The city of Chicago gave rise to an American mafia family called the Chicago Outfit. This organization is said to still exist and its origin can be dated back to the Prohibition period. Al Capone is regarded to be among the most notorious leader ever had in American Mafia history. On the Commission, it boasts of having a seat with the New York City’s Five Families.
The roots of this Mafia family could be tracked back to the 1900s, with the coming of Italian immigrants to seek refuge in the city of Chicago. The city’s different criminal activities were controlled by street gangs, with the majority having Italian background.
Formation of the Chicago Outfit
It was in 1920s that the Outfit came to power. Giacomo Colosimo or ‘Big Jim’ as he was popularly called was said to have run brothels in hundreds and solidified his power over the Underworld at the time of Black Hand, a gang that practiced extortion from the residents. He had Giovanni Torrio, well known in the Mafia circles as ‘Papa Johnny’, his nephew to the city and introduced in 1919, Alphonse Capone, called popularly as ‘Scarface’.
Before the implementation of the Prohibition, the Outfit was more focused on prostitution and gambling. But bootlegging becomes popular during this time. With Colosimo refusing to the booze business, Torrio had him killed and thus started American history’s most violent organized crime known as the ‘beer wars’ that left many mafia members and ordinary, innocent citizens dead.
The Chicago Outfit gang under Torrio controlled Loop and South Side and expanded to Gold Coast that was being ruled by the American-Irish North Side and Dean O’Banion. Although truce was made, it lasted very short time, with Torrio being scammed by O’Bannion and the former’s retaliating by murdering O’Banion. This death automatically resulted in all-out urban warfare.
Enter Capone as the new Outfit boss
With Torrio shaken from the near to death experience in a failed murdered attempt, he resigned and handed over the regime to Al Capone. In 1929, Capone had sent some of his members to kill North Side Gang’s seven members, which went down in history as the ‘Massacre on St. Valentine’s Day’. It drew plenty of negative publicity, forcing law officials to launch crack down on Mafia and organized crime.
After Capone, Frank Nitti took over control in 1932, but the decisions of the family were actually made by Paul Ricca, the Underboss.
In 2007, the Outfit got a major blow as FBI took over to eliminating this group. Although not dead, its activities have dwindled recently.