Gangland Reporter Slain by Lone Gunman

Decatur (IL) Herald/June 10, 1930


Tribune Newsman Shot Down in I. C. Terminal

“Jake” Lingle, Investigator of Latest Gang Murders, “Put on Spot” Because He Knew Too –Much; Eleventh Victim in 10 Days

An assassin’s bullet cancelled “Jake” Lingle’s assignment as gangland reporter for the Chicago Tribune Monday.

The afternoon newspapers were still churning out the story of an early morning murder when a gunman crept up behind the veteran newspaperman as he strode through the underground tunnel toward the Randolph Street Illinois Central terminal, his revolver barked, and Lingle fell, a bullet through the back of his skull. In the panic of the scores of commuters the killer dropped his weapon, fled to Michigan Boulevard, and was gone.

Friend of Thugs, Police

Lingle was 40 years old, police and crime reporter for the Tribune for 18 years and an intimate alike of police chiefs and hoodlums. A year ago he was the house guest of “Scar-face” Al Capone at his Miami estate, and for years he had known William F. Russell, police commissioner, and the detective bureau heads.

Three witnesses, looking through the detective rogues gallery, pointed out the picture of Sam Hunt as strongly resembling Lingle’s killer. Hunt recently was pulled from the running board of an automobile speeding away after a man had been killed on the west side. He was thought to be one of the killers and is now out on bond.

Marked to Go

Last week Lingle was sent out to get the “in” of the latest succession of gang murders—his own the 11th in 10 days attributed to a hoodlum’s trigger, and last week the gossip sifted down the line that Lingle was marked to go.

He had not been threatened so far as members of his family knew. Tuesday he was to have gone with his wife and two youngsters to a newly purchased vacation home at Long Beach, Mich.

Knew Too Much

If he was slain because he knew too much, he was the second of that ilk to fall in recent months. Revolvers spat death some weeks ago to Julius Rosenheim, who had stayed too long in that dangerous half-world between the gangster and the tipster—tipster for the crime commission and the press.

Commissioner Russell and John Stege, chief of detectives, took personal charge of the investigation and ordered an immediate roundup of hoodlums. A squad was dispatched to the Washington Park race track to gather in every known gangster. Lingle was bound for the races, like scores of others in the subway leading to the Illinois Central special trains, when his slayer—apparently trailing him there from his usual luncheon place at a “loop” hotel—felled him.

Three Arrested

The revolver found at the scene was an ancient model .45 calibre weapon with but one bullet discharged.

In connection with the slaying of Lingle a detective squad raided the headquarters of Joe Aillo and arrested Domino Aillo, Joe’s brother, Dominic Tripoli and Frank Pezzo. They found two pistols and a pump gun in the place.

Armour la Panzr, a young taxi-cab driver, told police that just before the shooting he saw three men get out of a car at the entrance of the I. C. tunnel. Two wore straw hats and one a cap. One of the men looked like Lingle, he said.

Cue for Killing

Before the three entered the tunnel, Panzr related, a man drove a roadster near to the curb and shouted.

“Hey, play Hy Schneider in the third.”

“We got him.” One of the men called back. The three then continued into the tunnel.

Police were inclined to connect the incident with the shooting. They believed Lingle may have been one of the three men, that the other two were putting him on the spot there. “We got him” being the signal that all was ready for the killing.

 $30,000 Posted

For the capture and conviction of Lingle’s slayer, the Tribune promptly offered $25,000 reward, and the Chicago Evening Post added $5,000 to the sum.

Henry Barrett Chamberlin, operating director of the Chicago crime commission, commented:

“I am deeply shocked over the slaying of Lingle. I am gathering information and will submit it to Frank J. Loesch, president of the commission, when he returns to Chicago Tuesday.”

The second week of intensive gang retributions had opened earlier in the day with the killing of Aloysius Kearney, collector for the National Garage Owners association. The police dallied about with theories but gained little headway in their inquiry.

A coroner’s jury meanwhile was putting an official end to its own phase of the Eugene. “Red” McLaughlin killing with the usual verdict—death at the hands of persons unknown. The inquest developed nothing to shed light on the fatal shooting of the gangster, whose body was churned to the surface of the drainage canal, into which it had been tossed after being trussed and weighted down.

Will Do All Possible

“I’d give my two eyes to solve the murder of Lingle,” Police Commissioner William F. Russell said. “Nothing that I can do will be left undone to solve it. I have known him for more than 20 years and I was as fond of him as I would be of my own son.”

Shot Three Times

At the morgue, it was learned that Lingle had been shot three times –once in the chest and twice in the head. Police also were investigating reports that one or two other men accompanied the assassin.

 Wore Silk Glove

A laborer, working in the path of the slayer’s flight, saw him take off a black silk glove and throw it into an alley. The laborer, Harry Komen, retrieved the glove and gave it to police who said it was evident the killer was an experienced criminal who sought to avoid leaving finger prints.

Soon after Dominick Aiello and Pezzo were arrested, another detective squad seized three more leaders of the near northside gang: Carlo Aiello, Frank Grundotzo and Vito Botitto.

 Challenge by the Gang

George E. Q. Johnson, United States district attorney, considered the slaying of Lingle “a challenge thrown down by the gangs to all Chicago.”

“Either Chicago must conquer them or it will suffer even more in its reputation,” Mr. Johnson added. “The only power they have is the power of money and they can be deprived of that by constant and determined action. This means a continuous and persistent war.”

Late Monday detectives arrested John “Boss” McLaughlin,” head of a road material company, for questioning in the case. They explained their action by saying that he was reported by friends of Lingle to have threatened the reporter when the latter refused to help him get a permit to open a gambling house.




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