Fiore "Fifi" Buccieri
was a Chicago mobster and member of the Chicago Outfit
The Chicago Outfit, also known as the Chicago Syndicate or Chicago Mob and sometimes shortened to simply the Outfit, is a crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, USA...
who specialized in loansharking.
As a youth, Buccieri was a member of the Chicago 42 Gang with future Outfit boss Sam "Momo" Giancana
Salvatore Giancana , better known as Sam Giancana, was a Sicilian-American mobster and boss of the Chicago Outfit from 1957-1966...
. He was the brother of mobster Frank Buccieri
Frank "The Horse" Buccieri , also known as "Frank Russo" or "Big Frank", was a Chicago Outfit mobster who headed mob operations on the West Coast of the United States during the 1970s and 80s. He was the brother of Outfit hitman Fiore "Fifi" Buccieri.In 1936, the 17 year-old Buccieri was arraigned...
. During the 1920s, the two men worked as gunmen for future Outfit boss Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...
. In 1925, Buccieri was arrested for the first time on concealed weapons charge. During the bootleg wars of Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...
, Buccieri was reportedly involved in at least 10 gangland slayings. In the 1960s, following Giancana's rise to the day-to-day "boss" position in the Outfit, Buccieri served as a top enforcer and personal hitman. He was also involved in labor racketeering bombing, arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...
and loan sharking.
As a loan shark, Buccieri would send his men to stake out employment offices. These thugs would pass out business cards to the unemployed that listed Buccieri as a, "loan officer." The mob generally viewed unemployed workers as poor loan prospects; however, Buccieri was so effective at intimidating his "juice," or "loan interest," victims that they would steal or rob to pay him off. Buccieri would often warn friends of a "juice" victim not to ride around with him, "because he is going to get hit
." When the victim heard this warning, he would quickly pay up.
Buccieri, along with Jackie "The Lackey" Cerone
John "Jackie The Lackey" Cerone was a Chicago mobster and boss of the Chicago Outfit, during the late 1960s. He was the younger brother of mobster Frank "Skippy" Cerone and father of lawyer, John Peter Cerone and husband to the late Clara Cerone.He was born to John Cerone Sr. and Rose Valant. He...
, James "Turk" Torello
James Vincent "Turk" Torello was an Italian-American mobster who became a caporegime and leading enforcer for the Chicago Outfit during the mid-to-late 1970s....
, Samuel "Mad Sam" DeStefano
Sam "Mad Sam" DeStefano was an Italian-American gangster who became one of the Chicago Outfit's most notorious loan sharks and sociopathic killers. Chicago-based Federal Bureau of Investigation agents such as William F. Roemer, Jr., considered DeStefano to be the worst torture-murderer in the...
and Dave Yaras participated in the infamous torture murder of loanshark William "Action" Jackson. The Outfit suspected Jackson of stealing its money and working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...
(FBI) as an informant. The 300-pound Jackson was hung on a meat hook
A meat hook is a two-sided hook normally used in butcheries to hang up meat or the carcasses of animals such as pigs and cattle on a moving conveyor line. There are many types of hooks, but meat hooks are the only ones used in butchering....
and tortured with ice picks, baseball bats, a blow torch and an electric cattle prod
A cattle prod, also called a stock prod, is a handheld device commonly used to make cattle or other livestock move by striking or poking them, or in the case of a Hot-Shot-type prod, through a relatively high-voltage, low-current electric shock...
. This ordeal went on for three days, until Jackson finally died of shock. Federal authorities later obtained details of Jackson's murder from conversations overheard between Buccieri and Cerone. As it turned out, Jackson was not an FBI informant.
The subject of later federal investigations, Buccieri was dubbed by federal agents, "the lord high executioner," in 1966. Buccieri's 62nd birthday celebration, attended by hundreds of mobsters from Chicago and around the nation, was observed by both federal and local police. They suspected that the party was a front for a mob summit meeting in which Giancana officially took over the Outfit from Anthony Accardo, which might have been an erroneous thought at some level, because Giancana has just spent the previous 12 months in federal prison and got booted that year as The Outfit's top day-to-day boss after getting out of prison, taking over the top spot nine years earlier.
In 1973, Fiore Buccieri died of cancer. In 1975, Gianacana was murdered in his home. Some authorities speculated that the mob would not have ordered Giancana's death if Buccieri were still alive and acting as his bodyguard.
- A Report on Chicago Crime. Chicago: Chicago Crime Commission
The Chicago Crime Commission is an independent, non-partisan civic watchdog organization of business leaders dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of organized criminal activity, especially organized crime, street gangs and the tools of their trade: drugs, guns, public corruption,...
- Sifakis, Carl. The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3
- United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Organized Crime in Chicago: Hearing Before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs. 1983.http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC09599763&id=7I5LFfsYSl4C&q=Fiore+Fifi+Buccieri&dq=Fiore+Fifi+Buccieri&ie=ISO-8859-1&pgis=1
- United States. Congress. Senate. Government Operations Committee. Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics: Hearings before the Government Operations Committee. 1964.http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC17735988&id=yxJMaa3f3cEC&q=Fiore+Fifi+Buccieri&dq=Fiore+Fifi+Buccieri&ie=ISO-8859-1&pgis=1
- Magneson, Gary. "Straw Men: A Former Agent Recounts How the FBI Crushed the Mob in Las Vegas". Minneapolis: Mill City Press Inc. ISBN 978-1-936400-36-2