The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

During the 1920s, Gang warfare was rampant on the streets of Chicago. One of the big players was a gangster named Al Capone. Capone sought to consolidate control by eliminating his rivals in the illegal trades of bootlegging, gambling, and prostitution. The violence that was taking place in Chicago came to a climax on February 14, 1929.

On Valentines day, 1929, in a garage on Chicago’s North Side, seven men associated with Irish Gangster George “Bugs” Moran were shot to death. The men that killed Moran’s men were dressed as policemen. It has long been believed that those who did the killing were associated with Al Capone. This event has come to be known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

It is believed that Al Capone was behind the massacre, but there has never been an official connection to him. The reason that he is believed to be behind the attack was because Moran was one of Capone’s biggest rivals. Moran’s gang had been hijacking Capone’s shipments, killing his allies, and was a competition for his businesses. Capone also saw Moran as the last thing in the way of his quest to dominate gang activity in all of Chicago.

Whether or not Capone was behind the killings, he certainly benefited from them. Following the massacre, Moran lost his influence over Chicago. This allowed for Capone to have complete control over the city. This event caused Capone to ensure the success of his criminal empire, and allowed for him to be one of, if not the most infamous and recognizable mobsters of all time.

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