We take a look back at some historic news footage of Chicago mafia soldier and enforcer Anthony Spilotro.
He became a made member of the mafia in Chicago at age 25. Tony was known for his violent and brutal tendencies which helped him rise through the ranks of the mafia. Even though he was only 5’5″ tall he was considered a heavyweight within the organization for years. In the early 1970s, he was sent by Outfit boss Tony “Joe Batters” Accardo to Las Vegas to replace mobster Marshall Caifano. He was tasked with protecting the mob’s secret interests in the casinos. It was known as the skim and it was worth millions to the Outfit bosses and other Cosa Nostra mobsters. But Spilotro was a wiseguy through and through and it wasn’t long before he was into other criminal activities in Vegas that led to problems with both law enforcement and his mob superiors.
“Anthony (The Ant) Spilotro”
Chicago mob leaders wanted to keep a low profile in the Windy City and especially in Las Vegas. Instead, he put together a burglary crew known as the Hole in the Wall Gang which pulled various high profile jobs in Sin City. He and his crew operated out of the Gold Rush pawnshop that he opened as a front to help fence their stolen property. It was definitely not what the bosses had in mind when they sent him out there. He maintained such a high profile that he eventually made his way into the infamous Las Vegas Black Book.
Even though he was indicted multiple times for various crimes including murder he proved to have a knack for beating these cases. But eventually, his luck would run out and he and his brother Michael Spilotro had become a problem for the Chicago Outfit. In 1986 they were called back to the midwest to answer for what had transpired in Vegas. The bodies of Anthony Spilotro and his brother were eventually found in an Indiana cornfield. They were badly beaten and it was clear that the Outfit bosses had enough and made an example out of them.
Today when most people hear the name Tony Spilotro the Martin Scorsese hit mafia movie “Casino” is probably what most often comes to mind. Joe Pesci played the role of character Nicholas “Nicky” Santoro which was based on Spilotro’s life and career. But the actual mobster himself was certainly real enough.