Frank Gusenberg was a German-American contract killer and a victim of the Saint Valentine's Day massacre in Chicago, Illinois.
Frank Gusenberg and his older brother Peter Gusenberg grew up tough on the North Side of Chicago. After graduating from petty crime into more serious offenses, they teamed up with Dion O'Banion, Hymie Weiss, and other members of the local mob scene. After the 1924 murder of O'Banion, Gusenberg joined his friends, led by Hymie Weiss, in getting revenge on the Al Capone mob.
The Gusenberg Brothers and the Chicago gang warsEdit
Frank Gusenberg participated in the gargantuan drive-by shooting in the North Side performed on Capone's Cicero, Illinois headquarters, the Hawthorne Hotel, riddling it with thousands of bullets on September 20, 1926. According to many accounts, the second to last car stopped in front of the hotel restaurant where Capone was cowering and Frank's brother Pete emerged, clad in a khaki Army shirt, brown overalls, and carrying a Thompson submachine gun fitted with a 100-round capacity drum. Kneeling in front of the doorway, Gusenberg emptied the entire drum into the restaurant, and then casually strolled back to his car, which then sped off to safety. Despite the audacity of the attack, Capone was only more infuriated. Hymie Weiss was murdered three weeks later, and over the next couple years, the North Side Gang continued to weaken. The North Siders especially wished to kill Jack McGurn, as he was rumored to have been the machine-gunner who killed Weiss. On at least two occasions, the Gusenberg brothers tried to kill McGurn. Despite wounding him several times, Jack survived the attempts on his life. By late 1928, the leader of the North Side Gang, Bugs Moran, struck an alliance with Al Capone's rival Joe Aiello. The latter, assisted by the Gusenberg brothers, killed Pasqualino Lolordo, president of the Unione Siciliane. It was from this murder that the plot to get rid of Bugs Moran sprang.
On February 14, 1929, members of the North Side gang gathered at a garage behind the offices of S.M.C. Cartage Company. Inside were Pete and Frank Gusenberg, Albert Weinshank, Adam Heyer, James Clark, John May, and Reinhardt Schwimmer. Five men of Capone's Gang drove to the garage in a stolen police car. Two of the men, dressed as police, entered the garage, pretending they were conducting an ordinary raid, and lined Moran's associates up against the wall. Once the men's backs were all turned, facing the wall, two other men of Capone (with civilian clothes) entered the room with machine guns and, along with the "cops", cut loose on the seven men, pounding 150 bullets into them in what would become known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
When police arrived at the scene Frank Gusenberg, despite being shot 8 times, was the only victim still alive. He was taken to the Alexian Brothers hospital. When asked "Who shot you?" he replied, "Nobody shot me" denying any justice to the murderers. Although the killers (widely believed to have been members of Al Capone's gang), wiped out Bugs Moran's mob, they missed Moran himself. Upon seeing the squad car, he drove past the garage he was planning on entering. Like his associates, he had been fooled into thinking there was a police raid in progress.