Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas

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Claim to Fame | S1E3

by Las Vegas Review-Journal | The Mob Museum
June 2nd 2020

"It supersedes family." 

Tony Spilotro always dreamed of becoming a ‘made’ man—a full-fledged member of the Chicago Outfit—according to his childhood friend Frank Cullotta. In the spring of ... More

a heads up before we get started. Mobbed up contains explicit content such as adult language and depictions of violence, including murder. Please be advised that this podcast might not be suitable for all audiences. Yeah, mhm. Mhm, Yeah. If you've visited Chicago in the past couple decades, odds are you've probably dragged someone or been dragged to a sculpture called Cloud Gate. That name doesn't ring a bell. That's probably because everybody just calls it the Bean. You know, it's the sculpture that looks like a giant shiny bean. It's smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago. In just a couple 100 ft away is Jewelers Row, a stretch of Wabash Avenue that's packed with jewelry stores. Of course, that means it's long been on the radar of guys like Frank Kalata, 1961. I just did a year, nine months in the correctional, another gel and I get out. Remember Frank? Well, By the time he was in his early twenties, Frank had made a name for himself as a thief in Chicago, 1961 he had his eyes set on the crown jewel of the city's diamond district, and the buildings called the Mauler bowling.

Yeah, when she got power. A lot of power. You don't care about the money in the mind for the Las Vegas Review Journal in partnership with the Mob Museum. I'm read Redmond. He's one of you. You kill him. You're listening to mobbed up a true story about money. You're not supposed to have a profile like that, especially in Vegas crime. You want to be very quiet so you can steal the money. He always said If you pull a gun on somebody, you finish it. Because if you don't, it's going to come back to haunt you. And I remember seeing what's going on here, and he's saying They're trying to kill me and I said, Who's trying to kill your name? Shut up. And the fight for control of Las Vegas The FBI will continue to look to the future to use the latest and most sophisticated techniques to fight organized crime. The mom would have destroyed Las Vegas. The only question is not if, but when it would be destroyed. I was there every day with these fellas.

I had no idea that there was a mob and he once told somebody There's bodies out there in the desert, and there's more every day. But if there is one area where the word war is appropriate, it is in the fight against crime. When you grab them, you'll bring them to the desert. You're gonna know where the hole has been dug. I thought Part three claim to fame at the at the end of Part two, Frank A. Lotta had decided to stop going out on scores with his neighbor, Crazy Bob. But he continued pursuing a career as a criminal, and a handful of years later, in 1961 he was getting ready for one of the biggest jobs he would ever take Part in the Maulers Building in Chicago is a 21 story high rise that today houses something in the ballpark of 200 jewelry stores.

Frank tells me he and a partner of his Dickie Gorman, had been recruited to carry out the score. They'd gotten a tip that a jeweler from New York City would be coming to the building to sell loose diamonds. He goes through the whole building. It sells diamonds that he's jewelers. I never was there before, but then after you know I went cased it out. Of course, before you rob, I noticed that every floor there were jewelry stores wholesale. You can buy them also a jewelry. But I also knew that they had a hell of a security system done. If somebody alerted that there was a robbery in progress, they had gates that would come down and black the stairwells. So basically, you'd be trapped on the floor. The elevators were shut down. So you had to be very careful. Nobody sounded an alarm. Frank and Dickie had a couple of guys on the inside who were supposed to notify them when the diamonds were inside the building. They wanted to be close by when that happened.

So when the time came, they parked a car in the suburbs and took the L. Chicago's public train system downtown, doing their best to pass for businessmen heading downtown for work. So we went down there with topcoats for Doris Young guys. They booked a room in a nearby hotel using a fake name, Mr Sterling, and waited for the signal. After a couple hours, the hotel finally called up with a message. So we're laying east lane. I went but I'm laying in that are watching TV, as I'm sure. Phone rings, I figured Well, maybe. Hopefully you guys there. So we pick up the phone. Your package has arrived, Mr Sterling. The diamonds were in the Mahler's building. Put the phone the briefcase with the Gunson. And we had two briefcases with Johnson. Put the overcoats down with the fedoras. Walk out of the Palmer house. Check out we checked out. You want to make sure you check on, checked out real nice. Proceeded to walk, went across street, jumped on the elevator.

Got off at the third floor, fourth floor, Forgot. Went all the way up to maybe the 647 floor got out, then walked up another flight to go. You know what I mean? We're covering our tracks. Finally, Frank and Dickie reached the store where the New York jeweler and the diamonds were supposed to be. So we're going to the little waiting room. Not kind of door. Someone came to open the door and Dickie flashed a fake security card. Yeah, he opens up the door when he opens up the door. We Russia in there? We got the guns out. There's a New York jeweler. I didn't always, and that's what he was, A New York jeweler, he said. In the Cherries. Like stunned Frank says he would later find out that the two store owners were the ones who had provided the tip in the first place. Apparently, they were going to get a cut of the score and be able to claim the loss on their insurance. At that time, I didn't know that they were part of this robbery, all right, I didn't know that they were doing it for insurance purposes. So we threw all of them on the ground and, uh, Dickies tying them up. And I go in the room on the side to go to the safe and a safe sopa.

There's no money in There is no jewelry is What the fuck were the stores? Safe was empty, of course, because the store owners were in on the job. Dickie had apparently figured that out, so he told Frank not to worry that they'd talk later. Meanwhile, they'd gotten ahold of what they came for, the pouch of loose diamonds. So we got these guys tied up and we got the money, the diamond pouched. It's about a foot foot long, and it's maybe through your four inches high. So we'd leave and he leaves. I said, Go ahead. I'll wait up here until I'm sure you're out of the building. So he leaves and I wait. Now I know. I know how long it takes to get from up there. Now. Then I follow same procedures elevator or two flights down, jump in an elevator back then. We still worried about cameras. They probably didn't have any, but I didn't care. We did the same procedure. The leaf. I walk across the street. He's already there, is at the platform downstairs. We had it was playing perfect.

Lemme I meet him at the platform. Here comes the train. We jump on the train and we go back. And as we're going back, you can hear all the police cars and the through our they're all heading torched up there. We're on this. We're on the train going back already. So we get back and we jump in the car and, uh, I opened up the pouch or Dickie opens up the pouch and he's going through it there in cellophane diamonds loose diamonds are in cellophane packets. This fucking thing is loaded with them. The two thieves had made off with a small fortune, and he's gone. Holy Christ and I look over and I said, Man, that's a lot of diamonds. The problem was, they couldn't keep it. This was what Frank calls an outfit job. They'd gotten a tip about the score through the mob, and they'd only been promised 10 grand apiece. It may not have seemed like a bad deal before the score, but looking at this pouch of diamonds, the two robbers both knew it was worth a lot more hundreds of thousands of dollars more. In fact, Frank says, he later heard on the news that the score was worth somewhere around half a million dollars.

I said, We're on again. 10,000 faces were getting screwed. He's Yeah, I know. Jesus Christ. I'm going like that. And I think I'm gonna tell him. I said, You know what? Just forget it. I said it might be the last time you tell anybody anything. Frank had received the tip on the Muellers building from his friend Tony Spilotro. See, Tony had also dropped out of high school and, like Frank, Dove headfirst into the criminal underworld of Chicago. According to Frank, Even back when they were teenagers, Tony was beginning to get in with the mob, and he would sometimes approach Frank with opportunities, tips he'd gotten from friends in the outfit. Frank remembers one of these earlier scores particularly well. He was about 18 years old and had just gotten out of a juvenile corrections facility. Tony was out there still stealing. We we had stole prior to me going there. So he approaches me and he said, Listen, he says, I got included in on this burglary of a bank in Indiana.

He's I haven't looked at it or checked it all yet He said. Dickie Garman, just Richard Garman Aces and you and me could go on. And with this guy, Joe Lombardo and two of his associates from Grand Island, Joe Lombardo is a name that will come up a few more times throughout this series. And, just to be clear, the Chicago outfit figure Joseph for Joey the Clown Lombardo has no relation to Joe Lombardo, the current sheriff of Clark County, Nevada. Joey the clown would go on to become a high ranking member of the Chicago outfit. When I met Frank for the first time in October of 2019, he actually told me Joey Lombardo was probably the last mobster out there who wanted him dead. But Lombardo had died in prison the week before. So Frank assured me we were probably in the clear anyway, back to the burglary. And I said, What? What do you mean, a burglar in the bank? I explained it to me. He said, Well, we're going to rob the safety deposit box boxes.

People can't complain. They can't tell you how much. In other words, they when they talk to the police, they can't say I had 500,000 and their 5000 because they're beating the government I saw, he said, We're gonna go down there and I'm gonna introduce you to Joel and it's two associates. So Dickie and I and Tony went down there. Tony knew Joe Grant and Ogden. So we're gonna meet, and, uh, I don't know the other two guys. I know. If Joe Lombardo I knew he worked for the Chicago office, he ran crap games. They calm Joey the clown crap games are dice games, did it in the alley, Ellie's and stuff. Then they got bigger and they went to brooms, you know? So we decided a week to take a ride there. So six of us in a car. There's a lot of guys in the car. Cars were bigger than two. We drive to Indiana and there's this, uh, building. And next to it is the bank. The building next to the bank was vacant, so we figured we go to the vacant bullying, go into the basement.

There was basements back then go through the foundation into the bank. Once we're into the bank, we make our way in their basement to where their vault was. Of course, we walked the footage off prior to that. In other words, one of us went to the bank and went from the door front door to where the vault was the walk involved. So when you got down in that basement, you'd walk to that particular spot and then walked maybe another 10 ft. This way, Then above you was the vault, so we had to bring a lot of tools with us. We had to bring torches, tanks, and stuff to cut the re barb that would support that floor. They brought all the tools as well as to fictitious Li licensed vehicles. As Frank calls them board cars. One of the guys would wait outside and monitor a police radio while the rest of the crew went into the vacant building and got to work, cutting a hole through the ceiling. We figured it was going to take at least 24 hours. We knew it was the weekend, so we had that much time and it took turns beaten on a ceiling.

That's concrete, A lot of work on your arms. We didn't work construction for a living, so this was like, really hard work. So we all took turns and we hit that reverb. Then we cut it with the torch and yank it down. Of course, we didn't touch. It was too hot. We used other things to both down. Once we had that whole, then we helped each other get up in there. He lifted each other to get in there when it at that just like that, the crew of burglars was inside the bank vault, and they were determined to clean the place out busting open safety deposit boxes says We start pounding them open, and I mean pounding them open. None of these modern things they lose in the movies, chisels and sludge is £5. Sludge is we Open up these bags is and we start dumping them only to cash and the jewelry and the duffel bags, all the paperwork and shit people keep just cast it aside and loaded up seven duffel bags.

Frank says the crew had picked this particular bank because it was in a rural area, and a lot of farmers, at least according to Frank, didn't believe in putting their money into an account. Instead, they filled up safety deposit boxes with valuables and cold, hard cash. And what are they gonna say? I got robbed for 50,000. 25,000. Why you got that much money in there? You're not supposed to have that kind of money in there. The crew loaded up the duffel bags into one of their work cars and took off, driving back to a boarded up house in Chicago to count and divvy up their score, carried all these duffel bags and left the car in the garage. We didn't eight right away. We ate were hungry. The guy's wife wasn't home, and, uh, we started counting the money. We had rubber bands. We put it into stacks of 1000 full size bed, you know, full size. But those are not a king size, full size, approximately a foot high. The money was covered. The whole bed, the jewelry left on this side. We weren't interested in that.

We were going to sell it. We weren't interested. We got done counting. Uh, took a day. Easy day because you've got all kinds of denominations of money come out to 750,000. I I I thought I was a millionaire multimillionaire. Smart on all this money. It's a lot of money back then. This was the mid 19 fifties. $750,000 back then would be just over $7 million in 2020. Not a bad payday for an 18 year old kid, even after would be split with the rest of the crew. But Frank was about to learn a valuable lesson. If you wanted to be a criminal in Chicago, you had to make the outfit happy. Joe Lombardo says. You know, we gotta kick in 20% of the Alpha. I looked at him. I didn't know you had for that. They fuck that. I ain't giving nobody 20%. They weren't even there because I didn't know you wouldn't rob this giant. So Tony says Frankie, He said, Joe works for these guys. He's going to have to tell him and we're gonna be in trouble.

If we don't pay, they'll take it off from us. They got a bigger army than us. It was true. The outfit had a much, much bigger army than they did. The syndicates influence had expanded throughout the Chicagoland area during Prohibition under the leadership of the likes of Jim Colosimo, Johnny Torrio and, of course, Al Capone. After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 the Chicago outfit shifted its focus towards other enterprises loansharking, illegal gambling and street crime. By the 19 fifties, the Chicago outfit was nothing short of a criminal empire comprised of hundreds, if not thousands, of members and associates. So if you wanted to operate in the criminal underworld of Chicago, you either had to pay up or put your life in the hands of one of the most powerful underworld organizations in the history of the United States. And when you put it like that, 20% starts to seem like a more reasonable price to pay. So in the end I went along, everybody did, except one guy. I don't know whatever happened to him.

Let's put it like that. When all was said and done, Frank says, he ended up with about $50,000 plus whatever the jewelry was worth. See, the money was one thing. But to young criminals like Frank Kalata and Tony Spilotro, the reputation that came with it was even more valuable. I was an instant big shot. Then, with all that freaking money. See, money draws pop money, brings power. Once you got power, a lot of power. You don't care about the money no more. That's the truth. You just want power power. That's what it was all about. But the kind of power Frank wanted was different from the kind of power his friend Tony was after. Tony, according to Frank, always wanted to be a full blown member of the Chicago outfit. He wanted to be a main man, and we sort of went our own ways done because I was not gonna drive the fucking kind of cars that all these guys drove. I was not going to dress the way they dress. I wanted to dress the way I want. I wanted to buy tailor made clothes. You wanted to spend your money. I want to spend my money. That's what I stole it.

I wanted to drive a Cadillac or an automobile. I wasn't gonna drive a Ford or Chevy. I wasn't in the outfit. Uh oh. You got to keep a low profile. Forget about Indiana. That is, We're here. What do they know? So when I bought a Cadillac convertible, you know, used one, but I get, like, convertible. Everybody was mad at me, not mad where they wouldn't talk to me no more. But that's what I wanted to do. After the break, Tony gets his shot at becoming a made man. Mhm. Mm, Mhm. If we jump ahead just a bit to the early 19 sixties. Frank Kalata and Tony Spilotro. We're still pursuing criminal careers, but they were headed down different paths. Frank had plenty of connections with the Chicago outfit, but he liked his independence and was determined to continue operating on his own.

He says. Tony was after something else that he'd always wanted to become a member of the Chicago outfit. There's a lot of misunderstanding. I think about what being a made man is and why it's important. Jeff Schumacher, vice president of exhibits and programs at the Mob Museum. By and large, the masses of individuals who were involved with the mob, you know, over the decades were not made men quote unquote. They were associates. There were producers. They were soldiers, they were accomplices. See, not just anyone can become a made member. You have to prove your loyalty to the organization. It has to do with agreeing to an oath to the group, to this secret society that supersedes even any family obligations. So one of the classic lines in describing what it means to be to be a made man is if your mom is dying.

She's on her deathbed, and you want to be by her side to talk to her and soothe her on her. In her final moments. If the boss of the of the secret Society calls you, what do you do? Do you tell him? Hold on a minute. No, you do not. If you're a made man, you were obligated to do exactly what the boss wants you to do immediately. So it supersedes family even. And then also in very much involves this notion of omerta, which is, uh, code of silence. And you're not to talk about what's going on within the group. Certainly not the law enforcement, but really not to anybody. Different crime families have always had different rules when it comes to who can become a made man and how many made members are permitted at any given time. You know, in Chicago, Chicago is different than New York. You know, they never had a lot of made members. It was very tight. You had a lot of associates, but there was an inner circle with those made members. The voice you're hearing belongs to Frank Calabrese Jr.

Whose father, Frank Calabrese Sr was a made man in the Chicago outfit, will revisit their complicated relationship later on in this series. But for now, just know that even though he wasn't supposed to, Frank Calabrese Sr told his son about the ceremony. He went through to become a made man. So my dad and my Uncle Nick or asked to be made members. They really didn't want it. My dad enjoyed the fact that that he had free reins on what he did. He turned in his money. He listened when they needed him. So he really didn't want to, um, become a made member. But it's still an honor. So what happens is they get a hold of you and you're told to be somewhere you're told to dress up, and then you're picked up and taken to a secret location where they have a secret ceremony. Now, at this secret ceremony, um, you know, and and it might vary a little from different cities or different mob families. But basically, what you're gonna do is you're gonna go in front of you, gonna have your sponsor, their whoever your captain was. You're gonna go in front of some bosses. You're gonna pledge all these alliances to this new organization.

You're going to pledge him ahead of God and your family. So this comes first and they'll do something like prick your finger. Blood in blood out bell burner. Holy card of a saint in your hand and, um, the one they want to watch A few flinch. But the other thing was that that you are going to pledge these alliances and that if you break these codes, may you burn in hell like this holy card is burning in your hand. Here's how a made man would later be defined in a federal indictment leading up to one of the most significant mob trials in U. S. History. Quote an individual engaging in illegal activities on behalf of the outfit who proved himself particularly trustworthy. Was given special made status in the enterprise but could not normally be made unless he was of Italian descent and had committed at least one murder. On behalf of the enterprise, an individual had to be sponsored by his cap. Oh, before he could be made, which occurred at a ceremony in which the person to be made swore allegiance to the enterprise. An individual who was made or who committed a murder on behalf of the outfit was obligated to the enterprise for life to perform criminal acts when called upon.

Frank Kalata didn't have a problem with the notion of having to murder someone to become a made man. True crime author and Frank's biographer, Tennis Griffin, you know, he was willing to kill if necessary, wasn't just amazed Murderer. But if someone had to be dealt with, he was willing to do it. And certainly the robberies and strong arm stuff he was he would do it all. But being a young and capable criminal, Frank Kalata didn't want the kind of obligation that came with being a made man. He liked his freedom. He liked being a free agent, even if it meant he didn't always have the muscle of the Chicago outfit behind him. A guy like Frank Kalata was not a made man, and he was not even necessarily a member of the outfit in any legitimate way. He was an associate of the outfit. They knew him. They used him. But he was not one of them. And he was did not want to become a made man. And and and Frank will tell you the reason he didn't want to become a made man or didn't want to become a member of the outfit is he didn't like to share.

What happens is when you would do a robbery or burglary. If you were a you were part of the outfit, then you had to share the proceeds with with the bosses. And Frank didn't want to share. He wanted it all for himself. He was pretty honest about that. But Spilotro aspired to become a made man. He aspired to become a boss within the outfit. He loved the culture. He loved the idea of it. Here's Frank Collado and a 2016 event held at the Mob Museum. Tony always had these aspirations of being wanted to be an outfit guy. You know, cases don't know what the office means. That's the term for Mafia syndicate. We used to call me out Finch. Me. I didn't want nothing to do with that. I thought to myself, What? I want to be involved with an organization, that guys take your money all the time, tell you what to do. So we still stole together, and then eventually he went his way and I went my way and I had a cruel guys and he started working with upper guys from Cicero. Cicero, Illinois, is where all the top change there 1962 as Frank recalls Tony was about to get his shot.

It started when a couple guys Frank had been doing jobs with got into some trouble with the mob. Well, they were thieves. They were armed robbers and burglars. It was Jimmy Morales to, and Billy McCarthy, good thieves. One of her father's, Jimmy Morales, to was murdered by the outfit. I don't know the reason why that's way in the past, but they were both stealing together and being that I was a crook and the tough guy, they want him to stay with me. So they invited me to go with them on the robberies. So we start stealing together and drinking the gutter hanging around together. And Billy always carried a gun. Jimmy, we used to call Lover Boy because he was a handsome one and other woman like them, and he got married and so did Billy. They both got married and they bought our Children. Frank remembers that at some point Jimmy and Billy started going to a bar on the suburbs called the Black Door. I've been to the black door, and I was treated with really very well.

I also knew the history of the place I behave myself. What Frank means is that the owners of this bar were connected to the Chicago outfit. In other words, you didn't mess with them. But Billy got into a fight with two brothers who worked at the bar. Philly and Ronnie Scavo. What they did, they got into a hassle at the mouth control fire. I believe it was called the Black Door and they get into a beef with the management there. And they felt that they had been belittled or mistreated. They'd been thrown out of the bar, Actually, McCarthy had. Then he went back regularly, and they both got thrown out. According to Frank, Billy and Jimmy didn't want to let things go. They wanted revenge. I forget it. You know the reputation of that place. Just forget about it. You can't win, Billy. So he goes in there again, this time with Jimmy Marilia. They both get the shit beat out of them drawing out of there. I didn't want to kill them bad. Are you coming with us? I said I was hesitant. I said, you know, not a good idea.

I said we could get a lot of trouble, Er, if they find out we're all dead. You gotta get a permission to kill people, and they just don't do it. It took some convincing, but Frank eventually agreed to go with Jimmy and Billy to get their revenge on the Scavo brothers. Yeah. Yeah. We were going to follow them wherever they went. Kill them off the property. They waited outside a bar for Iranian Philly Scavo. When the brothers emerged, they weren't alone. There was a waitress with them. It's Isis pass. I ain't killing the girl. They went back a couple more times, but this woman, Lydia Asher, was always with the Scavo's when they left. And I was sort of relief, you know, because I wasn't gonna kill this girl. She don't know. So, uh, I'm bowling one night manner bowling eloped with a girl she wanted to bowl as a side note. Frank and I have lived very, very different lives. But I was happy to learn that we have at least one thing in common. An appreciation for bowling. One night, Frank had a date with take a girl bowling, and the car thing regularly came to the bowling alley and they wanted to go Frank was available to go with them.

They were going to take another run over to the to this bar and see if they could catch too. The target. It's not bowling with, uh happened to glance at the door. And I see Billy walk in and he's got a hood over his, uh, and he was sort of hunched, and I walk over to my So what's up? He said, We're gonna go tonight. You coming? That's really not tonight. I went this broad over. I'm trying to nail her. I said tomorrow night, he's not. He swears the guns. I swear on my garage, the same spot my house was like four blocks away from the black door log. I should just go get them. I said, Good luck. Frank spent the rest of the night bowling. The next morning, he says, he flipped on the radio and heard about what Jimmy and Billy had done with his guns. That night, two men and a woman were slaughtered on the streets in on park. Names will be available later. I said, Fuck, I said. They killed him in Elmwood Park. That's a no no. Alma Park was controlled by the Chicago Alpha who lived there.

All the top guys in the Alpha. As man, these guys screwed up big time. The next night, Frank met up with Billy at a bowling alley. There's a good spot to meet because the cops would never think you're going to bowling alleys, send me them with the bowling and were bullshit. And I said, What did you do with the guns? Mhm, he said. What are you talking about? You don't want me to know, right? It's smart. I saw nothing. Forget about it. You got to do that. You know, just let it go. So he laughed and joked about everything. And I thought to myself, You fucking dummy, you just killed yourself. Mm, Yeah. According to Frank, a couple days after meeting up with Billy, he received a phone call from Tony Spilotro. Tony came over to his house wanting to know about the murders. So we got on in the basement and he says to me, Tony, he says, Listen, he said, Were you with Billy and Jimmy? When they killed the Scavo brought us and I smile and I said, No. He says, Well, the outfit thinks you were, he says, and they want to kill you.

It's because you know that's no No, because it would are related to I said I wasn't there, nor do I know was there. He say. I told them that you weren't there because I went on the limb who was there if you weren't there, so I wasn't there. I don't know. Do you know if they kill him? I said, I don't know And he's gone. Frankie, I've been defending you. Please, if I walk out or I'm going to tell him what you said and they're gonna kill you, you know you can't get away from these guys. It wasn't long after that. Tony came to see Frank. He said, Look, we know that Billy and Jimmy did the hit, but the guys, you know, my Tony's bosses, he said, They think that you were in there with him. Were you there? And Frank says, No, I wasn't Frank says He told Tony it was just the two of them. Jimmy and Billy, who were responsible, that he had nothing to do with it. He says. You're all right. I say, You sure he said, Yeah, so immediately when he left, I call the electrician.

It's the truth. Floodlights put around my whole house, activated if you pull in sensors and I carried a gun immediately. So when I come home, all the lights would go on. It looked like the ball park. The whole neighborhood would light up. I wanted to make sure that scares people away. Lights and I carried the gun, and my arm was. I had a stash in my door. Frank says he agreed to set Billy up for Tony and that he let Tony Bar was car to meet Billy at a restaurant. Here's what he says, Tony told him. Happened after that. Tony parked my car in front of the restaurant. He went into restaurant when he's seen, he came with two or three other guys that were in another work car. David. We're laying slouched down in the seats of the car. When Billy rolled up, they knew he rolled up. They know he looks. He gets out of the car. I'm not in the Russian. Tony comes walking out of the restaurant and Billy say, Tony, how you doing? Good, he says to Tony Frank in there. He's not. That's why I went in there. I seen his car.

Billy says, Oh, yeah, he's not in. There is no scar. Maybe he's in the bathroom. So Billy starts what? Tony jump scribes him around the throat. Mhm. We all carry guns in our waste, man. Tony pulls a gun on six in his bag. Tony is hanging on him, actually, because Billy Staller, the other guys jumped by the car to drag him in the car back in them days. If people see that going on, they turned their head. That's the way life was done. There was no cameras. Nobody took pictures. They minded their own business, drew them into car. And he proceeded to beat him up from what I understand. Took him to Cicero. Brought it downstairs in the basement. Yeah. Start torturing them with ice picks, punching him, kicking him mhm. Beat him bad. Hit him in the testicles with the icebergs. But they wanted more information out of them. They want to know who was with him. Mhm. When he was true, they put us out in the vice. Frank says Billy didn't want to give up his partner, so Tony began cranking the vice tighter and tighter around Billy's head.

When they put the head of the vice, his head was down. His eyeballs popped out. One of them are two of them. I don't remember what I was talking. Finally, Billy gave in and told them Jimmy was in on it. And then he told And then Tony cut his stroke and then they throw him in the trunk. They wrapped them up with something, threw him in the trunk of the car he was driving. Then Tony told me the whole story the following day. What took place that night? Frank ran into Jimmy at a restaurant. He says that he couldn't help but at least try toward his friend that his life was in danger. And he's in there with a broad. He's cheating on his old lady. Mhm. Hey, Frank. Hey, Jimmy. What are you doing? Buddy? And I had to say something. You know, these are my friends, and I had preservation. You've got to survive, you know? So I see. He says to me, what's going on is not much. I say, Have you heard from Billy? I've been trying to reach him because I remember I made that phone call, right? And I think he knew about it. So he says, Nah, I haven't heard from him, I suppose, probably would have brought somewhere, you know, last weekend and I walked away.

I was trying to tip him off without telling him he was dead. You think you'd have enough fucking sense to understand. You don't see our partner in two days. Something's wrong, so I leave. Within days, Jimmy went missing. A couple weeks later, a headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune read. Bandit Pair is slashed and beaten. The bandit pair was, of course, Billy McCarthy and Jimmy Morales to their bodies had been discovered in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle. The way Frank tells it, this was how Tony became a made man in the Chicago outfit. That was Tony's claim to fame. Oh, that was a big deal because the top guys in Chicago, one of these guys, that big deal at the time. Throughout the 19 sixties, Tony would continue to prove his loyalty to the outfit. 1971. The outfit needed a new guy, someone they trusted to look after their interests in Las Vegas. So Tony was a tough guy and he was rising fast in the mob in Chicago.

Frank Calabrese Jr. The boss, has liked him. They were actually grooming him to be a boss. One day. One of his first assignments in the late sixties was actually come out to Las Vegas and run their interest out here. The guy they had out here prior, they were done with reviewed journal reporter Jeff Gorman. So Spilotro got the assignment. I think, in 19 71 they sent them out here basically to to oversee street rackets, get into loan sharking, uh, robberies, other crimes, illegal bookmaking and also oversee casino skim. Yeah, mhm on part four of mobbed up organized crime infiltrates Las Vegas The mob had been, of course, heavily integrated into casino industry here from day one, 1931 or 32.

Uh, Bugsy Siegel's and all the rest of the other ones you build it. This has been Part three of Mobbed Up, a production of the Las Vegas Review Journal in partnership with the Mob Museum. As always, if you're enjoying the series, make sure you subscribe to it on apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you're listening right now, help us out by leaving a rating and review on apple podcasts, sharing the podcast on social media or telling a couple friends mobbed up is reported and produced by me. Read Redmond. If you have any tips, questions or feedback, you can reach me on Twitter at Red Redmond or shoot an email to our Redmond at review journal dot com. Our sound designer and audio editor for this series is Jonathan McMichael, who also composed our theme song thanks to Frank Kalata, Dennis Griffin, Frank Calabrese Jr and Mob Museum vice president of Exhibits and programs. Jeff Schumacher for Sitting Down With Me for this episode. Select clips used in the intro to this episode come from the Oral History Research Center in the UNLV Library. Special collections and archives.

Music and sound effects are from Stephen Arnold, music and motion. Already you can learn more about the Mob museum by visiting the Imam museum dot org, and you can learn more about mobbed up by visiting review journal dot com. Backslash podcasts Thanks for tuning in, and, as always, we'll be back next week. Mhm

Claim to Fame | S1E3
Claim to Fame | S1E3
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