“Mad Sam” was truly a crazy sadist. He liked to muse about feeding his victims to victims to the pigs. He drove to pig farms just to watch them for hours. A government witness, Charles Crimaldi, claimed DeStefano made his wife Anita take his gun and put the end of the barrel in her mouth, then demanded that she pull the trigger. When she pulled the trigger and the gun didn’t go off, DeStefano began to laugh and told her that he had removed the bullets. He would tell this story over and over again to his mob associates for amusement.
FBI Agent William “Bill” Roemer wrote that the Bureau assigned him to visit and question “Mad Sam” in his home. Agent Roemer said DeStefano would walk down the stairs in his pajamas, with his penis hanging out. The visiting agents would drink coffee and they noticed it had a unique taste. “Mad Sam” claimed the coffee was made from special Italian coffee beans. Roemer learned that DeStefano had been urinating in the coffee. A story is told that DeStefano forced a stranger into his car at gunpoint, took the man to his house. he forced his wife to perform oral copulation on this stranger. We know this because afterward, the man went to the nearest police station and reported the incident.
Sam brought his brothers, Mario and Michael into the Outfit loan sharking business. Mario was an excellent associate because he was almost as sick as “Mad Sam.” Michael was not cut out for this business and developed a heroin addiction. DeStefano’s Outfit bosses ordered Sam to kill his brother, Michael. On September 17th, 1955 the Chicago Police received a call with the location of a fresh body in a car’s trunk. The cops found a dead Michael, he was shot in the body, but not in the head. The body was cleaned up and was made sure to be found early.
It was during this time, the early 1960s that a young jewel thief and enforcer named Tony Spilotro was coming up in the Outfit. “Mad Sam” took Spilotro in as a juice loan collector. Mad Sam claimed he personally mentored Tony Spilotro. The first scene in Casino is a man with his head in a vise as the Joe Pecsi character questions him. Two men named Billy McCarthy and Jimmy Miraglia had stepped out of line. They both owed juice loans to Mad Sam. In May of 1962, Mad Sam gave the job of extracting a penalty to his collectors, Charles Nicoletti, Phil Alderisio and Spilotro. They kidnapped 24-year-old Billy McCarthy. The three men started torturing McCarthy to find out the name of his accomplice. Spilotro had placed the man’s head in an industrial vice and started squeezing it tighter and tighter. Suddenly, McCarthy’s eye popped completely out of its socket. At that point, he revealed his accomplice’s name. Later the killers found Jimmy Miraglia and much to Mad Sam’s displeasure, they merely killed him Years later, Tony Spilotro told this story to his friend Frank Cullotta. Spilotro was impressed by Nicoletti’s reaction to the gory scene: “Boy, this is a heartless guy. He was eating pasta when Billy’s eye popped out.”
Frank Cullotta tells a story about the one time that he was with “Mad Sam.” Frank thinks that he just needs to talk to his lawyer, so they go to the lawyer’s office. Sam started yelling and screaming at this lawyer because he did not take care of a guy on a case like he said that he would. He started calling him names, grabbing him, and threatening the lawyer. “Mad Sam” zips down his pants and starts to urinate on the lawyer. The lawyer thanks “Mad Sam” for not killing him on the way out. Frank cannot believe that this really happened.
“Mad Sam” had one the biggest, if not the biggest loan shark business in the 50-60s in Chicago. “Mad Sam” enjoyed his line of work. The fact that he was probably bringing in around a million dollars a year on “juice” loans, was not his favorite part. His favorite part was collecting the debts when people didn’t or couldn’t pay. He liked torturing people.
Not all of mad Sam’s victims were killed. He liked to humiliate his victims. Peter Cappelletti, a collector for DeStefano, fled Chicago with $25,000 from a loan shark victim. DeStefano’s men located Cappelletti in Wisconsin and brought him back to Chicago. DeStefano chained Cappelletti to a radiator in the back of a restuarant and tortured him for three days. While a banquet was going on, Cappelletti was secretly being tortured in the back of the restaurant. “Kill me man, please, I’m on fire!” Cappelletti implored, to which DeStefano replied “Then we need to put the fire out” before having his men drag the severely burned Cappelletti into the dining area and forcing the man’s family to urinate on him in unison. Following the banquet, the family quickly paid back the stolen money.
Mad Sam will eventually be killed by his protege Tony Spilotro and his remaining brother, Mario. A fitting for “Mad Sam.”
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