Stranger Than Fiction by John Macklin
In grisly slow-motion the seven men ordered to face the wall in the seedy Chicago garage slumped to the ground and lay still. As the echo of machine-gun fire still rang around the building, five men in police uniform climbed into a black limousine and roared away.
It was February 14, 1929 and the St Valentine’s Day Massacre was over. In the most cold-blooded outrage of the Prohibition gang wars, Al Capone had rid himself of most of his deadliest rivals in the Bugs Moran gang.
And although police were never able to pin the massacre on Capone–indeed no-one was ever brought to trial for the killings–the underworld was in little doubt that he had been responsible.
Yet for the remaining 18 years of his life, Al Capone became increasingly convinced that victims he had put in the grave were now seeking revenge. Aides reported that he became preoccupied as the years went by, with the thought that “someone is out to get me.”
That “someone”, he was convinced, was James Clark, the first man to die in the St Valentine’s Day Massacre, who was Bugs Moran’s brother-in-law. Capone claimed that Clark, a violent man in real life, and a convicted robber and gunman, had returned to haunt him.
Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own