Accardo: The Genuine Godfather

William F. Roemer, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (496p) ISBN 978-1-55611-467-0
Nicknamed ``Joe Batters'' by Al Capone because he beat two thugs to death with a baseball bat, Tony Accardo (1906-1992) would go on to impress his mob superiors by using ``Chicago Choppers''--Thompson submachine guns--at the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929. After the demise of Capone, Accardo quickly moved to the forefront of the mob hierarchy, becoming a capo under Capone's successor, Frank Nitti, and concentrating on gambling operations. Roemer, who exhibits a grudging respect for Accardo, alleges without documentation that the mob under Accardo bought off U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark with an appointment to the Supreme Court. Also covered are Accardo's appearance before the Kefauver Committee in 1951, where he was cited for contempt of Congress; his Chicago mob's late move into Las Vegas; his ``retirement'' to consiglieri in 1957; how J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI were finally forced to join the battle against organized crime after the infamous Apalachin, N.Y., mob meeting in 1957; Accardo's prohibition on selling narcotics; and his ordered ``hit'' on Sam Giancana. Roemer (The Enforcer), former senior agent on the organized crime squads of the Chicago FBI, has written a colorful biography rich in fact, anecdote and speculation. Photos. Major ad/promo. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
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