Just as Lucky Luciano wiped out the Mustache Pete influences in New York to create a new Mafia along multiethnic syndicate lines, Al Capone did the same in Chicago, sweeping aside the Aiello family, especially Joe Aiello, often described as the Mafia boss of the Windy City.
Aiello was a Castellammarese and sided with Salvatore Maranzano in the New York Mafia war against the stronger forces of Joe “the Boss” Masseria. Aiello reportedly sent Maranzano $5,000 a week to help finance the war. According to informer Joe Valachi, this meant Capone was supporting Masseria.
As Aiello and Capone jockeyed for supremacy, Aiello and his brothers Dominick, Antonio and Andrew fought hard to cling to their power and allied themselves with other Capone enemies, especially the North Side mob the O’Banions, then under the control of Bugs Moran.
Campaign of murder attempts
Aiello orchestrated a murder campaign against Capone and once tried to get the chef at one of Capone’s favorite restaurants, Diamond Joe Esposito’s Bella Napoli Café, to poison Capone’s minestrone soup with prussic acid. The fee started at $10,000 and climbed to $35,000, but the chef finally decided that even if the poisoning worked and Big Al died, he would not live long enough to enjoy the money. The plot was reported to Capone. Aiello then put out the word that $50,000 awaited anyone who killed Scarface.
Such attempts enraged Capone and made him more determined to settle the score with Aiello.
One evening in October 1930, Aiello stepped outside his expensive West Side apartment building on North Kolmar Avenue right into the crossfire of a sawed-off shotgun and two Thompson submachine guns. They dug 59 slugs weighing well over a pound out of Aiello’s thoroughly ventilated corpse.
Most powerful crime boss
Capone went on to become the most powerful crime boss of the time and often boasted that he “owned“ Chicago. He also bragged about his control over the police. It is believed that more than half of the Chicago police force was on Capone’s payroll. Capone also used payoffs to control city aldermen, prosecutors, mayors, state legislators, judges, governors and congressmen.
Along the way Capone purged his city of old school Mustache Petes long before Luciano succeeded doing so in New York.