this day in crime history: june 9, 1930

On this date in 1930, Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle was murdered in the Illinois Central Train Station underpass. Lingle, a “leg man” who gathered the information and phoned it in to news writers, covered stories from Chicago’s underworld. It was first thought that Lingle’s murder was related to the news stories he covered. It soon emerged that Lingle was on the payroll of local mobsters.

A hoodlum named Leo Brothers was arrested for the crime. He was tried and convicted of Lingle’s murder and sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He was paroled in eight. The light sentence was due to the belief that Brothers was taking the fall for someone else.

A popular theory of the motive for the murder is that Lingle was attempting to blackmail Al Capone in order to get money to pay off large gambling debts. If that was the case, Lingle learned the hard way what most people in the Windy City already knew: You don’t cross Big Al.

Further reading:

American Mafia – The Lingle Killing

Chicago TribuneThe shooting of Jake Lingle

TimeThe Press: Martyr Into Racketeer


9 thoughts on “this day in crime history: june 9, 1930

  1. Love how the bystanders pose with the body to get their 15 minutes of fame. The Untouchables did an episode about the murder, but for some reason, they pinned it on a fictitious gangster, rather than using Capone, Nitti, or any of the real mobsters who appeared on that show.


  2. Lingle was supposedly the liaison between Capone and the Chicago PD. When he was killed, he had several thousand dollars in his pocket and was wearing a diamond-studded belt buckle that was a gift from Al Capone. Not bad for a guy making $65 a week in the middle of the Depression.


    • Seems to me I read somewhere that Big Al gave out belt buckles like that to a number of “friends.” I guess the diamond-studded buckle was the mark of a Chicago Underworld A-lister. The bullet holes would be an indication of demotion to the D-list. 🙂


  3. John D.:
    Yeah…trying to blackmail Capone?
    WTH was this guy thinking?
    (he probably wasn’t thinking…that’s gotta be it)
    Interesting that Lingle as the “go-between” w/ the CPD and Big Al…

    Very good story (and comments).

    Stay safe out there.


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