A Valentine’s Day Tragedy

Most think of Valentine’s Day as the holiday where love blossoms, or the holiday where single individuals can buy copious amounts of candy and not be judged by others. However, some know it for a much more brutal event.

The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in North Clark Street, Chicago on Feb. 14 1929. The massacre involved one of the most notorious gangs: the Al Capone gang and the George Moran gang.

“Al Capone gang…lined their opponents up against a wall, and shot them in cold blood,” said Britannica.

 The victims of this brutal assault were Adam Heyer, Pete Gusenberg, Frank Gusenberg, John May, Al Weinshank and James Clark (all members of the George Moran gang), as well as a visitor, Reinhardt Schwimmer.

The four men from the Al Capone gang were dressed as the Chicago PD when they entered the garage owned by George “Bugs” Moran and shot the seven men. While Moran thought his gunmen were being arrested in a police raid, they were actually being shot by the Al Capone gang.

This massacre, although not the first bloody attack by the Al Capone gang, has filtered through the media, leading many to have heard of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. However, many do not know the reason as to why Al Capone murdered these gang members.

Al Capone and Bugs Moran had been feuding over smuggling and trafficking operations in The Windy City, Chicago. However, when Moran placed a $50,000 bounty for Capone’s capture, Capone prepared a plan to “get even” with the gang leader.

 Although many people see the massacre for what it was: gang violence due to a dispute in territory, some believe this story may have a broader message about the Prohibition age, the age in which the private selling of alcohol was illegal.