Chicago's Sicilian Mafia, also known as the Genna crime family, was a Prohibition era crime family in Chicago, United States. From 1921 to 1925, the family was headed by the Genna brothers, known as the Terrible Gennas. The Sicilians operated from Chicago's Little Italy and maintained control over the Unione Siciliana. The Sicilian Mafia in Chicago was eventually absorbed by the Chicago Outfit.
D'Andrea and the Unione Siciliana[edit | edit source]
Anthony D'Andrea was a Sicilian Mafia boss in Chicago's Little Italy. His closest allies were the Genna brothers, who operated illegal gambling clubs and salons in his territory. In 1919, D'Andrea became president of the Chicago chapter of the Unione Siciliana, an organization dedicated to helping poor Sicilian immigrants. D'Andrea wanted more political power, and ran to become alderman of Chicago's 19th Ward, which included Little Italy. This started the Aldermen's Wars between D'Andrea and John Powers, an Irish saloon-keeper who was the sitting alderman. On May 11, 1921, D'Andrea was shot and killed while entering his apartment.
The Genna brothers[edit | edit source]
The Genna brothers consisted of six Sicilian brothers: Angelo "Bloody Angelo", Antonio "The Gentleman", Mike "The Devil", Peter, Sam, and Vincenzo "Jim". In 1919, the Gennas became involved in bootlegging, they obtained a federal license to legally manufacture industrial alcohol, which they sold illegally. The Genna brothers operated from Chicago's Little Italy, which was located west of The Chicago Loop.
The Genna brothers began selling their extra alcohol at cut-rate prices outside of their territory. This produced a clash with the North Side Gang leader Dion O'Banion, who went to John "Johnny The Fox" Torrio and Unione Siciliana boss Mike Merlo to get the Gennas to back down. Torrio refused and O'Banion and his gang began hijacking shipments of whiskey that belonged to the Genna brothers. Torrio then ordered the Gennas to murder O'Banion; they carried out the hit on November 10, 1924.
Gang war[edit | edit source]
After O'Banion's murder, Chicago erupted into gang war. The North Side Gang, led by George "Bugs" Moran, shot and wounded Torrio outside his home. Torrio fled to Italy, leaving Al Capone as boss. The North Side Gang took aim at the Genna brothers and on May 27, 1925, Moran chased down Angelo Genna in a high-speed car chase, then shot him to death. On June 13, 1925, Mike Genna was gunned down by police after a shootout with the North Siders. Antonio Genna was shot to death on July 8, 1925 in an ambush. The remaining three brothers Jim, Sam, and Pete fled Chicago.
Joe Aiello and the last fight[edit | edit source]
Giuseppe "Joe" Aiello and his brothers Salvatore "Sam" and Pietro "Peter" declared themselves bosses of the old Genna brothers territory of Little Italy. The Aiello brothers had an alliance with the Castellammarese Clan boss Salvatore Maranzano and close connection to the North Side Gang. The brothers attempted to murder Al Capone and become the most powerful organization in Chicago. Giuseppe Aiello was murdered in 1930 and Capone took over all Italian organized crime.
Members of Chicago's Sicilian Mafia[edit | edit source]
Bosses[edit | edit source]
- c.1899-1921 — Anthony D'Andrea – led the Unione Siciliana backed by the Gennas. He was murdered on May 11, 1921.
- 1921-1925 — Angelo Genna – murdered on May 27, 1925
- 1925-1930 — Joseph Aiello – murdered on October 23, 1930
Other members[edit | edit source]
- Angelo Genna – murdered on July 8, 1925
- Mike Genna – murdered on June 13, 1925
- Vincenzo Genna
- Peter Genna
- Sam Genna
- Mariano Zagone – Black Hand; murdered in May 1909
- Joseph "Diamond Joe" Esposito – murdered on March 21, 1928
Rival[edit | edit source]
- Rosario Dispenza – Black Hand member and was a Morello crime family Chicago contact. Dispenza was murdered in 1914
- Salvatore Cardinella gang – also operated in Little Italy and Little Sicily.
References[edit | edit source]
- Capeci, Jerry. The complete idiot's guide to the Mafia pg.82-84
- "La Cosa Nostra database: Genna Brothers" Brothers
- The true and complete story of 'machine gun' Jack McGurn by Amanda Jayne Parr pg.244
- Reppetto, Thomas A. American Mafia: a history of its rise to power pg.69
- Lombardo, Robert M. The Black Hand: Terror by Letter in Chicago pg.86
- After Capone: the life and world of Chicago mob boss Frank "the Enforcer" Nitti By Mars Eghigian, Jr., Frank Nitti pg.142
- Critchley, David The origin of organized crime in America: the New York City mafia, 1891-1931 pg.56
- Lombardo, Robert M. The Black Hand: Terror by Letter in Chicago pg.94
- Parr, Amanda Jayne The True and complete story of 'machine gun' Jack McGurn pg. 37
[edit | edit source]
- Chicago's Unione Siciliana: 1920, A Decade of Slaughter
- Angelo "Bloody Angelo" Genna at Find A Grave
- Antonio "Tony the Gentleman" Genna at Find A Grave
- Mike "Mike the Devil" Genna at Find A Grave
- Peter "Pete" Genna at Find A Grave
- Sam Genna at Find A Grave
- Vincenzo "Jim" Genna at Find A Grave