Framing Roger Touhy for the kidnapping began the very day that Jake the Barber reappeared. The Chicago newspapers were already quoting Captain Daniel Tubbo Gilbert, the powerful and notoriously corrupt chief investigator for the Cook County States Attorney's Office who, without evidence was already accusing the Touhy gang of having kidnapped Factor.
Gilbert's accusation didn't surprise Roger Touhy in the least; he knew Gilbert hated him. At one time, Gilbert, who was slightly older than Roger, had been close friends with Tommy Touhy. Gilbert and Tommy had known each other since their childhood in the Valley. There Gilbert's upbringing was just as harsh as Tommy's. At age eleven, Gilbert left grammar school and went to work as a wagon-boy at the train depot that once dominated the Valley's center. Within a few years, Gilbert was elected Secretary of the Baggage and Parcel Delivery Union, local 725, when his opponent in the race withdrew after being shot between the legs in mid-election.
Ambitious, Gilbert went on to the governing council of the Chicago Teamsters Union and was then appointed to the Chicago police force on the day the United States entered the first World War. While on the force, Gilbert pursued a separate career in union politics, keeping his position as the Secretary Treasurer of the Baggage and Parcel Drivers Union which he ruled by brute force, fear and intimidation.
During one strike, called by the membership without his authority, Gilbert was so enraged he beat the strike leader so badly that he was indicted for assault with intent to kill. The indictment was later suspended with leave to reinstate. Mysteriously though the records disappeared from the criminal courts building when the Kefauver committee arrived in Chicago in 1951.
On the force, Tubbo earned a reputation as a cop on the make, a thick-necked bully, quick with his fist. He rose through the ranks with lightning speed because he openly engaged in city politics. He was smart enough to surround himself with capable and bright underlings. But in 1923 Gilbert was still a beat cop supplementing his income by shaking down small time bootleggers like Roger Touhy.
One afternoon Gilbert called Roger into the station and told him he wanted $5 for every barrel that rolled through his district even if it was near beer, because the city's biggest bootlegger, Johnny Torrio, had his breweries closed by federal order. As a result, payoff money had gotten tight. Roger told Gilbert that he assumed his friendship with his brother Tommy had taken care of finances but Gilbert made it clear that friendship and money were two different issues.
Roger, as cocky as ever, told Gilbert that he expected to pay for protection but that Gilbert's asking price was exorbitant since a single barrel cost Roger $12. If he had to pay Gilbert $5 on every barrel plus an additional $5 to his drivers, then he would have to go out of business. Gilbert held tight to his asking price and Roger refused to budge, so Gilbert had all of his trucks impounded. Roger walked over to the 27th Ward Democratic Club where he knew he would find Gilbert, and told him that the trucks he impounded were loaded with near beer and therefore legal, and that he wanted the trucks released.
Gilbert said he didn't care if it was near beer or the real thing. He wanted $5 a barrel to release the trucks but again Roger refused to pay and, being on the right side of the law for once, threatened to take his complaint to Gilbert's superiors.
Gilbert relented and accompanied Roger back to the police impound yard and while others watched and listened, Gilbert made a loud apology for what he termed "this unfortunate oversight"and assigned several policemen to reload the trucks. When the trucks were reloaded, Gilbert pulled Roger aside, his face red with fury, and said, "I don't care what kind of beer comes into this district it's a fin a barrel or no beer comes into the district at all."
Roger told Gilbert he would pay $1.50 a barrel for protection, the going rate, and that was all that he would pay. The argument went around and around and for the next six months. Gilbert continued to stop every Touhy truck that he could find and Touhy still refused to pay. Thus the lifelong feud between Tubbo Gilbert and Roger Touhy continued.
Now, in 1933, Tubbo Gilbert was sitting comfortably in the syndicate's palm and was part of the conspiracy to frame Roger Touhy for John Factor's kidnapping. But, no matter how much Gilbert and the mob tried to build up the kidnapping tale, by the end of the summer of 1933, the story was starting to unravel. As more and more of the seamy details of his criminal career came out in the newspapers, the public was beginning to doubt that Factor had been abducted at all.
As the wall closed in on him, Factor's only choice was to bring the public's sympathies back to his side, while at the same time building a better case against Roger Touhy. Through his contacts within Touhy's gang, Factor was able to get in touch with a Tennessee moonshiner turned mail bandit, Isaac Costner, who was loosely associated with one of Touhy's top men, Basil Hugh Banghart.
Factor told Costner that he had kidnapped himself to avoid extradition and that he needed to build up his story and that he would pay Costner a $25,000 fee to make the kidnapping look real. For this fee Factor insisted Costner would have to bring Basil Banghart into the deal. Costner assured him that he would.
Basil Hugh Banghart had been born in Berryville, Michigan in 1900 and finished one year of college before he became a professional car thief, stealing some 100 autos in Detroit in three months in 1926 before he was arrested and imprisoned. Sociologists rated him as "a professional, sophisticated criminal, who is astute, well poised, alert, but without social conscience or scruples. He used his I. Q. of 117 to learn to drive a train and fly an airplane...and steal cars."
Assigned to a window-washing detail in Atlanta Federal Prison, Banghart made his first escape by leaping some twenty-five feet from a window into a marsh on the other side of the prison's walls. He eventually made his way to Montana, but was recaptured and sent back to Atlanta.
His second escape from Atlanta was with the legendary mail robber Gerald Chapman in 1927, but again, he was re-captured. Banghart was escorted back to prison by a U.S. Marshal with a stop over at the Federal building in Baltimore where Banghart was left in an office alone for several minutes. Banghart used the time to call the local police, telling them he was an FBI agent who had been overpowered and handcuffed by the prisoner he was escorting back to prison, "a dangerous, armed felon and a police imposter" he said. The police rushed to the building, arrested the marshal and released Banghart who was re-captured once again in Knoxville a year later and returned to Atlanta.
He escaped yet again and was arrested in Detroit for armed robbery and was being held in the South Bend, Indiana jail when he escaped one more time by throwing pepper in a guard's face, grabbing his machine gun and shooting his way to freedom. This time Banghart successfully made his way to Chicago and went to work for Roger Touhy as a gunner and mail robber.