narrator: Previously on "The Making of the Mob: Chicago."
After the death of their mentor, Al Capone, Tony Accardo and Paul Ricca assume control of the Chicago Outfit and thanks to their expansion into Las Vegas, their empire is bigger and more profitable than ever.
But now they face a new thr*at.
Ambitious young attorney, Robert F. Kennedy, who targets the Outfit's most visible member, acting boss, Sam Giancana.
Would you tell us anything about any of your operations, or are you just going to giggle every time I ask you a question?
I decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.
narrator: But Giancana only makes the situation worse.
Have you lost your mind?!
Well, what am I supposed to do?
You fix it.
narrator: With the relationship between the two Mafia kingpins falling apart and pressure from the federal government mounting, the final chapter of the Outfit is about to begin, and the fate of Al Capone's criminal empire hangs in the balance.
I want to hit them where it hurts most.
Get your hands off of me!
narrator: Head of the Chicago Mob, Tony Accardo sits at the top of the country's most powerful criminal syndicate, the Outfit.
But now, he's facing his biggest challenge yet after his second in command, acting boss Sam Giancana becomes a target of the federal government, drawing more unwanted attention to the organization.
There's a degree of flamboyance to Sam Giancana, which in a way is bad for the Outfit and bad for organized crime because they really like to fly under the radar.
And Tony Accardo got upset with him.
narrator: But just as tensions between the two mob kingpins reach a breaking point, one phone call changes everything.
This is Sam.
Tony: Joe Kennedy?
What does he want?
A sit down.
What do you think he's after?
I don't know.
But if he wants to talk, I think we should hear what he has to say.
Set the meeting.
narrator: Joseph P. Kennedy is a self-made businessman whose net worth is valued at an estimated $300 million dollars, placing him among the top 20 richest people in America.
Now, he's using his power to build a political dynasty, and he'll stop at nothing to make it happen.
(chatter and piano playing)
What can we do for you?
Well, this is a little unusual.
The upcoming election...
My son is running for office.
I'm sure you've read about him.
He's on all the magazine covers.
John was born to be president.
So, what are we talking about here?
What if I could use a little help from your organization?
I understand that you have a lot of pull with the union vote in Illinois.
Those electoral votes could get him across the line.
That could be the little push that could make all the difference And why would we do that?
No offense, but your other son's an assh*le.
No, no... No, it's fine.
I'm aware of the trouble Robert has been causing you.
Well, maybe I could do something about that.
You deliver the union vote in Illinois for John, and I will make sure that Robert doesn't pose any more problems for you.
We'll think about it.
T.J. English: Joe Kennedy had connections to the Outfit that ran very deep, and as far back as the 1920s, he was meeting and doing business with prominent bootleggers.
And so Kennedy is reigniting his relationship with underworld figures in Chicago in anticipation of the election.
Tony: President in our favor.
Could solve a lot of problems.
And Robert Kennedy gone for good.
narrator: Sam Giancana's latest assignment could get him back in good standing with Accardo.
All he has to do is help John F. Kennedy get elected president.
Frank Cullotta: I remember, guys were sent to all of us guys, and they said, "We had to get Kennedy in office."
And I said "Who wants to vote for that guy?" You know.
Sam wants it done.
"If we get this Irishman in office, we got it made."
narrator: Kennedy's campaign captures the imagination of the country.
But as election day nears, his fight against Richard Nixon for the White House tightens, turning the Outfit's home state of Illinois into a key battleground.
Robert Grant: In that 1960 election, Illinois was a critical state.
And look how close these elections are, and they're decided by a county here and a county there.
It throws the entire election off.
news reporter: A record number of Americans, upwards of 67 million go to the polls to elect the 35th President of the United States.
Citizens from Maine to Hawaii record their choices...
Good, three more times.
Same guy. Change.
So where do we stand?
The votes, uh, are still coming in, okay?
Those union votes will come, I promise you.
You'll see a peak, you will.
You better not mess this up.
narrator: With the race so close, the winner isn't declared until the next day.
Richard Nixon: While there are still some results still to come in, uh, if the present trend continues, uh, Mr. Kennedy, Senator Kennedy will be the next President of the United States.
We just got a president.
We did it.
And the Presidency.
And our President.
Did you just say something nice to me?
T.J. English: If you look at the numbers of that election, you could say that the Outfit delivering those votes in Chicago were instrumental in getting Jack Kennedy elected President.
narrator: For Giancana, JFK's election is a huge triumph that proves the disgraced gangster still has something to offer, and he wastes no time celebrating.
Everybody drink, come on!
That is good. (laughing)
David Eisenbach: Sam Giancana is kind of a funny gangster, um...
He would boast about stealing the election for Kennedy.
Whoo! To me and us and mainly the ladies.
narrator: But just weeks after John F. Kennedy takes office, his brother, Robert is named Attorney General.
The face of organized crime has changed.
Though crimes of v*olence still occur, the modern criminal has become more sophisticated about the planning and perpetration of his activities.
And we are working very hard to develop a coordinated effort to curb the hoodlums and racketeers and put them in jail.
The mob is outraged.
They were angry about the fact that...
"How could this be happening after what we did for the father, for Joe Kennedy?"
narrator: After months of failing to put a stop to Giancana, Robert F. Kennedy now has the power he needs to launch a full scale investigation into the mobster.
narrator: To the Chicago Mob's surprise, when Robert F. Kennedy takes office as the new U.S. Attorney General in 1961, he makes his top priority going after organized crime.
And one of his primary targets is the Outfit.
Where do we stand on Vegas?
man: Still nothing.
Nevada's Attorney General has been unresponsive.
Then get him on the phone, and tell him if Nevada won't cooperate, I will raid every one of their casinos.
I will shut down gambling across the entire state if I have to.
And then in Chicago?
How many agents do I have on the ground?
No, I need 60 agents down there immediately.
I want to know what Giancana and Accardo are up to every second of the day.
If those two buy a stick of gum, I wanna know about it.
It's an interesting question about why Robert Kennedy was so determined to go after the Mafia.
Robert Kennedy did see the world in black and white terms, much more than his brother.
He sees going after organized crime as a justified mission and as a way of building his own fame and, and his launching his own political career.
man 1: Yes, sir.
man 2: Yes, sir. Gentlemen.
narrator: As Kennedy's investigation ramps up, he goes out of his way to target mob boss Sam Giancana.
Hey, sweetheart, how are you?
You visiting soon?
Sam: Yeah, I've been meaning to come out there as, uh, soon as possible.
How about Saturday?
woman: In time for dinner?
Yeah, I'll take you to your favorite spot.
Kennedy was willing to go after the mob by any means necessary.
A lot of it was done through surveillance and wiretaps that were unauthorized by law.
narrator: Over the coming months, Giancana is followed everywhere he goes.
David: Sam Giancana is being trailed by federal agents 24/7.
They stake out his house.
They're literally following him on the golf course.
This was without question harassment.
(cocktail music playing, dining room chatter)
Why aren't you eating?
(taking deep breath)
John Binder: The FBI clearly knew that Giancana was fairly unstable.
He was prone to violent outbursts, getting very, very upset.
So, their strategy is to try and get to him by needling him in various ways.
They're just trying to get a rise out of you.
Don't give them the satisfaction.
man: Something the matter?
I catch you two snooping around me again, and I promise you it'll be the last time.
Are you thr*at a federal agent?
man: Sir, I think you want to see this.
(pen top clicks)
Is this a joke?
narrator: With the FBI tailing his every move, Sam Giancana decides to hit back and sues the federal government for harassment.
narrator: After being wiretapped by Robert F. Kennedy and tailed around the clock by the FBI, acting mob boss Sam Giancana makes an unprecedented move and files a lawsuit against the federal government.
Judge: Mr. Giancana?
The court finds in your favor.
Court is adjourned.
narrator: In the summer of 1963, a judge rules that the FBI has gone too far, ordering them to limit their surveillance on Giancana.
David: As a private citizen, he's being harassed by these federal agents, so, you know, "Let me take 'em to court."
He's got nothing to lose.
He kicks in this lawsuit and he wins.
narrator: But Giancana's victory is short-lived.
Hillel Levin: By suing the government, Giancana really put a target on his back in a way that was very reminiscent of Capone, I'm sure, for Accardo.
narrator: Fed up with Giancana's antics, Tony Accardo calls a meeting with his co-boss, Paul Ricca, who's recently been released after serving 27 months in prison.
Tony: First, he kidnaps Eddie Jones.
I let it slide.
Then he goes to the Tribune.
I turn a blind eye.
Now he sues the FBI.
If he carries on this way, he's gonna get us all busted.
What do you suppose we do?
We settle things... permanently.
I won't get in the way.
John Binder: Well, in organized crime, you don't want to k*ll anybody you don't have to, but... the Giancana lawsuit against the FBI is probably another straw on the camel's back.
Paul Ricca finally has enough.
With the gate closed, 7-1/2 with the gate open.
Plush floors and big wide doors give you this kind of easy entrance.
So simple to clean too.
Just whisk out dust and dirt.
From stem to stern, plenty of head room, leg room and seat width for, that's right, six passengers.
And you can ride in comfort in any kind of weather with the top gate open.
Complete ventilation even when it rains.
Do yourself a favor, see your...
(dramatic music playing on TV)
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a bit of information.
President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connelly sh*t by an assassin today in Dallas, Texas.
We do not know officially at this moment as to whether the President is alive or d*ad.
narrator: Before Ricca and Accardo can put their plan in motion, an event changes the course of history.
On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy, the man the Outfit helped elect, is sh*t and k*lled in Dallas at the age of 46.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
narrator: After his brother is assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy steps down from his post as Attorney General.
I would say no group benefited more from the assassination of John F. Kennedy than the Outfit.
Bobby Kennedy as Attorney General had put tremendous resources into investigating and indicting organized crime figures.
And those investigations dropped to almost nothing after, uh, the assassination.
This he describes as the government of organized gambling, narcotics peddling...
narrator: But a new thr*at to the Outfit soon emerges when the government begins an investigation into Kennedy's assassination, with rumors already circulating that the mafia could have been involved.
There are a lot of people who think organized crime had something to do with it.
Was Lee Harvey Oswald a mob hit man?
And here's Jack Ruby just coming in and sh**ting Lee Harvey Oswald on live television.
How could this happen?
Nobody knows, and I don't know that we ever will.
narrator: With pressure on the mob intensifying, Accardo knows it's no time for a high profile hit, so he has to come up with another way to get rid of his second-in-command for good.
You wanted to see me?
Take those stupid glasses off.
Take them off.
I'm going to lay out what's going to happen very clearly.
And I don't want to hear a word out of your mouth until I'm finished.
At which point, the only words I want to hear from you are, "Yes, I understand."
What the hell is this?
What did I just say?
After today, you're gonna have nothing more to do with the organization.
Immediately after you leave here, you're going to pack your bags for Mexico, and you're never coming back.
You're really letting him do this?
This is coming from both of us.
You should be thankful you get to leave with your life.
It's the best deal you're ever going to get from me.
Hillel: The power of Accardo at that stage was so absolute, he really didn't have to k*ll Giancana.
He could truly just push him aside, as far aside as Mexico.
narrator: Tony Accardo and Paul Ricca force Sam Giancana out of the organization.
But even with Giancana gone, Accardo knows the Feds won't stop coming after them.
narrator: If Tony Accardo has learned anything from his mentor Al Capone, it's that a high profile in the Mafia never pays off.
And now, Accardo's determined to tie up loose ends before the government has a chance to take him down.
Tony Accardo was very, very good at his chosen profession.
He was very, very good at avoiding getting imprisoned.
Accardo was also good at insulating himself from things, and therefore made it harder for the federal government to get at him.
Gentlemen, good to see you.
Good to see you.
Good to see you. Take a seat, please.
narrator: On March 27, 1967, Accardo sells one of his top Vegas hotels, the Desert Inn, to eccentric billionaire, Howard Hughes.
Michael Green: Now, when Howard Hughes buys the DI, he's cashing out organized crime interests.
They don't have the organizational responsibility.
Now it's Hughes' problem.
And they get a big influx of cash because Hughes had money.
narrator: Accardo's deal with Hughes ushers in a new era in Las Vegas.
Michael: Hughes ends up cashing out the Outfit and other investors at the Sands.
He ends up buying the Frontier Hotel, which always had connections to the Outfit in Chicago.
narrator: Then, in 1969, the Nevada Gaming Commission makes it legal for corporations to buy casinos.
Michael: The Corporate Gaming Act is Nevada's effort to attract Wall Street capital.
This is their chance to legitimize the industry.
narrator: The Outfit cashes out more of their casinos, and according to some, they walk away with an estimated $400 million in today's money.
Meyer Lansky II: When the Chicago Outfit exited Las Vegas at the time, they knew their time was coming to an end.
They sold out for a good profit.
They had their day, and they moved on.
narrator: But shortly after the Outfit cashes out of Vegas, Tony Accardo receives devastating news.
On October 11, 1972, his friend of 40 years who served with him under Al Capone and helped create one of the most powerful crime organizations in the country, Paul Ricca, dies of a heart att*ck.
Paul Ricca, his legacy was ushering in the reign of Tony Accardo.
He was someone who emulated a lot of corporate America.
This was something he initiated which Accardo picked up.
They were really looking at major businesses and how they were organized to determine how they would organize the mob here in Chicago.
John Kass: Paul "The Waiter" Ricca, the boss of organized crime in Chicago and in the United States, and the reason people don't hear about him is because he was a master criminal.
And master criminals don't want to be heard about.
narrator: Not long after Paul Ricca's death, Tony Accardo gets more bad news.
You're not going to like this.
What is it?
He's back in town.
Word is, he's been talking with the Feds.
Thanks for letting me know.
narrator: With nearly three decades worth of information on the Outfit, Accardo knows that Giancana is not only a thr*at to him but to the future of the entire Chicago Mafia.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
narrator: After seven years of forced exile in Mexico, Sam Giancana, the number one thr*at to Outfit boss Tony Accardo is back in town.
And word quickly gets out that he's talking to the Feds.
If Sam Giancana had walked into the FBI office and offered his services, it would have been a golden opportunity.
He would have been a high enough ranking official.
It would have been unheard of cooperation.
(Sitar music playing)
(car door opens)
(car door closes)
former bodyguard: Sam!
I'm cooking sausage, you want some?
How was Mexico?
You'd love it down there.
Yeah, but it's good to be back.
I'm gonna make some new moves out here.
Joe know about it?
He won't like it.
But he never liked anything I did anyway.
The one thing I've learned, though...
No one's gonna look out for you except for you, you know?
(g*n through sil*ncer)
narrator: On June 19, 1975, Sam Giancana is sh*t to death in the basement of his suburban home in Oak Park, Illinois, by an unknown assassin.
Robert Grant: One speculation is, whoever came, he knew personally, which would be natural, you know, because he was at risk at that point.
He would not have let anybody in that house who didn't befriend him.
Robert Lombardo: Giancana's strengths as a gangster was his ability to make money, his ability to use v*olence.
His weaknesses were that, the publicity that he garnered, he became just, just too hot to handle.
Robert: He had to be removed 'cause he just knew too much.
narrator: To this day, speculation surrounds Giancana's death.
But for some, there's little doubt.
Absolutely, Tony Accardo ordered the ultimate m*rder of Sam Giancana.
You do not whack anybody out in that group without getting permission, plain and simple.
news reporter: Private funeral services for Sam Giancana were held today and John Drummond was there.
narrator: Despite Giancana's status in the Outfit...
news reporter: ...were on hand to pay their last respects, Outfit bigwigs were conspicuous by their absence at the services held at the...
narrator: ...Tony Accardo orders that no member of the Chicago Outfit attend his funeral.
Then, just over a month after Giancana's death, outspoken former Outfit partner, Jimmy Hoffa, disappears the same day he agreed to meet with two men connected to the mob.
Michael: When Jimmy Hoffa was k*lled, my mother said, "They threw him in the Detroit River, and nobody can survive that."
Well, who k*lled Hoffa?
It's pretty clear there are organized crime connections.
And whoever did it, the Chicago Outfit had to be okay with it.
narrator: Jimmy Hoffa's remains are never found, but many believe his disappearance is all part of Accardo's plan to tie up loose ends in the Mafia so that he can finally leave his life as a mob boss behind.
narrator: In the wake of Al Capone's enormous success and spectacular downfall, only one Outfit member from his era remains...
His former bodyguard, Tony Accardo.
Tony Accardo's legacy as a gangster, I would have to say was probably one of the smoothest...
I almost want to use the word "unassuming," but if you knew Accardo, he knew what he was doing.
narrator: To maintain a low profile, Accardo kept a job as a beer salesman for Fox Head Brewing Company, even filing income tax returns.
But over the years, he also built a diverse business portfolio that included trucking companies, restaurants, coal and lumber operations, earning him an untold fortune.
Hillel: I mean, you look at this individual who had a sixth grade education, and he becomes, over the course of his 50-year reign of the mob, an extremely sophisticated person who really took organized crime to a level that no other mob leader took it.
Tony Accardo should be known to people as a true legend in organized crime.
And he isn't.
And I think he wanted it that way.
narrator: In 1992, after a career in the mafia spanning nearly 70 years, the mob boss dies peacefully, surrounded by family...
Having never spent a day in prison.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
But while Accardo earns a reputation as one of the most powerful mafia kingpins ever, The Outfit's success goes back to the early days of bootlegging, when Al Capone's mentor, Johnny Torrio, decided to structure the Chicago mob to run like a business.
We'll be producing enough booze to supply every one of your joints for pennies on the dollar.
Johnny Torrio, more than anybody else, invented the concept of organized crime and of syndicates and of lines of authority.
narrator: Al Capone continued Torrio's methods, but also expanded the Italian g*ng's grip on the city by ruthlessly taking over territory.
We need to hit them, hit them hard.
His hold on Chicago rackets, and eventually rackets beyond, was extraordinary.
This is what happens.
No, please... (groaning)
Maybe of all the gangsters that ever lived, Al Capone is the most famous.
What made him stand out was a certain charisma, was a style that Al had.
He wasn't afraid to express himself vocally...
There's enough business here for all of us without k*lling each other in the streets like animals.
William: ...and to be an outgoing guy.
That, combined with the historical record of what he did, in terms of his v*olence and the way that he lived, it just makes him memorable for all eternity.
narrator: In the wake of Capone's success, Frank Nitti, Paul Ricca, and Tony Accardo took what they learned from the kingpin and expanded the Outfit to become the largest organized crime group in America.
This is a beautiful ledger sheet.
narrator: In the process, Al Capone and the Chicago Outfit changed the course of American history.
We just got a President.
New York gets the publicity, New York is the soap opera.
But for most of the 20th century, Chicago and the leaders, who you don't even know, were the ones who ran things from one end to the other...
The gambling industry, the movie industry.
Always a pleasure.
That was the genius of the Outfit.
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02x08 - Last Man Standing
Episode transcripts for the 2015 TV mini-series "The Making of the Mob: New York", and "The Making of the Mob: Chicago" (July 11, 2016).
"The Making of the Mob" begins in 1905 and spans more than 50 years, tracing the original five families that led to the modern American Mafia, including the rise of Charles Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Benjamin Bugsy Siegel.
- New York (June 15 - August 3, 2015)
- Chicago (July 11, 2016 - )
1 post • Page 1 of 1
1 post • Page 1 of 1