Sam Giancana

I am very excited to announce that in addition to being published as an eBook, Sam Giancana is now available in paperback:


After writing numerous crime books, a publisher asked if I’d be interested in writing a “mobster” book. I chose Sam Giancana partly because he operated during a number of important decades in United States history, 1940’s – 1960’s. As is obvious from all my books, I LOVE history. I also think some of what happens has to be seen in the context of the time in which it happens. Giancana was also a challenge because he is not at all likeable. He had a rough childhood but many have and so I had to work hard to find times when he behaved like a human being. I don’t know how successful I was on that count (!) but it certainly was an interesting ride trying to get there.

Sent to Reformatory at the age of 10, Sicilian-American Sam Giancana went on to live a turbulent and eventful life as mobster and mob boss at a pivotal point in history when the mafia decided who ruled America, who lived and who died.

Born in 1908, in The Patch, Chicago, Giancana joined the Forty-Two gang in 1921 and quickly proved himself as a skilled wheel man (getaway driver), extortionist and vicious killer. Called up to the ranks of the Outfit, he held talks with the CIA about assassinating Fidel Castro, befriended a girlfriend of John F. Kennedy and new other celebrities, including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine and Marilyn Monroe. Giancana also had an interesting relationship with the Kennedy family but the extent of that is not completely clear.

The story of Sam Giancana will overturn many of your beliefs about America during the Kennedy era. If you want to know Giancana’s possible role in the brother’s deaths, and more of the intrigue surrounding that of Marilyn Monroe, this book will fill you in on the murky lives of many shady characters who ruled the day, both in Chicago and elsewhere. 



Sam Giancana, The Rise and Fall of a Chicago Mobster

I hope you enjoy the book and to give you a taste of it, here is an excerpt from Sam Giancana, describing an incident when Giancana was still a young man:

The old days of using notes imprinted with a black hand in ink had given way to “pineapple” bombs as a means of extortion or intimidation. These small grenades, with surfaces like pineapples, went off so often in the Patch that residents hardly noticed them. One explosion, however, had more impact than most, especially inside the Giancana family. Antonio’s store was continuing to succeed, having become well known for its Italian lemon ice, a sugary iced treat. On the night of September 16, 1928, Chuck was almost asleep when a loud blast shook him from his bed. He raced to the window and could just make out the glow of fire in the distance. Chuck saw his father outside, still dressed in pajamas, racing toward the blaze. It turned out to be the store, where the front window had been blown out. Despite the damage, Antonio and his partner, Anthony Gremilda, were able to reopen in a few days.

Less than two weeks later the store was hit again. This blast ripped open the entire front of the building, blew a huge hole in the floor and broke windows for half a block to either side of the store. Police questioned Antonio, suspecting he had ignored extortion attempts against him and Gremilda. Antonio insisted he had no idea why their business was being targeted.

But someone was bent on making a point. The night after the second blast, the two men were attacked as they emerged from their ruined store. Gremilda was shot three times, though not seriously, and Antonio was pistol-whipped. Still they stayed silent.

Authorities began to wonder if this was retaliation against Antonio’s son – the man now known to police as Sam Giancana. Certainly, that was the word in the Patch and the neighborhood became very tense because everyone knew that this was one man you did not cross.

Chuck heard all the talk, too, and even though he was only five, he understood it was just a matter of time before his brother sought revenge. “Mooney’ll give the guy who bombed his father’s store a good taste of his own medicine,” Chuck heard another boy say.

And so, on a cool autumn day, Sam “Mooney” Giancana took revenge for his family – inadvertently in front of his little brother.

The five-year-old boy sat on the curb, holding a handful of small stones he pretended were dice. He would throw them down in one go, then scoop them all up and start again. Although still very young, Chuck had already learned a great deal from watching life in the Patch. His education was about to take a giant leap forward.

At first he didn’t pay much attention to the man who appeared and stood leaning against the lamppost. Then the man began to whistle. He was tall and, although the boy did not recognize him, he smiled anyway because the man was Italian.

“Hey kid, can anybody play?” he asked. Chuck shook his head in response. “This is a one-man game, but you can watch if you want.”

“That’s fair,” the man said, continuing to watch and whistle. Chuck was retrieving his stones for the hundredth time when he suddenly spotted his brother Mooney out of the corner of his eye. Mooney was walking towards them very quickly and the boy didn’t even get a chance to say hello when Mooney reached the stranger. There was a loud pop and the man fell to the ground.

“Blood gushed from his head like water from an open fire hydrant . . . bursting in torrents onto the pavement,” Chuck later recalled. “And then, as quickly as he’d appeared, Mooney was gone.”

The boy stood there, paralyzed with shock. Pandemonium broke out around him. Shoppers rushed from the stores, barbershop customers still covered in shaving cream appeared, residents from the neighborhood called out from windows, police sirens screamed in the background. Still Chuck stood there, “mesmerized by the blood from the whistling man. It steamed in the cool autumn air.” He hadn’t realized there was so much blood in a person.

Here are a couple of links to where you can purchase the book:

From Amazon:




Also available from many other sources such as iTunes and Amazon in other countries