A few days before Roger was released from prison, retired Rabbi Harry Zinn walked the few blocks from his home to the rental apartment building he owned, directly across the street from Roger's sister's house.
Zinn was there because one of his tenants said that she had seen a rough-looking man loitering in the building over the past several days and the Rabbi should come over and investigate. He walked around the property and then went down into the building's basement to check the boilers. As he rounded a corner in the dark cellar, he spotted a rough-looking man, with a dark complexion, staring out of a basement window at Touhy's sister's house. Zinn noted the expensive fur-lined tan-colored winter waist coat and knew it wasn't a street bum who had come in out of the cold.
Sensing Zinn's presence the man spun around, glared at the old rabbi and said, "What are you doing here?"
Zinn asked, "Who are you?"
The stranger was flushed. "I'm just checking on my kid, my son, he's running around with some broad in this neighborhood."
Even as he spoke, the stranger was walking toward Zinn and then suddenly brushed past him, almost knocking the old man over as he ran up the stairs to the front door of the building with Zinn in pursuit. By the time Zinn made it to the street, the stranger had disappeared. If the hit men had learned anything from watching Ethel's house, it was that killing Roger Touhy wouldn't be easy. The old bootlegger had taken precautions. He refused to leave home unless he had one of his two "watchdogs," as he called them, with him, and both of those watchdogs were cops.
Ethel's son, Mike, was a twenty-three-year-old policeman and part-time law student who traveled around town with his uncle when time allowed.
The other problem was the other cop-Walter J. Miller-then sixty-two years old. Back in 1932, Tubbo Gilbert assigned Miller to guard Factor for three months after Jake appeared on the streets of LaSalle.
So if they were going to kill Touhy, they would probably have to kill one of the two cops with him, the old one would be easier, but if they had to kill the young one, well so be it. But still, even for the Chicago outfit, cop killing was more or less a forbidden act. Touhy's suit threatened the whole casino operation and his death warranted bringing down the risk of killing a cop.
Roger never feared for his life; that wasn't why he had the two men travel with him. "If I have Mike and Walter with me," he told Ray Brennan, "they won't be able to pin a phoney parole violation on me. They'll never hit me. They'll try to frame me for a parole violation probably, but they'll never hit me."
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