One February evening in North Chicago, seven well-dressed men were found riddled with bullets inside the S.M.C Cartage Co. garage. They had been lined up against a wall, with their backs to their executioners and shot to death. With the exception of Dr. Reinhardt H. Schwimmer these men were mobsters working under the leadership of gangster and bootlegger, “Bugs” Moran. Within a few seconds, while staring at a bare brick wall, these seven men had become a part of Valentine’s Day history: the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
During the height of prohibition and the never-ending competition between gangster rivals Al “Scarface” Capone and George “Bugs” Moran, bloody warfare was nothing new to the authorities of Chicago. However, investigators on the scene found the Valentine’s Day Massacre to be somewhat puzzling. The victims were mobsters, with an endless supply of weapons and well known capability for brutality. Why would they turn their backs and face the wall for anyone without putting up a fight? That was one of many questions to be answered.
Another question came about after an eyewitness gave her account of what happened on that night in 1929. She lived directly across the street and had a perfect view of the garage. She claimed to have seen two uniformed policemen exit the garage while escorting two plain clothed men who held their hands up in the air, as if they were under arrest.
Of course, this comforted the shaken woman, thinking that the loud gun fire that she had just heard had been resolved and the parties responsible were being taken into custody. However, the Chicago police had no record of any such activity at 2122 Clark Street until they arrived on the scene to find the horrifying blood bath.