|Chicago|  Samuele - Mad Sam - DeStefano

Birth: September 13, 1909 - Illinois

Death: April 14, 1973 - Illinois

Samuele "Mad Sam" DeStefano was one of the Chicago Outfit's most successful hitmen for more than three decades. He is known in Chicago, especially to FBI agents such as William Roemer (During his retirement, Roemer was neighbors with mobster Joe Bonanno in Arizona), as the worst torture-murderer in the history of the United States. DeStefano, known to be mentally unstable, was especially used by the syndicate organization for the torture-murders of Leo Foreman and Arthur Adler as well as the murder of his younger brother Michael DeStefano. However, since he was known, even among gangsters, to be demented he was never a "made" member of the Outfit.

Born in southern Illinois on September 13, 1909, Stefano moved to Chicago's Little Italy with his family as a teenager. DeStefano's criminal record began in 1927 when, at age 18, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Upon his release in 1930, DeStefano joined the 42 Gang, led by Sam Giancana, becoming involved in bootlegging and illegal gambling before he was wounded during a grocery store robbery in 1932. The following year he was captured shortly after a bank robbery in New Lisbon, Wisconsin serving 11 years until his release in 1944. He was arrested again in 1947 for selling counterfeit sugar ration stamps and imprisoned in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary where he became acquainted with Chicago Outfit members Paul Ricca and Louis Campagna. Following his release in 1947, DeStefano became a garbage dump foreman upon passing a civil service test. In 1952 it was found out by city officials that DeStefano had omitted his criminal record from the civil service application however the city chose not to press charges against him.

During the early 1950s, DeStefano had become a major loan shark operator with his brother Mario Anthony DeStefano in Chicago. With money gained during his days as a bank robber for the 42 Gang in the early 1930s, DeStefano began investing in real estate, particularly a 24 suite apartment building, using the rent money as legitimate income from which to pay off local alderman and other politicians greatly increasing his political connections. By the mid-1950s, DeStefano's influence extended to city officials including prominent judges and law enforcement officers to the extent that DeStefano would brag "there wasn't any case he couldn't fix." and began offering his services accordingly. His usual fees were said to have ranged from $800 for robbery to $1,500 for assault. He was also suspected of "fixing" a first degree murder case for $20,000. It supposedly became so routine that corrupt police officers were said to escort suspects to DeStefano's house where, after they were paid off, the suspects would be required to pay DeStefano by being put on the juice in exchange for his assistance. DeStefano's loan shark victims would include many of Chicago's elite, including politicians and lawyers, to small time criminals, who were subject to 20%-25% interest rates, by the end of the decade. DeStefano was known to take on very high-risk debtors, junkies or business men who had already defaulted on debts in the past would have no trouble getting a loan from "Mad" Sam. Even if the Outfit would not loan to these people, DeStefano would. The reason for this was simple, he actually enjoyed it if someone didn't pay on time. This would give him a chance to bring the recalcitrant debtor to a torture chamber DeStefano had built in his own basement. It has been said by other gangsters that Sam would actually foam at the mouth from enjoyment while he was torturing his victims.

In 1955, DeStefano was supposedly ordered by Giancana, with his brother Mario, to murder their younger brother Michael, a drug addict, who was shot and killed before being found in a Chicago Westside neighborhood in a car trunk on September 27, 1955. When he was later questioned by the police, DeStefano allegedly began laughing uncontrollably. He was later released partly due his political influence and lack of evidence.

By the early 1960s, Stefano had become a leading loan shark and narcotics trafficker for the Chicago Outfit. In 1963, he had an argument with real estate agent and rival loan shark Leo Foreman in which DeStefano was thrown out of Foreman's office. Foreman was later called to Sam DeStefano's home. Upon his arrival, Foreman was held in a sound proof basement where he was tortured for several hours by Charles "Chucky" Crimaldi, Tony Spilotro, and Mario DeStefano before eventually being killed shortly after Sam DeStefano's later arrival. As Foreman was being killed, DeStefano supposedly screamed "I told you I'd get you. Greed got you killed !" before chunks of Foreman's arms were torn off by the other mobsters.

In another incident Peter Cappelletti, a collector for DeStefano, kept $25,000 from a loan shark victim and fled Chicago. Found hiding in Wisconsin, Cappelletti was brought back to Chicago where he was chained to a radiator and tortured for three days. On the last day DeStefano invited Cappelletti's family to Mario DeStefano's restaurant for a banquet until Cappelletti, who was tortured during the celebration, was thrown out severely burned into the dining area in front of his family. DeStefano then made the man's family urinate on him in unison. Following the dinner DeStefano was quickly paid back the amount.

In 1965, DeStefano was convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to three to five years. After threatening the life of former DeStefano associate turned government informant Charles Crimaldi, an accomplice in the murder of Leo Foreman (of which DeStefano was later charged), in the elevator of the Chicago Dirksen Federal Building on February 22, 1972 he was sentenced to three and a half years. The Chicago syndicate became increasingly concerned that they would become involved in the highly publicized trial as, despite their warnings, DeStefano would frequently cause unwanted attention during his previous trials, demanding to represent himself, often appeared in court dressed in pajamas, shouting through bullhorns to address courtrooms, and rambling incoherently. Before he could serve his sentence however, DeStefano was fatally shot twice with a shotgun by Tony Spilotro in the garage of his Northwest Side home on April 14, 1973 while meeting with members of his organization. Mario DeStefano was later found guilty and sentenced to twenty to forty years although Spilotro was later acquitted

.:Back to American Mafia:.

2007 - 2015    |    Contact Webmaster