The Saint Valentine's Day massacre involved the murder of seven people in prohibition era Chicago, on Feb. 14, 1929. It is recorded in history as a settling of accounts between two powerful gangs; the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. It was said Capone ordered it after Bugs' gang machine-gunned Al Capone's headquarters. But this recently uncovered photo reveals this might not be the case. It may have been all about chocolate.
The above photo (from an unnamed source) shows the crowd gathering in front of the scene of the crime following the shoot-out; reported at the time as the S.M.C. Cartage Co... But take a close look. It's really a chocolate shop.
|Chicago News Photo, 1927|
This is the photo that was published that day. We can see it was obviously cleverly retouched to remove the sign above the location of the crime. But why?
Leaked information from documents buried for 84 years reveal the clash that day may not have been about the war over control of prohibition whiskey or gang turf at all. It was evidently more personal than that. Both Capone and Moran had a secret addiction to chocolate and it was actually competition over a totally legal shipment of the tasty confection that lured the Moran men to the shop. (Moran himself was late, finishing a chocolate shake at his local soda fountain, and therefore avoided being killed.)
A sympathetic press at the time agreed with all sides that this would not look good. If it was revealed to the world that this event had taken place over candy, it would instantly make the gangland mystique a laughingstock. Hershey bars were said to be exchanged to facilitate the cover-up, and the photo and written facts were revised to remove the chocolate connection totally.
But of course, the conspiracy of silence could not be totally subverted. People in the know since that day have shared a wink as they give the gift of chocolate on Valentine's Day. And so began the tradition...
And now you know. WikiLeaks; eat your heart out.