He Couldn't Just Send Them a Card
"I have built my organization upon fear."
St. Valentine's Day should have been just like every other day for members of the Bugs Moran gang. They were meeting at the SMC Cartage warehouse, supposedly to pick up some bootleg whiskey, but it was a set up. The cops arrived, apparently intending to bust the bootleggers. Instead, they opened fire on the seven gang members with machine guns, continuing to fire even as the men fell to the floor, dead. It was the work of Al Capone, rival gang member who thought he had killed his rival, Moran. "I have built my organization upon fear,"
a famous Al Capone quote,
and he wasn't mincing words.
Unfortunately, he didn't get Moran, only some of his lieutenants. Moran was late to the party and had seen the police car pull up to the warehouse. He and a few other thugs turned and hightailed it out of there, heading for safety at a nearby coffee shop.
Capone couldn't have predicted the public outrage over the murders, which was quickly dubbed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre
by the media. Though the investigation was frustrated by a lack of evidence, something that could implicate Capone, the hit got the attention of the federal government, who finally began their own investigation.
Capone could hear the footsteps approaching. Two years later, he was convicted of income tax invasion and got 10 years in the state pen plus an additional year in county jail for attempted jury tampering. One of America's most wanted criminals was brought down not by his desire to control his organization or territory, but because he didn't pay his taxes.