This article was last modified on January 13, 2015.


Dirty Slots: The Chicago Outfit’s Control of Vending

In the early 1950s, Apex Amusements shared a building with Globe Distributing. Globe was the primary supplier of Apex.

February 16, 1967, Chicago police lieutenant Edward King testified before the Illinois Crime Investigating Commission that he and his partner, James Kelliher, had spoken with Earl Kies of the Apex Amusement Company and Deluxe Cigaret Service. Kies told them that Edward Vogel and Gus Alex worked as salesmen for him. He was also told that Recorded Music was formed as a protection group but was not a “muscle outfit”. Kies, a balding man with glasses, refused to testify before the commission. The newspapers identified him as living at 860 Country Club Drive, McHenry, along the Fox River.

April 15, 1967, Carol Clancy and Barbara Luber told the commission that they were forced out of the Cicero truck stop (4709 West Roosevelt) where they worked as waitresses by men who threatened to slash and maim them. Allegedly, Frank Houdek, a collector for Apex Amusement, offered them $1000 to purchase the restaurant from Sheldon Hodes if they would make him a silent partner. He also said without his support, they would not be able to get a license from Cicero authorities. They purchased the restaurant in January and soon Houdek and a laughing, middle-aged man named Kelly put in a pinball machine that paid out winnings. Within a week of their taking over, Houdek threatened to break Luber’s legs and to cut off Clancy’s fingers with a razor he kept in his shoe. Houdek told Clancy “that knives are much quieter than guns.” She also got a call from John Glorioso, who owned the property, and told her “to shut up or I would be killed.” Cicero police also started coming in, harassing them, and even taking them to the station. One officer forced them to sign a “paving agreement” to begin in April. Soon, both women succumbed and handed the business over to Houdek. (Some sources say the name is Hodak.)

Sources

FBI File 92-CG-2306 (Hoodlum Influence on Vending)

Also try another article under Organized Crime
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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