George Moran

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George "Bugs" Moran , born as Adelard Leo Cunin , (born August 21, 1893 in St. Paul , Minnesota , † February 25, 1957 in Leavenworth Federal Prison , Kansas ) was a mobster in Chicago during the US alcohol prohibition from 1919 to 1933.

Childhood and youth

George Moran was on 21 August 1893 as the first son of immigrant Frenchmen Jules Cunin and the French-Canadian born Marie Gobeil Diana named Adelard Cunin Leo. The legend that Moran was the son of an Irish immigrant and a Polish immigrant remained for a long time, but was refuted by the historian Rose Keefe in her biography of Moran. Cunin had several pseudonyms in his life; one of his first was probably George Miller , which he put off after his first prison sentence and instead adopted the Irish-inspired name George Moran , which he mainly used in the following years .

He first came into conflict with the law in 1909 when he was caught robbing and taken to a juvenile correctional facility, from which he was soon able to escape. Meanwhile, his family decided to move to Winnipeg , Manitoba and the escaped Adelard turned his way to Chicago, where he also joined a gang of thieves and was arrested again after a break- in. In order to avoid that his identity as a fugitive Adelard Cunin would be recognized in a personal recording, he decided to use the name George Miller . On June 18, 1912, he was early released from prison and requested to go to Bloomington town on probation , but Cunin was already planning his return to Chicago. But his criminal activities remained unsuccessful and he was arrested again. Ultimately, he was convicted again in the summer of 1913, forcing him to serve his sentence for good until June 1917. From this imprisonment he would appear with a new identity: George Clarence Moran .

The north side

At the end of June 1917, Moran finally moved to the big city and he set up quarters on the North Side of Chicago. There he made contact with an ex-inmate named Jack King. On July 14, 1917, Moran was arrested by the police together with King in his apartment, as both were suspected of a bank robbery in which a police officer had been shot. Shortly after the witness confrontation , however, Moran was released because he was not identified as a party to the attack. It is unclear whether Moran was really involved in the attack, but after this incident he broke off contact with King. In another incident in July 1917, a fellow citizen attacked Moran with a knife after a heated discussion. Moran sustained an injury to his chest and a wound on his neck. Despite the high blood loss, Moran survived the attack. Since a scar remained on the neck, Moran usually covered it with the clothing he chose.

Shortly after his hospital stay, Moran began frequenting Bob McCavern's bar, where various sizes of the criminal underworld went in and out. There he met Mont Tennes , Jim O'Leary or James "Hot Stove Jimmy" Quinn and other criminal greats. McGovern's in particular was Charles "The Ox" Reiser , a well-known and successful safe-cracker, who was planning ever bigger break-ins as early as 1917 and therefore began to assemble a reliable team around him to support him in carrying out his projects. Moran became a core member of this group. Another member with whom Moran quickly became a close friend was Dean O'Banion , who until then worked regularly as a singing waiter at McGovern's. This group was quickly joined by a 19-year-old Pole who would become known in the criminal world as Hymie Weiss . Reiser, O'Banion, Moran and Weiss were to remain constant members of this group, while other criminals were hired for individual projects.

On February 1, 1918, Moran was picked up by the police in the presence of two colleagues who saw the three people involved in a robbery on an employee of the Illinois Central Railroad . In the subsequent dispute with the police, in which firearms were also used, an uninvolved passer-by was also killed. The person responsible for the murder, George Raymond , was shot by the police while attempting to escape, while Moran was arrested. It soon became known through the media that Moran was an ex-prisoner who had been pardoned and began to criticize the judicial system.

When the police learned that Moran was wanted for unpaid bail , a decision was made to take him to Cook County Jail . At the trial in April 1918, Moran succeeded in scaling down his charges to one unit of the assault, but because of his past he was denied bail and had to remain in prison until the judgment was announced. On May 4, Moran tried to break out of prison with some of his fellow prisoners using dynamite , but this failed. At the end of the month, Moran was sentenced to between 1 and 14 years' imprisonment. An attempt by his lawyers to challenge the verdict was unsuccessful and he was detained again in Joliet Prison.

Due to the increased influence of O'Banion, Moran was released on bail on March 16, 1921 and a lawyer appealed to the court . Immediately after his temporary release, Moran rejoined the O'Banion crew, but did not participate directly in alcohol smuggling (even if he occasionally helped out), but continued to focus primarily on theft and break-ins.

He got his nickname "Bugs" (from English: buggy = crazy) after he broke both arms and legs of a tailor who wanted to make him pay more because of his origins.

Fight against the south side

In 1924, O'Banion was killed by Johnny Torrio's men, including Frankie Yale , and Moran and Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci became vice-boss of the gang behind Hymie Weiss . On January 25, 1925, Weiss and Moran attempted to kill Johnny Torrio. But just before Moran could fire the final shot, he ran out of bullets and had to flee. The now intimidated Torrio turned his back on Chicago and left the lead on site to Al Capone .

And the "south side" answered: on June 13, 1925 John Scalise , Albert Anselmi and Mike Genna ambushed the "Northsiders" George Moran and Vincent Drucci . They shot Moran's car with shotguns and injured Drucci.

About an hour later, Scalise, Genna, and Anselmi sped south on Chicago's Western Avenue . A police force followed them and passed them on the corner of Western and 60th Streets . After the vehicles came to a standstill, the criminals opened fire. Chicago police officers Charles Walsh and Harold Olsen were killed during the shooting. Michael Conway was seriously wounded. The fourth policeman, William Sweeney, chased the fleeing criminals towards a block. Mike Genna was shot while trying to escape. Scalise and Anselmi were arrested by the police.

Weiss' and Moran's smuggling operations remained the only serious challenge facing Al Capone's empire in Chicago, which resulted in gang wars between the two rivals for years. Moran hated Capone and also attacked him in the press. He also felt superior, since Capone was involved in prostitution , which the devout Catholic Moran opposed for his own activities.

On September 20, 1926, Moran and his men tried to kill Al Capone in a Cicero restaurant. The attack was unsuccessful, however, and Capone got away unharmed.

Several of Moran's partners were killed by Capone's men in the infamous Valentine's Day massacre in 1929. Moran, probably the actual target, survived as he was late at the garage.

On April 24, 1930, the Chicago Crime Commission published a list of 28 "public enemies" of Chicago, led by Al Capone and ranked twelfth on the Moran.

After prohibition

When Prohibition ended in 1933, the various gangs in Chicago lost their influence, as did Moran. It is unclear whether Moran committed revenge on Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn , who was considered the main organizer of the Valentine's Day massacre, in 1936 . This would have been one of the gang's last major actions. According to another thesis, McGurn had become worthless for the Chicago outfit , since, like Moran, the public pressure of persecution had increased enormously since the list of the Chicago Crime Commission . Accordingly, McGurn was shot as a potential traitor in 1936 on the instructions of Frank Nitti .

Moran's remaining gambling halls were taken over by the growing syndicates led by Meyer Lansky and Charles “Lucky” Luciano .

In July 1946, Moran was arrested for bank robbery in Ohio . His loot was $ 10,000, a small amount compared to his Prohibition lifestyle. He was convicted and, after serving a ten-year prison term, was sent to jail for another robbery . He died there of lung cancer on February 25, 1957 . He was given a funeral for the poor outside the prison.

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predecessor Office successor
Vincent Drucci Head of the North Side Gang in Chicago
Lucas Cavanaugh