The Call Leader (Elwood, IN)
April 21, 1930
Chicago Police Declare Slain Gangsters Were Shot as Rebuke to Al Capone
Place Had Been Padlocked
The Easter morning massacre of three gangsters in the notorious Blue Hour saloon here was a rival underworld faction’s warning against the ambitious expansion methods of Scarface Al Capone, police said today after a thorough investigation.
A lone executioner strode into the First Ward barroom and shot three Capone henchmen dead in less than two minutes. The police learned the triple killing followed directly on the heels of the gang leader’s attempt to seize control of the bread, crackers, yeast and pie wagon drivers’ union here.
Walter Wakefield, one of the slain men and a general in the Capone organization, carried his master’s persuasive bid to the meeting of the union Saturday night, it was learned. Frank Delray and Joseph Special, also Capone lieutenants, were slain as a warning to Capone’s methods, the police agreed.
The killings were viewed as a direct violation of the gang peace pact agreed upon last week. “It is a direct warning against the Capone gang” was the verdict of Lieutenant Al Booth, who is in charge of the homicide squad, probing the triple murder.
Chicago, April 21—Three men were put to death yesterday morning in the Blue Hour saloon on the turbulent south side by a lone executioner. Police theories as to the motive for the murders ranged from a beer gang feud to hostilities engendered last primary day. The saloon is in the First ward. The dead were Walter L. Wakefield, 29, one of the proprietors of the place and a worker for Dan Serritella, who was elected Republican committeeman of the First ward and nominated for state senator at the primary on April 8.
Frank Delray, alias Dire, 33, partner of Wakefield and once arrested as a hijacker.
Joseph Special, 28, a waiter and a cousin of Phil Special, one of the Capone gang for whom the Specialville was named.
The Blue Hour saloon was reopened a week ago Saturday night after an enforced closing of several years due mainly to the duel to the death that took place there in 1925 between Jimmy Vinel and Machine Gun Joe Granata.
Genaro Shooting Recalled
The place had been reopened once since then by Delary and John Genaro, who was shot four times near the saloon on Jan. 29 and who violated the ethics of his kind by naming James Beleastro, Angelo Lucci and Loais Bealea as the men who tried to kill him.
Police Captain William Stapleton refused to give his approval to the granting of a soft drink license for the place but a few days after the primary Wakefield displayed a newly issued license, and this was credited by the police to the influence of Seritella, who is a city hall cabinet member with the office of city sealer.
The grand opening was held on April 12 and that night two bricks were thrown through the front window. Wakefield told one of his five brothers then “Somebody doesn’t want us here.” Business was dull all week, but Saturday night the back room was filled with customers and the bar was lined all night.