Bonus Episode Murder in Park Ridge

March 1, 2019

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Dean from Ireland just emailed and told me some great personal stories about his relative Danny Greene. Thanks Dean, and he made a suggestion that I do a show where I answer questions from wiretappers about myself and my career. So, I would be happy to do that. I have told some stories from my career and I have a few more to tell, some of them are not mob stories but run of the mill police stories. So, if you have questions about me and my career, email them at ganglandwire@gmail.com or message them on facebook, or if you want to hear your voice on the podcast, call my phone at 816-931-3535 and leave your question.

What would you think if you read in the Chicago Tribune that an unknown assailant killed 4 suburban Chicago businessmen with a .22 pistol that in one elevator at one time?

Well, on Friday morning July 22, 1977, Jenny Lesick employee of U.S. Universal arrived at work about 7:30 AM. She found the elevator door propped open by a man’s leg. As she snuck a quick peek inside, she saw a mound of bodies covered in blood lying lifelessly on the elevator floor. She ran screaming across the street to a gas station for help. About the same time, Bruce L. Sherson of Mirro aluminum company arrived for work and forced open the elevator doors and found 4 dead bodies.  Police arrived shortly after and found the bodies of Joseph LaRosa 35 years old and his brother in law John Vische 32 years of age dead. LaRosa owned U.S. Universal which was a burglar and smoke alarm company. Alongside the bodies of LaRosa and Vische were two U.S. Universal employees, Donald Marchebanks, age 56, and Malcolm Russell, age 37.

Detective Rocco Rinaldi of the Chicago PD examined the scene and found that all the victims still had their wallets and jewelry. They found the right coat pockets of the company owner LaRosa,  Malcolm Russell and  Donald Marchebanks had been ripped open. They wrongly speculated that the killer was looking for something and found it before he got to the fourth man, John Vische. Investigators found that Joseph LaRosa and his wife were new residents a nearby suburb of Inverness and neighbors said they were a complete mystery. Other people in the building described this business as some kind of boiler room with lots of phones and the owners and their many visitors all seemed to drive expensive cars and wear lots of gold jewelry. Det. Rinaldi will soon learn that Malcolm Russell was under Federal investigation for telephone fraud from his involvement with a company called Steel Liquidation Services. He learned this company was not really an alarm company in the sense that ADT is an alarm company. This company was more like a pyramid scheme in which they sold a package to investors trying to set up their own alarm business. These investors, in turn, sold a package to individuals wanting to go into the alarm business at the retail level. They had an inexpensive motion detector alarm they sold in sales kits. The final buyer was sold many cases of these alarms after a sales instruction course. In order to set up this business, they had gone into business with someone in the Outfit and they were not kicking back any money.

On their last night of life, LaRosa, Marchebanks and Russell participated in one of their many sales seminars held in the evening hours because their marks were mainly working people trying to establish their own business. LaRosa’s brother in law, John Vische had stopped by and was leaving with the victims. What they did not know was that out in Las Vegas Tony Spilotro had taken on the job to kill them for their failures to kick back money to the Outfit. By this time, in 1977, Spilotro has taken up residence in Las Vegas to establish a Chicago style crime family. He recruited his childhood friend and old burglary partners, Joey Hansen and Frank Cullotta to help him. He had kept Cullotta in Vegas to run a burglary and strong-arm gang and sent Hansen to establish himself in Los Angeles. Outfit bosses had sent a long time Outfit killer and enforcer named Paulie “The Indian” Shiro to establish an Outfit presence in the Phoenix and Scottdale area.

In July 1977, a source has reported that Shiro and Hansen returned to Chicago to murder the principles of U. S. Universal. They conducted their usual surveillance and determined they could catch both of them at one time in a place without witness when they descended an elevator after an evening sales seminar. They parked in the parking lot and watched the building and by around 10:00 PM, they saw the seminar participants leaving the building. They put on stocking masks, coveralls and gloves and readied their .22 caliber silenced semi-automatic pistols. Each gun carried 10 rounds in their magazines. When they saw the lights flick off, the killers moved inside the lobby and waited for the elevator to descend. As the door opened the occupants froze at the sight of two masked men. Before they could react, the killers took aim at the heads of their victims and started squeezing off rounds. They coolly kept firing into the bodies as the men fell to the floor. After the 20 rounds were fired, they stepped into the elevator and reloaded firing a coup de gras into each head. One man took a large pocket knife and cut the right coat pocket of three of the men. As he got to the third, both men looked quizzically at each other as if to say, “Who in the fuck is this?” They quietly and calmly left the building got into a non-descript mid-size car and left the scene.

 

This murder will not be solved until Frank Cullotta comes in and testifies against his former Outfit bosses and cohorts. Paul the Indian Shiro will move up in the Outfit when Spilotro is killed. He operated a bar called the Scotch Mist in Phoenix and was a business partner of a guy named Emil Vaci who operated a business ferrying gamblers to Las Vegas. In 2005, the FBI turned in a 43-page indictment that was created by the “Family Secrets” investigation. Nick Calabrese testified that Schiro participated in the murder of his friend and Outfit associate Emil Vaci. It seems the Outfit was afraid that Vaci was cooperating with the FBI in connection with the murder of former Stardust casino boss Jay Vandermark, a slot skim expert who cheated the Chicago mob by diverting some of the skim to himself.

It was revealed by Outfit hitman-turned-government witness, Nicholas Calabrese, that Schiro acted as a lookout and listening to a police scanner during the hit on Vaci and also took part in the planning of Vaci’s killing. Calabrese said he and an accomplice pulled Vaci into a van, then Calabrese shot Vaci several times in the head and dumped his body in a canal.  Shiro was convicted and I cannot find him in the Federal prison locator.

Joey Hansen is dead as far as I can tell.
Don’t forget to listen to Aaron on the Big Dumb Fun Show.

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