Jul 28, 2014

Living Like a Mob Boss

Local author John Binder's "There Goes the Neighbor Hood" tour reveals the checkered history of Oak Park and River Forest's mafia homes.

Living Like a Mob Boss

If you've always been curious about the history of the area's mafia underworld, here's your chance to get acquainted.

The tour — sorry, lookieloos, it's only exteriors – takes participants outside 15 local homes "previously owned by major hoodlums, including Tony Accardo, Paul Ricca, Sam Giancana, "Tough Tony" Capezio and "Machine Gun Jack" McGurn."

Ticket information is available at the Visit Oak Park website.

According to one Patch reader, Giancana's house in the 1100 block of South Wenonah Avenue in Oak Park, , is "beautifully manicured...the showplace on the block."

John Binder, author of The Chicago Outfit and guide for the "There Goes the Neighbor Hood" tour, told The Chicago Tribune the mobsters conducted their, um, business, in the city but kept their domestic lives in the burbs — all the while trying to keep those lives separate. It wasn't always effective. 

"In fact," writes Andy Grimm, "after [Tony "Joe Batters"] Accardo's [River Forest] house was burglarized in 1978, mob hit men reportedly found, tortured and killed all six suspected burglars — a revenge spree that terrified hoods across the city."

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