"Mad Sam" DeStefano
The story of a man many consider to be the most vicious in Chicago gangster history.
by Allan May
When FBI agents and members of the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit showed up to monitor the mourners at "Mad Sam" DeStefano’s funeral, they were disappointed, but not surprised. The "puny" turnout, which included a 10-car caravan to the cemetery, only amplified what law enforcement had known for years: "Mad Sam" was despised by everyone who knew him.
DeStefano was born in 1909. In what would prove to be a fitting start to his vicious criminal career, DeStefano, at age 18, was convicted of raping a teenage girl and sent to prison for three years.
In 1932, as a member of Chicago’s infamous "42 Gang," he was shot during an attempted burglary of a grocery store. By 1933 he was back in prison, this time for robbing a bank in New Lisbon, Wis. DeStefano was captured while climbing a tree to escape after the getaway car broke down and the robbers took off into the woods. He served 11 years before his release in 1944.