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|Chicago|  Bugs Moran

Birth: August 21, 1891 - Minnesota

Death: Februari 25, 1957 - Kansas












Moran George 'Bugs' Moran was born in 1891 and is believed to be from French origin and not Polish or Irish. He started his career at the age of 19 with horse thievery. He was jailed three times by the time he was only 20 years old. When he moved to Chicago he got associated with criminals and Moran's temper earned him the nickname 'Bugs', which means 'completely crazy'. During Prohibition, which started back in 1919, Moran affiliated himself with Dion O'Bannion and his gang in the North Side of Chicago. During that period other gangland heavyweights such as the Genna Brothers and Johnny Torrio were also operating in Chicago.


The North Siders
It wasn't for long until O'Bannion had a dispute with the 'Terrible' Genna's from Little Italy who were moving in on his territory. They sold very bad booze at half of the price of what O'Bannion asked. This gave him a bad name and a couple of customers favored the Genna's instead. O'Bannion went to see Johnny Torrio, who was an ally of the Genna's, for help. Torrio talked with the Genna's to keep the peace it didn't please O'Bannion. Therefore he decided to strike back instead. The North Siders started to hijack Genna trucks and sold their booze themselves. If this wasn't enough they also frequently insulted Torrio and his gang, calling them 'Dagos' referring to them being Italians. When Al Capone came to Chicago they also provoked him with names as 'Scarface' and 'the Behemoth'. Both the Genna's and the Torrio organization were angered at the loose O'Bannion and his North Side crew. O'Bannion even went further in his attacks and planned to double cross Torrio. He set up a meeting with Torrio in a brewery concerning his retirement from criminal life. But when Torrio arrived he was arrested during a police raid which O'Bannion knew about. Now they were furious and O'Bannion had to go. In November 1924, Frankie Yale was spotted in Chicago. Not much longer O'Bannion was shot and killed at his flower shop by Yale, Albert Anselmi, John Scalise and Mike Genna, who represented his brothers.

The murder of their leader angered the North Siders to the bone. O'Bannion had a true gangster funeral covered in flowers and with about 5000 people who came to pay their respects, or just to look at the lavish funeral. Hymie Weiss took over as boss and they started to plan their revenge. Their first target wasn't a small fish, it was Johnny Torrio. On January 1925 Bugs Moran, Vincent Drucci and Hymie Weiss ambushed Torrio as he came back with his wife from a shopping trip downtown. They started firing at Torrio and his car. Torrio was hit in his jaw, lungs and abdomen and also Torrio's driver was hit in his leg. Moran then wanted to give the final shot in Torrio's head, but luckily for him he was out of bullets. Drucci soon signalized the police and they fled the scene. Torrio survived the attack but healed slowly. When he was recovered he was sent to jail for one year due to prohibition violations. Torrio knew it was time for him to quit the business. He gave everything in the hands of the young Al Capone and left with his wife back to Italy (Torrio would return to New York and would play a big role as mentor to Lucky Luciano and others). Now with Torrio out of their way, it was time to take revenge on their other enemies, the Genna's.

On May, 1925, Angelo Genna was murdered after a high speed car chase by the North Siders. Angelo's brothers were enraged and planned their attack back at Drucci, Moran and Hymie Weiss. A couple of weeks later Mike Genna set up the ambush but only wounded Moran and Vincent Drucci. When Mike Genna fled the scene for the police he was recognized and killed by a police officer when their car crashed after a chase through the Chicago streets. Although two Genna's lost their lives and also Johnny Torrio was out of the scene, still they didn't quit. On July 1925 yet another Genna brother was murdered. This caused the other 3 brothers to flee Chicago and leave their interests. The North Siders were victorious but tensions between the Torrio-Capone gang and the North Siders were forever marked.


The North Siders vs Al Capone
Al Capone was now the new leader of the Chicago outfit. Moran frequently insulted and provoked Al Capone in the open, calling him a 'lowlife' and other slangs. Picture after the shooting in Cicero. Moran also refused to run brothels because he was against prostitution, unlike Capone. In 1926 the North Siders again went for the attack. This time their target was Al Capone and the place was Cicero, Capone's headquarters. A couple of cars, filled with North Siders under the command of Moran, drove towards the lobby of Capone's hotel and started to empty their Thompson Machine guns. Although Capone stayed unhurt, there was allot of damage and Capone was badly shaken. He wanted a truce between the North Siders and his organization. But Hymie Weiss, who was in charge, didn't care about peace. Capone then gave Frank Nitti the task to eliminate Weiss for once and for all. On October 11, 1926, Weiss was crossing the street with four of his men as suddenly gunshots were fired from a nearby second-story window. Hymie was killed ans so was one of his men. After the hit Moran didn't make any offense towards Capone, but was surely going for his revenge. In 1927, however, the North Siders had to deal with another blow when Vincent Drucci was killed by a police officer. Drucci was already arrested when he was shot in the squad car. It is said that detective Healy, who hated all gangsters, made a remark towards Drucci and Drucci tried to attack him, leading to his murder 'in self defence'. After his death Moran took control of the North Siders. During that period the North Siders had also found a new partner in Joe Aiello.

Aiello wanted to become president of the Unione Siciliana and also had a fall back with Capone. Above that he had numerous quarrels with Antonio Lombardo, a personal friend of Capone and his adviser since Torrio left Chicago. Aiello was also an ally of New Yorks Castellammare branch and it's head Salvatore Maranzano. In 1928 Antonio Lombardo was murdered by Peter and Frank Gusenberg, two vicious North Side gunmen. The hit was believed to be a retaliation on the Frankie Yale murder 2 months prior, who also was an ally of Joe Aiello and was doublecrossing Capone. Aiello now wanted to be the president of the Unione Siciliana, but Pasqualino Lolordo took over instead. Lolordo was the former bodyguard of Lombardo and was with him when he was killed. In January 1929 also Lolordo was murdered and again the Gusenberg brothers were suspected of the killing. Capone now lost 2 of his good friends in only 5 months time. It was time to react.


The St. Valentines Day Massacre
During this time, it is said that Capone hated Moran so much that he became one of Capone's routine topics of discussion. Capone gave the order to Jack 'Machine Gun' McGurn to whipe out Bugs Moran and most of the North Siders crew. McGurn chose a couple of gunmen and also chose the location for the murders. On the morning of February 14, 1929, 7 North Siders went to the SMC Cartage Company, which was located on their territory. Suddenly 5 men, dressed as Police officers raided the garage. The policemen were in fact Capone's men. They ordered the 7 men to stand against the wall with their weapons drawn. Not much longer the fake policemen fired away a total of about 150 bullets at the unfortunate North Siders who were all executed. Amongst the victims were the brothers Gusenberg and 2 men who actually weren't a member of the North Siders such as a mechanic and a civilian hanger-on who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, they missed their actual target, Bugs Moran. Moran was saved simply because he was late at the meeting and when he spotted the police vehicles he thought a police raid was going on, so he just kept on driving. The bloody massacre headed allot of newspapers, including those of New York and other states. It still is one of the most famous mass murders in the United States. Since allot of North Siders were killed in the past few years, and especially the St. Valentines Day Massacre, his power began to vanish but Moran refused to leave Chicago. In 1930 Capone again moved against the North Moran dead Siders with the organized murder of Joe Aiello, possibly out of favor for Giuseppe Masseria. Moran still kept the North Siders running until the end of prohibition.

After Capones arrest, Frank Nitti started to take over the territory of the North Siders. Moran didn't had the power anymore to fight back and slowly reverted back to his old businesses, stealing. During this period he adopted a boy named Lucas Cavanaugh, the son of his friend Francis Cavanaugh (1906 - 1940), an Irish hitman. In 1946 Moran was arrested for robbing a bank messenger for $10.000 in Ohio. Moran was sentenced to 10 years in prison. When he was released from prison he was soon again arrested for another robbery and was again sentenced to 10 years. Not long after arriving at the prison he was taken to the prison hospital, where he died on February 25, 1957 of cancer. Considering his dangerous lifestyle it's kind of strange he didn't die by bullets.


The future of the North Siders
When the adoptive son of Moran heard about the murder of his father in 1940, he decided to take his revenge on the Chicago Outfit. He murdered Joe Capagna and Ralph Pierce somewhere through the 1940's. Both men were also present at the meeting with Frank Nitti which caused Nitti commit suicide on March 19, 1943. The next victim of Cavanaugh was Nick Circella, who was on his way to a meeting with Paul Ricca. Cavanaugh fathered a son in 1960 named Frank with his wife Jessica Dawson. In 1965 Lucas ordered the murder of Joseph Circella, the brother of his previous victim Nick Circella. But Circella got to him first when he broke inside their home and murdered his wife and newborn son Andrew. Circella left a note for Lucas saying 'This is what happens if you mess with us'. Cavanaugh and a North Side member immediately took revenge and killed Circella with about 20 bullets. During this time Cavanaugh ran into conflicts with John Roselli, Paul Ricca and Sam Giancana. In 1967 he fathered another child called George Andrew Cavanaugh with his new girlfriend, who died during the birthing process. He named his son after George Moran and his killed son Andrew. When Roselli was arrested for questioning about the murder of president John F. Kenndy, Cavanaugh tried to kill him by sending one of his gangmembers inside the FBI office, but as he broke in he was arrested. In 1976 Cavanaugh died of heart failure and left his son Frank in charge.


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