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Saint Valentine's Day Massacre: When Four Men Disguised as Police Officers Brutally Murdered Seven Gang Members

On Saint Valentine’s Day in 1929, seven Chicago North Side Gang members were brutally murdered. Four men disguised as police officers enter Bugs Moran’s headquarters on North Clark Street in Chicago. They lined up seven of Moran’s henchmen against a wall and shot them to the death. As it is now called, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the culmination of a gang war between arch-rivals Al Capone and Bugs Moran.

While the bootlegging era of the 1920s was characterized by gangsters such as George “Bugs”, Moran, an infamous member of the Chicago North Side gang, was in charge of the gang. During his tenure as Mayor of the Windy City, he was embroiled in a bitter conflict with Al Capone. They survived several attempts on their lives throughout the 1920s. More than 1,000 shots were fired into a Cicero, Illinois, hotel in one famous incident, in which Moran and his associates drove six cars past Capone and his associates while eating lunch.

He finally gave up after a $50,000 bounty was placed on his head. His order destroyed Moran’s gang. Moran’s headquarters was expecting a delivery of bootleg whiskey on February 14. Moran was late and saw police officers enter his business. As Moran waited outside, he thought he would see his gunmen caught in a raid. In reality, the disguised assassins were killing the seven men inside.

Among the dead men were Frank and Pete Gusenberg, Moran’s best killers. Frank was still alive when real officers arrived on the scene. Gusenberg, who was mortally wounded, kept his silence when asked who shot him, saying, “Nobody shot me.”

Both Capone and Moran met their end in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Moran lost so many important men in 1931 that he could no longer control his territory after Capone was jailed.

A burst of machine-gun fire killed Jack McGurn, one of the Valentine’s Day hitmen, on the seventh anniversary of the massacre. McCGurn’s killer is still unknown, but it is likely Moran, even though he was never charged with the crime. Moran was confined to small-time robberies until he was sent to jail in 1946. In 1957, he died from lung cancer at the Leavenworth Federal Prison.

#1 A crowd gathers outside the scene of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Chicago February 1929.

A crowd gathers outside the scene of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Chicago February 1929.

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#2 Shop where the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre occured.

Shop where the Saint Valentine's Day massacre occured.

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#3 Two of the victims (left to right) Peter Gusenber, and brother Frank, who lived about three hours after the shooting but refused to talk.

Two of the victims (left to right) Peter Gusenber, and brother Frank, who lived about three hours after the shooting but refused to talk.

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#4 This is a reenactment of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Dr. Herman N. Bundesen, Cook County Coroner, is standing next to the men holding the guns.

This is a reenactment of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. Dr. Herman N. Bundesen, Cook County Coroner, is standing next to the men holding the guns.

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#5 Gangster Frank Gusenberg.

Gangster Frank Gusenberg.

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#6 Gangster Albert Weinshank.

Gangster Albert Weinshank.

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#7 Aftermath of the Valentine’s Day Massacre of February 14, 1929.

Aftermath of the Valentine's Day Massacre of February 14, 1929.

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#8 Bodies of mobsters from the Morand gang, killed in Chicago by Al Capone’s gang.

Bodies of mobsters from the Morand gang, killed in Chicago by Al Capone's gang.

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#9 Police and spectators gather in front of the infamous garage where the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred, Chicago 1929.

Police and spectators gather in front of the infamous garage where the St. Valentine's Day Massacre occurred, Chicago 1929.

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#10 A special crime committee is sworn in over the bodies of the victims of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Chicago, 1929.

A special crime committee is sworn in over the bodies of the victims of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Chicago, 1929.

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#11 Onlookers watch as police remove the bodies of the victims of an execution style murder from the scene at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago.

Onlookers watch as police remove the bodies of the victims of an execution style murder from the scene at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago.

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#12 The aftermath of the Valentine’s Day Massacre of February 14, 1929.

The aftermath of the Valentine's Day Massacre of February 14, 1929.

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#13 Mourners Watch Hearse leave for Cemetery.

Mourners Watch Hearse leave for Cemetery.

The body of one of the Gusenberg brothers, leaving the undertaking chapel for the cemetery. The Gusenberg brothers, Frankie and Peter, were among the seven racketeers who were lined against the wall of a garage and riddled with bullets by a rival gang.

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#14 The Body of Jack Mac Gurn on the Valentine’S Massacre.

The Body of Jack Mac Gurn on the  Valentine'S Massacre.

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#15 The bodies of victims of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Chicago. 14th February 1929

The bodies of victims of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Chicago. 14th February 1929

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#16 Five victims of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, 14th February 1929.

Five victims of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago, 14th February 1929.

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#17 Six bodies lying on the Ground of a Garage in Chicago Little after the Saint Valentine’S Day Massacre of February 14, 1929.

Six bodies lying on the Ground of a Garage in Chicago Little after the Saint Valentine'S Day Massacre of February 14, 1929.

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Written by Benjamin Grayson

Former Bouquet seller now making a go with blogging and graphic designing. I love creating & composing history articles and lists.

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One Comment

  1. Additionally, it is essential to note that the garage where the North Side Gang was shot has become a retirement home parking lot. After the massacre, the address of the place was utterly erased. As a result, the blood-stained and bullet hole-ridden wall attracted crowds of curious bystanders to the building after the massacre. It is horrifying to see these pictures.