Frank Nitti (1886 to 1943)
Frank Nitti was Al Capone’s first cousin and later became a good friend. He was thirteen years older than Al and a member of the “Navy Street Gang” with Al Capone’s older brothers.
Frank quit school at age twelve (Al was kicked out of school at age fourteen). For several years, Nitti worked as a pinsetter and a barber.
Nitti’s natural father had died when Frank was two, and the relationship with his stepfather deteriorated until he left home at age fourteen. At age twenty-four, Frank moved to Texas, joined the Galveston Crime syndicate, and stole a large amount of money from them. He then fled back to Chicago where he renewed contact with the O’Banion gang and became an accomplished jewel thief, smuggler, and fence.
Nitti’s skill (early 1920’s) as a liquor smuggler caught the attention of “Papa Johnny” Torrio who had just hired a new soldier named Al Capone.
The demise of Frank Nitti is remarkable, almost unbelievable. Suicide by three shots to the head (you’ve got to be kidding me). The official report was that only one of the three shots was fatal, what gave it away?
There is no question that he ended up dead, but it sounds a little like the guy who was cleaning his rifle and accidentally shot himself eight times in the back.
OK, I guess it could have happened, but you have to admit that it took stones to shoot himself three times in the head.