Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on November 18, 1956 · Page 183
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 183

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 18, 1956
Page 183
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Fit for a racket Icing: Tony Accardo's 22 room shack in River Forest has bowling alleys, a $10,000 bathtub. CONCLUDING THE SERIES: INSIDE THE CRIME SYNDICATE TOOW ACCARDO LOWES DT UPS . Ch icago's Top Hoodlum Rattles Around in a $500,000 House And He Feels Sentimental About July 4 By Virgil Peferson Operating Director, Chicago Crime Commission TONY ACCARDO's 22 room palace in exclusive River Forest stands as a bold monument for all the world to see that crime in Chicago pays and pays well. For more than three decades the Capone gang has been able to preserve its golden toirch. Accardo dwells in baronial elegance in his $500,000 stone house at 815 Frank-litr av., River Forest. The home has two bowling alleys, an indoor swimming pool with an open air garden on its roof, a pipe organ, a billiard room, a two story reception hall, and a social room 40 by 24- feet. There are six master bedrooms and six bathrooms, three with gold plated fixtures. Tony roughs it in a $10,000 bathtub cut from a solid block of Mexican onyx. His telephone, as befits a celebrity, is unlisted. One of his cars each year bears the fashionably low Illinois license number, 736. The great English style house, built in 1930 as a whim of William C. 32 , WfjfrfrJ' -ar" '4 Tony is a debonair host every July 4 to all his hoodlum pals. Grunow, millionaire radio pioneer, was bought by Accardo in 1951 at the reported bargain price of $125,000. The purchase was something of a social upgrading for the Accardos, who simultaneously sold their $80,000 home elsewhere in River Forest. On July 4 each year Accardo, now 50 years old, throws a lavish party on his estate for his friends. Independence day has a sentimental meaning to Tony and his syndicate men. Few people anywhere at any time have enjoyed such complete independence from the rules of society. Among those identified at Accardo's July 4 celebrations in 1954 and 1955 were Jack Guzik, syndicate lieutenant for 30 years; Gus Alex, gambling bigwig; Mike Spranze, once a bodyguard for Al Capone; Frank La Porte, partner of Accardo in the Owl club; Joseph Glim co, boss of a local taxicab drivers' union and a juke box distributor; Ralph Pierce, an intimate associate of Capone when the gang lord's power was at its height; "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio, near north side racket boss and the running mate of Albert (Obie) Frabotta, a convicted bank robber; Jack Cerone, handbook operator and beer distributor; Joseph Aiuppa, Cicero gambling lord and manufacturer of gambling equipment, whose car each year bears Illinois license plates 711-711, as befits such an outstanding sportsman; Joe Amato, McHenry county racket boss and juke box distributor; Rocco DeGrazio, Melrose Park racket czar; Leslie Kruse, gambling casino manager; Rocco Fischetti, top flight Capone gangster for three decades, and numerous others with similar backgrounds. Accardo's annual party on July 4, 1956, was another gala affair attended by many of the same underworld leaders who had been the gang chief's guests in previous years. Also present were Joe Di Varco, better known as Joey Caesar, a north side racket boss; Johnny Drew, head of the Golden hotel-Bank club gambling casino in Reno, Nev., until recent months; Claude Maddox, partner of Joe Aiuppa and a big-wig in Cicero syndicate affairs; Hy Godfrey, long time associate of Sam (Golf Bag) Hunt; Francis Curry, slot machine king and powerful syndicate boss in Joliet, 111.; Charles English, barred from Arlington park race track two years ago as an undesirable; John Varies, once arrested as keeper of a notorious gambling joint located at 4807 W. Cermak rd. in Cicero; Larry Rassano, an armed robbery ex-convict who has been arrested as an employee in Aiuppa's gambling place; Dominic Volpe, a beer sales company official and an associate of State Representative James Adduci, and James Celano, the proprietor of a tailor shop frequented by gang leaders. Other honored guests enjoying Accardo's hospitality included convicted armed robbers; an ex-convict burglar who has served sentences in two state prisons, escaping from one of them; a theater owner, a dairy company representative, an automobile dealer, a plastering company official, and Accardo's sister who was on the payroll of .State Auditor Orville Hodge until shortly before scandal drove him out of office. Possibly to make certain that the guests would not shoot off fireworks in violation of local ordinances, there was present the chief of police of a suburban town where gambling flourished until recent years. Arriving too late to adorn the festivities were three 24-foot palm trees which Accardo purchased in Florida to give a tropical atmosphere to his patio. They were shipped late in July, 1956, by air freight. Actually, of course, the freight for all the luxury and wealth in which the syndicate leaders roll is paid for by the public. It is the public that has footed the bills for the millions of dollars extorted from the moving picture industry, the tribute exacted from labor organizations and legitimate business, the toll taken from poor people and other suckers by the gambling racket, and the increased taxes stemming from corrupt, and expensive government, the inevitable product of alliances between the racketeers and officials. Chicago Sunday Tribune MAGAZINE

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