Tommy Touhy was cut up badly. This was a major setback for the Cermak-Touhy operation since Tommy was the organization's field general. Unlike the pensive and remote Roger, Tommy was earthy and gregarious, gifted with a natural charisma that his group trusted. He was their motivator. Without him, the gang was in trouble.
Despite the recent small victories that White had scored for the syndicate it was undeniable that the mouse was still eating the lion. Against all odds, the Touhy-Cermak combination was winning the street war. The 42 Gang, the syndicate's front-line troops, were tough and fearless, but they were wild and undisciplined and the Touhys were picking them off with ease. Other, more seasoned syndicate hoods were turning up dead at the rate of one every other day The Chicago Tribune put the number of casualties as high as seventy dead in one six-month period. At the same time, the federal government was closing in on the syndicate, deporting hundreds of reliable operatives and throwing most of the remaining syndicate power players in jail.
Although the Touhys had taken their share of a beating, they could hold out in the fight for a couple years more. They were smaller, tighter and more organized than the remains of Capone's mob and they had the resources to hire the best gunmen money could buy.
Chasing the syndicate out of the Teamsters had assured them ready access to the union's enormous pension fund, and the Teamsters' top leadership was backing Touhy's war against the syndicate.
Then there was Tony Cermak, who remained Touhy's strongest ally. As long as they had Cermak on their side, they controlled the police and City Hall.
It was clear to Paul Ricca that the key to ending the war was to kill Anton Cermak. For its inability to take back the streets from Touhy, Chicago looked ridiculous in the eyes of the new national crime syndicate. Worse yet, the New York mobs were taking advantage of the disorder in Chicago by planting their flags in Los Angeles, Florida, Arkansas, Nevada and Texas. They had to kill Cermak. The war had to end.