The Making of the Mob: Chicago (2016) s02e07 Episode Script

Sin City

1 (narrator) Previously on "The Making of the Mob: Chicago" With Al Capone out of the picture Frank Nitti, backed by Paul Ricca and Tony Accardo, makes his first big move, shaking down Hollywood with street thug Willie Bioff.
It's all there.
Always a pleasure.
(narrator) But when Bioff gets busted No names, no deal.
Frank Nitti and, uh, Paul Ricca.
(narrator) Nitti is unwilling to take the fall (gunshot) and Ricca is put behind bars, leaving the entire empire in the hands of Tony Accardo.
Looking to branch out, Accardo brings in up-and-coming gangster Sam Giancana You ever hear of Eddie Jones? His racket's pullin' in over a million a year.
We can get in on it.
I'll think about it.
Uhh! What the hell are you doin'? I did what I had to.
Nothin' gets done without my approval! (narrator) But, knowing the policy racket could bring in millions, Accardo gives Giancana a second chance.
I'm giving you something big here.
Don't screw it up.
(chuckles) (traffic noise) Do yourself a favor.
Start counting.
(narrator) By the mid 1950s, Chicago mobsters Tony Accardo and Paul Ricca, who's recently been released from prison, have taken the reigns of the criminal empire built by their mentor, Al Capone.
(Robert Grant) Accardo and Paul Ricca were very, very, very close friends, and they were willing to share power, which, you know, at that level of Of leadership, it's very hard to find people willing to do that.
(narrator) Thanks to Sam Giancana's takeover of the policy racket, the gangsters are now making millions.
But, unlike their former boss, Accardo and Ricca realize they have to be more discreet with their profits.
(Frank Calabrese) The big change that I seen and I was taught from the Al Capone days was the fact we had to go underground.
We had to go far, far underground.
(narrator) With so much money coming in, Accardo and Ricca know they need a place to hide it.
They find their answer in a growing city located in the middle of America's Mojave desert, where gambling is now legal.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Michael Green) In the mid-'50s, Las Vegas is a boom town.
But the rules haven't been written.
It is, in a sense, a frontier town.
There is room to maneuver.
And Las Vegans are very conscious that they need industry.
They need business.
(narrator) Accardo and Ricca see Las Vegas as the holy grail, offering a way to invest their illegal profits into a legitimate business.
But they're not the first ones with this idea.
The New York Mafia is already there, led by criminal mastermind Meyer Lansky.
(Meyer Lansky II) My grandfather, in the early days of Las Vegas, the first advantage he saw is, everything was legal here that they were doing illegal.
There was nothing to hide.
And, uh, he saw it as a money opportunity.
(narrator) The New York Mob runs the Flamingo, a luxury hotel and casino founded by Bugsy Siegel, which is bringing in the modern-day equivalent of $50 million a year.
And now, the Chicago Mafia wants in.
If we do this right millions.
I like the sound of that.
We just have to be smart about it.
Do you trust this Lansky guy? He'll understand.
And if he doesn't we can do it your way.
(Michael) In a lot of ways, the Chicago Outfit is as powerful as New York, and it may be more powerful.
("Ricca") Meyer.
(Michael) When Luciano forms the commission, he's got the five families of New York.
He's got the Buffalo Mob.
Well, the Chicago Outfit is representing, basically, everything else.
So they're taking in so much territory and so much action that they have a big say.
So what can we do for you? We know Vegas has been good for you.
We just want to make sure Chicago gets a piece of the action.
(scoffs) So you're, uh looking to muscle in on our rackets, and you're telling us Why? As a courtesy? No.
We're telling you because we wanna go in on this together.
We have enough partners.
None with access to our kind of cash.
Look gentlemen, it wasn't easy getting set up out here.
(lighter flicking) Took a lot of time and a lot of effort.
We understand that.
Which is why we wanna work together.
We put money into your casinos and cut you in on ours.
Between your connections and our finances, this'll be good for all of us.
There's been a longstanding peace between New York and Chicago.
Who am I to challenge it? To peace.
And money.
(glasses clinking) (narrator) With a partnership formed, the two criminal organizations set up a system to take full advantage of Las Vegas.
First, to pay for the construction of new casinos, they secure legitimate loans from local banks who don't ask a lot of questions.
Then, when the casinos are up and running, the mobsters use their legal profits to pay off the loans.
And finally, they begin funneling their illegal money through the casinos.
(Michael) Las Vegas became a money laundering capital, and the Outfit, uh, took full advantage of the opportunity.
Gambling was a cash business.
So who notices if you suddenly say, "Oh, here's a dollar going here, and we'll move it over here.
" (birds tweeting) (narrator) As the operation grows, Accardo and Ricca know they need someone on the ground, so Ricca suggests his protégé, Sam Giancana.
I'm just not sure about him.
He's proved himself with the policy wheel, no? He's made money.
I've had to keep him on a short leash.
How am I supposed to do that when he's 2,000 miles away? Just give him a chance.
He's earned it.
Besides at least he'll be 2,000 miles away.
(chuckles softly) You have a point.
(narrator) Despite his personal reservations, Accardo knows Giancana's success in the Chicago policy rackets makes him the perfect choice to run the Vegas operation.
Yes! (crowd cheering) Once again! (Michael) Giancana and Las Vegas go together very well.
He was the kind of guy who likes to hang out in casinos.
He likes to be around the good-looking women and the action.
(narrator) Under Giancana's leadership, the Outfit's presence in Vegas explodes as gangsters from Chicago move west.
(Meyer) Chicago Outfit became very dominant here in Las Vegas.
Quite a few people from their Outfit planted here.
Pit bosses, dealers, all kinds of, you know, on-the-ground, working people, you might say.
What are we working with here? (narrator) But one mobster who's just arrived in Vegas catches Giancana's attention.
The man who broke the Mob's code of silence, sending Giancana's mentor to jail.
And now, Giancana wants revenge.
Well done.
(narrator) While making his rounds in Vegas, Chicago gangster Sam Giancana spots a man from the Outfit's past.
Willie Bioff, the same man who ratted out Paul Ricca and Frank Nitti ten years ago, and then disappeared.
Willie Bioff does something that guys in the Outfit don't traditionally do.
He rolls.
He testifies.
And, under his assumed name, moves to Arizona, but can't stand to be out of the action.
He comes up to Las Vegas.
And that exposes him to organized crime.
(phone ringing) Hello.
Yeah, he's here.
Bioff? Yeah with my own eyes.
Of all the places in the world, he chooses our casinos like nobody's watchin'.
That prick needs to be taken care of now.
- Do you understand me? - Yeah.
I'll take care of it.
1,319 days.
That's how long I went without seein' my family.
Because that prick couldn't keep his mouth shut.
Paul it's done.
(keys jangle) (car stalls) (car stalling) (engine starts) (narrator) On November 4, 1955, Willie Bioff is killed by a car bomb, the ultimate payback for ratting out his former partners.
(Meyer) Tony Accardo and Paul Ricca, they were absolutely ruthless.
They had both sides of that ability needed for that type of a lifestyle.
You had to be able to inflict violence at some times, and you also have to be able to use your logic.
Now, basically, when they walk through, they're gonna be greeted immediately by lots of slot machines.
("Ricca") This grand ballroom will be the biggest grand ballrooms in any casino in Vegas.
(narrator) Over the next two years, Chicago and New York launch an ambitious expansion of Vegas, transforming four miles of Nevada desert into what will come to be known as the Las Vegas Strip attracting nearly eight million people a year, who pump over $200 million into the casinos.
This is a beautiful ledger sheet.
I want to frame it and put it on my wall.
(all chuckling) And it's just the beginning.
To the future, gentlemen.
To the future.
To the future.
(narrator) But Accardo and Giancana see Vegas as more than a destination for gambling.
The magic that really made it take off was combining the casinos with entertainment from famous stars like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
(narrator) Soon, the allure of the Vegas strip begins attracting Hollywood's biggest stars.
And Sam Giancana takes advantage of all that the social scene has to offer.
(David Eisenbach) Sam Giancana is a guy who liked to hang out with celebrities like Frank Sinatra.
Uh, he was a guy who liked to kind of rub shoulders with celebrities and with the powers that be.
(Frank Cullotta) The way Sam was treated anywhere he went, they knew who he was, and he was admired.
If a movie star came in the door with him, they would go to him before they would go to the movie star.
(narrator) As the money pours in, the Outfit comes up with a way to make even more.
It's known as the skim.
(Meyer) The skim is money that's taken off the tables before it can be recorded in a book or anything to do with being taxed.
How it worked depended on the place.
They rigged slot machines.
They rigged the scales.
You get in the counting room, and the money starts disappearing.
Very nice.
(William Forsythe) Once it went into Vegas, they were bigger than anyone.
You know, they were as big as the oil business.
(traffic noise) (door creaks) (narrator) But just as the Outfit's Vegas operations are taking off, an incident over 2,500 miles away in New York City threatens to destroy everything the Mob has built.
(echoing heartbeat) (narrator) On May 2, 1957, New York Mob boss Frank Costello is shot.
But, miraculously, he survives.
As the gangster recovers, the police make an unexpected discovery.
(Meyer) The police found a piece of paper that suggested that there was money coming out of the Tropicana in Las Vegas.
There was skimming going on in the Tropicana Hotel.
(narrator) News of the cops' discovery spreads quickly, exposing the Mafia's ties to Las Vegas.
This proved that an organized crime figure was involved with the casinos.
This was very embarrassing for the local banks, who were lending money to these people.
So, after that piece of paper was found, the local banks were not going to lend money to buy and build and expand casinos.
How are we supposed to cover construction costs if we can't get a single loan? Not one.
No bank'll go near us.
The banks will come around.
When? Soon trust me.
Until then we just need to wait this out until it resolves itself.
We can't afford to wait.
If we can't get the money from the bank, we need to get it from somewhere else.
(narrator) To secure the financing they need, Tony Accardo turns to a source closer to home.
I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure (narrator) A high-ranking officer in the country's largest labor union, the Teamsters (applause) Jimmy Hoffa.
I take a look around this room and I can see a working man.
Many working men! (cheering and applause) Nothing is more important to me than our financial security.
Nothing! (cheering) (narrator) Thanks to the Outfit's influence, Hoffa is now the president of the Teamsters union, and Accardo wants to call in a favor.
That pension fund you started up.
How much interest are you charging on loans? About eight percent.
But, for you, I could get it down to six.
Let's make it three.
Three percent? Jimmy Hoffa was put in place and voted in from the Chicago Outfit.
So, once he was in office, for that favor, they needed loans.
Three percent? Is that a problem? No! No problem.
Whatever you need.
(Hillel) The Outfit took hundreds of millions of dollars from the Teamsters' pension funds, which, in essence, was Accardo's piggybank.
And that money is really what financed the growth of Las Vegas.
(narrator) But as the Outfit's empire continues to grow, Accardo and co-boss Paul Ricca know they risk attracting more attention.
(Michael Madsen) Tony Accardo, he wasn't interested in being flashy and being noticed, because then those Those kind of guys were always the ones who went to prison.
(narrator) To insulate themselves, the two Mob kingpins make an unprecedented move by naming a new acting boss, a gangster who's made millions for the Outfit and relishes the spotlight.
Sam Giancana.
You got big things comin', kid.
And that's why we're talkin' to you.
(flicks cigarette) We need somebody to run things.
And you want that person to be me? Yes.
But we need assurances you're gonna stay in line.
I will.
(John Kass) Ricca and Accardo, their mentality was, no heat.
No Valentine's massacre none of that.
So put a man named Sam Giancana in charge, and they They just sat quietly.
And they dictated what happened and recede even further in the background.
Thank you.
If you blow this for us I know the consequences, Joe.
(narrator) In one move, Accardo and Ricca further distance themselves from the public eye but retain the final say in all big decisions.
For Giancana, taking day-to-day control of the Outfit is a lifelong dream.
(Frank Cullotta) Sam Giancana was, of course, power crazy.
He grew up the hard way.
You know what I mean? In other words, he stole and he robbed and all that, and then he became a big boss.
(narrator) But what he doesn't realize is that he's about to become the target of an ambitious young attorney who he sees an opportunity to make a name for himself by going after organized crime.
Robert F.
We need to get these guys tracked down.
(man) Yes, sir.
This is no joke, gentlemen.
So if there's more resources that you need, you come to me You let me know.
(narrator) After successfully managing his older brother John's election to the US senate, Robert F.
Kennedy, the seventh of nine children born to a growing political dynasty, is ready to make a name for himself.
(David) I don't think Bobby was bred to be a politician.
The older brothers were the future, uh, politicians.
Bobby was the one who ran the campaigns.
Bobby was the one who kept everybody in line.
And Bobby embraced that role.
What rate of interest did you charge on that loan? (man) I don't remember.
(narrator) To further his career, Kennedy takes a position as the lead investigative counsel to the US Senate, where he goes on a crusade against corrupt labor unions, targeting leaders like Jimmy Hoffa.
Hoffa, you have people in Detroit, at least 15, who have police records.
One of those has 38 arrests and is a known associate of Joe Accardo and Paul Ricca, two of Chicago's leading gangsters.
(narrator) During the investigation, Kennedy uncovers a link between Hoffa and organized crime.
Realizing that the corruption runs much deeper than the labor unions, Kennedy decides to use the power of his panel to investigate the Mob.
(David) Kennedy, who's looking to make a name for himself, is gonna see, "Wait a second.
Here's an opportunity," right, "to to use my righteous anger," the black-and-white view of the world, good versus evil, for his own political purposes.
(narrator) One of the first men that Kennedy wants to call to the stand is the Outfit's day-to-day boss, Sam Giancana.
("Giancana") I feel like we just pile up our money here! Again, again! (narrator) But when Giancana gets word that he's going to be subpoenaed, he does the unexpected and skips town.
What?! Sounds good to me.
Giancana played a lot of games, and among the games he played was avoiding service for the subpoena that would bring him before the McClellan committee.
(narrator) For almost a year, Giancana stays one step ahead of the feds by hiding out in different cities and using a number of aliases.
He was put in as the operating boss of the Outfit, to mind the store, a multibillion-dollar enterprise.
He's not minding the stores.
(big band music playing) Why, hello there.
You enjoying yourself? The goal is to bet as high as you possibly can.
Let's have a moment Sam Giancana? Yeah? You're a hard man to find.
You've been served.
I haven't told you this won't take It's about time! Maybe you're right (narrator) Despite knowing his bosses would disapprove, Giancana refuses to keep a low profile.
So what do you intend to say to the committee? Well, I would like to tell 'em to go to hell.
(giggling) They couldn't catch me for a year.
(whispering) That's very funny.
So what do you think of Bobby Kennedy? I think Robert Kennedy has no idea what he's in for.
A number-one rule for any mobster is you don't want to be in the press.
Where haven't I been (David) It's it's just bringing on way too much attention that the syndicate did not want.
Anything he should be worried about? Guess we'll have to wait and see, won't we? (giggling) When I am down (record crackling) And feel uninspired If I fall I know I'll be fine That's why I'm here Take a walk.
To say I love you Now! I'm so glad (sighs) You're mine Damn it! (grunts) You're givin' interviews to the "Tribune" now? Relax, I didn't say anything I wasn't supposed to.
Shut up! I know what I'm doing Shut up! (lighter flicks) When you go in front of the committee, you're gonna take the fifth, every single time.
You got it? Yeah.
I got it.
(Robert Lombardo) Accardo never talked to the press.
And it was frowned upon, talking to the press.
Why expose yourself? Why expose what you're doing? And I think they learned a lesson from Capone, because Capone, um, was more than happy to talk to the press.
Clean yourself up.
You're a mess.
(narrator) On June 9, 1959 Sam Giancana, the acting boss of the country's largest criminal syndicate, arrives in Washington D.
, ready to go head-to-head with one of the most feared interrogators in the country.
(narrator) After evading federal agents for a year, Sam Giancana is about to testify in front of a congressional committee and come face to face with the man determined to take down organized crime, Robert F.
We ultimately subpoenaed him in Las Vegas.
That is correct.
Following that Las Vegas visit, he returned to Chicago, where he gave an interview to a reporter from the "Chicago Tribune.
" ("Kennedy") You may relate what his opinion of the committee was.
("Salinger") Ahem.
He says, referring to the committee, "I would like to tell them to all go to hell.
" Is that correct? I decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.
He also says, "They couldn't catch me for a year.
I like to hide.
" Is that correct, Mr.
Giancana? I decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.
He was also quoted, when asked why he hadn't served in any armed forces during World War II, as stating, "When I was called in front of the board, they asked me what kind of work I did.
I told them I steal for a living.
They thought I was crazy.
" "But I wasn't.
I was telling the truth.
" (laughing) ("Kennedy") The authorities in Chicago consider Mr.
Giancana to be the number-two man in the syndicate in the city.
He and Mr.
Tony Accardo, number one and number two.
Is that correct, Mr.
Giancana? (whispering indistinctly) Mr.
Giancana? I decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.
Would you tell us, if you had opposition from anybody, that you have them dealt with by stuffing them in a trunk? Is that what you do, Mr.
Giancana? (chuckling) I decline to answer 'cause I honestly believe my answer might tend to Would you tell us anything about any of your operations, or are you just gonna giggle every time I ask you a question?! I thought only little girls giggled, Mr.
(Frank Cullotta) When these guys, like Bobby Kennedy, and they got you in the crosshairs and they're questioning you, like these committees they got Would you tell us anything about any of your operations? (Frank Cullotta) and they're gettin' cocky wit' ya, and you're just wishin' you could come out of that chair and rip that son of a bitch right off that pedestal that he's sittin' on over there.
I decline to answer because I honestly believe my answer might tend to incriminate me! (gavel pounds) (Chairman) Is there anything further? (scoffs) You may stand aside, subject to being recalled.
Every battle that Bobby Kennedy took up became personal.
Everything was war for Bobby Kennedy.
But Sam Giancana probably looked at Bobby Kennedy as just that, a rich, snot-nosed kid whose dad's fortune was made illegally.
(lighter flicks) Are you stupid? It's a publicity stunt.
All Kennedy cares about is gettin' his name in the papers.
And how exactly does laughin' in his face help things? It was funny.
Don't you ever think? You're on very thin ice.
And you're blowing this whole thing out of proportion.
Get out of here.
(Frank Calabrese) Giancana was too vocal, too out in the open.
He wasn't underground enough.
And I think it all went to his head after a while.
(narrator) To Tony Accardo, Sam Giancana has become a liability who now risks bringing the whole Chicago Mob down.
(narrator) As Sam Giancana's outrageous behavior becomes more of a problem for the Outfit I got it.
Don't worry.
(narrator) co-boss Paul Ricca knows he needs to rein his protégé in.
Listen this business with you and Accardo He's got a problem with me.
I am living the life you and I dreamed of.
- Listen.
- And he's got a problem with that.
Does he even know realize how much money I'm bringin' in? - What's it gonna take to get respect? - Listen, I don't - I am runnin' the casinos.
- Listen I am runnin' the policy Listen! We got a good thing going on here.
- We do.
- And the only way that I'm gonna be able to keep it like that is if you stay in line.
Let me take care of Accardo, all right? Go back to doin' what you do best.
Make money.
I don't wanna see no more problems, okay? (exhales) Of course.
(narrator) But in the midst of Accardo and Giancana's growing feud, Paul Ricca is convicted of tax evasion and once again sent to prison.
It's another blow to the Outfit, but the government is just getting started.
Who does that son of a bitch think he is? This is the man that's ordered the murder of dozens, maybe hundreds of men.
(scoffs) And he just sits there, laughing, like it's some kind of a joke.
Kennedy was willing to go after the Mob, uh, by any means necessary, to use a phrase.
With Bobby Kennedy, everything seemed to be personal.
What do you wanna do? I wanna hit 'em where it hurts most! The casinos.
Get me the Nevada Gaming Commission.
(crowd chattering) (chips clinking) Very nice.
Giancana could you please come with us? What's this about? Please.
I'm not goin' anywhere.
Kindly escort Mr.
Giancana off the floor.
Get your hands off me.
I'm Get your hands off of me! (grunting) (narrator) After Sam Giancana makes a mockery of Robert F.
Kennedy's hearings, the Nevada Gaming Control Board puts his name on a list of criminals who are barred from entering casinos.
("Accardo") How the hell are you going to run things in Vegas when you can't even step foot inside a casino? It's temporary, okay? I already spoke to our lawyers.
They said there's a good chance I can get my name off that list if I take it to court.
Take it to court? Have you lost your mind? What do you suggest I do then? Do you have any idea of the kind of press that will bring? What am I supposed to do? You fix it.
I just told you how to fix it.
Find another way.
Otherwise I'm gonna have to make some changes.
(laughing) Okay.
Good luck with that.
(David) It's one thing to be a well-known gangster and to be hanging out with Frank Sinatra.
But now to be seen, you know, as this criminal, definitely makes life more difficult because it makes it harder to buy off the politicians, it makes it harder to buy off the cops.
Makes it harder to basically run an operation if you have the The media glare like this.
Everyone's replaceable.
Everyone! (narrator) With Accardo and Giancana's relationship deteriorating, and Paul Ricca in prison, the Chicago Outfit is on the verge of a total collapse.