In this new two part series, I tell about Chicago Mob associates Jerome “Jerry” “The Monk” Scalise and Arthur “The Brain” Rachel. These two guys were master criminals of the Chicago Underworld. Some claim that in the Michael Mann film Thief, the James Caan character, known only as Frank, was modeled on Scalise and the Jim Belushi character, known only as Barry, on Rachel. Thief marked the first film appearance of actor and former Chicago cop Dennis Farina. Another interesting tidbit about the Thief cast was the appearance of real Chicago Mob associate, John Schiavone aka, John Santucci. He played a corrupt cop and was a technical adviser. A few years later, a guy, driving a new Corvette and wearing a production jacket from Thief, started showing up at the Virginian Tavern, a noted 1980s Kansas City mob bar. We soon learned this was John Schiavone who acted under the name, John Santucci. He was seen with some KC theives and then disappeared. We never really learned why he was here. As we always say, “7 million stories in the naked city and this was just one of them.” He would go on to be charged a few years later in a scheme to steal from vending machines. The kicker is, we saw him with a guy who specialized in breaking into vending machines, Gene Maggio. That may not sound like much but think of a 20 story hotel with a coke and candy machine on every floor.
In this episode, Aaron and I set the scene for the theft of the famous Marlborough diamond. Jerry Scalise and Art Rachel travel from Chicago to London, England with the plan to steal the most famous diamond of the day. In 1980, The Monk and The Brain pulled off an audacious theft of the over one million in diamonds from the famous Graff Jewelers store in exclusive Knightsbridge section of London. Among the diamonds they took was the 45 caret Marlborough diamond. The former owner of the Marlborough diamond was the Duchess of Marlborough, the niece of Winston Churchill.
At the live podcast, I got some great podcast feedback from a nice young woman whose name I can’t remember. She needs to email me, I have a gift for your important feedback.