano, Ralph Buglio, and others were arrested by the State's attorney's police for failure to pay sales taxes over a period of 15 months.
The CHAIRMAN. In what year was that?
Mr. PETERSON. I have July 10 down here. Apparently I left out the year. I think that was about the same time, about 1936. I think I can find that for you in my notes here.
The CHAIRMAN. You can supply that?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes. I will supply that.
Buglio's associate, Rocco De Stefano, has also been closely allied with Harry Russell, Charles Fischetti, Jack Guzik, and other big Capone syndicate members, all of whom spend a considerable amount of time in Florida.
Peter G. Tremont, who is a property owner with Buglio in Miami Beach, is a big policy operator on Chicago's South Side. It is also known that Pat Manno, who has been in the policy racket in Chicago for many years, owns a residence at 5812 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach, Fla. Manno also maintains a permanent address at 1439 North Franklin Street, River Forest, Ill. Harry Russell, who operates a bar at 400 South State Street and who has been associated with Tony Accardo in the operation of gambling places in Chicago, has also spent a large amount of time in Florida. In fact, it was publicly charged several months ago that he had muscled into the S. & G. Gambling Syndicate in Miami Beach. Harry Russell has been an associate of Max Caldwell. I mentioned him yesterday.
On August 21, 1941, the State's attorney's office in Chicago charged that Rocco De Stefano, Harry V. Russell, Peter Tremont, Patrick Manno, Max Caldwell, Milton Schwartz, and others had helped spend $900,000 looted from the treasury of local 1248, Retail Clerks Protective Association union funds. No indictments were returned and no further action was taken. During the time that Caldwell was affiliated with the Retail Clerks International Protective Association, local 1248, in Chicago, he furnished free air transportation, apparently with union funds, for Ralph Buglio, Harry Russell, Rocco De Stefano, Peter Tremont, Pat Manno, and others, from Chicago to Miami. Caldwell has entered into business in the Miami area at the present time. When a suit was filed in 1941 for an accounting of the union funds, a union representative testified he could find only $62 of the $910,000 Caldwell had collected as business manager of the union. Martin Guilfoyle, long a big-time gambler of Chicago and once listed as a public enemy there, divides his attention between the operation of handbooks in Chicago and the Miami area.
Virtually every member of the Capone syndicate has frequented the Miami area and in many instances have engaged in racketeering activities there. During the heyday of Al Capone, the Capone syndicate was in control of dog tracks in virtually every part of the country, including Florida. The Capone syndicate czar of dog racing during that period was Edward J. O'Hare, who was killed in gang warfare in Chicago on November 9, 1939. Just prior to the time O'Hare left his office in Sportsman's Park, Cicero, Ill., he had been holding a conference with William H. Johnston and John Patton in their offices at Sportsman Park. Johnston was then described as a publicity man and Patton was one of the owners of the track along with O'Hare. These individuals were also interested at that time in dog-track operations in Florida. William H. Johnston, 1090 Arbor Lane, Jacksonville, Fla., is presently listed as the president of the Miami Beach Kennel Club, Inc.7 president of the Associated Outdoor Clubs, Inc., Tampa, Fla., president of the Jacksonville Kennel Club, Inc., president of the Orange Park Kennel Club, Inc., all of which are Florida dog tracks. James Patton, the son of John Patton, is listed as the vice president of the Miami Beach Kennel Club, Inc. and the Jacksonville Kennel Club, and is assistant treasurer of the Orange Park Kennel Club, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla. With reference to the Miami Beach Kennel Club, John Patton appeared as one of the owners of this track. Until 1941, John Patton 's name appeared as a stockholder in the Miami Beach Kennel Club. Since that date the stock was transferred to his son, James. John Patton has long been associated with members of the Capone gang. Many years ago he was known as the Boy Mayor of Burnham, a suburb of Chicago, which was the center of vice, gambling, and booze for the Capone syndicate. On April 7, 1925, the press in Chicago reported a raid on the Capone gang headquarters. Arrested in the raid were John Patton, Robert Larry McCullough, Joe Fusco, Frank Nitti and others who were considered then important members of the syndicate.
Mr. HALLEY. Is this the same John Patton?
Mr. PETERSON. That is the same John Patton.
Mr. HALLEY. What is the basis upon which you state that William Johnston is allied with the Capone syndicate?
Mr. PETERSON. I do not say that. I say he has been associated with John Patton since in the 1930's.
Mr. HALLEY. In what kind of operation?
Mr. PETERSON. In the operation of dog tracks and also in the operation of Sportsman's Park in Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, did you mention Tropical Park?
Mr. PETERSON. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Were you going to mention it?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't think so.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any information about the ownership of Tropical Park?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes; I have some information, but I didn't include that in this.
The CHAIRMAN. Is John Patton not one of the owners of Tropical Park ?
Mr. PETERSON. I am not sure. I would have to check my records back at the office. Those that I know that Patton has been interested in are those that I have mentioned. Of course, now, he does not hold the stock. The stock is in the name of his son, James Patton. However, John Patton has still been very friendly with William H. Johnston.
Mr. HALLEY. Can you give some more detail on their business relationships, in particular, say, in Sportsman's Park?
Mr. PETERSON. In Sportsman's Park?
Mr. HALLEY. Yes.
Mr. PETERSON. Surely. I think if you would check with some racing people there, you would find that John Patton spends an awful lot of the time in the penthouse there at Sportsman's Park with William H. Johnston in the operation of that track.
Mr. HALLEY. They own the track?
Mr. PETERSON. The track is owned by, I believe it is called the National Jockey Club, of which William H. Johnston is president and in which John Patton at one time held stock, but he no longer appears as a stockholder in that track, either. I think his son, James Patton, is a stockholder in the track.
Mr. HALLEY. Are there any other ventures in the Chicago area in which you find Patton and Johnston together?
Mr. PETERSON. Only in connection with tracks.
Mr. HALLEY. What tracks?
Mr. PETERSON. I mean in Chicago, just Sportsman's Park, the one track; and then the tracks in Florida.
Mr. HALLEY. Can you give further detail on the Florida situation?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Mr. HALLEY. With relation specifically to Johnston and Patton and their associations?
Mr. PETERSON. If I may, I will finish this particular portion, and then you may have some other questions. I wanted to bring out again, which I mentioned yesterday, arrested in the raid there were John Patton, Robert Larry McCullough, and others. During that period, John Patton was associated with Edward J. O'Hare, representative of the Capone gang, Jack Guzik, business manager of the Capone outfit, and others, in the operation of a dog track known as the Laramie Kennel Club and the Hawthorne Kennel Club near Chicago. This track was known as a Capone gang dog track. During the dog-track season in Florida until the present time Robert Larry McCullough, who was arrested with John Patton, Frank Nitti, and others in the Capone headquarters late in 1925, has been serving as the chief of police at the Miami Beach Kennel Club, Inc. He also serves in a somewhat comparable police capacity at Sportsman's Park near Cicero, Ill., which is a horse-racing track.
McCullough has been known in times gone by as a Capone gang terrorist and strong-arm man. He was questioned in connection with some of the notorious gang killings in Chicago many years ago. An official program of the Miami Beach Kennel Club dated March 20, 1948, lists L. A. Shumway as the mutuels manager of the Miami Beach Kennel Club. Shumway was an employee in some of the Capone gang's gambling establishments in Cicero several years ago and was called as a witness by the Government in the income-tax cases against Al Capone. It has also been reported that among the present officers, directors, and stockholders, in the Miami Beach Kennel Club is Edward Krumrey, who is also from Burnham, Ill. Krumrey is also listed as a timer at the National Jockey Club which operates Sportsman's Park near Cicero, Ill. The last known address of Edward Krumrey is 14125 Mackinaw Avenue, Burnham, Ill., where John Patton was formerly mayor. Another reported stockholder in the Miami Beach Kennel Club is David Kind. In 1929, an indictment was returned in criminal court, Chicago, charging David Kind, L. A. Shumway, Edward J. O'Hare, and others with conspiracy in offering perjured testimony as to betting at dog tracks in Illinois.
In addition to the infiltration of Capone gangsters in the Miami area, many of the important Cleveland gangsters have also located there. Fred Angersola, known as Fred King, and his brother, John Angersola, alias John King, were formerly big-time gamblers in the Cleveland area. John King is known as the owner of a fine home at 4431 Alton Road, Miami Beach, Fla., and another home at 5440 La Gorce Drive. John Angersola has been arrested in Columbus, Detroit, Cleveland, and Toledo on such charges as robbery, investigation, and suspicion. George Angersola also spends a large amount of time in Florida along with his brothers, and is known in Cleveland as an associate of Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, and the Polizzis.
Another individual who has been tied up with the Cleveland syndicate, Joe Di Carle, has spent time in Florida, particularly at the Wofford Hotel, Miami Beach. Di Carle has associated there with Joe Massei, formerly of Detroit, Charles Fischetti, and Joe Adonis.
Joe Massei has been a big-time Detroit racketeer and allegedly still has affiliations with such Detroit mobsters as Pete Licovoli, William "Black Bill" Tocco, and Joe Zirilli, who have had the numbers racket in Detroit. Joe Massei has been one of the operators of the Miami Provision Co., 1062 Northwest Thirty-second Street, Miami, Fla. This concern is a wholesale meat and provision company dealing with hotels and restaurants in Miami. At one time Massei owned a home on Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach. He sold this home in the fall of 1947 and moved to the penthouse of the Grand Hotel in Miami Beach, along with other well-known Cleveland hoodlums and big-time gambling operators. The Grand Hotel has served as a congregating place for such individuals as Joe Adonis, Anthony Carfano, alias Little Augie Pisano, Charles Fischetti, Jack Guzik, Ralph Buglio from Chicago, and numerous others.
Joe Massei has been arrested numerous times in Detroit. On May 24, 1920, and August 11, 1921, he was arrested on armed robbery charges and was discharged both times. On August 31, 1925, he was arrested in connection with a murder investigation and was discharged. On February 3, 1933, he was again arrested for murder and was dismissed by the court on May 15, 1934. His record contains 15 notations reflecting various conflicts with the law. However, he apparently never served any time except on one occasion when he was sentenced to serve 60 days in the Wayne County Jail, Detroit, Mich., for contempt of court in September 1933.
The big time racketeers from all over the country have become deeply entrenched in the Miami area and many of them have interests in hotels there. For example, in Minneapolis, Minn., perhaps the outstanding racketeer has been Isadore Blumenfield, alias Kid Cann, who has allegedly been at one time the head of a syndicate which has controlled gambling in Minneapolis for many. years. Kid Cann and members of his family own valuable ocean-front property in Miami Beach, Fla. It has also been reported that Kid Cann has a million-dollar investment in a hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. A former candidate for mayor in Minneapolis a few years ago claimed that he was approached by Kid Cann's group and offered a substantial contribution to his campaign fund. In return this group wanted to name the chief of police of Minneapolis.
The CHAIRMAN. Who was that ?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't have the name of the candidate here, but the candidate was defeated. He didn't accept the offer. This is a number of years ago.
Kid Cann has also been a suspect in a number of unsolved murders. One of the murder victims was Liggett, who was running a weekly newspaper and had accused Kid Cann and the police department of controlling and protecting gambling. Liggett had threatened to expose those conditions just before he was killed. Kid Cann is also understood to be engaged in the liquor business. There have been charges that he owns night clubs in the vicinity of Minneapolis. Although this has not been proven in court there is good reason to believe that he has financial interests in some of these night clubs.
Kid Cann's name first appeared in the records of the Minneapolis Police Department in 1920. He has been charged with such crimes as murder, violation of the National Prohibition Act, assault, and as a suspect in the shooting of two police officers. He was once indicted for conspiracy to kidnap Charles Urschel, a wealthy Oklahoma oil man. This indictment was nolle prossed. In recent years it was claimed that he did operate a gambling place next door to 1538 Nicolette Avenue, Minneapolis, Minn. Kid Cann has a brother and a lieutenant whose name is Yiddi Blumenfield, alias Yiddi Bloom. Yiddi Bloom and Harry Mitchlin and Harry Joffa were secretly indicted by a Montana Federal grand jury for conspiracy in a large black market operation in liquor. In December 1943, Yiddi Bloom, Harry Mitchlin, Mrs. Verna Bloom, wife of Yiddi, and Mrs. Ray Schneider, sister of Kid Cann, were indicted for illegal distribution of wine. The tax case was settled for $73,000 and fines on the criminal charges amounted to $30,000.
Harry Blumenfield, alias Harry Bloom, is another brother and lieutenant of Isadore Blumenfield, alias Kid Cann. All of the Blumenfields allegedly are large property owners in the greater Miami area. At least two ocean-front hotels are located on real estate owned by this family. In recent years, Julius Berman, alias Julius Kramer, alias Harry Kramer, alias Jules Berman, alias Julie Beeman, has operated the horse-book concession at a hotel which is allegedly owned by Isadore Blumenfield, alias Kid Cann. Julius Berman is New York City Police Department No. B99872, and he has a long record going back to 1924. It is reported that he was associated at one time with Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, of Murder, Inc., New York City. Berman has also been arrested twice on narcotics charges.
One of the officers in the corporation holding title to the hotel which is allegedly owned in part by Isadore Blumenfield is one Edward Berman, a notorious Minneapolis racketeer. Edward Berman is FBI No. 613,989. He was sentenced to 5 years in the Federal penitentiary in United States District Court, Oklahoma City, Okla., on October 7, 1933, in connection with the Urschel kidnapping case. He was charged with conspiracy to kidnap. Apparently his offense related to passage of the ransom money.
Another individual who has held leases to hotels in Florida in which the gangster element has been closely identified is Thomas Cassara. Several years ago Thomas Cassara took over the lease of the Grand Hotel, 220 Twenty-third Street, Miami Beach, Fla. In 1940 he took over the lease of the Wofford Hotel, Miami Beach, Fla., which he operated for one season only. In 1947 Cassara reportedly operated the Chanticleer Restaurant, 8572 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, with Monte Prosser and Danny Romano. Prosser is manager of the Copocabana Night Club, New York City, and Danny Romano has a brother by the name of Louis who has been prominently identified with the Capone syndicate in Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know who owns the Copocabana Night Club?
Mr. PETERSON. I can't prove who owns it. I know whose name has been very prominently identified with it.
The CHAIRMAN. If you do not know, just say so.
Mr. PETERSON. I think it has been printed in the papers as a matter of fact, who supposedly is connected with it, one of the big mobsters. That hasn't been proved.
Cassara has also been manager of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. This hotel was reportedly built with funds which came from New York and Chicago about 1940. Thomas Cassara incidentally was shot on June 30, 1946, as he was standing in front of the Tradeswinds Restaurant, 865 Rush Street, Chicago, Ill. Cassara was president of the Raleigh Importing Distributors, 600 South Michigan Avenue. Standing beside Cassara when he was shot was a man by the name of Arthur T. McAboy, 7321 South Shore Drive, an official of the J. R B. Liquor Co., Cairo, Ill. Police claimed that McAboy had been negotiating for a 75 percent interest in the Raleigh Importing Distributors. Cassara was to retain a 25 percent interest. Police also reported that Rocco DeStefano, a well known Capone syndicate hoodlum, was a silent partner with Cassara in the Raleigh Distributors. A collector for back checks for the Flamingo Hotel stated in 1947 that there were about 35 individuals that controlled gambling throughout the East here and in New Jersey and Florida, and he mentioned, for example, Dandy Phil Kastel, Julie Podello, Frank Costello, and Tony Carfano alias "Little Angie" Pismo, who also has spent a large amount of time in the Miami area in association with other big time hoodlums. Another important underworld character who has become deeply entrenched in the Miami area is Sam Taran. Sam Taran is the head of the Taran Distributing Co., records and appliance division, Miami, Fla. This individual is an ex-bootlegger with a long record for violations of the internal revenue laws. Chicago police files reflect that in 1934 he served a 2-year term in the United States penitentiary.
In 1932 he was arrested at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago in connection with liberty bonds he sold which had been stolen in a Nebraska bank robbery. He was later released when the State could not prove he had knowledge of the bonds being stolen. Taran at one time was a small time prize fighter in St. Paul, where he was also known as a racketeer. Sam Taran has been reputedly the juke box boss of the mob in Florida. He has been associated there with very important members of the Capone mob as well as hoodlums from other areas.
Directly north of the Miami area is Broward County, Fla. Gambling in this area have long been controlled by members of the Frank Costello mob in New York. As you know, just recently records were uncovered by the district attorney's office in New York which definitely established that the Colonial Inn in Hollandale, Fla., has been owned by Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto, one of the most powerful gangsters in this country, Frank Erickson, Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, Vincent Alo alias "Jimmy Blue Eyes," from the New York mob and Alert Wertheimer, head of the powerful Chesterfield syndicate in Michigan. Notes found in the amount of $50,000 in favor of Frank Costello would indicate the possibility of his connection with the place as well. The gambling racket in this county has attracted the gangster element to settle there.
In this same county there is also located the Broward County Kennel Club. The vice president and general manager of this club is William J. Syms. Syms has been associated in times gone past with Nick Delmore and Hoboken Joe Stassi from New Jersey. He was also one of the stockholders in this club originally when it was started in 1934. It is reported that Syms is a close friends of Jake Lansky, one of the gambling czars in Broward County, Fla. The accountant for Jake Lansky is also the accountant for the dog track.
On January 10, 1945, in the United States District Court at Miami, Fla., a stockholders' suit was filed by F. Strong, Barbara Roberts, and Lee McRitchie, against the Broward County Kennel Club, Inc., William J. Syms, Gerald McCurrie, and J. E. Gallagher, defendants. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants voted themselves exorbitant salaries—namely, William J. Syms, $1,666.67 per week; McCurrie, $1,163.34 a week; Gallagher, $583.34 per week; and Ben Eisen, $500 per week. The suit prayed for an accounting, et cetera. The suit disclosed that when the dog-track operations began on June 20, 1934, the original stockholders were William J. Syms, Joe Stassi, Florence Strong, Barbara Roberts, and a corporation.
As of January 15, 1945, the court records reflected that the stockholders were William J. Syms, Sr., William J. Syms, Jr., Lee McCurrie, who also was associated with Syms in New Jersey during bootlegging days, Barbara Roberts, Florence Strong, and May K. Pettit. The complaint alleged that William J. Syms, Sr., dominated and controlled the destiny of the club and operated the track in a high-handed manner.
In the defendants answer it was alleged that McRitchie became a stockholder in 1940. It is admitted that the corporation did obtain loans totaling $5,000 as alleged in the complaint and which was paid to George Morton Levy, a New York attorney residing in Mineola, who in turn gave the money to the corporation. When George Morton Levy was questioned concerning the $5,000, he brought into the picture the name of Lauretta Costello, who allegedly is the wife of Frank Costello. Ben Eisen was questioned concerning how he was able to keep books at the Broward County dog track as well as at the Gulf Stream Race Track. Although he refused to answer any other questions, he admitted he was the comptroller of the Gulf Stream Race Track.
When the case went to trial March 21, 1946, depositions were taken from Joseph Stassi, Lee McRitchie, George M. Levy, and others. In a deposition taken from Frank L. Bang he testified that William J. Syms, Joe Stassi, and Lee McRitchie were closely associated together in the operation of dog tracks in Nassau, Rensselaer County, N.Y. in 1935, and the Nassau County Kennel Club, Minneola, Long Island, from 1930 to 1935. Bang also testified in his deposition that one David Dolan was a front man for Syms, Stassi, and McRitchie.
During the prohibition era activities one of Syms' partners was Lee J. McRitchie, of Elizabeth, N. J., whom I mentioned was also connected with this dog track there.
Another associate during that period was Nick Delmore. It is claimed they are still in business together in certain legitimate business enterprises.
In Tampa, Fla., Salvatore (Red) Italiano is the leader of a group of racketeers in control of "Bolita" and other forms of gambling. The principal lieutenants of Italiano have been Jimmy Lumia, Tony (Nino) Decidue, Tom Decidue, Paul Antinori, Santo Trafficante, and a son by the same name. During 1941 these gangsters allegedly members of the Mafia were in complete control of vice, gambling, and similar activities. During the 1940 elections it is claimed that these racketeers spent huge sums of money for campaign purposes.
About 1947 Jimmy Lumia brought to Tampa a racketeer by the name of Philip Locicero. Lumia and Lucicero opened a night club known as The Chateau, which is located in the Desoto Hotel in Tampa. Locicero remained in the background of the club's transactions. Until early 1949 he spent a large amount of time in the Jockey Club. About two or three weeks before the killing of Jimmy Velasco, Salvatore Italiano, and Philip Locicero made a trip to New Orleans. The place they visited was allegedly the headquarters for the Mafia in the Southern States. In Tampa the meeting place for the Mafia has allegedly been at the homes of Jimmy Lumia or Santo Trafficante.
Santo Trafficante, a lieutenant of Salvatore (Red) Italiano, in Tampa, Fla., has connections on the west coast. Early in 1950, when the Los Angeles police seized the records from Jack Dragna's lieutenant, Giroloma Adama, they found, as I mentioned before, the addresses of some of the most notorious gangsters in the country, including Murray Humphreys and Tony Accardo. In the list was recorded Santo Trafficante, 2821, which apparently is the telephone number, 3010 North Boulevard, Tampa, Fla. Also recorded in the address book recovered from Jack Dragna was James Lumia, M1426, again the telephone number, 3215 Twelfth Street, Tampa, Fla. Jimmy Lumia has been one of the leading racketeers in Tampa until it is my understanding he was killed there just a few weeks ago in a gang killing.
Paul Antinori, who has been associated with the gang that controls Bolita and other illegal activities in Tampa, the Narcotics Bureau has reported, I believe one man testified the other day that Ignazio Antinori of Tampa went to Havana, Cuba, to obtain narcotics for associates in the Middle West. The drugs were unsatisfactory and when Antinori did not make restitution, he was killed in Tampa by shotgun fire in 1940. In 1942 the Narcotics Bureau arrested Antinori 's two sons, Paul and Joseph, and several others. Paul is the man that I just mentioned. They were convicted in a trial in which Carl Carraniusa, a codefendant, appeared as a Government witness. Carraniusa moved to Chicago where he was killed by a shotgun blast in front of his home in 1945. Paul Antinori incidentally is married to Rose Decidue.
Another man engaged in the Cuban lottery "Bolita" with his two brothers and an uncle at the Sea Breeze Cafe is Anthony (Tony) Licata.
In the 1930's, according to J. Richard "Dixie" Davis, who was the lawyer for the slain gangster, Dutch Schultz, a national syndicate was operated from New York by Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, and Meyer Lansky. Dixie Davis, who, of course, was in a position to know what he was talking about, stated that "Moey" Davis became the power in Cleveland, Ohio, and anyone who questioned it would have to deal with "Lucky" and Meyer and "Bugsy."
Moe Davis has been closely associated in gambling enterprises in the Cleveland area for many years with Maurice Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf, alias Lou Rody, alias Lou Rhody, Thomas Jefferson McGinty, and others. Rothkopf, Kleinman, and Davis maintained a suite in the Hollenden Hotel, Cleveland, for many years. Members of this group have been in association with some of the biggest racketeers from the east coast to the west. They have maintained contact, for example, with Abner "Longie" Zwillman, of New Jersey, and it is known that Lou Rothkopf was in very close contact with Mickey Cohen and Jack Dragna, notorious west coast gambling racketeers.
In the late 1930's a series of lawsuits was filed against Maurice Kleinman, Moe Davis, Lou Rothkopf, and Thomas Jefferson McGinty, who were named as operators of gambling joints known as the Thomas Club, the Arrow Club, which subsequently became known as the Pettibone Club.
In the early 1930's Kleinman, Rothkopf, and Davis were partners in a front for a gambling operation called the Prospect Advertising Co.
The CHAIRMAN. Where was that located?
Mr. PETERSON. Cleveland.
On February 3, 1931, William E. Potter, a Cleveland city councilman, was slain in one of the most sensational crimes ever committed in Cleveland. The most logical suspect insofar as the murder was concerned was one "Pittsburgh Hymie" Martin. Moe Davis and Lou Rothkopf were with "Pittsburgh Hymie" until a few hours before the slaying. Davis was also with Hymie until an hour prior to the arrest of Hymie who was charged with the murder of Potter. "Pittsburgh Hymie" was tried for this murder and was convicted. He won a retrial, however, and was acquitted. It was alleged that Potter had been killed because it was feared he was about to expose some crooked deals. The police had traced checks written by a city official to the Prospect Advertising Co. operated by Moe Davis and Maurice Kleinman. In recent years Davis, Kleinman, and Rothkopf have been connected with the operation of the Mounds Club, the Pettibone Club, the Jungle Inn, located near Youngstown, Ohio, the Beverly Hills Club, and the Lookout House, near Cincinnati. It is known, of course, that Thomas Jefferson McGinty has been an important figure in the operation of the Mounds Club. Several years ago it was alleged that Moe Davis was then connected with a gang which was known as the Mayfield Road gang. Some of Davis' former associates have included Joe Massei, of Detroit, Mich., Abner Zwillman, of Newark, and certain members of the Capone gang in Chicago.
The Mayfield gang subsequently fell under the leadership of Alfred P. "Big Owl" Polizzi and Frank Milano. In 1945 a large amount of publicity attended the gang murder of Nathan "Nate" Weisenberg, slot-machine king of Cleveland. Following that murder the syndicate composed of Kleinman, Rothkopf, Davis, and others, moved out of the Hollenden. At one time Moe Davis was interested in the River Downs Race Track and the Coney Island Dog Track located in Cleveland. He was also involved in a dog track at Dayton, Ky., together with Alfred P. Polizzi. The dog-track operation, however, lasted only 13 days before it was closed by the Attorney General of Kentucky.
Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, is now the treasurer, or was as of February 1950, and apparently still is, of the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nev., one of the most elaborate gambling establishments in America. Davis has resided at 400 Park View Drive, Cleveland, Ohio. He has a number of legitimate interests there, including the Michigan Industrial Laundry Co. in Detroit. The combination of Davis, Kleinman, and Rothkopf are also allegedly interested in the Pioneer Linen Supply Co. in Cleveland. This group has also controlled a slot-machine and gambling resort at Brady Lake, Ohio, and, as I mentioned before, has owned the Pettibone Club, a gambling place located in Geauga County, Ohio. They are interested in a number of other legitimate businesses which I will make available to you. They are listed in this statement that I have here.
Lou Rothkopf, alias Lou Rhody, Fenway Hall Hotel, Euclid Avenue and One Hundred and Seventh Street, Cleveland, Ohio, is FBI No. 1128584. He was born in Cleveland on June 3, 1903. He apparently owns several apartment houses in Cleveland. Lou Rothkopf spends much of his time in Las Vegas, Nev., Miami, Fla.---
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have information about the alleged apartment houses?
Mr. PETERSON. I have some information on that. On February 23, 1937, Rothkopf was arrested by the United States marshal at Cleveland, Ohio, on a charge of violation of the internal-revenue laws. On May 22, 1937, he was sentenced to serve 4 years and fined $5,000. On January 9, 1940, a case was ordered dismissed in the United States district court in Cleveland as to Lou Rothkopf, Max Diamond, Maurice Kleinman, Albert Philip, Morris Phillip, Kulius Kater, alias Doloff, and Tony Scalise. Rothkopf has racketeering connections from the east coast to the west and has been in touch with such gangsters as Mickey Cohen, big-shot gambler in Los Angeles, also Abner Zwillman, 32 South Munn Avenue, East Orange, N. J., on several occasions.
In February 1949 while Rothkopf was in Los Angeles he was in telephone communication with Jack Dragna at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. He was also in touch with Allen Smiley at the same place. Rothkopf also was in constant communication with Mickey Cohen and had also visited Mickey Cohen's home.
Maurice Kleinman, 12701 Shaker Boulevard, suite 802, Cleveland, Ohio, is the vice president of the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nev., definitely as of February 1950 and I assume that he still is, which is one of the most elaborate gambling establishments in America. Kleinman, together with Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, Lou Rothkopf, and Thomas Jefferson McGinty, unquestionably form one of the most powerful gambling syndicates in the entire country. Kleinman has been, as I said before, in communication with Abner Zwillman, 32 South Munn Avenue, East Orange, N. J. Kleinman was once a pugilist and his friends and associates have included gamblers, bootleggers, and racketeers. Kleinman, Davis, Rathkopf, and McGinty have been associated together in some of the biggest gambling operations in Ohio. Kleinman was released from the United States penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa., in September 1936 after having served 3 years of a 4-year sentence for income-tax evasion. When he was released he still owed the government $29,345 in taxes. The Cleveland Press, on June 3, 1947, reported that the Federal Government had a lien against Kleinman in the sum of $61,000 and that it had been outstanding since 1933. Three days later the lien was vacated, and Kleinman's attorney claimed that the matter was all a mistake and had been settled many years before. Kleinman was once a big bootlegger and had many powerful political friends in Cleveland.
In 1938 a Cleveland Trust Co. teller who had been sentenced to Leavenworth Penitentiary for embezzlement filed a suit against the Ohio Villa, a notorious gambling house in a Cleveland suburb. Named as operators of the Ohio Villa were Morris Kleinman, Sam Tucker, and others. The Ohio Villa is now the Richmond Country Club, Richmond Heights, Ohio, and is owned by Anthony Milano, who is a close friend and adviser of Mickey Cohen on the west coast. Maurice Kleinman, Moe Davis, and Sam Tucker were indicted in February, 1930 by a Federal grand jury in Buffalo, N. Y., which charged them with operating a huge rum-running ring that had a barge line from Canada to Buffalo. This indictment was later nolle prossed.
Sam Tucker, who was indicted there, is presently a director in the Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nev. He also has listed as an address 1347 Biscaya Drive, Surf Side Miami Beach, Fla.
Thomas Jefferson McGinty, is a stockholder in the Desert Inn at Las Vegas. He has been an owner of the Mounds Club located at Cleveland and has long been associated with Moe Davis, Maurice Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf and others in big-scale gambling operations in Ohio.
Cornelius J. Jones, of 638 Lawson Avenue, Steubenville, Ohio, who was also one of the partners of the Mounds Club, near Cleveland, is now a director of the Desert Inn at Las Vegas. Others who have been closely associated with the Cleveland syndicate mentioned previously include George Angersola, John Angersola, Anthony Milona, Alfred "Big Al" Polizzi, Charles Chuck Polizzi, John Scalise. This group is also believed to have influenced gambling operations in the vicinity of Youngstown, Ohio.
Jack Licovoli, alias Jack White, is one of the most important racketeers in Youngstown, Ohio, and Trumbull County. He is a cousin of Yonnie Licovoli, who is now in the Ohio State Penitentiary, and is also allegedly connected with Pete Licovoli, of Detroit, Mich., one of the principal numbers racketeers in that area.
Allegations have been made that Licovoli has been a part of the powerful gambling combination including Moe Davis, Maurice Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf, and others. The Jungle Inn is located in Trumbull County and is said to be operated by the Licovoli gang. Licovoli has become extremely wealthy, and it is claimed that he has had an interest in such other gambling establishments as the Pettibone Club, Brady Lake, Chesapeake Club, several years ago. He was also at one time in charge of all the slot machines in Lake Geauga and Trumbull Counties, Ohio. Joe Di Carle, alias Joe Di Carlo, formerly an underworld character from Buffalo is one of the principal lieutenants--
The CHAIRMAN. What was that name?
Mr. PETERSON. Joe Di Carle, alias Joe Di Carlo, was formerly an underworld character from Buffalo. He is one of the principal lieutenants of the Jack Licovoli mob. He is also associated with George Angersola, alias George King. Licovoli originates from St. Louis and visits there a. dozen times a year. Joe Di Carle, Youngstown, Ohio, is also associated with Jack Licovoli, George Angersola, and others in big-time gambling. He has been in contact with Mickey Cohen, west coast racketeer. In fact, Mickey Cohen telephoned Joe Di Carle at the Wofford Hotel, Miami Beach, Fla. In Florida it was claimed that Di Carle was associated with Joe Massei, Charles Fischetti, and Joe Adonis. Also associated with Jack Licovoli have been Mike Farrah and John Farrah, both of whom are from Youngstown, Ohio. These individuals are also believed to have connections with the Cleveland gambling combination of Kleinman, Rothkopf, and others.
Another group in Cleveland which is somewhat important also is the one headed by Shondor Birns. Associated with him there also is Charles "Chuck' Amata. Both Birns and Amata called, for example, Mickey Cohen, the west coast racketeer. Shondor Birns also flew down to Miami to see John King and Al Polizzi in behalf of Max Diamond who was in trouble in this black-market case that I mentioned a few moments ago.
In Detroit Pete Licovoli, alias Pete Licavoli—just a difference in spelling—is one of the most important racketeers. Licovoli together with George Zirilli, and William "Black Bill" Tocco, have been in control of the numbers racket. In earlier years Joe Massei who is now in Miami, was associated with Pete Licovoli, "Black Bill" Tocco and Joe Zirilli, and it is believed that Joe Massei still plays some part in the Detroit area.
Sam Buffa, who operates the Sky Club in Battle Creek, Mich., is said once to have worked for Joe Massei. Associated with Sam Buffa is a man by the name of Tony Scalise, who at one time was a part of Pete Licovoli's crowd. In fact, Tony Scalise was once the bodyguard for Pete Licovoli.
Early in 1950 when the Los Angeles police were attempting to locate Jack Dragna, they seized the records that I mentioned before and included in those records were the names and addresses of some of our important members of the Capone syndicate, in Tampa, Fla., and all parts of the country. Included in these records also were the following names and addresses indicating a close association with Jack Dragna, the most notorious gangster on the west coast perhaps : Pete Licovoli, Tuxedo 22077, 1154 Balfore Road, Crosse Point Park, Mich. ; Joe Zirilli, 702 Middlesex, Crosse Point Park, Mich.; William Tocco, 781 Middlesex, Grosse Point Park, Detroit, Mich. ; Vito Tocco, apparently at the same address as William Tocco; and one John Priziola, 1349 Devonshire Road, Grosse Point Park, Mich. Originally the name of Vito Tocco appeared at the top of the list and later it was put down and the address was scratched out and it was put down in the list with the other names. That is not very important but I mention it.
Also associated with Pete Licovoli, Joe Zirilli, and "Black Bill" Tocco in the numbers racket and other activities of that nature were Long Joe Bommarito, Sam Lucido, Bill Bommarito, Phil Cusimano, Angelo Meli, Pete Corrado, Lee Tourneau, and Buster Lucido. It is claimed that Pete Licovoli and Sam Lucido have also operated illegal gambling joints in Canada. In addition to the numbers racket in times gone by Pete Licovoli and Sam Lucido have also run floating crap games in Detroit. The Detroit papers have also alleged that the wire service for bookies has been operated by a mob headed by Pete Licovoli, Sam Lucido, and others.
Sam Lucido lives on Sunningdale Drive, Grosse Point Park, Detroit, Mich. The Government is allegedly trying to collect back income taxes from him at the present time. Buster Lucido, a brother of Sam, is a handbook operator. He is also in the numbers racket and owns some legitimate businesses. Pete Licovoli owns a big ranch in Tucson, Ariz. Several months ago the police seized several thousand dream books that are used by numbers-racket suckers at his home. Dominick Licovoli, a brother of Pete, is married to Joe Zirilli's daughter. Pete Licovoli is also reported to be associated with some big-time gamblers in Las Vegas, Nev. The ranch which Licovoli owns in Tucson is known as the Grace Ranch. It is also claimed that he owns another ranch about 11 miles from Tucson. Licovoli is also said to be a friend of Mickey Cohen, one of the biggest gambling racketeers on the west coast, and he also has been friendly with Jimmy Utley, a Los Angeles racketeer.
Another gambling syndicate operated in Michigan is known as the Chesterfield syndicate. It has been operated in Michigan. The head of the Chesterfield syndicate is Mert Wertheimer, who is one of the biggest gamblers in the entire Nation. Wertheimer now has the gambling concession at a hotel in Reno, Nev. Next to Wertheimer in importance in the Chesterfield syndicate was Lincoln Fitzgerald, who is now operating the Nevada Club, Reno, Nev., with Daniel Sullivan, also from Michigan.
Other members of the Chesterfield syndicate in Michigan have included Leftie Clark, Red Gorman, Mike Brunton, and Al Driscoll. Records recently recovered from Frank Erickson by the district attorney in New York definitely established that Wertheimer was a partner in the elaborate gambling casino known as the Colonial Inn, Hallandale, Fla., some time ago.
The CHAIRMAN. Excuse me, Mr. Peterson. Wertheimer operates the gambling casino at Riverside?
Mr. PETERSON. At Reno, Nev.; that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Wertheimer operates one at the Mapes Hotel ?
Mr. PETERSON. Lou Wertheimer. They are brothers.
The CHAIRMAN. There is something about the RFC in connection with that; is there not?
Mr. PETERSON. There is supposedly a $907,000 loan.
The CHAIRMAN. How many brothers are there?
Mr. PETERSON. Those are the only two that I know of. There may be more. Mert Wertheimer is the best known of the two.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand they do not get along. Do you know about that ?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't know about that.
The records reflected that Wertheimer was associated in the Colonial Inn with some of the most notorious gangsters in the country, including Joe Adonis
The CHAIRMAN. That is Mert you are talking about?
Mr. PETERSON. That is Mert Wertheimer ; that is right.
Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto; Vincent Alo, alias Jimmy (Blue Eyes) Alo; Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, and Frank Erickson, all of whom were members of the Frank Costello mob of New York.
Mr. HALLEY. To bring that up to date, the Colonial Inn is no longer operated as a gambling place, but the same group with some changes are now in a place called Greenacres.
Mr. PETERSON. There are a large number of places there. A couple of years ago, at least, during the height of the gambling season, it was alleged there were 52 more-or-less elaborate—not all elaborate but places operating in Broward County, Fla. There was good reason to believe that a considerable number of those were controlled by the New York mob. For example, you remember when Jack Letendre started to operate from the Club La Boheme down there, opposition was raised apparently by the New York mob. It was also alleged the Chicago mob may have been included, but they objected very strenuously, and finally he was forced out of the place. When he got back to Rhode Island he was bumped off ; he was killed, and every indication was that it had to do with his attempt to get into the gambling business down there in opposition to the mobsters who were running the gambling in Broward County, Fla.
Mr. HALLEY. The murder clarified the financial picture in Broward County.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Mr. HALLEY. Isn't it a fact that that group you have mentioned—I am simply trying to bring your testimony into line with certain facts—are the Colonial Inn group now, and the La Boheme and the Greenacres ?
Mr. PETERSON. That is the information that I have. I can't prove that.
Mr. HALLEY. You have been mentioning Joe Massei from time to time as being quite important. Were you informed he had a concession of what is known as the New York crap game down at Greenacres ?
Mr. PETERSON. No.
Mr. HALLEY. A big crap game.
Mr. PETERSON. He may have. I don't have that information, however.
Mr. HALLEY. From your knowledge as an expert, will you give your opinion as to how a concession for a very valuable particular crap game in a gambling establishment would be given to one man in that way ?
Mr. PETERSON. You mean by the mob or by the authorities?
Mr. HALLEY. You answer it your own way. Take them one, two.
Mr. PETERSON. Usually a particular mob is tied up with the authorities of that particular jurisdiction, which gives them more or less a monopoly, so to speak. In other words, a place doesn't operate unless they have the permission of the authorities. Nobody is foolish enough to open a $250,000 establishment with the idea that maybe the authorities might find it the next day. In other words, they don't do that. They divide up the territory. It is a matter of record in Chicago years ago that they even had conferences between the gangsters to divide the territory. When you get into somebody else's territory, then you are in trouble. Take, for example, one particular area in Chicago a few years ago. Here is an accurate description of how a gambler operated in this particular area in Chicago. If you wanted to operate a gambling establishment, you first went to the ward committeeman. However, he did not have the final word in that particular ward. This is a few years ago.
Mr. HALLEY. You are now talking about Chicago.
Mr. PETERSON. I am talking about that as an example. You asked how this thing operates. If you went to him and said, "I want to operate a place at such-and-such an address," the ward committeeman would say, "All right; I will think it over." The ward committeeman contacted the syndicate's representative. The syndicate's representative in this particular area said either "He can go at that address" or "He can't go." If he can go, the syndicate gets 60 percent of the total profits. They put their own man in the place to make certain they get the 60 percent of the profits. All of the protection, everything, was handled by the syndicate. That was in this one district where we developed that information several years ago. That is the way it operates.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, before you continue, Senator Hunt has a question.
Senator HUNT. Mr. Peterson, down in Florida among the records we subpenaed were some canceled vouchers, checks, made payable to Mickey Cohen. They were checks written by one Mr. Johnny O'Rourke. The evidence given us was to the effect that these checks went up, I believe, to as much as $5,000 in amount, covered a period of something like 3 months, and there were thirty-some checks. The aggregate amount, I think, was around $8,000. In questioning O'Rourke with reference to these checks, he said they were horse-race bets that Mickey had placed with him in which Cohen had won. It was an unusual incident that every bet made, Cohen won. O'Rourke won no bets. We asked him why that was. He said he thought it was simply because Mr. Cohen knew the horses better than he knew them.
The question I wanted to ask you is : Do you think that those could have been not horse-race bets, but just Los Angeles fashion "muscling in" on the earnings of the Miami group?
Mr. PETERSON. I think that could very well be. One thing is certain. How many checks were there ?
Senator HUNT. I would say about 30.
Mr. HALLEY. About that.
Mr. PETERSON. There is one thing certain, and that is that Mickey Cohen, on the basis of expert knowledge of horses, didn't make 30 bets and win 30 times. That just wouldn't happen—that couldn't happen—unless he also owned the horse that was running and the jockey; I mean, the other horses and jockeys.
Senator HUNT. My statement might have been in error on that particular score to this extent, that there were no checks made by Cohen to O'Rourke. These checks might have been in settlement of half a dozen bets, and there might have been a side bet where Cohen would have lost. But the winnings were always going in one direction, and never did O'Rourke receive money equal to the winnings of Cohen.
Mr. PETERSON. Isn't it possible he was the lay-off man ; that Mickey Cohen was laying off for O'Rourke ? That might be possible.
Senator HUNT. I do not know. It seemed very strange and odd to us that constantly and without exception in the balancing of accounts Cohen was always the winner.
Mr. PETERSON. I think that is something certainly worthy of a very complete investigation. I would be just hazarding a guess.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, are you at a place where you can pause until the afternoon session ?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. How much longer do you think your statement will take? We do not want you to hurry, because this is most useful information for the committee.
Mr. PETERSON. I would say maybe not over an hour.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in recess until 2 o'clock this afternoon at the same place.
(Whereupon, at 12 : 15 p. m., the committee recessed until 2 p. m. the same day.)
(The committee reconvened at 2: 30 p. m. pursuant to the taking of the noon recess.)
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. The chairman wishes to apologize for the 30-minute delay to the Senator and everyone else, but it was because of a conference in advancement of the work of the committee.
Senator WILEY. Your fellow Senator accepts the apology, but don't make it a precedent. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, will you continue?
FURTHER TESTIMONY OF VIRGIL W. PETERSON, OPERATING DIRECTOR, CHICAGO CRIME COMMISSION, REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Lincoln Fitzgerald and Daniel Sullivan were fugitives from Macomb County, Mich., until they finally went back and paid fines and costs totaling $52,000. About midnight on November 18, 1949, as Fitzgerald was leaving his home in Reno for his Nevada Club, he was ambushed and shot.
With reference to the old Purple Gang in Detroit, it is claimed that Joe Irving and Izzy Burnstein are now in California. Joe Burnstein resides in San Mateo, Calif. Before he left Miami in July 1949, he had been in the beer distributorship in Florida. Irving Burnstein resides in Los Angeles and is daily observed in various restaurants where he associates with gamblers and hoodlums. In November 1942 the Los Angeles police arrested him and released him to Michigan authorities, who at that time suspected him of being the payoff man for the Purple Gang in Detroit. Izzy Burnstein has been reported as being active with Sam Koven in the wire service and bookmaking activities in the San Diego, Calif., area. Izzy and Joe Burnstein have been frequent visitors at the Pacific News Tavern at 356 East Third Street, San Mateo, which is a big bookmaking establishment.
William Swartz, who was formerly the manager of Thomas J. McGinty's Mounds Club in Lake County, Ohio, as of May 20, 1936. McGinty's Cleveland office was then in the Hollenden Hotel, Cleveland. William Swartz came to the Hollenden Hotel to pick up the Mounds Club payroll on May 20, 1936. As he left the hotel he shot and fatally wounded Harry (Champ) Joyce. William Swartz was brought to trial and was defended by McGinty's lawyer, Richard Moriarty. He was convicted of manslaughter and on October 27, 1936, was sentenced to a term of 1 to 20 years in the Ohio State Penitentiary. He was released on parole November 8, 1938.
At the time of the trial William Swartz testified that he lived at the Hollenden Hotel and the preceding winter he had worked for Thomas Jefferson McGinty in Miami. Joyce, the deceased, had gone to Miami with the rest of the McGinty crowd to operate McGinty's gambling establishment. Upon returning north Swartz began working for McGinty, but Joyce was not rehired. Apparently an argument ensued which resulted in the shooting. At the trial, William's brother Howard was one of the spectators. Approximately 10 years ago William and Howard Swartz went to Chesapeake, Ohio, where they operated the Continental Club. In 1949 Ohio refused to renew a liquor permit for the Continental Club. In its application the Continental Club alleged that it was run by the Chesapeake Operating Co. and named as its officers Jack Goodman, 2952 Hampshire Road, Cleve- land, as president; A. E. Giessey, vice president, and E. W. Sauers, secretary. These men, Giessey and Sauers, had been the accountants for the Cleveland syndicate. Jack Goodman is an ex-prize fighter and has been associated with Thomas Jefferson McGinty's operations for many years. Giessey is an accountant who represents the Pettibone Club operated by the Cleveland syndicate, and Sauers is an accountant in the same office. In the fall of 1949 William Swartz, Howard Swartz, and one James Dougherty moved into West Virginia and began remodeling a place in Huntington, W. Va., for gambling purposes. According to authorities in West Virginia, the same group are allegedly engaged in gambling operations in Clarksburg, Parkersburg, and Wheeling, W. Va. To all appearances, these operations are actually those of the Cleveland syndicate.
I should have mentioned that in connection with the Cleveland group, but I got it in the wrong place.
Going very briefly to St. Louis, the two first names are well known to this committee : James J. Carroll, of St. Louis, considered one of the largest betting commissioners in the United States; also located in St. Louis is Morris L. Cooper, another large betting commissioner who maintains connections from San Francisco to Boston.
Louis Casper "Red" Smith, who was mentioned in the testimony before this committee, is a well-known St. Louis, Mo., gambler and gangster. As a matter of fact, in a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it was alleged that Smith participated in a conference of gamblers at the Hyde Park Club, Venice, Ill., just a short time before the gang murder of Charles Binaggio took place in Kansas City on April 5, 1950. It was claimed that there was some connection between the Binaggio affair and this conference.
Thomas Whalen was a muscle man for the Egan gang of St. Louis for many years. It is claimed that Whalen made a good impression on Murray Humphreys, a top-ranking member of the Capone gang, and Humphreys induced Whalen to come to Chicago about 1947. Whalen has been considered a good St. Louis contact for the Capone mob in Chicago.
Tony Giardano, handbook operator of St. Louis, Mo., is one of the foremost gangsters in the city. He also operates in Kansas City, Los Angeles, and other places.
Tony Giardano is reportedly closely associated with Chicago Capone gangsters. It is claimed that he goes to Chicago on frequent visits and that he is contacted in St. Louis by Chicago mobsters. He has: been associated with some of the most notorious hoodlums in the St. Louis area. In 1941 Tony Giardano and three associates were arrested as they were using field glasses to case a roadhouse they planned to rob. Tony Giardano has a record of 55 arrests in St. Louis. In 1941 the chief of police of Collinsville, Ill., was fired when it was exposed that he had released Tony Giardano a few hours before Los Angeles. authorities came for him with extradition papers. He was questioned in connection with a gang killing of one Lawrence Drewer in 1946. The same year he was questioned regarding a hold-up of a traveling-dice game known as Town Game. The hold-up occurred in University City, Mo. On May 23, 1946, he was arrested and identified as a participant in a big jewel robbery but the prosecuting witness later changed her story. Tony Giardano has two brothers, Sam and Joe. Information was received that Tony Giardano and his two brothers have been contacting Frank Cappola in Tia Juana. It was claimed that Cappola had connections with Frank Costello and that Cappola was deported from New Orleans in 1949.
Joe Giardano, a brother of Tony and Sam, was charged with the killings of Vincent Barber and Salvatore Faraci, Italian gangsters in St. Louis, in the late 1920's. He was never convicted of the charge, however. Joe Giardano was convicted of an $8,000 payroll robbery of the East St. Louis & Suburban Railroad in 1928 but was later pardoned when a notorious hoodlum; Freddy Wooten, made an affidavit in prison that he and associates committed the robbery. In 1942 Joseph Giardano was held in the $21,000 robbery of the Crause Gold Refinery in Kansas City, but another ex-convict admitted the robbery and he was exonerated.
Sam Giardano, who is an ex-convict, is considered the least harmful of the three brothers. He was arrested, however, in connection with the $16,000 robbery of the Country Club Distributing Co., Alton, Ill., on May 8, 1941. Sam Giardano was arrested in this case in Los Angeles. Nothing came of the charges.
These men as I mentioned before allegedly have been contacting Frank Cappola in Tia Juana, who in turn has a connection with the. New York mob.
Frank Buster Wortman, East St. Louis, Ill., has long been considered one of the most important figures in the organized gambling racket in that area. Wortman is said to have served in Alcatraz, and while there he met Cotton Eppelsheimer, who hid out at Wortman's place until he died in 1948. Wortman was at one time connected with the Egan gang of St. Louis and with the Shelton gang in southern Illinois. In 1948 it was reported that Wortman and Chippy Robinson were field agents for the Capone gang in the vicinity of St. Louis and East St. Louis, Ill.
Frank Robinson, alias Chippy Robinson, the man I just mentioned together with Frank Wortman, is considered one of the important figures in the organized gambling racket in that area, and they are claimed to be field agents for the Capone syndicate.
Going briefly to Kansas City, as you know, on the night of April 5, 1950, Charles Binaggio, the gambling boss and lord of the underworld in Kansas City, Mo., was shot and killed in a typical gang slaying. The partner and bodyguard of Binaggio, Charles Gargotta, a notorious gangster, was also slain at the same time. The kingpins of the Kansas City underworld today are largely associates of Binaggio and Gargotta.
Just a few names.
The first one, James Balestrere, alias James Balestreri, is one of the most powerful hoodlums in Kansas City. Some well-informed individuals from Kansas City considered this man of equal importance in the underworld with Binaggio prior to his murder.
Charles Vincenzo Carollo, alias Charley the Wop, has been one of the most notorious gangsters in Kansas City, Mo., for many years. His power goes back to the days of Johnny Lazia in the early 1930's. Carollo was a close associate of the slain gambling bosses, Charles Binaggio and Charles Gargotta, both of whom were killed on April 5, 1950, James Balestrere Gaetano Lacoco, and Tony Gizzo, who are other pals of Carollo. In 1939 Federal Judge Albert L. Reeves said of Corollo: "I never saw any one individual in all the years I have been connected with the United States Government who seemingly had so much power * * *." That was said of Corollo in 1939.
Gus Gargotta is a Kansas City, Mo., gambler and underworld leader. He is a brother of the slain Charles Gargotta. Gus Gargotta, Charles Binaggio, Nick Penna, and Tony "Slick" Bondon, and Fred Wedow operated the notorious Green Hills Country Club, a gambling resort, in Platte City, Mo.
Gus Gargotta also, incidentally, was arrested in Iowa some time ago in connection with an alleged robbery of a gambling joint there when they were muscling into that area near Council Bluffs.
Tony Gizzo is a well-known Kansas City, Mo., hoodlum who was closely associated with Charles Binaggio for at least two decades before Binaggio was slain on April 5, 1950. For example, on January 18, 1930, 20 years ago, Gizzo was arrested with Binaggio in Denver, Colo., on charges of carrying concealed weapons. Each received a 90-day sentence which was suspended on condition that he leave Denver, Colo., within 6 hours. At the time of Binaggio's murder, the Duke Sales Co. was the wholesale distributor for Canadian Ace beer in Kansas City. Both Tony Gizzo and Binaggio were profitably connected with the Duke Sales Co. Gizzo persuaded tavern keepers that they should use Canadian Ace beer. Gizzo received 25 percent of the profits. Louis Greenberg, a principal stockholder in the Canadian Ace Brewing Co., Chicago, testified before the congressional committee investigating the paroles of four notorious Capone gangsters by the Federal Government that he had known Tony Gizzo for the past 15 years. He stated that Gizzo had been connected with a distributing company that handled Canadian Ace Beer in Kansas City. Greenberg also admitted knowing the four paroled Capone convicts, Phil D'Andrea, Charles Gioe, "Little New York" Campagna, and Paul Ricca. He also admitted that when Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, head of the Capone gang, committed suicide in 1943, that he, Greenberg, was holding $65,000 of Nitti's money, which he turned over to Nitti's estate. Tony Gizzo has been prominently identified with the gambling racket in Kansas City. In 1941 Tony Gizzo, Charles Binaggio, Mel Levitt, and Joe Danzo started a horse-race Cook in the Coates House cigar store. The Federal grand jury recently found that the net take in this place in 1947 was $100,000.
Edward P. Osadchey, alias Eddie Spitz, is one of the most important gamblers in Kansas City. He was a henchman of Charles Binaggio before the death of Binaggio on April 5, 1950. When the Binaggio gang muscled into the Stork Club, a gambling casino at Council Bluffs, Iowa, the place was managed by Edward Osadchey and Morris "Snag" Klein, of Kansas City, and George Beskas and Charles "Snooks" Hutter, Jr., of Omaha. The latter two, Beskas and Hunter, are of Omaha. Another Binaggio henchman frequently appeared at the Stork Club at regular intervals, Kansas City gambler and Binaggio associate, Louis "Duke" Sarno. Just before they were killed, Binaggio and Gargotta left the Last Chance Tavern on the Kansas-Missouri State line for their headquarters, where they were murdered. The Last Chance was a gambling establishment owned by several partners including Charles Binaggio, Charles Gargotta, Tano Lacoco, Morris "Snag" Klein, Edward P. Osadchey, alias Eddie Spitz, and John Goulding. The wire service in Kansas City which services the handbooks is also owned by Tano Lacoco, Edward P. Osadchey, Morris "Snag" Klein, and, before his death, Charles Gargotta. The horse-race news has been furnished by Continental Press in Chicago.
Max Jaben, Kansas City, Mo., gambler and associate of Charles Binaggio, took over the policy wheels formerly operated by Celestine (Bud) Tralle through muscling tactics. Jaben 's partner in the policy racket is John Mariginacini. In 1949 Max Jaben and Charles Binaggio obtained the gambling concessions at Central City, Colo. It was also claimed that Max Jaben, Charles Binaggio, Walter Rainey, and others operated slot machines in Colorado Springs, Trinidad, and Pueblo, Colo.
Tano Lacoco is one of the top-ranking underworld characters of Kansas City. He is an associate of James Balestrere and is considered a gangland enforcer. As previously indicated, he has been a partner with leading Kansas City gamblers in the Last Chance Tavern and is one of a group that controls the wire service. He is also known as Tano Lococo.
Joe La Scuolla, alias Joe School, is another Kansas City underworld character who was associated with Charles Gargotta and Charles Binaggio. He has been a part of the Kansas City gambling set-up and has a lengthy record. Another well-known Kansas City hoodlum is Sam Goldberg. Recently he was charged with a race-track swindle involving $112,000, but was freed.
Charles Bruno, another associate of Charles Binaggio, has a police record going back to 1919. He was shot just the other day. He has been convicted on narcotic violations and has been arrested on charges of car theft and robbery, although not convicted of those offenses. He owns three taverns which have been characterized as breeding places of juvenile gangsters. Together with Raymond Muller he operates the Kansas City Bonding Co., the largest concern that bonds criminals in the city. Bruno was born in Italy as Vincenzo Pasqualino.
About two decades ago the underworld in Colorado was dominated by a gang headed by Pete and Sam Carlino. These men were killed in gang warfare. In Pueblo, Colo., Charles Blanda succeeded to the leadership of the underworld. Associated with Blanda in that area as a leader of the rackets is Tom Incerto, alias Whiskers Incerto. Early in 1950 the Los Angeles police, when they seized records from Jack Dragna, it was brought out that these records contained the address of Charles Blanda, 1104 Cartaret Street, Pueblo, Colo., indicating the close connection between Blanda and Jack I. Dragna, the most notorious gangster on the west coast.
Also recorded on the address book of Dragna's lieutenant was the following : Carl Cascio, 506 East Evans Avenue, Pueblo, Colo., as well as his telephone number, 6462. Carl Cascio is said to be the guiding spirit behind the Owls Den, formerly known as the Forty Niners Club, located near Blend, Colo. Cascio is in the gambling racket and is associated with Turk Spinuzzi and Scotty Spinuzzi, who are known as the enforcers for Charles Blanda.
Likewise recorded in the address book recovered from Jack I. Dragna in Los Angeles was the following : Joe Salardino, 827-4, the telephone number, address 725 Greenward, Canon City, Colo. Joe Salardino and his brother, Gus Salardino, operate the Paradise Club, which is an important gambling establishment on the outskirts of Canon City, Colo. This place receives its wire service from the North Federal Brokerage Co., 4501 North Federal Boulevard, just outside of Denver. It is known definitely that Clyde Smaldone has a connection with the last-mentioned place.
Clyde Smaldone and Eugene Smaldone are in control of a gang that dominate northern Colorado. The principal enforcer for the Smaldone gang is Frank "Blackie" Mazza, who is principally a slot-machine man.
Also recorded in the address book from Jack Dragna was the name Joseph Bonanno, 114 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. This man also is known as Joe Bananas. He is allegedly tied up with several enterprises, including laundries, and he is also connected with the Colorado Cheese Co., Trinidad, Colo., which is a distributor for Italian cheese.
In Louisiana the Frank Costello mob of New York has been deeply entrenched for almost two decades. In 1934 Mayor LaGuardia of New York launched an effective campaign against the slot-machine activities of Frank Costello and Dandy Phil Kastel. Through a deal with Huey Long, Costello and Kastel moved into New Orleans where their business flourished. In recent years Mayor deLesseps Morrison drove the slot-machine business of Costello and Kastel out of New Orleans proper. Several hundred machines owned by this group were seized in a New Orleans warehouse. Kastel instituted legal proceedings but the mayor prevailed in court. In Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans, there is located the Beverly Country Club, one of the most elaborate gambling casinos of the Nation. This place is principally owned and operated by Frank Costello, Philip (Dandy Phil) Kastel, and Costello's brothers-in-law, Dudley and Harold Geigerman.
Carlos Marcello, 320 Romain Street, Gretna, La., is also a stockholder in the Beverly Country Club gambling casino. It is said that he is practically equal in power with Dandy Phil Kastel in the operation of this place. In 1949 Marcello and associates attempted to organize a union of handbook employees through a local A. F. of L. leader. An attempt was made by Marcello to effect a deal with the New Orleans administration whereby 150 handbooks would be permitted to operate in the city. Carlos proposed that the city hall would have the right to name many of the handbook employees and the city treasury would receive a certain amount of the proceeds. The Continental Press Racing Service was to serve the handbooks. Carlos Marcello apparently was active in the affairs of the Continental Press in that area. The Continental Press dispatched its service into an office building in Gretna, La., the parish seat of Jefferson Parish.
Incidentally, the offer that Marcello made was not accepted. It was turned down, of course, obviously by the city administration. It was also understood that Marcello and associates are in the money-lending business for barroom and night club proprietors and various other establishments in Jefferson Parish. Marcello and associates supply slot machines, pinball machines, juke boxes, and coin machines. Marcello and his associates lend money at an annual interest of 2 percent. In return for this low rate of interest the proprietor must agree to use only syndicate machines. The barroom or tavern keeper is thus under a financial obligation directly to the Marcello syndicate. Marcello has the reputation for being the head of the Mafia in that area. He has the reputation for being a dangerous individual and no one will testify against him. The mayor of New Orleans has indicated that he is also facing deportation proceedings.
The CHAIRMAN. He is a. native of Italy, I believe.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes. Mayor Morrison informed me he understands that he is facing deportation proceedings at the present time. I have not verified that.
In Las Vegas, Nev., members of the notorious Frank Costello mob became firmly entrenched through Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, who constructed and operated the Flamingo Hotel, one of the most elaborate gambling establishments in America. Siegel was one of the most notorious gangsters in the country, and in the East was associated in illegal activities with Frank Costello, Joe Adonis, Meyer Lansky, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Abner "Longie" Zwillman, Moe Sedgwick, Louis Pokrass, and numerous others. Louis Shomberg, alias Dutch Goldberg, was one of the most powerful gangsters in America in the early 1930's, and was also associated with this group in the East.
It is claimed that Siegel was brought to the west coast by Joe Adonis. In 1940, he was arrested for the Hollywood murder of Harry (Big Greeny) Greenberg. Greenberg was once the chief muscle man for Louis (Lepke) Buchalter, head of Murder, Inc., in New York City. When Greenberg threatened to blackmail Buchalter's mob, Siegel was alleged to have murdered him. Siegel had been closely associated with Buchalter's mob in the East as had many others in the Costello organization. In the East, Siegel, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, and Meyer Lansky had comprised the enforcement branch of the Costello organization. It was known as the Bug and Meyer mob of executioners. Siegel was not convicted for the Greenberg murder. While in custody he was given privileges which indicated he was considered a man of importance. He made 19 visits outside the jail while awaiting trial for murder.
In Los Angeles, Siegel became closely associated with Allen Smiley, whose real name is Aaron Smehoff, FBI No. 1306281. Smiley has a long criminal record. He has been arrested numerous times and was charged with failure to register under the Alien Registration Act. When Siegel moved into Las Vegas Smiley went with him as a constant companion and aide.
Closely associated with Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel in the Flamingo Hotel venture in Las Vegas was Louis Pokrass, who had been connected with the Costello-Siegel-Lansky group in the East, and Moe Sedway, also a long-time associate of Siegel. A large amount of money for the Flamingo Hotel venture was obtained from the East from the Rothberg brothers, Henry and Sam, or Harry. I don't. have their exact names. There was also a strong indication that $300,000 in the form of a loan was furnished by Charles Fischetti and Rocco Fischetti, leading members of the notorious Capone syndicate of Chicago. As of 1947, the principal officers and directors of the Flamingo Hotel included Benjamin Siegel, president ; Louis Pokrass, vice president ; G. H. Rothberg, treasurer ; and Moe Sedway was one of four directors, including Siegel, Rothberg, Pokrass, and Sedway. N. Joseph Ross was listed as secretary, and his residence address was given as 9700 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel became the "big shot" of gambling in Las Vegas.
During this same period the Chicago Capone syndicate was launching its Nation-wide drive to control the racing-news service through the Trans-American Publishing & News Service, Inc., which it had formed and placed in competition to the Continental Press. There was considerable violence in many parts of the Nation. James M. Ragen, part owner and general manager of Continental Press, had been threatened by Tony Accardo, Murray Humphreys, and Jack Guzik, leading members of the Capone syndicate in Chicago. Ragen was ambushed and shot on June 24, 1946, and subsequently died.
In Las Vegas Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was the Capone syndicate's representative for the Trans-American Publishing & News Service, Inc. He engaged in muscling tactics, and many handbooks that did not want to drop the Continental service found it necessary to take the Trans-American service as well, and pay for both services.
A bitter fight was waging among the wire-service representatives. On June 13, 1947, Ralph O'Hara announced in Chicago that the Capone syndicate's Trans-American Publishing & News Service, Inc., was going out of business. A few days later a conference among the wire-service representatives of Nevada and California was held in Siegel's Flamingo Hotel. A few days later Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was shot and killed in gangland fashion as he sat on a couch in a home at 810 Linden Avenue, Beverly Hills, Calif. This place had been rented by Siegel's girl friend, Virginia Hill, who had departed for Paris about a week earlier. Allen Smiley was with Siegel when he was shot.
After Siegel was killed, Sanford Adler became the president of the Flamingo Hotel. Morris Rosen from New York then entered the picture. Morris Rosen was believed to be a representative of the Frank Costello group in New York. Information was received to the effect that Morris Rosen had been a close associate of Louis Shomberg, alias Dutch Goldberg, since prohibition days. Rosen entered into a controversy with Sanford Adler over the Flamingo Hotel. Morris Rosen demanded that Sanford Adler deliver certain stock certificates to him which would give Rosen and his associates control of the Flamingo Hotel and gambling Casino. About April 5, 1948, Rosen and Adler had a fight in the patio of the Flamingo Hotel. Adler ran into the hotel calling for help. Fearing for his life, Adler apparently relinquished his interest in the Flamingo to Rosen and his associates. He also sold his interest in the Rancho Vegas and purchased a hotel and gambling spot known as the Calineva on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
By the latter part of June 1948, the majority stockholders of the Flamingo Hotel were Gus Greenbaum of Phoenix, Ariz., who had been friendly with Siegel, Elias Atol, Minneapolis, Minn., believed friendly with the Siegel interests, Moe Sedway, the former partner of Siegel, and Morris Rosen.
After Morris Rosen became the "big shot" in the Flamingo operations, Rosen and Moe Sedway attempted to control the wire service in much the same manner as had Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. On November 13, 1948, following a so-called cold warfare over the wire service, Dave Stearns, Sam Stearns, and Ed Margolis of the Santa Anita Turf Club of Las Vegas filed a suit in Federal court naming as defendants the following : Tom Kelly, Chicago manager of the. Continental Press, Arthur (Mickey) McBride, and Moe Sedway, and Morris Rosen, as well as Connie J. Hurley, a Continental official. Sedway and Rosen were the owners of the Golden Nugget Racing Service of Las Vegas. Damages in the sum of $137,879 were sought on the ground that the defendants had been refusing the plaintiffs wire service in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. A defense to the suit was made on the ground that Arthur McBride was wrongfully named as a defendant since Continental Press was owned by McBride's son, Edward J. McBride, and not by Arthur McBride, as named in the suit. The Nevada Tax Commission, after hearings on the wire service, forced Rosen to cease active operations in the State. Morris Rosen returned to New York City, but at last reports, which is a number of months ago now, he still claimed to own a sizable interest in the Flamingo Hotel.
Morris Rosen, through whom it is believed that the Siegel-Costello mob's interest in the Flamingo was perpetuated, was born in Russia on December 4, 1899, and is a naturalized citizen. His wife and son live at 118 Riverside Drive, New York. His sister, Leah Rosen, operates the Mid-Manhattan Liquors, a package liquor store on Eighth Avenue, New York City. The New York State Liquor Authority held hearings with reference to this establishment because of allegations that Morris Rosen had an undisclosed interest in the place. This fact could not be established, however. Morris Rosen stated at the hearing that he was connected with the American Spirits, Inc., a subsidiary of the American Distilling Co. with which the Rothbergs are affiliated. It will be recalled that the Rothberg brothers furnished large sums of money for Siegel's Flamingo Hotel.
Morris Rosen was convicted in New York City March 21, 1940, for bookmaking and was fined $40. Arrested with him at the time were Emil Gleickman, Henry Siegel, and Charles Cooke. As previously indicated, Morris Rosen was formerly friendly with Dutch Goldberg.
Barney Ruditsky, who handled bad checks for the Flamingo Hotel during the Siegel regime, claimed that Louis Shomberg, alias Dutch Goldberg, together with Abe Zwillman from New Jersey, Harry Rosen from Philadelphia, and the Fischettis from Chicago, had money invested in the Flamingo. This assertion, of course, has not been verified.
With reference to Elias Atol, who became a director in the Flamingo Hotel, information received from New York alleged that Moe Sedway was friendly with a Mike Atol who was an associate of Meyer Lansky in a Las Vegas gambling venture.
Mike Atol, allegedly a friend of Meyer Lansky, and who is engaged in gambling activities in Las Vegas, Nev., was formerly affiliated with the Gopher Sales Co., 143 Michigan Avenue, Duluth. He was engaged in the distribution of slot machines and juke boxes. It is also alleged that he was closely associated with Sam Taran from the Twin Cities.
Next to the Flamingo Hotel, the Desert Inn, which was opened in Las Vegas Nev., in 1950, is perhaps the next most elaborate gambling casino in America. As of February 1950, the Desert Inn was controlled by the Cleveland syndicate. Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, is the treasurer and secretary of the Desert Inn. The attorney, as I previously mentioned, for Dutch Schultz of New York, wrote in 1939 that Moe Davis was the Cleveland representative for Charles "Lucky"' Luciano, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel and Meyer Lansky.
Members of the Davis group are known to be in touch with Abner "Longie" Zwillman in New Jersey. Moe Davis is also a contact of Allen Smiley, the close associate of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel.
Morris Kleinman is the vice president of the Desert Inn, Las Vegas. His residence address is 12701 Shaker Boulevard, Suite 802, Cleveland. Kleinman was once a Cleveland pugilist, and has been associated with Moe Davis for many years. Kleinman was convicted of income tax evasion and was released from the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pa., in September 1936, after having served 3 years.
Thomas Jefferson McGinty, from Cleveland, is a stockholder in the Desert Inn. McGinty, together with Moe Davis, alias Moe Dalitz, Morris Kleinman, Lou Rothkopf and others, have long operated one of the most powerful gambling syndicates in the Nation. McGinty is known as the operator of the notorious Mounds Club near Cleveland. His gambling operations have extended to Florida as well as to Ohio and Kentucky.
Sam Tucker, another member of the Cleveland combination, is a director of the Desert Inn. In recent years he has been in charge of the syndicate's three large gambling casinos in Kentucky across from Cincinnati. In addition to the indictment returned against Tucker, Kleinman and Moe Davis in Buffalo for rum running, he has also been named in a suit filed in 1938 by a teller of the Cleveland Trust Co. who was sentenced to Leavenworth Penitentiary for embezzlement. The suit was filed against the Ohio Villa Club, a notorious gambling place, to recover money lost there. Named as operators of the place were Sam Tucker, Morris Kleinman, and others.
Tucker has also been engaged in gambling operations in Florida.
He has listed as his address 1347 Biscaya Drive, Surf Side, Miami Beach, Fla.
Cornelius J. Jones, 638 Lawson Avenue, Steubenville, Ohio, is a director in the Desert Inn. Jones has been one of the partners in the Mounds Club operated by Thomas J. McGinty and others near Cleveland for many years.
Lou Rothkopf, alias Lou Rhody, alias John Zarumba, Fenway Hall Hotel, Euclid Avenue and One Hundred and Seventh Street, Cleveland, Ohio, is not officially connected with the Desert Inn. He spends a large amount of time in Las Vegas, however. He has long been an important member of the Moe Davis, Morris Kleinman, and Thomas J. McGinty combination. Rothkopf has connections with some of the most notorious racketeers in America. He was in telephonic communication with Mickey Cohen, Los Angeles gambling racketeer. He has also been in telephonic communication with Abner "Longie" Zwillman of New Jersey. While Rothkopf was staying in Los Angeles in 1949, he made telephone calls to Jack I. Dragna at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and to Allen Smiley, who was then called also at the Flamingo.
Allen Smiley, alias Aaron Smehoff, has remained close to the Las Vegas gambling picture after the murder of his friend, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. Reliable information indicates the strong possibility that he may have a small interest in one of the important gaming houses there. Several months ago, Smiley brought an oil man to the Flamingo Hotel casino where the man lost a small fortune. He also brought the same man to the Beverly Country Club near New Orleans where he also lost heavily. The Beverly Country Club is owned by Frank Costello, Dandy "Phil" Kastel and others. It was also claimed that Smiley brought this man to Moe Davis some place in the Middle West and he again lost heavily. Smiley is undoubtedly close to the Cleveland syndicate----
The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean by a "small fortune"?
Mr. PETERSON. To me, $100,000—maybe it wouldn't be a small fortune.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the amount he lost?
Mr. PETERSON. On two occasions he was alleged to have lost $100,000. I say "reliable information." I checked on this story through the police department of the area with reference to the man that he took to those places, and the police department there verified the information that this had happened. I mention it because there are a couple of things that seem rather significant. First, he is taking them to the same places that this New York group with which he has been affiliated are close to. I think Smiley is still--
The CHAIRMAN. Is the name of the man known publicly?
Mr. PETERSON. No; but I can give the name of the man to the committee off the record.
The CHAIRMAN. It should not be made public?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't think so; no. The man who supposedly lost all the money can afford to lose it; as a matter of fact. He is a very wealthy individual.
Senator WILEY. What significance do you draw from that?
Mr. PETERSON. The significance I draw from it is that Allen Smiley is still a representative of the New York gang and takes people—I say "takes them." He is an advance agent, so to speak, who brings people to some of these places, in other words, good customers. He is a good sales representative for these places. That is the significance I place on it. When you consider that he is taking them to the Beverly Country Club in New Orleans, to the Flamingo Club in Nevada and then, before the Davis interests came out there, allegedly to Moe good sales representative for these places. [sic] That is the significance that I place on it.
Senator WILEY. There is no other implication. You could not infer that he had to pay off something?
Mr. PETERSON. Oh, no. It was a gambling loss, strictly.
Senator WILEY. That was strictly a gambling loss?
Mr. PETERSON. This fellow Smiley has developed a very close association with this man. I will give the committee the name.
Jack I. Dragna, the Capone of Los Angeles, has operated the Universal Sports News which covered California and also parts of Nevada. For a long time Dragna has been attempting to get a foothold in Las Vegas in gambling activities. Only recently, Dragna did purchase an interest in a Las Vegas establishment which is not primarily a gambling place. It is believed that he now has his foot in the door, and with many friends in that area he at least hopes to get firmly established in that area.
One of his friends is Lester (Benny) Binion, who has been the king of the rackets in Dallas, Tex. He has been firmly entrenched as a gambling house operator in Las Vegas, Nev., for many years. In recent months, efforts were made to extradite Benny Binion to Texas to stand trial on an indictment returned against him there. These efforts were unsuccessful.
Binion's development into a big racket boss extends over a period of many years. In the early 1920's, organized gambling in Dallas was controlled by a man by the name of Warren Diamond. Diamond remained the king pin for a period of 10 or 15 years. His principal lieutenant was Ben Whitaker, who became the boss in the 1930's. Under Whitaker, all forms of gambling, including policy, flourished in Dallas. Whitaker's two principal lieutenants were Benny Bickers and Benny Binion.
Binion came to Dallas as a ranch youth who became a part of the Diamond-Whitaker combination due to his toughness. Binion eventually took over part of the policy racket. Whitaker had a dislike for policy, except for the assessments, because of the frequent violence that was attached to policy operations.
On September 12, 1936, Ben Freiden, who was a big policy operator, was gunned to death on a downtown Dallas street. Almost immediately Benny Binion became the king of the policy racket, and eventually gained control of about 20 wheels.
Binion was questioned in connection with the Freiden killing, but was released on December 28, 1936. Binion had previously been charged with carrying concealed weapons on September 30, 1932. He had also received a suspended sentence following a conviction in connection with the killing of a Negro bootlegger on May 25, 1932.
Beginning in 1936, Benny Binion launched into a program of protection for gamblers. The sale of protection later included hijackers, safe men, and other types of hoodlums. One of the big-time Dallas gamblers who refused to pay off to Binion was Herbert Noble. He became a bitter enemy of the Binion combination. Seven attempts have been made on Noble's life. On New Year's Eve 1949 Noble was ambushed and shot near his home at 311 Conrad Street, Dallas, Tex. He was taken to the Methodist Hospital, and while he was recovering from his wounds was again shot as he lay in the hospital on February 7, 1950. On Christmas Eve 1949 Hollis Delois Green was blasted at the Sky-Vu Club in Dallas. It was rumored that Green was blasted because he bungled the attempted assassination of Herbert Noble on November 29, 1949. On that date, Mildred Noble, the wife of Herbert Noble, was killed when she stepped on the starter of her husband's automobile in front of their home and it exploded.
Green had been hard pressed for cash to fight indictments which would have meant life imprisonment if convicted. He had allegedly attempted to obtain cash from Benny Binion and from Sam Maceo a big Galveston gambler. Binion was rumored to be looking for Green in order to make him pay back the money he had given him.
In Dallas, Binion's associates included Ivy Miller and Earn Dalton, who ran a gambling joint known as the Top of the Hill, just outside the city limits of Dallas.
As previously indicated, Binion has been firmly entrenched in the gambling business in Las Vegas for several years. Approximately 3 years ago, Binion's associate killed a man in Binion's Las Vegas gambling establishment. He was convicted and is now serving a prison sentence. Binion is tied up with Allen Smiley and is, also an important Las Vegas connection for Jack I. Dragna, from Los Angeles.
In Reno, Nev., Frankie Foster, a Chicago gangster, has operated a horse book for many years. Foster was indicted in connection with the Jake Lingle murder in Chicago many years ago—not in connection with the murder proper, but in connection with the gun used in the Lingle killing. He was not convicted, however. Foster was considered one of Chicago's toughest gangsters in the gang era of the early 1930's.
Mert Wertheimer presently has the gambling concession in one of the big hotels in Reno. Wertheimer is one of America's biggest gamblers. For a time, as I previously indicated, he was in partnership in Florida with some of the most notorious gangsters of the Nation, including Joe Adonis, alias Joe Doto, Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, Vincent (Jimmy Blue Eyes) Alo, and Frank Erickson, of the Frank Costello mob. These men, together with Wertheimer, did operate the Colonial Inn, at that time an elaborate gambling place at Hallandale, Fla. Mert Wertheimer was the head of the Chesterfield syndicate, concentrating its activities in Macomb County. It was once powerful politically in Michigan.
Lincoln Fitzgerald, next to Wertheimer, was the most powerful member of the Chesterfield syndicate in Michigan. Other members of the syndicate included Lefty Clark, Red Gorman, Mike Brunton, Al Driscoll, and Daniel Sullivan. Lincoln Fitzgerald and Daniel Sullivan became fugitives from Michigan, where they were under indictment. They finally went back to Michigan and paid fines and costs totaling $52,000. While they were fugitives they became the owners and operators of the Nevada Club, one of the most important Reno gambling establishments. About midnight on November 18, 1949, as Lincoln Fitzgerald was leaving his home in Reno for the Nevada Club he was ambushed and shot. At first his condition was thought to be critical. However, he recovered. Following the shooting of Fitzgerald two of the individuals under suspicion by the authorities were members of the old Purple Gang of Detroit.
Fred Elkins, originally from Portland, Oreg., moved to Reno, Nev., about 3 years ago. Fred Elkins and his brother, James Elkins, are well known to the Federal Narcotics Bureau in Portland, where they are important members of the underworld. Fred Elkins, FBI No. 394908, was received at the McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary on a charge of counterfeiting on October 4, 1943, on a sentence of 8 years and a $100 fine. In 1948 Fred Elkins was appointed receiver for a Lake Tahoe gambling place by a Reno judge. Elkins operated this gambling establishment for about .3 months in 1948.
For many years two of the most influential men in the Reno gambling set-up have been James C. McKay and William J. Graham. I was claimed that for years these two men controlled Reno politically and financially.
After three trials in Federal court in New York City, Graham and McKay were convicted of using the mails to defraud in a $2,500,000 horse race swindle. They were found guilty on February 12, 1938, and were sentenced on February 17, 1938, to serve 9 years in a Federal penitentiary and to pay a fine of $11,000 each. Graham and McKay dangled huge but fictitious race track winnings before their victims and told them the cash was theirs if they put up the necessary "good faith" money. In each case the money was placed and "lost" on the wrong horse on the first bet. The victims were rushed out of Reno after the swindle.
At the trial, a 70-year-old man from Chicago testified he lost $150,000 ; an 83-year-old man, former United States Commissioner of Caldwell, Idaho, lost $23,600; a Flint, Mich., mechanical engineer, testified he was swindled out of $61,000.
Graham and McKay were the backers of the ring of swindlers. After their release from Federal prison, they again returned to Reno, Nev., and resumed an important place in gambling operations there. They have operated the Bank Club in Reno and have had another establishment at Lake Tahoe as well.
Graham and McKay have maintained contact with a number of important underworld characters. This goes back many years, even during the old Dillinger investigation in 1934, or before 1934. Baby Face Nelson, who was one of the most notorious killers of the Dillinger gang, was a friend of theirs.
In Los Angeles, Jack I. Dragna, alias Jack Rizotto, alias Jack Dania, alias Jack Ignatius Dragna, alias Jack I. Drigna, Los Angeles Police Department No. 98015, is one of the most notorious gangsters on the west coast.. He is frequently referred to as the Capone of Los Angeles. He has been associated with John Rosselli, one of the Capone syndicate members who was convicted in Federal Court in New York City in 1943 for extorting a million dollars from the movie industry.
Several years ago, Rosselli and Dragna were associated together in connection with the racing news service. They engaged in terroristic methods. Between May 1948 and February 2, 1950, Jack I. Dragna received $500 a week from the Illinois Sports News, 431 South Dearborn, Room 1619, Chicago. The checks were received by Dragna in the name of the Universal Sports News, 3927 Hubert Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif. As a result of the public expose of the connection between Dragna and the Illinois Sports News, Dragna was taken off the payroll of this concern. On June 30, 1950, last Friday, Jack I. Dragna was in Chicago with the avowed intention of getting back on the payroll "or else."
Dragna has connections with some of the most powerful and notorious gangsters from every section of the Nation. He has been arrested with Charley Fischetti, cousin of Al Capone and one of the leading members of the Capone gang. He is a close friend of Benny Binion, a gambling racketeer who has recently been operating in Las Vegas, Nev., and who has been the king of rackets in Dallas. He is close to Allen Smiley, the close associate of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, of the New York Costello mob and operator of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas before he was murdered. Before Siegel's death, Dragna was allegedly associated with him as west coast representatives for the Capone syndicate wire service. It is known that Dragna has been close to Murray Humphreys and Tony Accardo of the Capone syndicate as well as with John Rosselli on the west coast. It was also reported that in 1947, Murray Humphreys and Jack Guzik, once the business manager for the Capone organization, were in Los Angeles to see Dragna regarding the wire service.
Jack I. Dragna has also been reported active in labor rackets along with John Rosselli. Dragna has been identified with the operations of Mickey Cohen and Joe Sica, both powerful west coast racketeers. In fact, it has been reported that the Savoy Shirt Shop, 8470 Melrose, Los Angeles, operated by Joe and Freddie Sica, may be the new headquarters for the Dragna organization.
From records seized from members of the Dragna family and his principal lieutenant., Giroloma Adamo, alias Mo Mo Adamo, it is established that Dragna is connected with the following and, of course, many more : Tony Accardo, Murray Humphreys, John Rosselli, and Charles Fischetti of the Capone gang; Pete Licovoli, Joe Zirilli, and William (Black Bill) Tocco, leading numbers racketeers of Detroit ; Joseph Profaci and Joseph Bonanno of Brooklyn; Carl Cascio, Joe Salardino, and Charles Blanda, big-time gambling racketeers of Colorado ; James Lumia (recently killed), and Santo Trafficanti, racketeers of Tampa, Fla. ; Vincent Rao, first cousin of Joie Rao, a notorious gunman and once tied up with the slot-machine racket with the Dutch Schultz mob and with Ciro Terranova in New York; Allen Smiley, confidant of Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel and big gambling racketeer; Charles "Babe" Baron, former handbook operator in Chicago and a big automobile dealer, and scores of others.
Dragna is about 59 years of age, brown eyes, black hair, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 200 pounds, and is an Italian. He was arrested for an extortion attempt on July 6, 1915. On January 26, 1916, he received a sentence of 3 years on a felony charge. On May 25, 1917, he was arrested in Los Angeles, and on June 15, 1917, he was delivered to New York officers on a murder charge. On July 29, 1930, he was arrested on a suspicion of robbery and released the next day. On July 25, 1934, there was a "wanted" notice posted with the Los Angles Police Department by the United States Immigration Department. On December 6, 1946, he was arrested on a suspicion of robbery and released on December 9, 1946.
Mickey Cohen, one of the big gambling racketeers on the west coast, has maintained contact with virtually every hoodlum of consequence throughout the Nation. Telephone surveillance and records definitely have established this fact.
Joe Sica, originally a New Jersey hoodlum, received his training from William Moretti, and has become one of the big-time racketeers of the west coast. Joe and his brother, Freddie, operate the Savoy Shirt Shop, 8470 Melrose, Los Angeles, which is reportedly a headquarters for the Jack I. Dragna organization. Joe Sica has also been identified with the operations of Mickey Cohen, gambling racketeer of the Los Angeles area. Joe Sica is said to be a former associate of Joseph D. DiGiovanni, alias Joe Chick, of Brooklyn, who is allegedly a source of supply for James LaSala, who in turn is a close associate of Jack I. Dragna and Giroloma Adamo. It is claimed that. Joe Sica has narcotics stored at certain addresses in Los Angeles. The Sica family own a candy store at 20 Boyden Street, Newark, N. J. Joe Sica is said to have connections with Sam Accardi, a dominant figure in Newark, N. J. Accardi is believed affiliated with William Moretti, Joe Adonis, and Abner Zwillman.
Anthony Milano, alias Tony Milano, purchased a Hollywood, Calif., home for $56,000 about 5 years ago. He has been connected with Jack I. Dragna. It is claimed that Anthony Milano and Frank Milano are members of the Mayfield Road gang in Cleveland. Anthony Milano is connected with a company in Cleveland at the present time, dealing in Italian foods, and he is also connected with an Italian language newspaper.
John Patrick Borcia, alias John Borcy, closely allied with the Chicago Capone mob, has been operating the Primrose Bar in Los Angeles. This place has been the hang-out for the gangster element. Borcia has also operated the Primrose Path, 1159 North Clark Street, Chicago. Borcia is a close friend of Tony Accardo, top-ranking member of the Capone syndicate and of Nick Circella, alias Nick Dean, who was convicted in the movie extortion case.
John Rosselli of Los Angeles was convicted with Paul Ricca, Louis "Little New York" Campagna, Phil D'Andrea, Charles Gioe, Francis Maritote, alias Frank Diamond, and other Capone gang members, in Federal court, New York City, in 1943, for extorting a million dollars from the movie industry. Nick Circella, alias Nick Dean, was also convicted in this case. For many years Rosselli has been associated with Jack I. Dragna. In recent months Rosselli has been in frequent touch with Charles "Babe" Baron, of Chicago. Rosselli is now reportedly connected with a movie studio in California.
Phil D'Andrea now is on parole from Federal prison after serving time in connection with the movie extortion case. He is now living at Tarzana, Calif. As previously indicated, he was once the body-guard for Al Capone.
Jasper Matranga, 506 North Laurel Avenue, Upland, Calif., operates a bookmaking establishment near the town of Ontario, in southern California. Matranga is affiliated with Jack I. Dragna. Matranga's name and address was contained in the records seized from Dragna in the early part of 1950.
One of the biggest gambling operators in the San Francisco area for many years has been Bones Remmer.
Harry Pelsinger operates the Film Row Club, San Francisco, Calif., where bets were made by the Guarantee Finance Co., a front for huge gambling operations. When Joe Adonis was in San Francisco, it is alleged that the first man he contacted was Harry Pelsinger.
I have previously given information concerning Irving Burnstein and Izzy Burnstein, who also are operating in the Los Angeles area, and who were previously alleged members of the Purple Gang in Detroit.
I think from the information I have given—that is just the highlights—I have definitely established, first that the principal mobs have made contacts throughout the entire Nation which form a Nation-wide network of criminal activities; members of the principal mobs frequently work in close collaboration with one another; the principal mobs themselves engage in activities in several States; money obtained through illegal activities is frequently invested in legitimate business enterprises, which places racketeers in competition with legitimate business and industry, and that racketeering methods are frequently resorted to in connection with the legitimate businesses; tremendous wealth and political power vested in the racketeering element affects the entire law enforcement set-up and contributes very materially to the crime problem of the entire Nation.
I think that I have exhausted my information.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Wiley, do you have any questions?
Senator WILEY. What is your suggested remedy for the conditions which you have just stated?
Mr. PETERSON. Of course, as was mentioned here yesterday, when Governor Youngdahl testified, with which I firmly agree, primarily and fundamentally the problem is a local problem. There are certain areas in which the Federal Government can be of great assistance and should be of assistance, but fundamentally the development and growth of an important organized crime group doesn't occur until the local authorities in that particular area permit it to exist. So the first remedy—anything that you may say, I suppose, is in the nature of a truism. I believe it was Channing Pollock who said that all truth is a truism, but the public first must understand the tremendous significance and importance of the organized groups, first as to its effect on government. As I have pointed out before, the significance---
The CHAIRMAN. If I may suggest, Mr. Peterson, in answer to Senator Wiley's questions and Senator Hunt's, this is very important for the public and the committee because you are one of the Nation's foremost experts on this whole problem.
Mr. PETERSON. I wouldn't say that.
The CHAIRMAN. I know you have to catch a plane at 5 : 30, but go into as much detail as you feel you have time because we feel that this is of great importance.
Mr. PETERSON. What I started to say is that in the first place you have to have a proper public attitude. I mean the general tendency of the public is "After all, these are innocuous things. You are always going to have this." That is the common argument of the man in the street. "You are always going to have prostitution ; you are always going to have gambling. After all, if people want to use narcotics, that is not too important."
On narcotics they can get more incensed. But, after all, these are the things that furnish the lifeblood for your organized criminal groups. The organized criminal groups can become entrenched only through making alliances with officials in power. When they make those alliances with officials in power, then that means that the underworld has just got to be in a position to dictate law enforcement policies or to control law enforcement agencies.
I only mention one incident here, for example, in one city where they said, "We will make a big political contribution if we can name the chief of police."
You remember the old Wickersham Commission which made its investigation years ago. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, and in a number of other cities—that is going back 20 years, but the problem is the same—they found that prior to that time those organized criminal groups then wanted the one office, the chief of police, for example, because they could control law enforcement policy.
When that happens it isn't limited just to these activities that the general public say are innocuous because the man, for example, who is the gambling king or boss in a particular ward in a large city or in a rural area doesn't just confine his activities to protecting the fellow who wants protection for gambling. The other hot individuals—I mean your burglars and safe blowers and other individuals—contact the same man. For example, in the kidnaping cases in the early 1930's, why was it that in so many instances the principal contacts for the Karpis-Barker gang were some of the very big gambling operators in the country? Because they had the connections which would enable them for a big price to offer protection.
So, as I said before, you get the law violators in a position of controlling the law enforcers. Very frequently individuals who are not at heart venal—I mean they are well-intentioned individuals and wouldn't think outwardly of affording any protection to a no-good hoodlum; but there have been instances where those individuals give big political contributions which are available. They will give those political contributions. After all, the underworld is not making a contribution in the sense that the individual is thinking of it. They are making an investment, an investment in future law enforcement policies. We are all prone to rationalize. It is very easy for those individuals to say "We don't want this man as chief of police. We want somebody else as chief of police." Or "We want somebody who isn't to be too tough on this, that, and the other things."
Then they start rationalizing, "After all, these things are kind of innocuous," and you have a big problem. I have seen those things happen.
So the first thing, the public has got to have a real understanding of the true significance of the organized criminal groups.
The attack primarily has got to be made on the local level. The local authorities cannot dodge their individual responsibility for conditions within their own area.
Then there are certain areas of activity in which the Federal Government can be and should be helpful. I am sure you can't correct everything by laws, but I am in favor of the two laws that have been introduced at this session. The prohibition of the interstate transportation of slot machines isn't anything new. You had a law similar to that prior to prohibition. I forget what it was called, not the Wilson package law, but you know the law that I have in mind which prohibited the transportation from one State to a dry State. That was prior to prohibition. It had nothing to do with prohibition. As a precedent you have the interstate lottery laws. What the public doesn't understand sometimes is the fact that those laws were brought about because of a grave necessity. Take our old lottery laws. The President of the United States in 1829, I believe, sent a special message to Congress on the grave necessity for a law then to cope with the old Louisiana lottery which was degrading and corrupting government all over the country. They were having a big problem right here in the District of Columbia. So you have a precedent there for the laws that you have suggested.
Laws themselves aren't going to correct anything. There isn't anything to be used as a panacea that is going to correct.
Senator WILEY. To what extent would you say are the political organizations or units in the State of Illinois infested with racketeering elements?
Mr. PETERSON. Wherever you have a bad ward in the city of Chicago, you have a tie-in between the ward committeeman, for example, the political set-up there, and the racketeering element. It has to be that way. On top of that, in Illinois one of the difficulties the present Governor has had with reference to the enactment of good legislation, one of the difficulties that the crime commission has had in trying to get certain laws to correct certain defects in the criminal laws of the State, has been the fact that they have been fought by the group of what is called by the press in Chicago the West Side bloc. Who are those individuals? It isn't a partisan matter. There are both Republicans and Democrats. James Adduci, for example, happens to be a Republican. He has been arrested with a lot of these people. Robert Petrone in the legislature. Senator Libonati is a Democrat and he has been pictured with Al Capone and with "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn and was picked up after an election raid one day by the police around 1930 and I think Paul Ricca was in there, Ralph Pierce and a number of others. I am not saying that they are members of the syndicate. I am saying that they are friendly with a number of individuals. So you have it going all the way, not only as far as law enforcement officers but lawmakers are concerned. They are affected by this particular influence.
Senator WILEY. You mentioned contributions. To what extent has the Chicago Crime Commission evidence of political contributions?
Mr. PETERSON. You can't get evidence on that. They are not made in that way. There is no record of it.
Senator WILEY. Have you any further evidence to give to show to what extent investments made by gangsters and gamblers have infiltrated into legitimate business?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes, I have a considerable amount of information in our files in Chicago, and I will try to dig up some more for you. Did I give you that list I had the other day on legitimate business, Mr. Halley
The CHAIRMAN. Let us see if he can find that list.
Mr. PETERSON. This is a very incomplete list. It is one that, as I was going through the files, I jotted down on a card a reference. Then I had the girl type it up afterward.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, could you give us a more complete list, say by the middle of next week?
Mr. PETERSON. I will try to. I think there are about 80 companies there, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that confidential?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes, that is definitely confidential because there are a number of legitimate businesses, and our information is that they have interests in there. In other words, I don't want to do any damage or harm to any legitimate business unless it is capable of proof. You have to prove it through records, and we do not have access to the records to prove it.
(Discussion off the record.)
The CHAIRMAN. The committee has received a list of so-called legitimate businesses in which gangsters and racketeers are alleged to have interest or ownership. This, for the time being, will have to be kept secret because some of it is on allegations and we don't want to do anybody any harm if it is not true. This list, together with other information the committee has, will be studied. We are making a study in that direction. We would appreciate it if you would go over your records, Mr. Peterson, and give us any further information you have concerning these and any others.
Mr. PETERSON. I will try to do that. I will have to do that by checking through my files. I don't have it listed as businesses. I will just have to pick it up.
Senator WILEY. In that connection I would like to ask whether you have any suggestions for the committee whereby through the light of publicity we can curb this infiltration of organized crime into legitimate business ? This list now is not public and probably will not be, but I wonder if you have some suggestion on that. We think that probably gambling is one of the developed instincts of the race and probably everybody may indulge in some game of chance at times, but when it becomes as you said, an influence to control politics, business, and to cause murder and major crimes, then you have a problem which calls for solution. I am asking whether you feel that you have any suggestion.
Mr. PETERSON. My suggestion there would be that you do this by any means, and I think it can be done : I have in mind, for example, one industry which, although it is kind of on the border line, is a legitimate business, there is no question about that, but what I had in mind was that on certain industries or big businesses that are controlled, you could prove through your investigations, through records, through subpenas, that the hoodlum element is in control of those particular businesses, and then show, if you can, to the man on the street that he is paying a higher price.
I am speaking from the standpoint of the consumers because it does affect them, because the legitimate businessman cannot compete with a racketeer or racketeering methods. If you can show the man on the street that he is paying higher prices, that his living costs are increased because of the fact of the hoodlum control of legitimate business, then I think you can do a great service because you have to have the first fundamental thing in the entire approach, to get public support, public opinion. If the public opinion is not interested, if they say, "What difference does it make ?" Then it doesn't make any difference what laws you try to pass or anything else, you will fail. I do not mean you are going to fail. I mean we are going to fail.
Senator WILEY. Is there any evidence that you have at hand to show to what extent organized crime in Illinois has tentacles, you might say, in Wisconsin ?
Mr. PETERSON. Wisconsin has been a pretty clean State. The only connections that we have had at all with reference to the Capone gang in Wisconsin is the home that the Capone gang has had up near Eagle River, Wis.
Senator WILEY. A summer resort.
Mr. PETERSON. A summer resort. I have said this time and time again. I am not saying it for your benefit.
Senator WILEY. Why not for my benefit?
Mr. PETERSON. What I mean is that I am not saying it because I know you are from Wisconsin. If you could get the same tradition of law enforcement that Milwaukee, for instance, has, if you could get the same tradition of law enforcement on the part of the people that they have had in Milwaukee and maintain the same standards of police efficiency, this whole problem would disappear. You don't have any problem. I say that having been head of the FBI in Milwaukee for 2 years—years ago, of course. I remember having a conference after they changed the chief of police up there one time, which is very significant, because this is to me the answer to the whole thing. I said, "I don't remember this man who is the new chief of police." I was talking to the old chief, who was a very good friend of mine, Joseph Kluchesky, one of the outstanding police administrators of the country. I said, "What kind of a job will he do ?"
He said, "He will do a good job. You know the people of Milwaukee take a great pride in their police department. They insist on good law enforcement up there. And he will do a good job." That is the answer to the thing. If the people actually want it, want it sincerely instead of lip service, they will get it on the local level.
You have the problem today, the thing I have pointed out, of this network of criminals operating all over the country. Perhaps your study will show you certain legislation that may be helpful to the local authorities. You do have this problem. We get letters from all over the country asking for help, from duly constituted officials. I got a letter from a very fine district attorney in one of the Eastern States not very long ago, and he said, "Do you have any information concerning this particular group ?" It was some of the group that I have mentioned in this testimony that I have given.
He said, "The representative of this syndicate was informed by some other people that the district attorney won't tolerate this sort of thing in this area. The head of the syndicate replied 'What the hell do we care about a district attorney? We control States.'"
That, of course, was an exaggeration. Here was a district attorney, honest, conscientious, who wanted to do the right thing and apparently didn't even know who these people were. Very frequently the criminal population today is very mobile, moving from one area to the other, with connections all over the country. Certainly, in many instances, the local authorities do need help. I mean conscientious local authorities that want to do something about it.
Senator WILEY. Is not one of the answers that in any city of any size you should have what you have in Chicago, a crime commission, to start with, made up of citizens who are publicly minded and who feel that because of the set-up, economical and political, they have to make some personal contribution toward trying to straighten up the morals and the conditions in the community. Then they have to go to work.
Mr. PETERSON. 'I think that the idea certainly has a place. We say that in a democracy vigilance is the price of democracy. In many of your larger cities the people cannot be intimately or accurately informed concerning the law enforcement machinery or the law enforcement set-up except through more or less independent sources such as a crime commission.
Senator WILEY. I would like to ask you again about Chicago, and perhaps it applies to other cities. How many of the ward committeemen or precinct captains or block workers engaged in politics have actual criminal records?
Mr. PETERSON. Actual criminal records? I would have to check my records on that. I would question whether there would be very many who have actual criminal records as such. There are quite a number of them who do have connections with some of the racketeering elements. I can't think of anybody right offhand that has an actual criminal record. I can check that.
Senator WILEY. The Nation, you know, Mr. Peterson, has been very much interested in what we call the cooperative arrangements made by leading newspapers throughout the country in reporting organized crime, reporting leads that interlock in various cities. This seems to be a splendid contribution toward meeting the problem of interstate crime. I wonder if you have any comments on this cooperative newspaper arrangement.
Mr. PETERSON. I think that is an excellent idea. After all, as I said before, the public has to be adequately informed and properly informed. I mean so that the stories in the press report the significance of some of these problems.
I might add also that one of the things that we have recommended on the local police level, which is highly important to my way of thinking, is the creation within the larger departments of intelligence units so they know what the situation is with reference to their own locality and elsewhere. Los Angeles, for example. Their intelligence unit has done a very good job. Al Sutton in Cleveland I am sure is doing a good job. There are many others. I do not want to limit it to that. I am sure that is a very important factor. In some of the departments it is amazing. They do not have intelligence sections as such, and they are not familiar with the organized crime set-up except a haphazard way, and you can't combat an organized offensive, so to speak, with a disorganized or haphazard defense. You cannot do that in any kind of warfare, and it is warfare.
Senator WILEY. Have you found anywhere that what you call organized crime has any connection with communism
Mr. PETERSON. No. I don't recall any. I would question that you would find too much of that. You might. We have not run across that.
Senator WILEY. In your experience in so-called labor rackets, I think you testified the other day that one of the moves that was made by organized crime was the attempt to take over the treasury of several of the labor unions, and they raped that.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Senator WILEY. That is apparently a material gain. Have you found any indication by organized crime that they would take over or attempt to take over a group for the purpose of utilizing the power that they would get by controlling groups of men so they could be used politically?
Mr. PETERSON. We have not conducted any investigation in that field. Of course, the labor-racket situation in Chicago I think is greatly improved over, say, in the 1920's, and that sort of thing. We still have certain hoodlum elements in some of the labor organizations, but I think the authorities have done a pretty good job in recent years on the labor angle. I don't have any information along that line, but I would like to make this comment, which is not exactly responsive to your question. The intelligent labor leaders will not tolerate the racketeering element to get a firm foothold within their own organization. Take Walter Reuther. He has fought the racketeering elements. Too frequently
Senator WILEY. He got shot twice.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. He got shot, and his brother got shot, both of them.
Mr. PETERSON. Take England in the early part of this century. Prime Minister—he wasn't Prime Minister then but he later became Prime Minister—Ramsay MacDonald, fought, for example, against a gambling racket because it meant a poor wage standard, poor living standard from the standpoint of the workingman himself, not from any moralistic standpoint but from the practical standpoint. He also made the comment that a strong labor movement can't exist if the gambling racket flourishes. He did not use exactly those words. In some of our plants—this is a serious thing from the standpoint of the laboring man—where these racketeers have been able to get into industrial plants, some of them take out enormous sums of money. The racketeering element benefits, and the wage earner's take-home pay is much less than it would be if those racketeers weren't permitted to operate.
What I am driving at is that the intelligent labor leaders ought to be just as much interested in fighting that sort of thing as those who are interested in law enforcement, too, from the standpoint of the worker.
Senator WILEY. We are hopeful that they are all intelligent, but we have known lately that there has been some relations to communism. Be that as it may, is it your conclusion that these murders that you have spoken of resulted simply because of the take there is in the rackets, so to speak? In other words, if somebody won't divvy up or somebody who is in control will not share his control of the take, they just kill him off ?
Mr. PETERSON. Surely. In other words, the underworld is interested in one thing. They are interested in easy money. The means of obtaining it they are not interested in. What I mean is, if they have to kill somebody to make certain that their territory remains intact or to maintain their supremacy in that area, they are going to kill somebody. That is the basis for most of your gang murders. It is usually a fight over territory, a fight, for the easy money in that particular area. One individual wants to be the top man in that place.
Senator WILEY. How extended in your opinion is the racketeer control in politics in these big cities? For instance, we have read of a number of instances and you have read a number of instances yourself, where they are tied up with murder or tied up with crimes. They get in prison, and out they come. Do you think that is a result of a payoff on the part of political leaders for political support and contributions that have been made?
Mr. PETERSON. Let me answer in this fashion : You have a big organized crime problem. Organized crime cannot exist without the alliance between those in control of rackets and those in political authority. It cannot exist without that.
Senator WILEY. Politics and crime go together, then.
Mr. PETERSON. Surely, organized crime—definitely. How long could wide-open rackets exist in a particular area where the man who. is in political authority says he does not want it to exist? There are exceptions, but generally speaking, in a big city like Chicago, the ward committeeman is the king pin. If he does not want any rackets there, there are no rackets there. If he wants them, he makes alliances with the group that is interested in easy money. You see, unfortunately there is a vicious circle here occasionally in which people from the standpoint of expediency—as I mentioned a while ago, it is not the fact that a man may be necessarily personally venal, but for example the average man on the street who says he is interested in principle, how deeply is he interested in this principle of government to the extent that he will divvy up out of his own pocket to support this principle, to go out and work for the individual that he thinks is upholding that principle. I mean we are all—and I put myself in that same category—we are all rather weak along that line. But you have this one group here, those that are interested in easy money. They are willing in return for protection to pay large sums of money and to furnish large numbers of workers in political campaigns in order to make certain that the law-enforcement policy is in accord with what they desire.
Senator WILEY. Take as an illustration these recent murders in Kansas City. With the FBI on the job and with apparent police cooperation, why haven't they been solved?
Mr. PETERSON. I do not know why they have not been solved. Of course a lot of those killings are paid killers, and they are not so easy to solve. The main thing is that those conditions that give rise to the murders in the first place should not be allowed to exist. You are speaking of Kansas City. If Charlie Binaggio had not had tremendous political power as well as with reference to the rackets themselves, there would have been no occasion ; there would not have been other people vying with him to bump him off, or kill him.
Senator WILEY. Is the answer to that the same answer you had when the Federal Government got interested in the question of elections when ballots were stolen, and that has not been solved?
Mr. PETERSON. That is possible. I do not pretend to know why the cases were not solved. I know in Kansas City they had a Federal grand jury investigation on the ballot thefts. I do not know why they have not been solved. Unfortunately the pattern of the thing that you mention in Kansas City has been all too prevalent, all too commonplace in our big city municipal government. We speak of the Capone gang. As I said in my testimony here, that began in a sense with the killing of Big Jim Colosimo. Actually the Capone gang did not begin with Big Jim Colosimo. You could go back further than that perhaps, but the Capone gang really began when Mike Donald, the king of the underworld and the big-shot gambler in Chicago following the great fire in 1871, organized the commercialized prostitution elements, the gambling elements, the liquor elements, and that sort of thing into a compact political organization which made it virtually invulnerable for that period of 20 years. Then you follow with things after that until you lead up to the Capone gang. Sure the Capone gang did not start back there, but the pattern started there. Go to New York—you speak of the Costello gang, Rothstein and that sort of thing. Go back to Fernando Wood, in 1855, and perhaps earlier, in Tammany Hall, you had the same thing. He organized through John Morrissey and Isaiah Reinders.
What I am driving at is that this developed over a period of almost a century, and not just in those two cities.
James Bryce when he wrote his monumental American Commonwealth, in the late 1800's, pointed out that the one significant failure in the United States was municipal government. He pointed to ruling classes in the various cities. That is our principal crime problem.
The reason we have that crime problem—I say the reason but there is no single reason. One of the greatest weaknesses of the human mind is the attempt at oversimplification, but one of the reasons is the fact that the general public does not see the significance; and on top of that, the general public frequently wants law enforcement for the other fellow. He wants the laws enforced for example on traffic. He is disgusted with this terrific death toll and that sort of thing. He wants the traffic laws enforced—not for himself, though—for the other party. So the public cannot escape its share of responsibility on your organized crime problem.
Senator WILEY. In Europe do they have this same gambling and crime element?
Mr. PETERSON. I guess after the last war you have had a lot in continental Europe. In England there has not been the same problem that we have had here, although I think historically, if you go back a couple of centuries or so, you will find the situation is at least comparable.
Senator WILEY. What I am getting at is that has been suggested that one possible remedy is what is done in some States, for instance, in Europe and certain places, that the State itself conducts the place and gets the take.
Mr. PETERSON. That is not going to correct anything. The commercialized gambling racket as such is an inherently illegitimate business. You cannot make it legitimate by law. We do not have the same situation. Of course in England they have most of the same laws that we have. Most of the laws that we have against gambling are true over there. They have the football pools, which have become big business, as a matter of fact, over there. You have a different situation. You cannot compare them. The laws are about the same in England and this country, but you have a different situation there with reference to your political set-up. Take for example our efforts to control liquor. Things that have worked over there have not worked here because of the difference in the political set-up. I could go into detail on that, but there is no purpose in it. You cannot compare the two. The gambling racket as such is an illegitimate business and you cannot make it legitimate by law any more than perhaps you can stamp it out by law. The great difficulty is that when you legalize it, history shows in every country that you increase mass gambling and that the poor man on the street is the man who pays the bills. That is historically correct. We have had experiments in this country. We have had the old Louisiana lottery and other lotteries in this country for almost a hundred years. They got into the hands of the racketeers. The poor man was paying the bill. If you read some of the histories of the lotteries, some of the committees in Pennsylvania going to 1700, and in Rhode Island, you will find that was no solution to the problem at all. It aggravated the problem. That is what gave rise to some of our laws, as a matter of fact.
Senator WILEY. Primarily it is a question of curing the instinct in the human mind so that it will not indulge in gambling. You cannot do that by law.
Mr. PETERSON. No.
Senator WILEY. The next alternative is to give publicity so that the people themselves will become aroused to the evils resulting therefrom.
Mr. PETERSON. From organized commercialized gambling. The trouble of it is, usually the approach to the whole problem is along moralistic lines. It is either moral to gamble or it is immoral to gamble. So the argument wages along that line. That has nothing to do with it. It is primarily an economic and a social and political problem, but primarily economic and social. As far as individual gambling is concerned, our laws generally do not prohibit it. If you and I wanted to play cards and gamble in our own home, most of the State statutes do not prohibit that. There is plenty of room for people to gamble if they want to gamble, but to permit individuals to engage in a business which exists solely to exploit a human weakness, the concept of all of our social legislation is against that. We do not permit any kind—I say we don't permit. Our laws constantly are being devised to prohibit legitimate business, for example, from exploiting the poor man. For example, we would not say it is all right if a person wants to go into business and sell a bottle of water with a label on there and saying that this has a good chance of curing cancer. I could become a millionaire selling something like that, probably, but we do not permit that because that is exploiting a human weakness. That is the reason our State laws that prohibit gambling are consistent with other social legislation that we have on the books.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Hunt ?
Senator HUNT. Mr. Chairman, I have just a couple of questions.
You handed to the chairman a while ago a list of various legitimate businesses which you had some reason to believe these crime syndicates were muscling in.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes.
Senator HUNT. There has been mentioned here several times the fine support that these programs against crime have all over the United States from the press. In that list do you know of situations where these gangsters are attempting to get into the press and buy newspaper stock and ownership ?
Mr. PETERSON. Have I heard of that happening? I have heard of that, yes. I was told, for example, by one reporter, one time that he had been offered the editorship of a paper. He had been hitting pretty hard against one particular group, and I was told he had been offered by an individual pretty closely identified with the organized criminal element that he would make him the editor of this paper. The purpose there was strictly a pay-off. So in that instance this man must have owned a newspaper. I don't know whether that is true or not, but I was told that by a reporter, a highly reputable reporter.
Senator HUNT. Your crime commission in Chicago generally speaking is considered to have done very fine work. I wonder if you could tell us specifically of situations in various parts of Chicago that you have cleaned up, where you have caused the resignation or defeat at election of any officials, any police officers you have caused to resign. Could you give us a general statement on it ?
Mr. PETERSON. I might mention that our general approach has been this : We have first through our own investigative staff, which includes men with former FBI experience or men with Army and Navy intelligence, gathered the facts. Our first approach is usually to go to the officials responsible for those particular conditions. Generally speaking, your officials when it is brought to their attention, sometimes it is just oversight. Sometimes they may know it already. But when they know we have these facts and we bring it to their attention, very frequently the condition is improved. If we cannot get any action from that standpoint, then our next and final approach is to go to the public with the facts. Generally speaking, when the public is apprised of the facts, there is a tremendous amount of activity on the part of the officials, at least temporarily, to clean up certain conditions.
Our activities are along several different lines. For example, in an area where the incidence of crime may be high, we may conduct an undercover investigation in that area for a long period of time to determine the true conditions there, that is, with reference not just to crime conditions but also activities of the officials in that area. That is one approach. Another approach is that we get specific complaints with reference to cases where they believe there is a miscarriage of justice, or we get information concerning conditions in courts.
For example, in one specific case we got information out on the South Side that there was somewhat a racket in this court, that there were poor people in that area who would come in the court and be fined $100 or $200, and the record would show the fine was suspended. In other words, they were not supposed to have paid any money, but they actually had paid the money, and somebody was pocketing the money. We conducted a very detailed investigation of that situation over a period of a couple of months and got the facts and the figures. We showed that in 1 month there were 40 cases in which the fines were suspended, and we located the men who were supposed not to have paid any fines, but actually had. We got statements from those individuals. We went then to the chief justice of the court. We then went to the bar association. In that kind of case while you always have difficulty of witnesses standing up, the chief justice took immediate action, revamped the procedure in that particular court, put one of his strongest judges out in that court, and completely eliminated the racket.
In another case where we had information, for example, of bribery in a particular office, we went to the elected official. We told him what we had found. He was very cooperative. He fired, I think, three members of that office, and he placed two others in other work where they would no longer be in contact with the temptation.
It is a constant proposition. You never clean up a city permanently. You have to keep at it all the time. I think I am justified in saying that we have accomplished a considerable amount of good. We certainly have not accomplished anything like what we would like to accomplish.
Senator HUNT. I have one more question, if you can answer it just "yes" or "no," please. Do you think that conditions throughout the United States today are worse, better or as good as they were in the twenties ?
Mr. PETERSON. I would say one of our worst eras was during the twenties.
Senator HUNT. In other words, you think there has been some improvement.
Mr. PETERSON. I think there has been some improvement. However, I do not think the organized criminal element is any weaker today than it was during that period. They have changed their techniques. There are not as many gang killings. I still think that one of the No. 1 problems of the Nation is the organized crime problem and its effect on government. That is my personal opinion.
Senator HUNT. That is all the questions I have, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, various estimates of the take from gambling and illegal businesses have been made, and most of them are attributed back to you. I know this is a very indefinite subject and it is impossible to give an exact figure, but what is your best estimate of the size of the so-called gambling take?
Mr. PETERSON. The gambling take throughout the entire Nation?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. PETERSON. Any figures that I could give you on that would be strictly an estimate, strictly guesswork.
The CHAIRMAN. I appreciate that.
Mr. PETERSON. The figure that probably would come as close as any would be in the neighborhood of around $15,000,000,000. That is a figure that is very frequently used. P. Hal Sims, a number of years ago, about 3 or 4 years ago, made the statement that there was at that time around $28,000,000,000 that was not accounted for in safety deposits or bank deposits, securities, and that sort of thing, and he estimated that the greater portion of that probably went into something similar to the gambling rackets or allied rackets. As I said, I have no way of making any kind of estimate on that.
The CHAIRMAN. Anyway, this $15,000,000,000 is about $2,000,000,000 more than the appropriation for our Military Establishment during the last year, is it not? It is about equal to our own appropriation this year.
Mr. Peterson, you have done a great .service to the public and to this committee in the tremendous amount of effort you have put forward in compiling this record and story of what is happening in various parts of the United States.
As I get the picture, there were these gangs back in the prohibition days, and the source of money at that time was bootlegging and rum running and activities of that sort. Then after that time they moved considerably into gambling activities, narcotics, which of course has gone on, and some amount of prostitution, but the large source of money at the present time is gambling activities.
Mr. PETERSON. I think that is correct. However, it would be a mistake, I think, to assume that after prohibition all of these people then went into the gambling racket. The same gangs were in the big gambling money at that particular time. Take for example in Chicago during the height of the Capone syndicate, it is estimated—it has to be an estimate—that their take from gambling during that same period, at the height of the prohibition era, was around $25,000,000, something like that. When they took over Cicero and Chicago, you had wider-open gambling during that period than you have in Chicago now; just as wide, at any rate. In fact, in recent years in Chicago I think they have done a pretty good job in eliminating the wide-open gambling. We do not have the room play that we used to have. That is the big money, where they can go in and listen to the loudspeaker and have the roulette wheels and everything .else in conjunction with it. In recent years under the present administration of Mayor Kennelly I think they have done a pretty good job in eliminating the wide-open sort of thing. There are plenty of places that you can make a bet, but---
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not true, Mr. Peterson, that with technological improvements in transportation, radio, telephone, airplane, wire service, and what not, it makes it more of an interlocking and interwoven national problem than we ever had before in the Nation?
Mr. PETERSON. I don't think there is any question about that. I think that is definitely true.
The CHAIRMAN. As I get it, the picture you paint is that there are a good many rather distinct gangs now operating these various illegitimate places, but there is a common acquaintance and understanding among the leaders of the various gangs as to where they are going to operate and what they are going to do.
Mr. PETERSON. That is true.
The CHAIRMAN. They have an allocation of territory.
Mr. PETERSON. It forms almost a Nation-wide network, in other words. The way it has developed, an important problem becomes deeply entrenched locally. It starts to spread out. It makes alliances with other gangs in other parts of the country. The first thing you know some of the gangs begin operating almost on a Nation-wide basis. The facts and figures establish that. You have gangs that operate from the east coast to the west coast. That is positive.
The CHAIRMAN. Another very definite problem is the fact that these people make tremendous amounts of money and put that money into legitimate businesses. You have given us a list of them and we will enlarge upon that. That enables them through these apparently legitimate businesses to exercise influence in that way, does it not?
Mr. PETERSON. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, if a person in some high-sounding business, apparently a legitimate business, asks that something be done, the politician might not know that the inspiration of it comes from some gang ownership that he does not know about.
Mr. PETERSON. That is right. This happens also : For example, from all the information we can gather on legitimate businesses in which they have made an infiltration, there are hundreds of places that you never would dream of, perhaps. For example, a man that I have had contact with prior to this time in a legitimate business in Chicago, came in to my office one day and said, "I have been offered a very attractive position." He is a very high grade man. He said that this job would mean to him around $25,000 a year. "I am to head this corporation that has been formed. It is right in my field and it is such an attractive offer that I can't afford to turn it down. The only thing that disturbs me is that somebody told me that the person who had contacted him might have some undesirable connections."
He wanted to know if I knew anything about him. The fellow who had contacted him was part and parcel of the Capone syndicate.
In fact, I mentioned his name during the course of my testimony. We didn't have any intimation that he was going into that particular field. I would not have known it then except that this man came to me for advice. When he found out who it was he said, "I don't want any part of it," because his reputation meant more to him than getting mixed up in something like that. There are a lot of people who would have accepted that kind of job.
The CHAIRMAN. I take it that there is no particular kind of legitimate business in which they engage, and they are in all kinds of businesses—hotels, beverages companies, cab companies, garages.
Mr. PETERSON. That is right, they are in everything. However, of course they are always going to concentrate in those activities which are lucrative. That is the field that attracts the criminal element—easy money, in other words, where they feel that they have made a lot of money, they may want to invest in a hotel or some other legitimate business and live off their investments. In fact, I mentioned almost every kind of business, I believe, during the course of my testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, you have had a great deal to say, naturally, about Chicago, as you have about other areas. You have talked about some of the officials, both Democratic and Republican. What sort of cooperation have you been getting out of the Governor of Illinois ?
Mr. PETERSON. Very excellent. Governor Stevenson, I think, has been trying to do a very, very good job. Our relations with his office have been very, very fine. In fact, Governor Stevenson at the last session of the legislature, which was perhaps against his political interest, backed the bills that we were trying to get through the legislature. He worked for them.
The CHAIRMAN. But you did not get your bills through the legislature, did you?
Mr. PETERSON. No, because of this West Side block which was the spearhead of the attack against them. They also sabotaged a lot of his other legislation. But Stevenson, I think, has been trying to do a very conscientious and sincere job in the State of Illinois.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course we are going into the matters in Chicago in more detail later on, but is one of the matters that you have trouble with that you have grand juries that stay in session only 30 days so they do not have time to complete a case?
Mr. PETERSON. That is right; particularly on an organized crime case or one involving official corruption. The grand jury may get the case during the middle of its session, and then adjourn in 15 days. Of course the whole term is 30 days. It is mandatory upon it then to go out of business and a new grand jury is appointed. Our bill was designed so that the State's attorney or the judge or the grand jury could itself of its own motion prolong the session of the grand jury up to but not exceeding 3 months.
The CHAIRMAN. Has Mayor Kennelly been making some efforts to try to clean up these problems in Chicago?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes, Mayor Kennelly is a very high grade and sincere man of high integrity. There is no question about that. We do not always see eye to eye in connection with police problems.
The CHAIRMAN. You sometimes differ as to methods, but he does make an honest effort
Mr. PETERSON. That is right. Nobody could question his honesty, sincerity, and integrity.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, you discussed to some extent the advisability of a law against interstate transportation of one-arm bandits, slot machines. Is it not true that actually the communications over the wires or the communications systems plus the mails furnish the backbone for a great many of the gambling operations that we have?
Mr. PETERSON. There is no question about it. In other words, to me it is an anomalous situation whereby a centralized service can distribute a service, so to speak, furnish service to illegal operations. In other words, I think that bill is definitely sound, the one that prohibits the interstate transportation of racing news to States where it is illegal.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course you would have the difficulty of giving the people the news they want to have and at the same time trying to prevent that news from being used for illegal gambling purposes?
Mr. PETERSON. That is right. As far as I can see, most of the information that is given as a service is not what the average person is interested in in the news. He doesn't have to have it within a matter of seconds after the race is run. He doesn't have to have the morning line-up and all of the information that you have to have to operate a handbook operation or a gambling operation.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean the changes in jockeys, how weather conditions are, how wet the track is, and things of that sort.
Mr. PETERSON. Yes. He does not have to have it up to the minute, in a matter of seconds, and all that sort of thing, which you have to have in a gambling operation.
You were speaking of slot machines.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you say that the greatest gambling racket today is in connection with horse racing and dog racing?
Mr. PETERSON. One of the biggest; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. So you think a bill could be drafted so as to give the public the reasonable information if they wanted it.
Mr. PETERSON. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. And at the same time do away with most of the gambling operations by virtue of the limitation of communications.
Mr. PETERSON. I see no reason why a bill could not be drafted which would not infringe upon the liberty of the press. For example, under the old lottery laws it has been illegal to advertise through the mail on lottery drawings and that sort of thing. Nobody has suffered as far as the freedom of the press is concerned by such a law.
Getting back to the slot machines, just as a matter of interest, of course, virtually all the slot machines are manufactured in Chicago. It has been estimated that about 75 percent of the slot machines have been manufactured by—it used to be the Mills Novelty Co., but it is now known as the Belomatic Corp. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of the balance are manufactured by the O. D. Jennings Co., and then the balance are manufactured by six or seven other companies. I think virtually every slot machine in the country is manufactured in Chicago. We have certain State legislation on our books which it is claimed is not applicable to the manufacture of the machines. I think that bill that was introduced is a good bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Peterson, I believe that is all at this time and again on behalf of the committee we want to thank you and the American Municipal Association for the very splendid statement which you have given us and for the work you have done in preparing it. We want also to ask you for your future cooperation, which will be very, very valuable.
Mr. PETERSON. I want to thank the committee and its counsel for the very fine and courteous treatment that you have given me here, and I want to assure you that in any manner that you feel we can be of assistance to you we are only too glad to do so.
(Whereupon, at 4: 45 p. m., the committee adjourned subject to the call of the chair.)
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