Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Clarence "Bugs" Moran

George Clarence "Bugs" Moran (born Adelard Cunin. August 21, 1891 – February 25, 1957), better known by the alias "Bugs" Moran, was a Chicago Prohibition-era gangster.

Moran left school at the age of 18 and was caught robbing a store. He was put in jail 3 times before he turned 21. Moran went to Chicago where he robbed a warehouse, took part in a horse-stealing ring, a robbery involving the death of a police officer, and robbed a freight car for which he received a variety of prison and jail term sentences. With Prohibition, Dean O'Banion and his group of thugs, including Bugs Moran, became known as the North Side Gang. Al Capone was the leader of the Italian mob on the South Side. These two rivals fought violently.
The bootlegging operation of Bugs Moran and his partners posed a significant challenge to Capone. Moran and Capone then led a turf war with each other that cost dozens of lives.

Moran's hatred of Capone was public: he told the press that "Capone is a lowlife." Moran was also disgusted that Capone engaged in prostitution. Believing himself a better Catholic than Capone, Moran refused to run brothels.

About a 1,000 rounds are poured in the Hawthorne Hotel.
After the killing of Dean O’Banion, on September 20, 1926, Moran attempted to kill Capone in Cicero, Illinois, the base of Capone's operations. A fleet of cars, with Moran in personal command, drove by the lobby of Capone's hotel.

Capone and his bodyguard were drinking downstairs when the Moran gang began shooting into the lobby with their Thompson submachine guns. The attack left Capone unhurt but his restaurant was reduced to shreds. A peace conference was held and Moran appeared grudgingly, along with Capone and the rest of the gang bosses.

Capone called for a truce. The truce did not last long.

In 1929, Capone tried to strike a decisive blow against Moran with the notorious Saint Valentine's Day massacre. Two gunmen dressed as police and two others in plain clothes lined up seven of Moran’s men against the wall in the warehouse of the S.M.C. Cartage Company and gunned them down.

When Moran saw the carnage, he exclaimed, "Only Capone kills like that!"

Bugs Moran, narrowly eluded death when he arrived late, and seeing the squad car thought a raid was in progress.
The end of prohibition marked the end of Moran's influence and he reverted to his earlier life of committing common crimes. By the 1940s, after being one of the richest gangsters in Chicago, Moran was virtually penniless.
In July 1946, Moran was arrested in Ohio for robbing a bank messenger of $10,000, a paltry sum compared to his lifestyle during the Prohibition. He was convicted and sentenced to ten years in the Ohio Penitentiary. Shortly after his release, Moran was again arrested for bank robbery. Moran received another ten years and was sent to Leavenworth. Days after arriving Bugs Moran died of lung cancer on February 25, 1957. He was estimated to be worth $100 at his death, and he received a pauper's burial in the prison cemetery.