Guinta, Giuseppe (1887-1929)

Born 1887

Killed Cicero, IL, May 7, 1929.

"Hoptoad" Guinta briefly led the Chicago Unione Siciliana in 1929 and tried unsuccessfully to organize a revolt among Sicilians affiliated with Al Capone's Chicago gang.

Joe Guinta, resident of 1756 North Lockwood Avenue (he also used the home address of 1715 Adams Street), moved upward within the Unione Siciliana of Chicago as Unione bosses died or fell victim to assassination. Late in 1927, Guinta was arrested along with Unione boss Antonio Lombardo and Michael Butero. The men were all found to be carrying concealed weapons. Early the next year, the three were discharged, as Judge Joseph L. McCarthy determined that police were not justified in searching the men for weapons.

Lombardo took a conciliatory posture toward non-Sicilian gang boss Capone, and that likely cost him his life. He was shot to death in September 1928. Patsy Lolordo, brother of Lombardo's ineffective bodyguard, was Unione president briefly. Guinta took over the Unione presidency upon the murder of Pasqualino Lolordo, apparently by anti-Capone crime figures, in January 1929.

Unlike his predecessors, Guinta resisted Capone's attempts to dominate the Unione. Guinta drew John Scalisi and Albert Anselmi, believed at the time to be Capone enforcers, into a plot to eliminate their boss.

Capone learned of the conspiracy against him. According to legend, he invited the unsuspecting Guinta, Scalisi and Anselmi to a May 7, 1929, celebration at the Hawthorne Inn in Cicero. At the dinner, he had the three men suddenly bound and proceeded to beat them to death with a baseball bat. A few bullets were thrown in for good measure.

The three victims were discovered at Douglas Park in Hammond, Indiana. Scalisi's body had been tossed into a ditch. Guinta's and Anselmi's bodies were found in the rear of an abandoned automobile.

So ended Guinta's career and the Chicago rebellion. Guinta was buried in a $10,000 glass-covered bronze casket. The remains of Anselmi and Scalisi were shipped back to Sicily for burial.

The beating deaths of the three Mafiosi caused a great deal of concern among Capone's New York-area colleagues (many of whom were proudly Sicilian and strongly objected to Neapolitan Capone's abuses of their countrymen). Capone was called to a mid-May peace conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Guinta was replaced as Unione boss by Capone's greatest Sicilian rival Joe Aiello.