CHICAGO, Feb. 15, 1929 (UP) -- Fear, not of the law but of the leaden hail which mowed down seven men in gangland's first massacre, drove the leading figures in Chicago's beer traffic to the safety of their guarded haunts today.
The "stand-off" execution yesterday of seven henchmen of George "Bugs" Moran, recorded as the St. Valentine's Day massacre, presaged certain death for the few remaining powers of gangland who dared to venture outside their own four walls. The throne of "Scarface Al" Capone was tottering, the forces of one of his trusted allies, Moran, were wiped out.
The flare of machine gun and shotgun fire directed at the seven men lined against the brick wall of a North Side beer truck garage left Moran virtually unprotected. Capone and his rival Joe Aiello, ruler of the Aiello mob, were absent from the city.
The murders were the most spectacular in the long and bloody feuds of the liquor traffic and they served to arouse police to the most determined effort ever staged to rid the city of gangsters. Starting early, the police squads continued their round-up thruout the night.
F. D. Silloway, deputy prohibition director, has been placed in charge of the federal government's liquor violations angle of the shooting.
They will inspect all papers seized at the garage and will check up on all men whose names are found in these papers. If any are found to be aliens they will be deported, Silloway said.
However, the raids resulted in not more than two score being brought in. As soon as news of the killings was flashed thru the gang districts, there was a hurried holing-up movement.
A special coroner's jury was called to meet today to investigate the murders.
Pieced together from persons who were in the vicinity of the garage on the North Side street where the murders took place, the story of the shooting has no rival in police annals for sheer audacity.
The seven victims were James Clark, Dr. Reinhart Schwimmer, Frank Gusenberg, Peter Gusenberg, Adam Heyers, John May and Alfred Weinshank. They were henchmen of George "Bugs" Moran, one of the leaders in the beer racket and known as the luckiest man in gangland.
The men were sitting in the garage, talking. The telephone rang but when one of the men answered no one was on the line. The murderers had merely checked up to verify that their victims were "on the spot."
A short time later five men entered the garage.
They drew their guns and lined the others against the wall, their backs to their executioners. Then the slaughter began.
As an army gunner traverses a target with a machine gun, the Thompson guns sprayed a hail of lead down that short line of men. They crumpled and fell, shot thru by dozens of bullets. Frank Gusenberg died in a hospital a short time later, his body pierced by 14 bullets. Eighty empty machine gun and shotgun shells were found on the floor.
Gusenberg was conscious but he adhered to gangland's code of ethics. "Nobody shot me," he gasped in answer to police.
No one saw the slayers go-at least no one will say they have the faintest idea of what the men looked like if they did see them go.
Under a truck in the garage, a police dog cowered, howling his terror of the bloody bodies on the floor. The dog had been fastened by his master, perhaps one of the men on the floor, and was the sole witness to the carnage.