Albert Anselmi and John Scalise.
Al Anselmi and John Scalise fled from their native home of
Marsala when murder charges were brought against them and they came to
Chicago. Here they sided with the Genna Gang who at the time were the leading
producers of rot gut moonshine in the Little Italy district of Chicago.
The two hit men announced that they were in America to amass $1,000,000
each and then return to their home rich men where they could pay off the
judges and escape the murder charges against them. The Genna's paid the
pair well for the murderous work they did. Their work became the talk of
the underworld. One story tells of a victim who begged for mercy, raising
his hands in prayer as he did so. Anselmi and Scalise blew off his hands
before shooting him in the head.
Anselmi and Scalise imported many techniques with them from Italy.
One of these was to rub bullets with garlic before their use. The theory
was that if the bullets did not kill the victim then the gangrene aided
by the garlic would. They also introduced the 'handshake hit' used so successfully
in the Dion O'Banion
murder. The stronger Anselmi would offer his hand in friendship and, once
taken, would hold the victim in an iron like grip preventing him from reaching
his guns. Then the taller Scalise would shoot the victim in the face. It
was not unusual for the pair to open up on victims on crowded streets with
machine guns regardless of the innocent by-standers.
Anselmi and Scalise eventually broke from the Genna Gang when they
were ordered to hit Al
They realized that even if they succeeded in killing Capone, the
rest of the gang would eventually get them back. So, they went to Capone
offering their services to him. Capone accepted them into his gang without
the Genna's knowledge and the two of them were responsible for luring one
Genna brother into a trap and personally killing another.
Later in the 1920's a peace agreement was almost worked out
with the old O'Banion gang now under the leadership of Hymie Weiss but
the completion of the agreement hinged on Capone handing over the murderers
of O'Banion. Capone, always true and loyal to his gang members, refused
to give up Anselmi and Scalise saying
"I wouldn't do that to a yellow dog!"
The murderous pair eventually died at the hands of Al Capone himself.
The two of them along with Joe Giunta were conspiring along with another
Mob Boss, Joe Aiello, to kill Capone and take over the Outfit. Capone got
wind of the plot but just could not believe his two top gunners were out
to get him, especially after he had stood by them when Weiss had wanted
them for O'Banion's murder. Frankie Rio, another top aide in the Capone
camp, went to Al with a plan to prove the conspiracy. The two of them set
up a heated argument in front of witnesses. Rio finally smacked Capone
across the face and stormed out of the room. The next day, Scalise and
Anselmi approached Rio and offered to let him in on the plan to kill Capone.
Rio spent the next few days with Anselmi and Scalise and when he had all
the details, went back to report to Capone. Capone set up a dinner party
with Scalise, Anselmi and Guinta as guests of honor on May 7th, 1929. During
the sumptuous banquet, Capone accused the honored guests with plotting
to kill him. He then produced a club and proceeded to smash the heads in
of Scalise and Guinta. When Capone finally turned on Anselmi, Anselmi pleaded
with Capone saying it was all Scalise and Guinta's plan and he had nothing
to do with it. Capone cut him off with a blow from the club.
Capone then shot all three of them for good measure.