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"Mad Sam" Destefano was an infamous Chicago loan shark who was known to torture and kill those who defied him or failed to pay their debts.
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While he received approval to operate his illegal enterprise in the city, DeStefano was considered to be too unstable and violent by many in the organized crime world to have a place in its organizational hierarchy. He did, however, mentor Tony Spilotro, a rising star in the Outfit, as the Chicago mob is sometimes called. In the early 1960s, DeStefano brought Spilotro into his operation. The two worked together on some of DeStefano's murders,
including the 1962 killing of two young burglars.
With Spilotro, brother Mario and another man, "Mad Sam" DeStefano orchestrated the murder of one of his debt collectors, Leo Foreman, in November 1963. Foreman was suspected of talking to the police about DeStefano's criminal activities. This crime proved to be DeStefano's undoing. DeStefano, Marlo and Spilotro were indicted for the Foreman murder in September 1972. While DeStefano represented himself in the preliminary hearings, he never made it to his trial.
DeStefano was gunned down at his Chicago home on April 14, 1973. His body was found in his garage. According to several sources, DeStefano's murder is believed to have been carried out by his brother, Mario, and former protégée, Tony Spilotro. No one, however, has been ever been charged in DeStefano's murder.
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