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Edward O'Hare; Hero or zero? And the myth grows on!
You probably have seen this story many times! Edward O'Hare, who was a St. Louis lawyer, and later Chicago business partner of Al Capone, was killed by shotgun blasts by the Capone gang. This was for his cooperation with the government in taking down the Capone gang and sending Al himself off to prison. The claims are that Edward did this to save his family name and honor, Some also claim he did this in order to help leave his son, later war hero Butch O'Hare, a pristine legacy. There is even mention that it was to help Butch get into Annapolis naval academy. All this is complete nonsense! First off Edward J O'Hare did not feed the government information on Capone as a good man to rid the world of evil gangsters.
This story is romanticized in many blogs, magazines and now even in youtube videos. Each year the story get's bigger and more heartwarming, proclaiming that good overcomes evil by the sole purpose of selfless sacrifice.
I would compare it to placing many carpets on top of a pebble. After hundreds and hundreds of carpets, the pebble now becomes a mountain! The accepted O'Hare story would be awesome, that is, if any of it were true! So let's look at the facts!
Edward J. O'Hare was a St. Louis lawyer who rose and made his initial riches defending St. Louis criminals.
His drive was making himself prosperous to enjoy nothing, but the finer things in life. To achieve his goal, he courted the underside of society in defending murders, killers and bootleggers. He also got tips on making money the fast way. He wasn't afaid of stepping on anyone's toes in order to achieve these goals! For O'Hare, this behaviour of courting gangsters was an art. One friend once told him "You better watch out, you could get yourself killed hanging around with that lot". O'Hare's answer was that he knew exactly what he was doing, and knew just how to manipulate these gangster types.
November 9,1939 Chicago Tribune annonces that Edward O'Hare Sr. is shot and killed.
O'Hare was educated and refined. He was very intelligent and neither drank nor smoked. He also fit in the high society circles of St. Louis, and then Chicago. Before all of that, O'Hare made his first big money during the start of prohibition in St. Louis. He knew both the criminals and the police, so this opportunity made him play on both sides of the fence. In 1924, he was charged with trying to withdraw medicinal whiskey from a government bonded warehouse in order to make profit for sale to gangsters. Famous fellow ex lawyer, bootlegger and now murderer George Remus, who was in prison at the time for bootlegging, was going to testify against O'Hare in this whiskey case. O'Hare had aligned himself with Remus' wife, whom Remus later himself killed in 1927. Mysteriously, Remus did not testify and it was assumed that O'Hare had paid Remus a huge amount of hush money. Convicted in Indianapolis, O'Hare's conviction was eventually overturned and struck off the record, leaving him squeaky clean.
O'Hare's association with criminals helped him make his fortunes. With these fortunes he delved into other businesses both legal and illegal.
He also made his money in owning the rights to the mechanical rabbit that ran around the railing of the tracks. This made the race dogs chase it in order to complete the race without a hitch. O'Hare swindled the original owner out of this mechanical rabbit ownership. This proved O'Hare was all about himself!
O'Hare kept a secret apartment in a building he owned in Rogers Park. He was always seen entering the building accompanied with people and rarely went in alone. His basement apartment was shuttered with blinds to avoid anyone peering inside.
Days after his murder the Tribune exposed O'Hare's deal with the Government.
(Chicago Tribune November 16,1939)
OHare's Zephyr careened into a pole at Rockwell street and Ogden avenue after he was shot by two shot gun blasts.
O'Hare hit the steering column with great force as his car slammed into the utility pole. He suffered gunshot wounds to the head and neck and was instantly killed. In his car was a freshly oiled pistol that was useless for defense against Capone hit men.
The cleaned up non bloody, missing body version in the newspaper.
(Chicago Tribune November 9,1939)
Eddie O'Hare morals were shoddy at best as he had no problem raking in his personal fortune by stepping on the litttle guy, and associating himself with Capone. He was not Capone's lawyer as often erroneously mentioned in books and articles. He was his business partner in a race track situated in Cicero. He was brought in because of his shrewedness managing other businesses. He became the race track's front and president for several years and gained power and influence through the Capone ties. Having found love and preparing to marry this politician's daughter named Sue Granata, he now suddenly wanted to disassociate himself with the Capone gang, and keep the profits for himself. He also did it to save his own skin from going to prison because he knew that he was next in line to fall in the income tax trap by the government. This would quash his plans for his new life with Sue. To avoid all these problematic hurdles, he convinced himself to turn on the Capone gang by becoming an informant. By doing this, he figured to save himself from prison time or any investigation, so made a deal with the government.
Eddie J. O'Hare was killed by two shot gun blasts and not machine gun bullets as read in books or articles and seen on youtube. He was killed for his betrayal, his mounting power and for his dismissal of helping to pay for Capone's final release from prison. He no longer gave Capone his cut. O'Hare figured Capone was gone to prison and was no longer a threat to him. Big mistake!
It was suggested that the killing went hand in hand with Capone's prison release 8 days after O'Hare's murder.
It was a supposed gift from Nitti and the boys. The truth was that regardless of Capone's release, the outfit had to get rid of O'Hare. They had to rid of him because he was informing on the gang and not just on Al Capone. The government was not finished with O'Hare. They wanted more. Nitti was paranoid and wanted to avoid prison. He killed off anyone who could send him off to prison. Nitti's main squeeze was also O'Hare's secretary. She probably fed his comings and goings to Nitti.
Also, his son Butch did not need his father's help to become the war hero he was! Edward Jr. accomplished his heroism all on his own! The straight and honorable way! The only partly good thing Edward Sr. did was to avoid being imprisoned in order to save his son's legacy from shame. To do that, Edward squawked like a canary to authorities about Capone and his gang. That's what got him killed! Frank Nitti made sure of that because Nitti's main squeeze at that time was O'Hare's secretary! Simple as that!!!
A True Hero
Edward O'Hare's son. Edward Henry 'Butch' O'Hare.
Edward Jr. did not need his father's help at all. Unlike his dad, the younger O'Hare was upstanding and a true American war hero! All this was accomplished by his own hard work and honesty.