Tuesday, August 27, 2013
St. Huberts, Chicago Mobsters Downtown Meeting Spot
South Federal street in Chicago’s loop is a forgotten little lane. In the late 19th century it was home to the sprawling area of vice known as custom house place. We have a clip posted about this area there’s a link to it at the bottom. Since then it has been pretty much forgotten. Including this old building with the faces embedded in the wall. It was at one time the home of St. Hubert’s Old English Grill and Chop House where fine food in the grand tradition of the British Isles was served.
Among the patrons were two men who spent a lot of time here taking care of business. They were Jake “Greasy Finger” Guzik and Murray “the Camel: Humphries high ranking members of the Chicago Outfit. Both were men who came up with Al Capone. This is where bagmen, politicians, lobbyists, cops, crooked lawyers and the rest would meet.
Guzik was the money man collecting and passing along bribes. Capone thought so highly of Jake he once blew Joe Howards head off in public after hearing that Howard had slapped Guzik around. Humphries specialty was as a labor / political fixer he was the man who orchestrated the Outfits take over of the unions. When Ricca and other top mobsters were sent to jail following convictions in the Hollywood bribery scandal in the 40’s it was the “hump” who reached into the White House to secure pardons.
These three men Ricca, Humphries and Guzik along with Tony Accardo took what Capone had started and turned it into an organization that controlled the city for more than three decades. Holding a lot of influence for another thirty years after they left the scene.
And this quiet little place was right between city hall and police headquarters a perfect spot for these two men to practice their dark arts. It’s stained and leaden glass windows keeping out prying eyes. They spent so much time there that Guzik died in his booth from a heartattack.
This clip is another in our series “Chicago Crime now & Then” check out our playlist.
Here’s a link to the Custom House Place video.
ChiTownView is a production of MindsiMedia we have a web portal that offers more video, music, photography and much more please visit.
I have many sources but the two sites that are at the top of my list are.
Chicago Crime Scene Project. http://chicagocrimescenes.blogspot.com/