Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Family Secrets mob trial with Sun-Times reporter Steve Warmbir

December 2008 Archives

James Marcello

An Oak Brook businessman paid Chicago mob boss James Marcello $4,000 a month, but it didn't buy him respect.

In fact, Marcello referred to the businesman, Nicholas Vangel, in code, at times calling him "Reinhardt Schwimmer," referring to the young optometrist who cavorted with gangsters and paid for his foolishness when he was killed as part of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.

Vangel also delivered payments to Marcello's mistress as well and put her on as an employee at one of his businesses, so she could get health insurance.

But still, no respect from Marcello.

According to a government court filing, Marcello and his half-brother, mobster Mickey Marcello, considered Vangel a syncophantic wanna-be mobster.

Vangel and and his family are investors in nursing homes throughout the Chicago area.

There's been a lot of interest in the story behind the mob murder of the father of Chicago mob boss James Marcello. You can find the federal court documents detailing the issue after the jump.

Outfit trivia question

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A tip of the hat (but alas, no other prize) to the reader who provides the first correct answer to this question out of Chicago mob lore:

Who was Dr. Reinhardt Schwimmer?

And yes, there will be a tie-in to the Family Secrets case, to be revealed in a later blog posting.

Just a quick update on a huge organized crime story coming out of Italy.

Here's one of the better stories on what's happening.

The sentencing dates for five defendants in the Family Secrets case have been cancelled for this week and next. It appears they were reset because of a bureaucratic error in not getting the defendants their presentence investigation reports soon enough before their sentencing hearings. The defendants in question are Frank Calabrese Sr., Anthony Doyle, Joseph Lombardo, James Marcello and Paul Schiro. No new dates have been set. We'll post them when we have them. Tip of the hat to the astute Outfit on Trial blog reader for the heads up on this matter.

Joseph Lopez, the attorney for mob killer Frank Calabrese Sr., is asking for a delay in his client's sentencing, with Lopez arguing he's had no access to Calabrese Sr. for the last two weeks because of stringent restrictions put on the mob killer while in custody.

Lopez wants the sentencing to occur in March next year. Prosecutors counter the end of December should work just fine -- and shoot a zinger at Lopez in their motion, to boot.

James "Little Jimmy" Marcello

When convicted Chicago mob boss James Marcello was asked by a court officer how Marcello's late father died, Marcello wouldn't say.

When Marcello was sentenced years ago in another case, he offered a little more, saying his father was killed in a car accident.

But that was a lie.

The truth was more grisly and tied directly to the Chicago mob, according to a new court filing in the Family Secrets case.

Frank Calabrese Sr.

Mob killer Frank Calabrese Sr., who once threatened in open court to kill a prosecutor, has been placed under tough lockdown measures usually reserved for terrorists at the Metropolitan Correctional Center after he allegedly threatened again to kill the same prosecutor, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

A man who worked for the video poker company run by mobster Michael Marcello was sentenced to 30 months behind bars Tuesday.

Thomas Johnson, 53, of Willow Springs, was also fined $7,500.

Johnson worked for Marcello's M & M Entertainment, located in Cicero, and collected proceeds from the illegal gambling devices that were placed in bars.

Marcello is the half-brother of top Chicago mob James Marcello, who is to be sentenced later this month in the Family Secrets case.

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