On Valentine's Day, 1929, seven men were shot by four gangsters in Chicago. This infamous incident caused a historical shock for the Chicago public. Commonly referred to as The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, it is one of the most well-known gang-affiliated crimes of the 20th century.
In Chicago, Illinois, mafia leaders Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran were major gangster rivals. Their business consisted of using the garage as their cover. Moran and his gang made their profit by selling illegal imported alcoholic beverages during the prohibition era. The Prohibition Era was a national ban on the manufacture, import, and transport of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. All of Capone's enemies were easy to eliminate except for Moran. Capone, however, had a strategic plan to kill the gangster rival.
On the day of the massacre, seven of Moran's men were working in the Clark Street garage. Suddenly, four men, presumed to be working for Capone, broke in. Two of the men were wearing police attire and forced Moran's men to line up against the wall. Capone's men then pulled out submachine guns and killed Moran's men. The quartet fled the scene in a black Cadillac disguised as a police car. Much to his disappointment, Capone's goal was not achieved. Luckily for Moran, he chose to sleep in on the day of the shooting.
During the massacre, Capone was at his retreat in Palm Island, Florida, to avoid having any “knowledge” of the incident. Some believed his alibi, but most did not. None of the men involved in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre went to jail. The Clark Street garage was later bulldozed in 1967.
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre was a deadly elimination of mafia gangsters. The incident became so infamous that Capone and henchmen became the target of ambitious prosecutors. This massacre and the story behind it remains one of the most notorious events in Illinois history.