Our did you know? series is a new feature for the NCS, where we take snippets of information and share them with you. Whether it’s about mobsters, places, events, or just setting the record straight on information that has been published.
Each Wednesday we will publish them on here and our social media channels, so keep an eye out!
Did You Know That…
Paul Ricca saved Al Capone’s life in the drive-by shooting at the Hawthorne Inn on Sept 1926.
A lot of sources that detail the shooting on Al Capone in 1926 always point out that when Hymie Weiss’ 10 car motorcade swept passed the windows, Frank Rio pushed Capone to the ground as the bullets ripped through the restaurant. That is true, but if Paul Ricca hadn’t done what he had done prior to that, they would have all been dead.
Ricca was outside the building as he saw the motorcade behind him, putting his own life in danger to raise the alarm to his boss, he rushed into the restaurant to warn the mobsters.
The second to last car stopped in front of the restaurant and Peter Gusenberg stepped out (brother of Frank) carrying a Thompson submachine gun. Kneeling in front of the doorway to the hotel he emptied a 100-round drum.
Some of the mobsters inside hit the deck, some fled through a door at the back. Ricca hit the deck and was hit in the shoulder. A small price to pay as this move would see him rise quickly through the ranks of the Chicago Outfit after showing his loyalty and fearlessness.
Capone and Ricca would soon became good friends; in 1927, a year after the incident Capone served as best man at Ricca’s wedding.
Hymie Weiss would be killed less than a month later, and the Gusenberg’s would both be killed in the 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre