Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Sam “Momo” Giancana was a very powerful mob boss in Chicago until his murder in 1975. Like most mob bosses, Giancana started out in a street gang called the 42 Gang which is a play on Ali Baba and the forty thieves saying that they were one better. Giancana’s early claim to fame was being a great “wheel man” who drove get away cars from robberies and let no obstacle get in his way from the escape. He was even a driver for Machine Gun Jack McGurn for awhile too in the Capone administration of the Outfit... He was a violent man and some say, crazy. His “Mooney” nickname was given to him as a youth as he seemed loony and would often howl at the moon. Later, the nickname was changed to Momo by Giancana himself and said it stood for “MOre MOney”.
He was born in 1908 to Sicilian immigrants in Chicago in an Italian ghetto known as “The Patch”. He rose to power as The Outfit’s boss in the 1950’s and was even said to be present at the ill-fated meeting in Appalachin, New York. Surprisingly, it is said that Giancana helped get Kennedy into office while other bosses like Trafficante and Marcello were trying to get Nixon elected. It is also said that Kennedy and Giancana shared the same mistresses in Judith Exner and Marilyn Monroe. It was also said that Giancana had Marilyn Monroe murdered so he would be the last one who had slept with her. Of course, this information cannot be verified. In her book, Judith Exner: My Story, Judith wrote that her relationship with Kennedy was a personal one and was not used as a go between with the president and the Chicago mob boss. However, in 1977, in a magazine interview, she recanted that and said that she had carried several messages between Sam Giancana and President Kennedy, mainly regarding the potential assassination attempt of Fidel Castro.
Earlier in life, Sam Giancana was interviewed by a psychologist during his Selective Service physical for entry into the Armed Forces during World War II but was classified as 4-F when the psychologist said that Giancana was a “constitutional psychopath” who showed “strong antisocial trends”. This was no wonder when at the age of twenty; Giancana was the prime suspect of three murder investigations but was never tried. He violently took over the “numbers” racket from a predominately African-American neighborhood in Chicago which brought in at least a million dollars more to the Outfit and also helped him rise to power after Tony Accardo stepped down.
It is also said that President Kennedy was assassinated by the mob because of the lack of appreciation in the form of Robert Kennedy’s inexorable pursuit of organized crime and the pressure he applied to J. Edgar Hoover to start going after the Mafia. In 1975, Sam Giancana was shot in the back of his head while cooking in his home and then shot five more times in his mouth. That just goes to prove the old adage: Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.