Samuel "Nails" Morton

One of Chicago’s leading Jewish gangsters (real name: Samuel J. Marcovitz), Morton was one of Johnny Torrio’s top aides during the early days of Prohibition. He knew Chicago. He knew which cops were crooked and which were straight. He knew how to steal cars, crack safes, and crack heads. Morton might have become the city’s greatest gangster of all—relegating Capone to the second tier—if not for an unfortunate accident. Riding on horseback one day on Clark Street just north of Lincoln Park, Morton was thrown from his mount and kicked in the head by a hoof. He died instantly. Rumor has it that Morton’s horse was later bumped off by some of his drunken pals.


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