The Chicago Outfit (also known as the Outfit, the Chicago Mafia, the Chicago Mob, the South Side Gang, or The Organization) is an Italian-American organized crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, which dates back to the 1910s. It is part of the American Mafia originating in Chicago’s South Side.
The Outfit rose to power in the 1920s, under the control of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone and the period was marked by bloody gang wars for control of the distribution of illegal alcohol during Prohibition. Since then, the Outfit has been involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including loansharking, gambling, prostitution, extortion, political corruption, and murder. Following Capone’s conviction for income tax evasion (in 1931), the Outfit was run by Paul Ricca. From 1943 until his death in 1972, he shared power with Tony Accardo, who became the sole power in the Outfit upon Ricca’s death. Accardo was one of the longest sitting bosses of all time right up until his death in the early 1990s.
The Outfit did not have a monopoly on organized crime in Chicago, but was by far the most powerful, violent, and largest criminal organization in the Midwest. The Outfit’s influence, at its peak, stretched as far as California and Florida. Higher law enforcement attention and general attrition has led to the Outfit’s gradual decline since the late 20th century. From 1997 to 2014, the Chicago Outfit is believed to be led by John DiFronzo.
Unlike their New York counterparts, the Outfit has traditionally stayed away from drug trafficking, preferring instead crimes such as loan-sharking and online gambling operations and capitalizing on other profitable vices. One of the reasons it is so difficult to completely stamp out mob activity, McNamara said, is that over time the crews have insinuated themselves into unions and legitimate businesses.
“Typically, they get into running restaurants and other legal businesses that they can use to hide money gained from their illicit activities,” McNamara explained. “Over the years the Outfit has learned that killing people brings too much heat from law enforcement. Today they might not even beat up a businessman who doesn’t pay back a debt,” he added. Instead, they take a piece of his business, and then, over time, exercise more control over the company.
The local Mob has ties to Glasswalkers and Glasswalker Kin Folk. Alone of organized crime groups, the Glasswalker ties means there are no Kindred influences among the mobs. While the Glasswalkers do not control the Mob, they use their influence to guide it, especially away from drug trafficking. They also use this mobs influence with the Police Union to keep Kindred controlled police at bay.