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Daniel "Danny" Stanton
Daniel Stanton mugshot
(Photo Courtesy of John J. Binder)
Daniel Stanton Jr., born on September 24,1896, was the son of Daniel Stanton and Jane Hilton. His father was born in Ireland and his mom was from Chicago, Illinois. As is with most gangsters of that era, Daniel had served in battle during World War 1. One wonders if they felt being a gangster continued their need for void once they came back. Stanton returned from the great war overseas in July of 1919. He made his way to New York, then on home to Chicago. At that time while In Chicago, he was living at 6222 S. Carpenter Avenue. It didn't take long for Daniel's ability as a fighter and soldier to develop further on the streets of Chicago. Daniel started hustling by way of intimidating and becoming a union slugger. He participated in the Taxi Cab wars in the early 1920's. Most taxi cab owners had their own cabs and held stock in the company. Unions wanted all cabs to pay dues into the fund of the international Brotherhood of Teamsters and Chauffeurs and take most control into the Checker cab company. Most Cab drivers, even though the were in the unions themselves, resisted giving over total control of the company over to the unions. There were bombings, sluggings, kidnappings and even murders to try to bring the cabbie owners into line and hand over total control to the union that was now run by thugs.
On February 9,1924 gunshots were heard during a battle between taxi cab factions at 4642 Madison street. There Checker Taxi company had it's offices. Popping sounds were heard and several minutes later two men were found dead at the scene.
Wanted in connection with these killings were one Daniel Stanton Jr., David Ostran, James Foley, John Sherbo, James Mogley, and his brother Sidney.
The firts four were known in the taxi cab circles as "The Four Horsemen" who preyed upon and terrorized taxi drivers.
It is believed that Stanton and his buddies were there to find the newly elected cab president Emmanuel Goldstein and kill him. Instead, they let whomever was in their way have it with gunfire from all their guns at once shooting wildly. Israel Rappart and Leo Gistenson were killed. Gistenson was no choir boy and had previous brushes with the law. Rappart was just recently hired by the cab company. Several others were injured in the melee. Though still not apprehended, on February 13,1924, murder and conspiracy indictments are charged against the six so called Checker cab "employees".
Nothing ever comes of the charges as intimidation and payoffs reign in Chicago.
Stanton delves in other petty and bigger crimes as time goes on. By the end of 1924, he is the booze business with Hildebrande Clemons and John "Mitters" Foley. On December 15,1925, four men fire upon Stanton. He is only wounded inthe arm. In August of 1926, Stanton and several buddies are arrested at the Ragen Colts hideout at 5142 South Halstead street. They later become the Taylor Colts. He is involved in booze and union slugging. The Capone gang quickly takes notice and Capone himself offers Stanton in on several deals and hits. By 1928, Stanton is considered in gang circles as a veteran gangster with his own saloon at 5213 South Halstead. He is known as a staunch Saltis rival. The Saltis gang was identified as having killed Mitters Foley, a once Stanton ally and friend. Saltis was also tied to the Northside gang and pushing his beer in competition with Stanton and Capone. Spike O'Donnell at that time also had strife with Stanton which were considered part of the infamous beer wars.
December 16,1929 a well dressed Stanton (wearing a purple shirt and almond spats) is arrested by detectives. He is carrying a loaded .38 with a 7 inch barrel.
He claims he is a commission man. He and his friend concoct a story during the arrest, this in front of the detectives, that the gun was planted on them. In April of 1930, the jury believes Stanton, and frees him of all charges.
By July 3,1930, Stanton's mugshot appears in the newspapers as a public enemy doing Al Capone's bidding.
The infamous hit in which Stanton was directly linked was the hit on Jack Zuta. Through ballistics, a gun positively linked to Stanton was used in killing Zuta. The authorities planned to interrogate Stanton and use the element of surpise. They wanted to ask him if he own this gun without mention of the Zuta killing. If he did, then they could charge him with murder with his own admission. The problem was that everybody was so corrupt in Chicago, that when the were ready to interrogate him, Stanton had received word of the plan and totally denied any link to that gun. The case fell apart. The murder happened on August 1,1930, but the steps against Stanton for this murder were taken only in October due to ballistics research by Calvin Goddard done on the .38 linked to Stanton.
Danny Stanton being questioned about the Zuta killing.
Northside affiliated Jack Zuta, before and after a visit by Danny Stanton.
For more on the Zuta killing SEE JACK ZUTA
In December of 1930, Stanton along with his buddy Edgar Smith are ordered to be extradited to Wisconsin to both stand trial for the Zuta murder. In April of 1931, the Supreme court allows Stanton and Smith to be released on bail for $40,000 each pending appeal. Edgar Smith is found shot several times through the head on July 15,1931, in a car at the back of 5424 South Park Avenue. In October of 1931, Stanton is ruled by the Supreme court as being not guilty of the Jack Zuta murder. The Supreme Court attacks the prosecution's evidence, particularly Calvin Goddard's evidence trying to tie Stanton to the crime. Stanton walks away from all murder charges connected to the Jack Zuta killing. This only boosts his immunity and strikes terror in whomever crosses his path. He uses this as his technique for preying on the weak kneed tavern owners and union leaders. Stanton enjoys many years and wealth from connections to the Chicago Outfit and through his sideline operations.
Stanton's modus operandi in crime was intimidation. He and his gang would walk into any non Capone bar or gambling joint he targeted and demand a cut of the action or else. His *imposing figure and demeanor along with a gun quickly persuaded the victim to cough up upwards of $100 a month over to Stanton. If Stanton had a couple going at one time then, he was financially comfortable at doing nothing except party and gamble and offer his wife a glamourous lifestyle.
* Only one man was credited with running Stanton out of town. Gangster George Maloney once challenged Stanton at gunpoint, which sent him running. Maloney was killed late in 1928-1929 during New Year's eve festivities. Gunshots were heard over the radio on a show that was live at the Granada Cafe club by station WBBM. The station denied this although many listeners around the country said they hear popping sounds at the exact time these murders took place.
Probably the most important factor into why the victims so quickly handed over the cash, was because of the press Stanton got as being tied to the Capone gang, and later the Chicago Outfit. It has never been proven if Stanton was indeed a full member of the Outfit. What brought this question up was his murder. Right up to the time Nitti committed suicide, and the other members of the Chicago Outfit facing trial for the Hollywood Extortion case in New York, Stanton had been enjoying a hands free approach on terrorizing bars and unions with his muscle. He was power hungry and wanted to climb right back up onto the heap. He figured with Capone long gone, Nitti dead and with some of the members of the Chicago Outfit away for awhile, that his chance was now ripe. Problem is his victims and rivals also read the news about the current woes of the Chicago Outfit and decided to counteract swiftly. Stanton was knee deep in the Unions (restaurant and tavern owners), betting race wires, gambling etc...
On May 5th 1943, just before midnight, Stanton and Louis Dorman are standing around the bar at the 6500 Club situated at 6500 May Street. Their backs are facing the rear door and as Stanton is about to raise a bottle of beer to his lips the back door is thrust open and a shotgun blazes. Dorman gets one in the back and immediately drops to the floor. Second shot blasts Stanton in the back of the head and he drops to the floor with his body slumped against the bar. He never stood a chance. A third blast injures Cy Shapiro who was also standing farther away from the bar. Witnesses claim seeing two or three killers after the shooting run back out the back side door and make their way to the front door and fire three more shots from a revolver through the glass panels of the front door before making their getaway. Stanton and Dorman both lay dying and were taken immediately by arriving police to St. Bernard's hospital where surgeons later pronounced them both dead.
Stanton only had a .32 caliber pistol in his pocket. The browning 12 gauge shot gun used in the killing is later found and ballistically linked to Stanton's and Dorman's murders. It is also traced to other mob hits. (James Ragen and James Fawcett murders). Many speculate who could have killed Stanton. Any of the many victims he shooked down for money or perhaps those who now took charge of the Chicago Outfit? Stanton had tried to take power of unions, the racing wire and other lucreative businesses. This may have put him in the uncompromising situation with the likes of Sam Hunt, Claude Maddox and Ralph Pierce. Maybe possible revenge for past attempts on the lives of others such as Martin Quirk? As one investigator pointed out, there were a hundred reasons why someone would kill Stanton.
Stanton's funeral was not the glorious affair gangster funerals once were. About only 100 people showed up for his to pay respects to him and his distraught wife Lucille at his home where the body was laid out. He was placed in a $800 bronze coffin with his face made up to hide the gaping wounds that had blasted the back of his head. The undertaker said a prayer and his body was later interred at Mt. Olivet cemetary.
Front door of Harry's 6500 Club. Killers went in the side back entrance to shoot with shotguns. They came back out that same entrance and went out to the front door to shoot the glass with a revolver.
Three revover shots through the front. Teenagers peer through after the hit went down.
The spot where Stanton and friend were hit by gun blasts.
The table in which 4 other supposed tavern patrons were playing cards. They mysteriously disappeared before the shooting began. Some claim they were in on the hit. Police searched for the four, but came up empty handed. Funny enough was that weeks earlier, the same type of hit was made against Stanton near that same area. It failed because Stanton had received word of what was about to go down.
Danny Stanton dying.
Eddie and John Piech, two known associates of Stanton questioned about the slayings.
Danny Stanton and Louis Dorman both killed.
Dorman was a low level hood associated to the Capone mob and known as a Stanton hanger on.
After being discharged from the army he spent his time gambling.
Chicago Tribune May 6,1943
(Mario Gomes collection)
Chicago Herald American May 6,1943
(Mario Gomes collection)
Danny Stanton's obituary.
Danny's murder site at 6500 S. in May of 1943 and a view of it today.
(Photo courtesy of Larry Raeder).
Gangster Danny Stanton Mt. Olivet Cemetary.
(Photo courtesy of Larry Raeder).
Close up of flat marker for Daniel "Danny" Stanton, Capone gangster who killed Jack Zuta.
(Photo courtesy of Mr. Josh Perry)
Posted January 2011