GEORGE "BUGS" MORAN - DOCUMENT SIGNED 11/28/1938 - HFSID 350453
Sale Price $4,675.00
The Chicago gangster and target of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre adds his very rare signature of "George Moran" to this petition in 1938. Documents signed by Moran with his birth name are extremely scarce in the public market.
Document signed "George Moran" and by "Lillian E. Cohen" as Notary Public. 1 page, 8x3¾ (visible), framed to 29x19 with b/w photos of Moran and the aftermath of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and a 5x8 bio plate. November 28, 1938. In full: "GEORGE MORAN being first duly sworn, states that he has read the above and foregoing petition, signed by him, and that the same is true except for those matters stated by him to be upon information and belief, and that as to those matters this affiant states that he believes them to be true." This document appears to be related to a forgery trial that, according to the Nov. 28, 1938, Chicago Daily Tribune, included Moran and nine other defendants. Moran was accused of forging American Express checks, New York Central railroad bonds and cigarette revenue stamps. The trial started on Jan. 4, 1939 and, 16 days later, the jury found Moran not guilty. Moran (1893-1957, born George Moran in St. Paul, Minnesota) had committed more than 20 known burglaries and was imprisoned three times before he was 21. He became the head of Dion O'Bannion's North Side gang in Chicago in 1926. It was hard to find a mob shoot-out in the 1920s in which Moran was not a leading player. For three years, Moran's gang and Al Capone's gang were bloody adversaries. Their rivalry climaxed on February 14, 1929 in a garage at 2122 North Clark Street. Capone had a gangster from Detroit set up a deal for a quantity of recently hijacked liquor to be picked up by Moran and his gang at a Chicago garage. Capone's gang acquired a police paddy wagon and police uniforms and pulled up in front of the garage. Two of his men were dressed in the uniforms; the others were in long coats, looking like detectives. They charged into the building just as the police would have done in a raid. (The 18th Amendment prohibited the "manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors") Inside the garage were six members of Moran's gang and an optometrist who picked a bad day to visit. All seven men were told to stand up and face the wall, ostensibly for a pat-down search for weapons and identification. Two of Capone's men then opened fire with Thompson submachine guns ("tommy guns"). The two dressed as policemen then marched the plain clothed members of their gang out of the garage with their hands raised as if they were under arrest. They all got into the police wagon and drove off. Moran had been late getting up that morning and he and two others were just rounding the corner when the police wagon rolled up. Figuring the police were there for a routine bust, they stayed out of sight waiting for the police to leave. When the machine guns opened fire, Moran and his friends left. When Moran was later picked up for questioning, he said: "Only Capone kills like that." Capone, in Florida at his beachfront condo at the time, denied all knowledge of the hit, which became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Although unnerved by the slaughter of his men, Moran refused to turn from his brutal lifestyle. In 1936, just two years before signing this legal document, Moran and his men entered a Chicago bowling alley and cold-bloodedly killed "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn, the man who had organized and executed the Valentine's Day carnage. In the 1930s, however, Moran's power began to wane, even though Capone was then in jail. Moran eventually moved to Ohio, where he was arrested in 1946 for robbing a bank messenger of $10,000. He was convicted and sentenced to ten years. After his release in 1956, Moran was again arrested for an earlier bank raid and sent to the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he died of lung cancer in 1957. Document is lightly toned and has random ink stains. Otherwise in fine condition. Frame has light dents and scuffs. Framed to an overall size of 29x19.
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