The St. Valentine’s Day massacre was a killing of seven people executioner style on Valentine’s Day in 1929. Let’s take a look at the order and unfolding of events that surround that day:
It starts with the planning: Al Capone and his men put a plan together to kill mob boss of another family, “Bugs” Moran. He was their rival in the bootlegging industry, as well as a rival mob. The plan was put in motion as retaliation for an unsuccessful attempt by Frank and his brother Peter Gusenberg (from Moran’s family) to murder Jack McGurn (a high up in Capone’s family) earlier in the year; Moran’s gang’s complicity in the murder of Pasqualino Lolordo as well as Antonio Lombardo, and Bugs Moran trying to take over a Capone-run dog track in the Chicago suburbs. McGurn came up with the idea to eliminate the rival and his men in one fell swoop, and presented it to Capone. Capone agreed and they put a team together to execute this. Capone was on vacation in Florida during the actual event.
The team was put together: The team was a group of four men, and there were two look outs who were to occupy an apartment building across the street from the place where the shooting was to take place.
The trap was set: To this day the authorities are still unsure what they used to lure Moran’s men to the warehouse where they were killed, but whatever it was, it worked. The men were all dressed up and looking really well, so certain things like picking up illegal goods, etc. have been ruled out.
The plan was executed: Moran’s men showed up at the S.M.C Cartage Co. garage in North Chicago. One of the two lookouts mistook one of Moran’s men for him, and signaled the others to move forward. To this day they are not sure why Moran was not there. It is speculated that he was simply late, luckily so if that was the case.
After they were signaled, two cars pulled up to the S.M.C Cartage Co. garage, they were both disguised like detective sedans. Two men got out of the cars, they were both dressed like cops. They entered the building from the back, and ordered the seven men inside to line up against the wall. Thinking these were real police officers, they did this without a fight.
After the captors were lined up, they let two men dressed in civilian clothes in through the front doors. These men entered with sub-machine guns, and fired away, killing all seven men with over 70 bullets being fired. The seven men killed were six of Moran’s crew, and a mechanic who happened to be there. They were identified as James Clark (AKA Albert Kachellek), Frank Gusenberg, Peter Gusenberg, Adam Heyer, John May, Reinhart Schwimmer(the mechanic), and Al Weinshank.
After the ruckus of the all the shots, the two men dressed as cops pretended to lead the two civilians out of the building arms up. People who had heard the incident, or who were witnesses to it, saw the two dressed as cops and assumed the police were the ones who has been shooting in order to capture the other two. Thus, they were able to escape the scene before the real police were alerted.
So, the plan was executed, seven men were shot to death, none of which were “Bugs” Moran. However, Capone did succeed in crippling Moran’s operation enough to accomplish his goal of basically eliminating his rival. However, the magnitude of the event, seven people being killed execution style, led to the federal government taking a stronger look at and stance on organized crime, which eventually brought Capone himself down.