Zangara, Giuseppe:

Zangara, Giuseppe: Born 1900 Died 1933 Almost 70 years ago, an enigmatic Italian immigrant bricklayer named Giuseppe Zangara momentary leaped onto history’s stage and took a misguided shot at President-elect Franklin Roosevelt and, accidentally, killed Chicago’s reform mayor, Anton Cermak. Or so the story goes. But over the next six-and-a-half decades, the shooting only created more questions than it answered. Who was Zangara, and who was his intended victim Anton Cermak, and did the Chicago Mob order the killing? The recent discovery of lost government records can now answer those questions and forever seal the case of the Guns of Zangara. Like most Mob murders, it started over money, greed and the lust for power. In 1931, the labor rackets business in Chicago was worth $145,000,000.00 or about a half billion dollars in today’s value. In fact, unions were such easy prey for gangsters that before prohibition, the Mob saw control of labor unions, not bootleg beer, as the quickest route to riches. Now, in 1931, with repeal closing in, and the national depression curbing the Outfit’s gambling business, Al Capone pulled out all stops in his drive to control the labor unions in Chicago. Capone’s gangsters invaded so many union locals that Frank Loesch, President of the Chicago Crime Commission, estimated that Capone ran two out of every three unions in Chicago. As Capone terrorized his way into more teamster locals, the union bosses fled out to suburban Des Plains to live under mobster Roger Touhy’s protection.
The Touhy brothers, Roger, Tommy and Eddie were the last serious threat to Capone’s might. The brothers, safely tucked away in the still mostly undeveloped portion of northern Cook County, had grown rich from Prohibition and gambling and the ability to avoid big political payoffs and long-drawn-out beer wars. By 1932, they had the money, the manpower and the firepower to take over the entire Chicago Teamsters’ organization without having to split any of the proceeds with Capone.
Patty Burrell, the Teamsters Vice President, called a meeting of all the locals threatened by Capone and gave them a choice. They could stand-alone against Capone, and lose their unions and probably their lives, or they could move their operations under the Touhy’s’ protection. They would still lose a large portion of their treasury to the Touhy’s, but at least they’d be alive. Most of the union bosses knew Roger Touhy from their childhood. He had a solid reputation as a union organizer in his youth and compared to Capone at least, he was still evil, but at the least, he was the lesser of the two evils. The bosses would go with Touhy. After the meeting, Burrell sent union boss Jerry Horan to Roger’s house with $75,000 in cash for a defense fund. Touhy used that money, plus an additional $75,000 from his own pocket, to hire an army of thugs to fend off Capone’s pending assault. Touhy’s defiance didn’t come without a price. The Capone’s killed one of the brothers, and attempted to kidnap his children. Then, on October 25, 1931, the unbelievable happened. Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to ten years in prison. That same day, Capone gunmen gunned down Matt Kolb, Touhy’s business partner and financier,[1] as well as the source of Touhy’s enormous political clout, inside his speakeasy, the Club Morton. With Kolb dead, the price for political protection went through the roof. Touhy would have to find a Kolb replacement soon and Anton Cermak was just off on the horizon. Once Cermak had smashed the gamblers into submission he would need someone dependable to act as his collector and street boss, the mayor’s personal bagman. Enter Teddy Newberry, a lifelong gangster, who had been with Bugs Moran and then the Aillo, and finally with Capone until his career ended.
After several months of acting as Cermak’s street supervisor, Teddy Newberry sat down with Anton Cermak in the summer of 1931 and worked out a deal. As Newberry and Cermak saw it, with Capone and most of his top men behind bars, or on the run from the law, what was left of the syndicate would easily fall apart. The fact that Roger Touhy was winning his shooting war against the Mob was another plus for them. All that was left, according to Newberry, to topple the Chicago syndicate, was to kill the head and then watch the body die. Enter Roger Touhy. Anton Cermak, who had known Touhy for Roger Touhy for decades, wanted Touhy to join forces with him and Teddy Newberry to help them jointly run the underworld in Chicago and the Midwest. In 1959, Touhy told the Illinois parole board that in early 1933, Newberry and Cermak called him down to city hall for a discussion. In a meeting in the mayor’s office, Cermak and Newberry urged Touhy to wage a larger war with the Mob, but Touhy laughed it off saying he didn’t have the strength to fight the Nitti organization, which could muster at least 500 gunmen within a week’s time. Cermak said, “You can have the entire police department.”
Touhy eventually agreed, and Cermak lived up to his end of the bargain. He sent word down to his police commanders that Roger Touhy was to be cooperated with in his war against the syndicate for control of the Chicago Teamsters .The number of Capone men killed after Cermak took office tripled in two years. Someone hundred gangsters were killed in ambushes and street fights. For a while, the hoods fell at a rate of one gangland murder a day with most of the dead coming from the syndicate’s ranks.
James Doherty, a crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune recalled: “It was a war, chiefly, between the Irish and the Italians. I’m Irish and I’d come into my office in the morning after another shoot-out and I would say to my co-worker, who was Italian, “Well that’s one to my side” and the next day he would come and say “Well, it’s leveled Jim,” we chalked one up on our side last night.” For a while, it was going well for the upstarts. Almost too well. The Touhy’s gunned down the syndicate’s lead labor plunderer, Red Barker, the government jailed the equally deadly Murray Humphreys, and Cermak’s hoods shot down Frank Nitti. They were so close. They had chased the syndicate out of the Teamsters and had ready access to the pension funds. They owned city hall and the police. Then the tide started to turn. First, Teddy Newberry’s dead body showed up on the bitter cold evening of January 7, 1933. He was found lying face down in a ditch in Porter county, Indiana.      After Newberry was killed, Tony Cermak lost his nerve. Tony was absolutely certain that the Outfit had pegged Louis “Short Pants” Campagna; (
2927 Maple Street
) Al Capone’s former bodyguard was going to kill him. He may have been right. According to newsman Jack Lait, in late 1933, the syndicate’s hit men tried to blow up Cermak’s car early one morning in the middle of Chicago’s loop. After that, Cermak beefed up his security forces and moved from the Congress hotel to the Morrison hotel where he paid for a private elevator that went non-stop to his penthouse suite. He increased his city police guard from two to five officers and had detectives sent to protect his daughters and hired on private bodyguards to augment his city police detail and then took a midnight train to Miami where he owned a home. The job to end the union war with the Touhy’s and take out Anton Cermak fell to Paul Ricca, acting boss since Nitti had been shot. Ricca determined that the only way to deal with Cermak was to kill him. But, knocking off the mayor of the nation’s second largest city would bring down more heat on the Mob then Cermak ever could have gathered. Unless, of course, the murder could be thumbed off on a “nut case.” The “Nutcase” they found was Giuseppe Zangara, a hapless Italian immigrant with a gambling problem, who was into the Outfit for his eyeteeth. Zangara was born September 7, 1900, in Ferruzzano, a small and very poor village in Calabria, Italy. His mother died while he was still a small boy. His father remarried, to a women with six daughters, and Zangara, small, fragile, seldom smiling and deathly quiet, was lost in the hoard that was his new family. By all accounts Zangara’s father was an odd man, angry at the world. He had constant problems with authority and he beat his children. It was no surprise to anyone when, at age six, after Zangara’s step mother entered him into public schools, that his father withdrew him two months later. “When my father come he say me like this, he says me, ‘you don’t need school, you need work.’” Zangara, the child, went to work beside his father building roads. Later he learned the work of bricklayer, which was, in Italy of that time, still almost an art form and required years of apprenticeship. Apparently Zangara had an aptitude for the trade and at age 17 was already a mason, no small feat. Zangara the somber and unhappy child grew into Zangara the somber and unhappy man, enraged at the world because he was poor and because he was taken from school as a child. He talked about his unhappiness openly and often during his trial. Perhaps, if for no other reason, he finally had someone to listen to him.      In 1917 Zangara, then 17, was drafted into the Italian infantry and stayed in the Army for five years. While in the service, he was arrested, on October 24, 1921, for carrying a knife. He was tried and convicted but the sentence was suspended.
Discharged from the military in 1923, Zangara sailed to the United States from Naples, arriving in Philadelphia aboard the liner Martha Washington, on August 18 1923, five days before his 23rd birthday.
     He went to Patterson, New Jersey, moved in with an uncle, Vincent Cafaro, a bricklayer who landed Zangara on a job with the construction company he was working for.     As a skilled laborer and a member of the Bricklayers union #2 in Patterson, Zangara earned as much as $12.00 an hour, an extremely high hourly rate when the average national income was less then $5,600 a year.     He filed a declaration to become a citizen of the United States, doing so only because it was required by his union that all members be United States citizens or at least have filed to become citizens. The names of the witnesses on the declaration, two men, disappeared with most of the official information that surrounded Zangara’s background, but on September 11, 1929, Zangara became a United States citizen, and registered as a Republican.     Later that month, on September 28, someone named Giuseppe Zangara of Patterson, New Jersey, was arrested for running a massive, 1,000-gallon still in rural New Jersey.     When arrested Zangara used the name Sam Livari, but later changed that to Luigi DiBernardo. Arrested with him was Tony Adgostino, a known racketeer in Northern, New Jersey.     On May 26, 1930 Zangara/DiBernardo pleaded guilty to owning the still and was sentenced to one year and one day at Atlanta Federal Prison. During sentencing, United States Attorney Philip Forman, later a federal judge, asked, “Your real name is Zangara, isn’t it?” and Zangara answered that it was.     The fact that the prosecutor knew Zangara by sight implies that Zangara wasn’t a stranger around the federal courthouse. DiBernardo/Zangara entered Atlanta Federal prison, on May 26, 1930, and was paroled seven months later on December 20, 1930.    Later, when the Secret Service investigated the Cermak shooting, they accepted Zangara’s explanation for the missing seven months as his having been in Central America. Even more remarkably, when Phillips Forman, the U.S. Attorney, informed the Secret Service about Zangara’s time in prison, the agents pulled Zangara’s prison photo and compared it to a picture taken in Florida when he was arrested and determined that “They seem to match, however, our Zangara has a lower forehead but, otherwise, they match.” However, the investigating agent never followed up on the lead.
     When 1931 rolled around, Zangara started to change. He lost interest in his job and avoided people even more then he did in the past, and then, without any apparent reason, he left New Jersey for Florida. When he departed from New Jersey, he left hurriedly, leaving all of his possessions in the boarding house.     In Florida, Zangara became a gambler, a degenerate gambler, betting mostly on the horses. When he gave up on the horses, Zangara turned to the dogs, and in one incident lost $200 in one night, a huge amount of money for anyone in the depression-racked America of 1933, but a small fortune to an out-of-work bricklayer.     On February 12, 1933 Chicago city hall announced that his Honor, Anton J. Cermak of Chicago, would make an appearance in a Miami park, at night, to greet the arrival of president-elect Roosevelt. Thousands were expected to turn out for the event.     It was a godsend for the Mob. Ricca sent word down to Dave Yaras, a transplanted Chicago hood, that they were going to whack Cermak, and Yaras had to line somebody up to take the fall for the murder, a patsy. Yara reported back that he had just the man they needed.      Dead broke, Zangara took a slot in Dave Yaras’s highly secretive heroin- smuggling operation, in or about, early 1932, when he was spotted regularly around the municipal docks. According to Reverend Elmer Williams, a Chicago minister who exposed political corruption in the Windy City during the Capone and Nitti reigns, Zangara worked in Ricca’s narcotics processing plant in extreme south Florida, as a mule, transporting narcotics up to New York, a city he knew well.
In New York, Zangara turned the dope over to distribution specialists like Bugsy Siegel in Brooklyn, Longy Zwillman (1899-1959) in Jersey and others. He would collect the money for delivery and then return to Florida to run the entire cycle all over again.
According to both Williams and Jack Lait, while Zangara was on one of his runs to New York he got spotted in a Mob casino in Manhattan by a group of the New Jersey hoods that he had cheated back in 1930.    Now the hoods from New Jersey had a make on him and they brought their complaint to Ricca since, technically, Zangara was under Chicago’s protection. The New Jersey hoods wanted him so they could kill him. Even if New Jersey didn’t want him, Zangara had now been uncovered as an unreliable worker, a detriment in a racket as volatile as narcotics. So Yaras would have to deal with him.   The gangsters sat Zangara down and explained his two choices. The Mob could kill him, right then, right they’re...or Zangara could take his chances and shoot Cermak for them.
Shooting Cermak, they explained had its up side. Maybe the police would kill him. Maybe the crowd would rip him to pieces...or maybe he’d get lucky. Maybe he’d get caught after he killed Cermak. He could pretend he was insane, and, at the most, he might get, ten...maybe fifteen years on a farm for the mentally insane and then he could walk. All debts forgiven. Someone had checked. Florida, second only to Texas, as Jack Ruby later pointed out, had the most lenient laws on the books in dealing with mentally unstable criminals. Zangara may have actually believed that he was going to get away with it. When the Secret Service went into Zangara’s room after the shooting they found only a few personal items in his travel bag, which was left on his bed, neatly packed. It included clothes and three books, The Wehman Brothers Easy Method for Learning Spanish Quickly, Italian Self Taught and an English-Italian grammar book and several newspaper clippings about Roosevelt’s trip to Florida and one about the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. But, of course, the Mob had no intention of letting Zangara walk away. According to Roger Touhy, the second after Zangara fired into Cermak; a Mob assassin would plug Zangara and disappear back into the crowd.
The Miami police, Secret Service or Cermak’s private guards would get the recognition. Whoever it was, the American public would hail them as a hero.
Jack Lait, a top Chicago reporter noted: “Had Cermak escaped Zangara’s bullets another triggerman would have gotten him.” Lait was right of course, except there weren’t going to be any mistakes because Paul Ricca, the Mob’s acting boss, wouldn’t leave room for one to happen. Ricca was sending his best killers down to Florida to make sure the hit went off correctly: Three Fingers Jake White and Frankie Rio. Two days before Anton Cermak was shot, a Chicago beat cop spotted White sitting inside the main terminal of the Chicago railroad. Within minutes, several carloads of detectives were inside the station and had White and his companions, Frankie Rio and ward politician Harry Hockstien, up against the wall for a body search. The officers found nothing on the three smirking hoods except a bag of donuts and were forced to release them. White and Rio explained that they were on their way to Miami, Florida for a short vacation.
On February 14, 1933, the day before the shooting, Zangara went to Davis Pawn shop in downtown Miami, and spent eight dollars on a .32 revolver and ten bullets.
Gordon Davis, the Miami pawn broker who sold Zangara his gun along with ten bullets, admitted that he had a criminal record in Chicago and that he had known Zangara “for a long time.” Gordon said he didn’t ask Zangara why he felt he needed to purchase the revolver, “I ain’t a wet nurse, Pal,” he told a Secret Service investigator.
While still in the store he placed five bullets in the chamber and kept five in his pocket.  Then Zangara started stalking Cermak. On the day of the shooting, at about 11:30 in the morning, Zangara went to the Bostick Hotel at
217 South Miami Avenue
near the park and rented a room. He paid a dollar for the night, and was assigned to room 4. Before he entered the room, Zangara asked to see all of the exits and entrances to the hotel, then he went to his room, left the door open, sat on the edge of the bed and stared down the hallway towards the front door of the hotel. By 6:30 that evening, Zangara was gone.
What Zangara knew, although it has never been established how he knew, was that the hotel was owned by Horace and May Bostick, close friends to Anton Cermak and that they expected the Mayor to drop by that evening before going to greet the President.
“Zangara’s object in coming here,” May Bostick later told the Secret Service, “was to kill Cermak.” From the hotel, Zangara walked several blocks to cigar manufacturing plant owned by Andrea Valenti, an immigrant from Sicily who had once lived in Chicago.    Zangara and Valenti left the plant at about 7:30 P.M., walking to Bayfront Park. With them were Steve Valenti and Lorenzo Grandi, all Sicilian immigrants. The Valentis and Grandi were arrested after the Cermak shooting, questioned, and released.
With forty acres of Palm Trees and open lawns edged on to Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park was a perfect place for a political rally and an assassination. At its south end, the park held an amphitheater, with some eight thousand seats. At the very end of the amphitheater was a flat bandstand and in back of that a stage where dignitaries, including Cermak, waited for the President-elect’s arrival. By the time Zangara arrived, the park was jammed to a standing-room-only crowd of about 15,000 people. They had miscalculated badly. No one figured, not even the police, on such a large turnout. Desperate, Zangara, the Valentis and Grandi began to push, shove and kick their way through the crowd, so they could reach the bandstand. Anton Cermak wasn’t feeling well that night. While in Chicago, some bad water from a nearby canal had seeped into his hotel’s water reserves, and Cermak had drunk it, giving him a stomach infection. A lesser man would have canceled the night’s engagement, but Tony Cermak had always been an extraordinary man. Yet, when a bodyguard handed him his bulky, black bulletproof vest, Cermak said he didn’t want it. It was too humid outside and he was too weak to carry its weight. At 9:25 that evening, Roosevelt’s car entered the park, and stopped next to the bandstand area, where Cermak and the other dignitaries were seated. It was warm that night. The humidity that hung in the air was almost stifling. The coconut trees and royal palms that covered the park were bathed in red, white and blue lights, giving the entire scene and eerie feel to it. At that same moment, Zangara and his party had pushed their way up to the second isle from the bandstand and were less then 35 feet away from Roosevelt’s car, where Zangara had a clear view of FDR, whose back was to Zangara.
Roosevelt was lifted out of his seat and slid on the top of the trunk. Dressed in a white suit, with a sole floodlight beaming down on him, he was the perfect target.
He spoke to the crowd for about eight minutes, and when the speech ended, looked up, on to the reviewing stand and saw Cermak sitting in the front row, and waved for him, “Tony! Come on down here.” Smiling broadly, Cermak stood from his chair, and walked down to FDR. As he did, his bodyguards rose with him and stepped up to join him, but Cermak told them to stay on the stage. It was, he said later, unseemly for the mayor of Chicago to have more bodyguards then the President of the United States.
Cermak walked up to Roosevelt’s side of the car, the side facing Zangara and the two politicians shook hands and chatted for about three minutes. They shook hands, and agreed to talk later. It was now about 9:35. Cermak stepped away from the car and turned to his right and briefly embraced Secret Service agent Clark with his left arm. Cermak and Clark had known each other when Clark was assigned to the Chicago Office of the Secret Service. There was a brief exchange, a quick joke between them, and then, for some unknown reason, Cermak walked towards the crowd to his left, away from the stage. Perhaps, as Judge Lyle suggested, Cermak spotted Harry Hockstien, the politician who was questioned in the Chicago train station with Nitti’s shooters the night before.
Harry Hockstien had grown rich enough off of city politics to afford a mini mansion in the upscale neighborhood of Riverdale, next to Frank Nitti’s place. In fact, it was at Hochstien’s home that the Outfit meet in 1934, and decided to go through with the Brown and Bioff Hollywood extortion scandal and, a year later, in December, met there again and decided to kill union boss Tommy Maloy. Frankie Rio, it was widely known, ran Hockstien. Whatever the reason, Cermak clearly took over a dozen steps away from the stage where he was sitting and walked toward the position where Zangara was standing.
The very second Cermak stepped away from the car, a group of local businessmen, carrying with them an immense, imitation telegram welcoming FDR to Florida, surrounded the car, unknowingly forming a human shield around the President elect.
At that moment, tall blonde women, who had been sitting in the first isle, got up and left her seat empty.  Zangara leaped up onto the empty seat, drew his revolver from his pant pocket and fired rapidly, letting off five rounds, pointing the gun to his left, at Cermak, and not to his right, at Roosevelt. The first bullet hit Cermak in the right armpit, causing Cermak to grab his chest with both arms, and slowly sink to his knees. Bullets struck several other bystanders as well. Zangara said, over and over again, and the Miami Police agreed, that he never got off more than three rounds from his pistol; furthermore, Zangara’s pistol was manufactured to fire five rounds. Yet police recovered seven bullets from the scene of the shooting. The direction of Zangara’s gun when he fired was almost the only point that eyewitnesses agreed on, Zangara was shooting Cermak, not Roosevelt. As United States Representative-elect from Florida, Mark Wilcox and Chicagoan Robert Gore, whom were both standing only a few feet from Zangara, told a radio interviewer minutes after the shooting, “He was shooting at Cermak. There is no doubt about that. The killer waited until Mr. Roosevelt sat down and then fired.” Reports went out of the wires at once that Cermak had been shot by Chicago gangsters. But after the first day, there were no other mentions of gangsters being involved in the shooting. Later, while Roosevelt waited in the halls of the Jackson Memorial Hospital where Cermak was being treated, he pointed out to his Secret Service detail, that not one of the six persons shot was near him when they were hit. In fact, he pointed out, they were at least thirty feet away from him, but only two or three feet away from Cermak, and, added Roosevelt, Zangara had not fired off a single shot at him while he had a full eight-minute window during his speech. Roosevelt concluded that Zangara was “a Chicago gangster” sent to kill Cermak and said as much for the rest of his life. In 1957, Roger Touhy told the Illinois Parole Board that what really happened in Miami that night was that when Zangara started shooting, there was mass confusion. People were screaming and running, ducking and falling. Everything was happening just the way it was supposed to happen.
Two Syndicate killers, Three Fingers Jack White and Frankie Rio, both wearing badges from the Cicero Police Department, waited until Cermak fell wounded, and then stepped out from the crowd, with their .45s at ready. In a few more seconds, uniformed police, Secret Service, plain-clothes detectives and Cermak’s hired private detectives would all have their weapons drawn, so White and Rio didn’t stand out in the Mob.
They fired their .45 caliber guns towards Zangara, in an attempt to silence him, but the shots missed and nicked several bystanders instead. Then they slipped into the crowd of 10,000 confused and frightened onlookers and disappeared. All eyes were on Zangara anyway, as the angry crowd leaped on him and before police could pull him to safety. The rabble had torn off most of the little man’s clothes and beaten him badly on the face and chest. Yet Zangara never released his grip on the pistol despite the beating. When police were finally able to reach him, they disarmed him, handcuffed him and tossed into the trunk of a nearby truck, while three enormous Miami policemen sat on him all the way to the jail. The Chicago police department was certain that the shooting was a Mob hit, and requested the Miami police round up eighteen Chicagoans, all known to be in Miami, twelve of whom were known syndicate associates, and hold them for questioning. However, the arrests were never made. When Chicago reporters followed the lead, it turned out that the request had been canceled by the syndicate’s favorite State’s Attorney, Thomas Courtney, who defended his actions with the confusing statement, “My only interests were to learn if there were any Chicago gangsters involved...apparently there were not.” From his jail cell, Zangara told a Miami police detective that he “had to kill,” but he wasn’t specific on who he had to kill, because if he didn’t keep quiet, he said, “my friends will kill me tomorrow.” In sharp contrast to his lifelong behavior, after his arrest Zangara was voluble and excitable, shooting defiant looks into press cameras. At times, he was almost giddy with joy. The local jailers suspected he was having a mental breakdown, yet doctors who examined him that night declared that he was normal in every respect, even sane. Just hours into their investigation, the Secret Service was already convinced that Zangara was a communist and followed that lead, extensively and solely, even though when asked for his views on socialism, anarchism, fascism and communism, Zangara replied that they were all “foolish.” Yet, despite the lack of evidence for it, the Government’s investigators concluded that Zangara was motivated in the shooting by his political beliefs. From his hospital bed in Miami, Anton Cermak insisted that he was Zangara’s target. When his secretary arrived from Chicago, Cermak said, “So you’re alive! I figured maybe they’d shot up the office (in Chicago) too.”
He rallied again when his family arrived and arose long enough to sign a 4.2 million teachers’ payroll, but on February 27, Cermak caught pneumonia of the lungs, which caused the area around the right lung to almost double in size. Up until he lapsed into a coma, Cermak believed that he would recuperate, but at 6:57 A.M., he died. In all, Cermak held out for 19 days in a heroic struggle against colitis, pneumonia and finally gangrene. Cermak didn’t die from his bullet wounds, but it was close enough for Zangara to be placed on trial for murder. Represented by three court appointed lawyers who, although experts in their field of civil law, not one of them had ever tried a criminal case before a jury. The lawyers allowed their client to plead guilty to murder. When he did, the court sentenced him to death. Just sixty days after he was tried, Zangara strutted to the electric chair, which, when he sat in it, kept his feet from touching the floor.
The guards placed a hood over his head, while Zangara gazed out at the room of reporters and state officials to ask, “No pictures? Well, Goodbye! Adios to the world! Go ahead push the button! Viva Italia!” Just seconds before the switch was pulled Zangara turned to the prison’s warden, Leo Chapman, and smiled. Chapman had been of one of Zangara’s very few visitors in jail, and had become convinced that the tiny man wasn’t insane at all, and that he was a member of “some sort of secret criminal syndicate.” As Chapman had walked from the cell to the death chamber with Zangara, he and the Miami Police Commissioner asked Zangara if he was part of an organized group that plotted to kill Cermak. “No. I have no friends,” he replied. “It was my own idea.” But now, Zangara grinned slyly at Chapman and said, “Viva Comorra!” one of many Italian terms word for the Mafia. Then he leaned back in the chair and 2,300 volts snuffed out Zangara’s strange life. When told Zangara was dead, William Sinnot, the New York policeman who was injured in the shooting said, “I still believe he was a member of some secret society. He was no more shooting at Mr. Roosevelt that night than I was...and should be investigated further.” Ed Kelly was Chicago’s next mayor. When reporters found Kelly to tell him he was Chicago’s new Mayor, Kelly was gambling at a Mob owned racetrack in Havana.    When asked if he thought that the syndicate had anything to do with Cermak’s killing, Kelly put down his racing form and said, “Boys, let’s stop that. From now on, there’s no such thing as organized crime in the city of Chicago.”

[1] Roger Touhy claimed that Al Capone himself gunned down Kolb