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The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Wall bricks
Please be aware that there are some sellers who manipulate texts on their auctions to make it sound as if their bricks are bonafide Patey massacre wall bricks (Ebay and other places) They even go as far as linking their dubious auctions to my site without my consent or permission. So please read carefully and of course as always, buyer beware!
The George Patey massacre wall section shown in pink highlight.
Authentic bricks from gangland's most famous hit.
Patey's original black description plate later changed to gold. The gold ones have since been replicated, some with different wording on plaque for selling non Patey bricks. That is why it's important to have the authentic originally signed paperwork by Patey to authenticate brick.
This particular brick from my collection was on display at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.
Gerald R. Ford museum massacre brick display.
Close up of display
These bricks were once part of the wall where the Moran gangsters were shot against by Capone hired killers.
Model of Massacre scene
Holding my Tommy and my massacre wall brick from 2122 N.Clark ,Chicago.
Mr. George Patey had acquired the massacre wall back in 1967. He originally heard the auctioning of the famous wall in the summer of 1967, while listening to his car radio. He decided on a whim to purchase it. He was the lucky high bidder for this auction, outbidding two others. Many other interested radio listeners also showed up to scavenge whatever bricks that were left over the surrounding actual massacre wall section, and the other remaining walls.
Chicago Daily News February 14,1929.
He had the 6' high by 10 ' wide massacre section ( that was in the line of fire) painstakingly taken apart and numbered. He had them shipped like fine china into Canada.They were declared as construction material at several pennies a piece for duty. He then pondered the possiblities for his new acquistion. He had them placed in a crime show at a shopping mall, then museums and galleries. In 1968, the timing was a bit off as Robert Kennedy time was assassinated and the public was in no mood to view history of wholesale murder. Mr. Patey decided to stop the exhibition and placed his bricks in retirement. In 1971, he opened a roaring twenties bar called the Banjo Palace and installed the bricks inside the men's washroom of his nightclub. Women would go in and peek at this famous wall. Plexiglass was placed in front of it, so that patrons could urinate and try to hit the targets painted on the plexiglass. The bar closed in 1976.The bricks were placed in storage till 1997 when he tried to auction it off on a website called Jet Set on the Net. The deal fell through after a hard time with the auction company and later Mr. Patey decided to sell them brick by brick on his own personal site. He has kept the bullet holed one for his own personal keepsake and has last appeared on History's Lost and Found with his wall.
Each brick was numbered when removed from 2122 North Clark street on November 9, 1967.This was done as to facilitate the reconstruction for the exhibit.This brick is K7
This brick is numbered T1. It was located next to Peter Gusenberg who was slumped on a chair.
Descriptive plaque on brick explaining it's provenance.The brick came with an audio cassette with the reconstruction of the crime played out.
Side view.This brick was estimated to be mid - level between Adam Heyer and John May.
On my way to re-constructing massacre wall.Only 412 bricks to go. (Yeah right)!
Back view of brick. It is made from clay that was near the Chicago river. It contains
remains of the great Chicago fire as most of the burned out buildings were dumped in the Chicago river.
Brick from Mr. Patey's wall. A fake blood stain was placed on reconstructed wall to show where the blood once was. The original white wash (yellowish) can still be seen under layers of powdery coated plaster.The plaster was applied all over the wall to try and conceal it's original state by the Werners.They wanted to disuade visitors from coming in to see it.
Two massacre wall bricks along with brick from opposite wall of 2122 North Clark street.
Beware as many dubious sellers try to pass off the surrounding bricks and rear entry cobblestones as coming from the massacre wall.
Mr. George Patey of Vancouver, Canada displaying brick with bullet hole. He has his foot on top of the other massacre bricks. Mr. Patey has done hundreds of T.V. radio and newspaper interviews.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Patey)
How to know if you are seeing an authentic Patey brick?
These should accompany your brick when purchasing from someone who claims to own one.
The standard documents that came with the original Patey sold bricks.
Authentic Patey bricks came with two acrylic displays for brick and one for the COA that was hand signed by Patey.
Some came with a 4 track cassette describing the era and the massacre. Patey had also planned to include a booklet with the story to send out later to the brick buyers but alas he never got around to completing it.
Patey early black plaque circa 1999.
Patey later gold plaque circa 2002.
1999 Patey document envelope (left) and 2002 version (right).
Pointing to a supposed bullet hole, John Yascot examines the bricks before they were shipped off to George Patey in 1968.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Patey)
Car used as a backdrop for Mr. Patey's massacre exhibition.
(Courtesy of Mr. Patey)
Patey's wall lettering system. Numbering may be slightly off due to the wall's zig zagging effect and missing bricks. Please note this diagram is not to be taken as accurate. Unbeknownst to Patey, several bricks were already missing before he had acquired the wall. See photo at bottom of webpage for explanation.
The rough wall numbering system went as follows in this above diagram as told to me by George Patey.
The 6 foot high by 10 foot wide wall was irregular and many bricks broke apart leaving
empty gaps on the sides ( zig-zag effect). The common wall shared by the Schneider dry cleaners next door and had rows that started straight and veered off course as they progressed. The total of the removed wall consisted of 414 bricks. Bottom floor row was broken in demolition. Rows of full sized bricks consisted of approx. 14 bricks while 4 half brick rows consisted of 28 bricks.These half bricks are located at rows D,J ,P and V. There were a total of 7 bricks hit by schrapnel out of an approximate 72 fired shots. One was in Mr. Patey's posession (numbered M12 now with his niece) and the remaining others were removed by souvenir hunters. In a Chicago Tribune story by Ronald Koziol, dated February 13,1987, it was rumoured that George Segal, the actor who played Peter Gusenberg in the St.Valentine's day massacre movie, removed one of the bricks as a keepsake while they were filming inside the 2122 N.Clark location. This was probably fabrication as his agent denied these rumors. I don't even believe any actor stepped in the building as all the movie was shot in Hollywood. There was also talk of the missing bricks being taken by the Demolition workers themselves. So as of right now, I know were two bullet holed bricks are located, but the remaining 5 are missing in action. I was also told, but yet unconfirmed that Ralph Capone had a brick over his mantle piece in his home in Mercer, Wisconsin. Bullet hole or not, these bricks are a significant piece of Chicago Gangland history, and any ownership of one of the bricks from the massacre wall should be considered as a very important museum piece and a one of a kind artifact from a documented gangland event that was heard around the world back in 1929.
Patey's section shown in inverted shot of actual massacre wall with superimposed lettering locations.
Close up of massacre wall at 2122 Clark. This shot clearly shows the full bricks and half bricks.
Half bricks appear every sixth row.
The fascination with this event is not the slaughter itself as it was very horrible and totally unwarranted. The mystique lies in the missing facts to know who exactly the slayers were and trying to comprehend what type of cold brazen killer could do this to seven other unsuspecting human beings.
The other fascination is that these bricks saw who the killers were and and what exactly transpired in that garage at 2122 North Clark street on February 14,1929 at 10:30 am.Now, if only someone could get these bricks to talk!
The garage was used as a furniture warehouse by the owner after the massacre. Later the building was owned by the Werner family as a storage facility. Many tourists would come and pester Mrs. Werner for a peek at the wall where those men were killed..People from all over the globe Germany, Holland, Japan etc.....
Mrs. Werner stated if she knew what this building stood for she never would have aqcuired it.
It was slated for destruction in 1967.
In early 1967, Mr. George Patey from Vancouver , B.C. , Canada hears the radio announce "They are tearing down the garage that onced housed this old gang of mine" The rest is history!
A bit about Mr. Patey, he's today 75 and has been in the entertainment business all his life and has rubbed shoulders next to people like Marilyn Monroe, Milton Berle, and a month with the Royal Family. He has been successful in all his endeavors and is in my opinion a great human being. I have had the chance to converse with him on several occaisions and it had always been a pleasure!
George Patey's reconstructed wall with added rough lettering. Note the half bricks appearing every sixth row.
Many years has passed since the building was torn down and stories began to surface of the massacre wall bricks containing evil mystical powers. Some say the spirits of the dead men went through the wall to get away from the killers.Others stories added on went on to say that these bricks brought extreme bad luck and anyone who bought one was faced with financial ruin and even death.
Well as of right now I will clarify any misconceptions anyone has toward these bricks.
1) They DO NOT brick bad luck!!! They just sit there. I have two massacre wall bricks in my Capone room and sometimes sleep in this room peacefully with no gangster ghosts or massacre victim's spirits tugging at my feet and as for financial ruin, well, I didn't need the bricks for that one as this hobby of mine has done that for me already thank-you very much!
2) Mr. Patey has owned this wall since 1967 and has been a successful businessman all his life.
3) The stories of anyone buying one and having bad luck and returning them are total and purely fabricated bull. The real fact is that Mr. Patey has never ever sold any bricks to anyone before 1999. He was going to in 1997, but the deal fell through. He had just recently been selling them on his own since 1999.
The reassembled wall with mannequins and Tommyguns circa 1968. (Courtesy of Mr. George Patey)
Descriptive letter from City of Chicago Notary public and demolition company as to removal of massacre wall.
(Courtesy of Mr. George Patey)
Holding my Valentine's day massacre brick for a newspaper photo.
Two bricks from 2122 North Clark street building (not the massacre wall). Brick on the bottom was part of the front of the building that was later remodeled. For more info about the buildings changes please see Valentine's Massacre pt.2
These bricks were purchased from Mr. George Patey of Vancouver B.C.
The Banjo Palace in Vancouver B.C.
(Courtesy of Mr. George Patey)
Banjo Palace Patron taking a whizz.
(Courtesy of Mr. George Patey)
On a sad note
Mr. George Patey the one and only St. Valentine's day massacre wall owner passed away at the Hawaiiana Hotel ( In Honolulu) on December 26, 2004, at 5:09 A.M. The official cause of death was cardiac failure. Mr. George Patey the Canadian businessman who purchased the massacre wall back in 1967 and recently sold them brick by brick.
I had the brief opportunity to befriend him and was amazed by how happy and jovial he was despite the various illnesses that plagued him. (Cancer, degenerative eyesight, weak heart ). He amused himself in his later years entertaining seniors at retirement homes with his stand up comedy and jokes.
He was in the entertainment industry and met many a legend. He told me about working with Marilyn Monroe and Milton Berle etc...He even played a bit part in one of her movies. Uncle Milty was a %$# to work with!
George just loved to talk about the massacre. It obsessed him, as does a few here, including myself. He told me that in spring of 1967, he was driving around in his cadillac in Vancouver when a news report came through the radio that they were tearing the garage that housed that old gang of mine. 2122 North Clark was slated for destruction that fall and Mr. Patey thought it a great idea to buy it to promote his boss' restaurant, but the boss' wife objected. George not to be dissuaded decided to buy the wall for himself. Out of 3 to 4 bidders Mr. Patey won the high bid for the wall and had it all shipped to Canada declaring them as construction material and only taxed several cents a brick. He then pondered the possiblities for his new acquistion.He had them placed in a crime show at a shopping mall, then museums and galleries.In 1968 the timing was a bit off as Robert Kennedy at that time was murdered and the public was in no mood to view history of wholesale murder. Mr. Patey decided to stop the exhibition and placed his bricks in retirement. In 1971, he opened a roaring twenties bar called the Banjo Palace and installed the bricks inside the men's washroom of his nightclub. Women would go in and peek at this famous wall much to the surpise and annoyance of male patrons relieving themselves. Plexiglass was placed in front of it, so that patrons could urinate and try to hit the targets painted on the plexiglass.The bar closed in 1976.
Where are all the real massacre wall bricks now????
After a failed deal in the early 1990's with "Jet Set On The Net" Patey went on his own and had sold about 70+ individual bricks out of 414 from his 6' by 10' massacre wall to individual collectors out there via Xpressions International Marketing in Vancouver. He had told me the story himself via telephone. Between 1999-2004 (before his passing), he had been selling them at www.caponewall.com. Patey himself had owned one perfectly bullet stricken brick.
Several of the bullet hit bricks were removed by souvenir hunters even before George Patey had acquired the wall. One bullet holed brick from the wall was snatched up a few years back on ebay of all places, for a cool $3000. This brick was originally removed by a crazed fan who visited the Werner storage company that was in operation at 2122 North Clark Street. The guy pleaded with Mrs. Werner and paid to remove one. He even photographed the removal. This was done way before Patey had won the bid on the wall, thus before it was ever dismantled and shipped to him in 1967. I had informed Patey about these missing bricks via photos and documents.
So how do I know about this all this shit? Man!!!!, I have really kept track of these bricks for about 28 years. You can say I was kind of obsessed about them since I first heard about them through Jet Set On The Net. So here is the skinny on the bricks as of today. Once the original owner of the wall George Patey passed on, the remaining unsold bricks from the 6 foot by 10 foot section in which Moran's men were lined up and shot against went to his niece as an inheritance. She lives in Vegas and after a few attempts at selling them herself individually on Ebay, she ended up selling them to the Las Vegas mob museum. I even offered to help her sell them in order to give some collectors the chance to own this interesting history, but instead she wanted them all gone a.s.a.p.
Two views of ex Chicago reporter looking at the Valentine's day massacre wall at 2122 North Clark street before it's demolition in 1967. Note the missing bricks. This photo proves that several bricks were already missing long before the demolition ever commenced. Also to note that the black circles on the wall were NOT drawn by Chicago Police Detectives in 1929, as some uninformed people claim. There were no black markings around the bullet holes on the bricks. The original now yellowish white washed wall was plastered over in the late 30's early 40's to dissuade curiosity seekers and try to hide the gory evidence of what happened there. The black circles were done by someone months before the demolition occurred in 1967 and later retouched by George Patey who also added red paint on some bricks to simulate blood for his display.
(Photo Chicago Tribune)
Note to the left of photo (above first man). Bullet holes in the bricks with no black circles. By the time of this photo was taken the detectives had already removed the bullets from the wall and the ones including fragments and cores found on the floor that surrounded the bodies. These were placed in evidence envelopes by Calvin Goddard.
Steve Nelson who worked at the storage company located at 2122 North Clark street also slept there with his bed next to the massacre wall. No ghosts for him. Note no black circles on plastered bricks to indicate where bullets hit.
(February 16, 1939).
October 31, 1967. Photo taken 9 days before demolition. Two partitions cover the massacre wall section. The bricks above the Patey's section of the massacre wall were also painted / plastered over which may account for those saying they have a Patey wall brick with no documentation from Patey. Holes in those bricks may come from wood screwed into the bricks to support pipes / radiators and not bullet holes as some claim them to be.
1) So keep in mind that even before Patey had received his wall in 1967, some people had gone in the North Clark building and removed several bricks from the line of fire. Patey had always assumed this and I had to let him know that this was indeed fact by calling him and showing him the proof.
2) Patey sold his bricks to several people from 1999 to 2004.
3) Patey's niece had sold some on Ebay before she eventually sold the remainder of the bricks to the Las Vegas Mob Museum for what they claimed was about *$300,000.
So to be precise, the remaining approx: *331 bricks of the wall that is now at the mob museum in Vegas, is not at all the whole wall that was originally bought by Patey. While not the whole wall, they are indeed the only grouped authentic ones that came from the actual massacre sectioned wall that was in the line of fire. This wall section is where Moran's henchman, his mechanic, and a gangster groupie optometrist were actually lined up and shot against.
The Patey massacre wall rebuilt at The Las Vegas Mob Museum. Notice the dark bricks. These are replacements bricks to fill the void of the 74 missing authentic bricks that were sold previously by George Patey and his niece to lucky collectors. Around half a dozen bullet hit bricks were removed from the massacre wall by souvenir hunters even before Patey had received his section from the 1967 auction.
(Photo courtesy of L.A.)
While the North wall was larger than Patey's 6 foot high and 10 foot wide massacre section, only his was the actual section that was in the direct line of rival gangster guns. So read carefully and buyer beware!
If you had the chance to buy a Patey one before the Vegas Museum snatched the rest of them then lucky you!!! Hang on to them because this now makes them rare and worth even more!
(Excerpt from the Las Vegas Review-Journal August 27, 2009)
*A nonprofit group that's administering the museum project paid about $300,000 for the section of the wall from a Chicago warehouse that was the scene of a brutal gang murder on Feb. 14, 1929. Coverage of the murders cemented the event as a symbol of the violence of organized crime of that era. The collection once belonged to Canadian business George Patey, who originally had about 400 bricks but sold many off to collectors over the years. The museum has 331 of those bricks, said city spokesman David Riggleman.
Most of the executioner's bullets hit their targets. The bullets hit through bones and soft flesh, some staying in the bodies and some exiting and impacting the brick wall. Direct hits through soft flesh and missed shots made gaping holes in the bricks. These were few. Calculations are about 8 bullet impacted bricks. No buckshot peppered the bricks because all of the pellets that were discharged by the two shot gun shells were recovered from Reinhart Schwimmer's back. His autopsy report also denotes this fact. Some entries show the bullet entering the chest and just falling into the lungs and other organs resting there and later found by the coroner.
25 jacket fragments and 22 bullet cores were found on the floor near the bodies. Many having passed through the bodies and hitting the wall. Many other faint chips and cracks were created on the brick wall by the deteriorating cores and fragments of bullets passing through or deflecting harder bone, skull and organs. These pieces were slowed down to hit the brick with lower force that the direct hits had done. Those are harder to denote today unless you would scrape the plaster, clean the brick and place it under a microscope. I wouldn't advise this procedure because if you do that and your brick shows nothing then you will make it lose value from removing the plaster and yellowish white wash. You will also have a hard time reselling it later on.
Misidentified bullet holes
Misidentified bullet holes are common by novice or by people who really want to believe that they are seeing a bullet hole. Not all the holes seen in the bricks or stone are actual bullet holes. A soft lead bullet that crushes against a brick on impact will flatten making a mishapened gaping hole and not a perfect hole as if someone drilled it. A great example of this misidentification is the hole that stands today at the site where Hymie Weiss was gunned down by Capone gangsters.
People often mistake the very visible perfect hole above the date A.D. 1874 for a bullet hole.
See to the right.This is merely a plaque holder! You can bet your life that if it was an actual bullet hole, the archdiocese would have covered it up in a heartbeat!
(Mario Gomes collection)
Bullet core and fragment that went through bodies before hitting the wall at 2122 North Clark street. The soft lead bullets passing through bodies and hitting the bricks were usually crushed and left an uneven imperfect hole in the wall which proves that the bullets used in Thompsons during the gangster era did not create perfect holes in hard surfaces such as the one assumed at Holy Name Cathedral or at 2122 North Clark street.
(Mario Gomes collection)
Close up of bullet core 11 shows it hit the brick head on, but going through a body first.
Notice specks of brick from massacre wall at 2122 North Clark at top right that is impregnated in lead. Bottom left reveals dried blood.
(Mario Gomes collection)
When Patey got his wall he wasn't told of the missing bricks that were taken months before when curiosity seekers asked and paid to take them from the Werners storage wall. Either the demolition crew or Patey himself mistakenly saw these holes on the opposite side of the white plastered brick and immediately assumed that they were bullet holes. When rebuilding his wall he placed the holes to the front with the rest of the white plastered bricks. Unfortunately, the Las Vegas Museum has reconstructed it the same way to this day. These perfect holes were made (drilled or chiseled) for putting pegs to hang items on or attaching either water pipes or electrical metal tubing. These bricks were stacked as common walls and were shared with the building next door so man made holes could be seen on both sides of the bricks.
Patey's wall with perfect hole minus the white wash and plaster. The brick may be facing the opposite way.
Cool hole, but not caused by a bullet. Wait a minute! where's the white wash and later applied plaster???Another brick probably facing the opposite way at the Las Vegas Mob Museum.
P.S. The dark brown colored brick under the hole is a missing brick bought by someone from George Patey before he passed away.
For information on what happened to the building at 2122 North Clark street, please visit below link and direct yourself near bottom of page.
SEE MASSACRE PART 2
First Posted February 2000