restricted access 15 Hiding Out
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I heaved a sigh of relief when Gus telephoned me the following Monday and instructed me to check out and meet him at an address in Melrose Park. TheaddressprovedtobeaninnoperatedbyLouis“Doc”Stacciwho made a business of harboring syndicate men sought by the police. Gus transferred our luggage from my taxi to his car, and when I was in the machine announced: “We’re going to Michigan until this heat cools off.” We drove to a summer home near St. Joseph, Michigan, which was occupied by the father of Phil De Andrea [D’Andrea], Al Capone’s paymaster .LeftyLouieCampagna,Mr.andMrs.GeorgeGoetz,PhilDeAndrea , and Bob Carey already were there. But the next day Lefty returned to Chicago, much to the relief of everyone, for Lefty was not popular. Inthemeantimethestrainofrunning,hiding,andwaitinghadbeen too much for me and I became ill with another of my increasingly frequent nervous attacks. Gus was compelled to take me into town several times for treatment, although everyone at the De Andrea home tried to avoid being seen in St. Joseph. I learned the place was a hideout for Italians sought by police in Chicago and other northern cities. Sometimes there were as many as ten there at one time. Since no one knew how long they might have to stay at the resort, they avoided going out as much as possible to prevent exciting the suspicion of neighbors and casual motorists. There was nothing to do but play 15 Hiding Out 93 94 al capone and his american boys cards, but at no time did they fail to keep a lookout around the house, both day and night. Being housed up so closely was a strain, and this was augmented by the fact that everyone was constantly on the alert. So guarded was the atmosphere of the place that often I caught myself listening intently for sounds that did not exist. Naturally, at the end of a month, nerves in the De Andrea hideout were on the ragged edge. Good humor was infrequent, and the men snapped at each other and argued over trifles that otherwise would not have been noticed. Phil D’Andrea. Hiding Out 95 It was about this time that I witnessed one of the most striking examples of what it means to be hunted. It was late at night. The men were in the kitchen playing cards while Mrs. Goetz, old Mr. De Andrea and I were in the front room. Thedistanthumofamotordrewcloser,andasthesoundmounted,I could hear the conversation over the kitchen card game gradually cease. Night traffic on that lonesome road was rare, and I could feel the tension in the house as the hum mounted to a roar. Suddenly there was a screeching of brakes, the whistling of tires in loose gravel, and a beam of light moved across the drawn blinds as the speeding car skidded into the driveway. Everyone in the house had the same thought—police. “Douse the lights,” came a raucous whisper from the kitchen, and like magic the house was plunged in darkness. Chairsoverturnedasmenleapedtotheirfeet.Tablescrashedasthey were hurled out of the way. Mrs. Goetz and I had cleaned the house every day and found only two guns, but in a brief flurry of confusion guns were produced from dozens of hiding places we had not discovered. There were revolvers, sawed off shotguns and machine guns. Some had been concealed under the cushions of the divan, others had been in the cabinet back of the dishes, some were suspended inside suits of clothes in the closet. Every man was armed to the teeth in a trice. Mr. De Andrea grabbed Mrs. Goetz and me by the elbow and whispered hoarsely: “Get down on the floor,” but I jerked loose and started groping through the house in search of my husband. There was a man at every door and window, armed and waiting in grim silence. There were no sounds, the car could not be seen, and everyone thought the police were surrounding the house. Eyes filled with death peeredthroughcracksindrawnblinds,andinthemoonlightthatfiltered through the French doors I could see George Goetz, a “tommy” gun gripped in rigid fingers, his lips drawn back from his teeth in a savage snarl. IcontinuedsearchingforGus,butfailingtoseehiminthedarkness, finally stood perfectly still. 96 al capone and his american boys My nerves had not settled down from my last collapse, and my muscles were so stiff from fright I could not blink my eyes. Minutes passed in absolute silence, then I began to hear a faint but regular thump, thump...


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Subject Headings

  • Crime -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century.
  • Murder -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century.
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