Title: Mob Chief’s Biography is a Real Attention-Getter
By George Hackett, Associated Press Writer
Double Cross | Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Warner, 366 Pages. $22.95
“Double Cross” is as shocking as the life of the book’s subject, crime boss Sam Giancana.
Known to friends and enemies as “Mooney,” he was a Chicago hood who shot and killed his way to power and then used it to expand the mob’s influence into the unions and the federal government.
In this biography, Mooney’s brother, Chuck, and godson, Sam, reveal many more family secrets. As they tell it, Mooney took part in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and gunned down dozens of men before he was 20.
He showed no mercy to his victims. “sometimes, you want it to last, so you just play with the guy, toy with him a little bit. They always act the same… they beg you not to do it to ‘em. Then you finally do hit the bastard, he drops like a sack of potatoes right there at your feet.”
The book also dwells at length on Mooney’s alleged ties with the CIA, including an attempt to eliminate Castro, and his relationship with the Kennedy family. The co-authors credit Mooney with twice saving Joseph Kennedy’s life form hit men, but was done for a reason: Mooney figured he would have easy access to the White House after John F. Kennedy took office.
It’s all in and outs for me when Jack’s elected,” Mooney explained to Chuck. “Ill be on easy street… no more coppers, no more FBI… As far as my business is concerned – Vegas, Teamsters, drugs, you name it – they’ll all just turn their heads and they’ll have executive orders to do it. Or else.”
There are controversial chapters in which Mooney is linked to the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and to the assassination of John and Bobby Kennedy.
Mooney died like he had lived. On June 19, 1975, he was cooking sausages in his suburban home in Illinois when a killer fired one shot into the base of his skull, one into the mouth and five more under his chin.
Chuck Giancana implies that his brother’s murder was not gangland retribution but was ordered to keep him from testifying about his government connections.