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.