Home » messages from paul

Most Sadistic Loan Shark in Chicago Outfit’s History, “Mad Sam” DeStefano

Submitted by on Wednesday, 11 December 2013No Comment
"Mad Sam" DeStefano in his 30's

“Mad Sam” DeStefano in his 30’s

I wrote an article on Frank Cullotta’s boss Tony Spilotro. Tony got connected to the Chicago Outfit at an early age and became part of Sam “Mad Sam” DeStefano’s crew. “Mad Sam” mentored and groomed Tony Spilotro. “Mad Sam” is one of the most sadistic and demented individuals that I have learned about in the Chicago Outfit. It is also said that he may have been a Satanist but I could not get confirmation one way or another.

Sam DeStefano was born on September 13th, 1909 in Streeter, IL. In 1922 Sam’s father, Sam DeStefano Sr. worked as a coal miner. After a violent labor dispute that left 21 miners dead, Sam Sr. moved to Chicago and landed in the “Little Italy” neighborhood on the west side in Chicago. Where Sam was growing up was the Italian ghetto and that is why he looked up to the guys wearing damper suits with wads of cash in their hands, the mobsters.

The 13 year old Sam DeStefano got involved with a local gang called the 42 Gang. They were named after the 42 Café that they hung out at. They wore white fedora hats and were like a farm team for the Chicago Outfit. Sam even brought in his brothers Mario DeStefano and Michael DeStefano. They would commit theft, burglaries, and do some light work for the Chicago Outfit.

Mario DeStefano, Chicago Outfit Load Shark for his brother "Mad Sam" DeStefano.

Mario DeStefano, Chicago Outfit Load Shark for his brother “Mad Sam” DeStefano.

“Mad Sam” and his brother Mario were naturals for being criminals. Their brother Michael was cut from a different piece of cloth, but that was their brother. They kept him around and took care of him even though he was not nearly as vicious as either one of his brothers.

On August 19th, 1927 “Mad Sam” had a plan for some entertainment for himself and some other 42 Gang members. He and another member grabbed a teenage girl from a movie theater and brought her into a garage where there was seven other gang members waiting. They were going to rape her. Minutes later the police broke into the garage based on a tip from a witness that seen “Mad Sam” cart the girl off. Sam had been caught but he had not proceeded to rape her so he only got a three year sentence in Statesville Prison. This stint in prison taught him how to be a better criminal.

When he got out he robbed a bank on July 10th, 1933 in Wisconsin. While driving back to Chicago their car broke down. “Mad Sam” was heading back to prison. He was sentenced to another eleven years. When he got out in 1944, it was a different time.

Paul "the Waiter" Ricca

Paul “the Waiter” Ricca

He was no longer in a country that was going through a Depression but a country that has been industrialized by war. This created opportunities for a criminal like “Mad Sam.” Everyone had to use ration stamps to purchase things like sugar, meat, gasoline, etc. Sam started to work at a print shop that printed out ration stamps. He would print up ration stamps for sugar. He made a lot of money selling the stamps. Things were going well for “Mad Sam.” He met a seamstress named Anita and on February 15th, 1945 they were married. They even had a set of twins that year, and in 1947 they had another daughter.

“Mad Sam’s” luck was about to run out. He was caught when he sold 6,000 stamps to a local distributor. He got a year in Leavenworth Prison. This turned out to be a good thing for “Mad Sam.” He met and became friends with gentleman named Paul “the Waiter” Ricca.

Paul “the Waiter” was a higher echelon Outfit leader. In fact he would have been the boss of the Chicago Outfit after Frank Nitti killed himself, but he was doing time in prison for the Hollywood Extortion case. This is why Tony Accardo took over the Outfit in 1943. In any case Paul “the Waiter” Ricca had significant power and influence over the Chicago Outfit. Ricca was impressed with this 42 Gang graduate. He took “Mad Sam” under his wing and he schooled him in the Outfit’s rackets.

In 1948 he was back on the street as a “Juice” loan operator. He was 39 years old starting his mob career late, but as a “Juice” loan operator he was going to make up for lost time.

“Juice” or loan sharking is the interest that you get on making loans. People would get “Juice” loans when banks would not lend them money because they are not creditworthy, or too much risk in the loan for a bank, or the money was going to be used for something illegal, or any other reason that you could not go to a bank to get money. The interest on these types of loans is real high. There are no late charges assessed when someone is late with their loan payments. They are usually beat down, or assets taken, or wind up dead.

Since Sam hung out with criminals, he had plenty of clients for his loan sharking business. He even started to branch out by offering a new service of fixing court cases for a price. He would go and bribe the cop that brought forth the charges against his client. If he could not get the cop on a bribe then he would approach the judge. It even got to the point that crooked cops would drop off people that they arrested over to “Mad Sam’s” house so they could get some of the bribe money.

This is Frank Cullotta pictured in 2012.

This is Frank Cullotta pictured in 2012.

Frank Cullotta tells a story about the one time that he was with “Mad Sam.” Frank thinks that he just needs to talk to his lawyer, so they go to the lawyer’s office. Sam started yelling and screaming at this lawyer because he did not take care of a guy on a case like he said that he would. He started calling him names, grabbing him, and threatening the lawyer. “Mad Sam” zips down his pants and starts to urinate on the lawyer. The lawyer thanks “Mad Sam” for not killing him on the way out. Frank cannot believe that this really happened.

“Mad Sam” had one the biggest, if not the biggest loan shark business in the 50’s in Chicago. Sam brings his brothers into the business. His brother Mario was an excellent associate because he was almost as sick as “Mad Sam.” His brother Michael was a softy comparatively to his brothers. With all the money that was coming in for the brothers, Michael developed a problem. He started to use heroin. This got back to the Chicago Outfit and the Outfit called in “Mad Sam.” they told him that his brother Michael had to go.

On September 17th, 1955 the Chicago Police received a strange tip, a location of a fresh body in a car’s trunk. What is strange is that with a gangland shootings the bodies are found by unsuspecting people. When found, Michael was shot in the body but not in the head. The body was cleaned up and was made sure to be found early.

“Mad Sam” enjoyed his line of work. The fact that he was probably bringing in around a million dollars a year on “juice” loans, was not his favorite part. His favorite part was collecting the debts when people didn’t or couldn’t pay. He liked torturing people.

William "Action" Jackson

William “Action” Jackson

On March 28th, 1960 was a warm spring day that washed down the last of the winter snow. Sanitation workers were doing routine work on the city’s sewer system. They found a body that was still frozen in the sewer. It was of Arthur Adler, a local restaurant owner of the Trade Winds on Rush Street in Chicago. He had gone missing two months earlier and was affiliated with the Outfit. He was in debt with “Mad Sam.” It is believed that he found his way into “Mad Sam’s” basement. Unfortunately for “Mad Sam,” but fortunate for Arthur Adler, his heart gave out when he was being choked by Sam. When word got to now deceased FBI agent William Roemer that Arthur Adler owed money to “Mad Sam,” Roemer paid a visit to DeStefano at his Elmwood Park home. Roemer was led into the living room and “Mad Sam” made his way down wearing his pajama bottoms. As Roemer sat in a chair “Mad Sam” started prancing in front of him with his penis hanging out of his pajama bottoms. Roemer could not take it anymore and shouted at DeStefano, “You killed Art Adler, didn’t you?” “Mad Sam” shouted for his family to come into the living room. DeStefano acted outraged at the accusation and said something to the effect of this being true, may my family and me be struck with cancer. Roemer not wanting to give up on DeStefano, kept on going back to his house. “Mad Sam” would make him wait in the kitchen while DeStefano’s wife would serve Roemer coffee. What Roemer did not know at the time but later found out was “Mad Sam” was urinating in the coffee that Roemer was drinking.

The Murder of William "Action" Jackson Newspaper Clipping

The Murder of William “Action” Jackson Newspaper Clipping

“Mad Sam’s” business grew. He had others collecting and making loans for him. DeStefano had to keep on top of those owing “juice” and those collecting “juice.” One collector of “Mad Sam’s” was William “Action” Jackson. He was a big guy and people did not want to fool with him. If anyone refused to pay, he could send “Action Jackson.” It got back to “Mad Sam” that “Action Jackson” may be tipping off the FBI. Instead of taking any chances, they kidnapped him and brought him down to a meat packing plant. They tortured him for three days before his heart gave out. It is not completely clear how he was tortured but this is considered to be one the worst mafia torture/hits known today. He was hit bats and hammers in hands, knee caps, and groin. He was assaulted with a cattle prod to the rectum and genitals. “Action” was then hung by a meat hook from his rectum, while a blow torch was taken to his genitals. He was shot and jabbed with an ice pick. It is incredible that one human being could endure any of this not less all of this and live for three days. The crew involved in torturing Jackson would laugh on wire taps when talking about how long it took “Action” to die. “Action” Jackson was not working with the Feds.

In November of 1963 “Mad Sam” went to visit a real estate agent that also lent money for DeStefano on the side. His name was Leo Foreman. He started to lend money to people to buy houses, but he came up short a few times. When “Mad Sam” confronted him, Leo got upset and threw Sam out of his office. Coming up short and now disrespecting the most maniacal loan shark in Chicago, Foreman was in trouble.

Leo Foreman was kidnapped by Mario DeStefano and brought back to his basement where Mario, Sam, Chuckie Grimaldi, and Tony Spilotro tortured the man. They smashed his body, knee caps, his hands, and genitals with a hammer and bat. They sliced pieces of his skin off his body and stabbed him 20 times with an ice pick. When “Mad Sam” was satisfied with the torturing of Foreman, he shot him in the head and placed him in the trunk of an abandoned car. Increasing “Mad Sam’s” reputation in the streets that is you owe “juice” to this loan shark, that he must be paid or else.

"Mad Sam" and is wife Anita DeStefano

“Mad Sam” and is wife Anita DeStefano

“Mad Sam’s” perverse antics were not limited to the streets. His wife Anita made DeStefano upset. He went to a bus stop and kidnapped a man by gunpoint to take back to his house. At gunpoint, he made his wife and the man have sex with each other while he watched. Afterwards when the man was let go, he ran to the cops. The cops did not believe his story until the man told him to look into “Mad Sam’s” car and found his lunchbox.

DeStefano was running an excellent business and his loan sharking work only continued to grow. However, he was becoming more and more unpredictable with his behavior. He was starting to give interviews to the press. He even pulled out a wad of cash on camera asking “I don’t need a loan, I got a lot of money. Maybe the President of the United States would like to borrow some money from me.” This was starting to put a riff between him and the Outfit leadership.

In 1963 Frank Cullotta was at a steakhouse and bar with a friend. “Mad Sam” was at the same steakhouse and bar with a friend of his. They acknowledge each other with a nod. “Mad Sam” was in an argument with a woman. After some yelling from both, “Mad Sam” got up and grabbed the woman and pushed her into the bathroom where he raped her. Both came back out of the bathroom with the woman crying, and they both went back to the bar. She did not call the cops or furthermore made a scene. Frank Cullotta was shocked by what just happened but he knew better to just keep quiet and ignore what had just transpired.

"Mad Sam" DeStefano on Ambulance Gurney Outside of Court

“Mad Sam” DeStefano on Ambulance Gurney Outside of Court

The Feds were now hot on DeStefano. They would question him for anything that would happen in the neighborhood. The Feds eventually would charge him for voting in an election. He was a convicted felon and should not be allowed to vote. On May 4th, 1964 he was summoned to court. He made a huge spectacle out of the hearing. He would show up in pajamas while he was being wheeled around in a wheelchair or on an ambulance gurney. He was representing himself in this case. The judge refused him to represent himself. That is when “Mad Sam” started yelling and screaming in the court. When the judge told him to be quiet, “Mad Sam” yelled back “I’ll show you how quiet I can be.” He pulled out a bullhorn and started screaming in the bull horn. This incident earned him his first charge of contempt of court. Even though “Mad Sam” had a case going on, he still needed to mind his business on the street.

Peter Cappelletti, a loan shark for "Mad Sam" DeStefano

Peter Cappelletti, a loan shark for “Mad Sam” DeStefano

Peter Cappelletti was one of DeStefano’s collectors. He made a huge mistake of stealing $25,000 from “Mad Sam” and headed to Milwaukee. “Mad Sam,” his brother Mario, and Chuckie Grimaldi headed to Milwaukee and found him. They beat him and through him in the trunk of the car and drove back to Chicago. He was pleading for his life all the way back to Chicago. They took him to the basement of Mario’s restaurant. They stripped him down naked, tortured him, and urinated on him as he was handcuffed to a heater. This went on for three days. Finally Peter screamed that he would pay DeStefano double if he would let him live. Surprisingly, “Mad Sam” agreed to this idea. Instead of letting him go right away, “Mad Sam” arranged for a party at Mario’s restaurant. He invited Peter Cappelletti’s family. While they were all eating and drinking around the table, Cappelletti was brought up tied naked to a chair and was thrown at his mother’s feet. “You ought to thank me, he is still living,” “Mad Sam” said to his mother. It was said that “Mad Sam” may have had family members urinate on Peter. The family came up with the $50,000 the following week.

"Mad Sam" in Court

“Mad Sam” in Court

“Mad Sam’s” voting trial continued until it was three weeks later. The jury could not come to a decision of whether he was guilty or not; or they were just all too afraid. The judge declared a mistrial, a victory for “Mad Sam;” sort of. While he was in court, he managed to get three charges of contempt in the courtroom. The judge gave him a year for each charge of contempt. “Mad Sam” sees himself back in prison for the first time in 20 years. He is serving three years in a case that would have had him serving no time at all if it wasn’t for his outlandish antics.

"Mad Sam" in Prison

“Mad Sam” in Prison

When Sam got out, he was back on the streets overseeing his criminal enterprise. As DeStefano moved into the 1970’s a couple of things would cause big problems for him. Chuckie Grimaldi got busted and he had turned government witness. He was there with “Mad Sam”, Mario DeStefano, and Tony Spilotro when they tortured and killed Leo Foreman. To make things worse Paul “the Waiter” Ricca passed away on October 11th, 1972. He was the only thing that was preventing “Mad Sam” for getting hit by the Outfit for all of his antics and living in the public eye. He had the attention of the law enforcement, the media, and even the public was familiar with all the antics of “Mad Sam” DeStefano.

Just as anticipated “Mad Sam” DeStefano, his brother Mario, and Tony Spilotro were all arrested for the murder of Leo Foreman. “Mad Sam” is back in the courtroom and giving interviews to the press. When a reporter asked “Mad Sam” about his brother, he lost it as usual and went into a rage. He told the reporter, “Touch me but don’t touch my brother. I don’t like it when you touch my brother. Don’t look cross-eyed at my brother. Then I became what they call me, a raving maniac. Do I make myself clear? ” It is unfortunate for Michael DeStefano that “Mad Sam” did not seem to feel the same away about him as he did for his brother Mario and killed him.  After this first display, Outfit Boss Tony Accardo said “Mad Sam” has to go.

"Mad Sam" DeStefano in the 1970's

“Mad Sam” DeStefano in the 1970’s

Once Tony Accardo put the word out they tapped the best man for the job. They tapped his brother Mario DeStefano to kill “Mad Sam.” On April 14th, 1973 Mario contacted his brother and told him that they figured out where they were keeping Chuckie Grimaldi. “Mad Sam” was seething at the chance to torture and kill Chuckie, just as Mario and Tony planned. Mario DeStefano and Tony Spilotro headed over to “Mad Sam’s” house. Mario got out of the car first and started to approach his brother, with Tony Spilotro following behind Mario, to hide a double barrel pump shotgun. Mario jumps out of the way between Tony and his brother; Tony raises the shotgun and pulls the trigger. With the first shot he almost tears off “Mad Sam’s” arm. He pumps the shotgun quickly again and fires; this time giving the final and fatal shot to “Mad Sam.” “Mad Sam” DeStefano was lying dead on his garage floor, bleeding out with his arm almost decapitated from his body. The most sadistic associate in the Chicago Outfit history is dead on April 14th, 1973. No one was ever charged for the murder of “Mad Sam.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.