1924: The Mafia

Holy Name Cathedral 730 N Wabash Ave. Chicago

The House Theatre
Written By The House Theatre

The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

Dean O’Banion grew up in Kilgubbin, a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, otherwise known as "Little Hell" for its notorious crime. As a young boy, Dean sang in the Holy Name Cathedral choir, but this could not keep him out of trouble. Dean joined the Market Street Gang, and built his reputation by beating newspaper vendors who didn’t meet sales quotas. By 1924, Dean O’Banion ran his own criminal operation out of Schofield’s Flower Shop, across State Street from Holy Name Cathedral. It was a front that celebrated his personal enjoyment for floral arrangement, while capitalizing on the many gangster funerals brought in by the mob.  

O'Banion catered to the funerals of many parishioners, including:  — Angela BREADNUT — Matt EMERITUS — Patricia M. DURIANS — Kevin GRAVELY  — April FOURFOLD 

The tradition at the time was to deliver flowers to the *north side of the cathedral, where the courtyard is now*. 

By 1924, Sullivan had returned to a life of petty crime, relocating to Cicero to work as a pawn for the mob's bootlegging operations. On November 3, 1924, Peg Leg was gambling away his meager wages at The Ship, a casino owned by Al Capone and the North Side Gang. Little did he know that at an otherwise banal accounting meeting was going on in the back room. It was here that Dean O’Banion discovered that his arch-rival Angelo Genna owed the casino a lot of money, and against Capone's recommendation, O'Banion called up Genna immediately and demanded he pay his debt. Incensed by the disagreement, Genna called for a hit on O’Banion. 

Down in the casino, Sullivan gambled himself into hole, and just kept digging. Before too long, he found himself dumped in front of a furious O'Banion and the mob bosses that ran the casino, where he was asked to hand over the money he owed. Sullivan insisted he didn’t have a penny to his name, but O’Banion wasn't going to let him get away with that. Panicked, Peg Leg emptied out his pockets, leaving O'Banion with a silver comb, a gold-plated money clip, and handful of nickels. Every single one of them cursed.

A week later, O’Banion was trimming Chrysanthemums in his flower shop, when he was shot twice in the chest, twice in the throat, and once in the back of the head. He was only 32. His murder triggered a feud between the North Side Gang and the Chicago outfit that culminated with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.      

Answer is 5 letters.
What word is hidden in chapter 7 — and around downtown Chicago?
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The Curse of Peg Leg Sullivan

1924: The Mafia

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