Gangster. Sam DeStefano, a.k.a. “Mad Sam,” was the most violent loanshark in Chicago’s history. He grew up in Little Italy and fell in with the infamous 42er Gang. He served three years in prison for rape and eleven in Wisconsin for bank robbery. He was known as a “six for five” juice man in Chicago, and enjoyed torturing his victims when they didn’t pay. He had a soundproof torture chamber built into the basement of his home. Mad Sam usually wore pajamas wherever he went, carried an ice pick in his pocket and shouted through a bullhorn at his court appearances. Many unfortunate men wound up in Mad Sam’s basement over the years. On the morning of April 14, 1973, Mad Sam DeStefano was shotgunned to death in his garage. It was suspected that his killer may have been Tony Spilotro, a former DeStefano apprentice who was due to go to trial with him for murder.
- September, 13, 1909
- April, 14, 1973