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On the long train ride back to Chicago the fog began to lift and I was capableofthought.Butmybrainseemedclosedtoallbutonethought— who killed my husband? I brooded on this for the entire trip, and by the time the train pulled into the Chicago station, I had determined to find out. I was comparatively certain that the syndicate was responsible for his death, and had taken him just as Newberry and many others were taken. But the possibility that it might have been some outside interest, possibly a gambling trust, or an organized gang of bond thieves, kept intruding. I was dumbfounded when I entered my home on Lake Shore Drive, fortoputitbluntly,theplacehadbeen“sacked.”Thefinestitemsfrommy wardrobe were missing, including some very valuable furs. Some expensive tapestries were also gone. On second thought I was not surprised, for I had heard of such methods before. The hirelings of the syndicate had taken them as gifts to wives, sweethearts and plain “molls.” When they were taken I do not know— possibly while I was in the stupor induced by my husband’s death—possibly while I was in St. Louis. The first thing I did was to accumulate all the newspapers of the previous few days, and read what was said about the assassination of Gus Winkeler. Gus was shot by unseen killers about one o’clock in the afternoon as he started up the steps of the Charles H. Weber Distributing Company at 1414 Roscoe Street. 40 Who Killed My Husband? 224 Who Killed My Husband? 225 SeveralwitnessessaidGusdrovetothecurbonthewrongsideofthe street, left the machine and started up the steps of the establishment just as a small green panel truck cruised slowly down the street. There was a fusillade of shots and Gus fell, mortally wounded. The truck sped away. Edward Conrad, distributing company clerk, heard the shots and ran out to find “Big Mike” face down on the sidewalk . Gusaskedtobemovedoveronhisback,justastheTownHallpolice cruiserarrived.OfficerRoyCoutrierecognizedGusandaskedwhofired the shots. Gus told him “never mind.” He was taken to John B. Murphy Hospital where surgeons found that seventy-four shotgun slugs, commonly known as “shrapnel,” had pierced his body. Gus asked for a priest and Father James Fitzgerald, hospital chaplain, was just starting to lead him through the prayer for the dying when the last breath left his body. Mystified,thepolicearrestedBennyGoldblatt,whosaidthatthecar my husband drove was the property of Mrs. Goldblatt, and that Gus had borrowedit.HesaidthatGushadaskedforitat9o’clockinthemorning, and he had delivered the car to him at Pine Grove Avenue and Addison Street, a half block from the Lincoln Park Arms. Goldblatt said Gus told him he wanted to see his attorney, William Waugh. The attorney partially bears out this statement, saying Gus had asked for an appointment for two o’clock. Goldblatt denied any dealings with my husband except that he once peddled alcohol with him. He denied that Gus had any dealings with Charles H. Weber. The papers said the police were balked by several apparent inconsistencies . In the first place, Gus was known to have been planning to surrender to the government on Tuesday, and would not have risked arrest by appearing publicly on Monday. In the second place, they could not understand what induced him to take the risk to get to a distributing company where apparently he had no connection. But their best clue was the fact that no automobile keys were found in Gus’ pocket, and neither were they in the car, indicating that someone had accompanied him to drive the car. 226 al capone and his american boys Davie (Benny) Goldblatt. Who Killed My Husband? 227 This struck me as my best clue, and one I determined to follow up later. The newspapers advanced some rather interesting and widely divergent theories concerning the motive for the slaying. One was that he had betrayed George “Machine Gun” Kelly, notorious killer, to the authorities. Kelly had just been captured at Memphis, Tennessee, and it was said that he had conferred with Gus a few days before, and that Gus knew his whereabouts. Gangland exacted its toll for this doublecross. Another was that gangland had learned that Gus had aided Ted Newberry in the plot to kill Frank Nitti, and had meted out its own justice. The newspapers, however, conceded most generally that “Big Mike” waskilledtopreventhimfromsurrenderingtothegovernment.Thiswas borne out by the fact that Lebensberger had died just before he was to surrender. There was an intimation that Lebensberger was not a suicide. Most papers believed that Gus had given the government valuable information in the quarter-million dollar...


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MARC Record
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