Mobster Frank Schweihs dead

July 29, 2008 2:30:13 PM PDT
The government has lost its chance to bring one of Chicago's most prolific mob hitmen to justice.Three months before Frank Schweihs was to stand trial on racketeering murder charges, the gangland killer himself has died

Frank Schweihs was supposed to have been tried last summer with the other top hoodlums during Operation Family Secrets, the landmark mob trial. When Schweihs was too ill with cancer to even leave a prison hospital, federal authorities knew that the odds were slim they would ever get a crack at this mobster known as "The German."

"What goes around comes around," Schweihs said on an FBI tape.

Frank Schweihs used to intimidate with that line. "What goes around comes around." But Schweihs' history of doing business at the end of a gun barrel never came around for him.

At Thorek Hospital at 850 W. Irving Park Rd. in Chicago, he died at age 78 in a very un-gangland style of lung cancer and small cell lymphoma. The U.S. marshal in a press release, stated that Schweihs "passed away at 8:55 p.m., complications of cancer."

"Law enforcement knew that this guy was a psychopath," said Bob Fuesel, former federal agent.

Former IRS criminal agent Fuesel also once ran the Chicago Crime Commission. Fuesel says Schweihs was the mob's most accomplished hired gun going back to Al Capone and the prime suspect in more than a dozen Outfit killings.

"I think the people that he worked for, like Tony Spilotro, who was one of the bosses of the mob, certainly Joey Lombardo, the chairman of the board after Accardo passed away, were fearful men, but more fearful because their enforcer was Frankie Schweihs and their power related more to him than them," Fuesel said.

Spilotro and his brother were found six-feet under an Indiana cornfield; Schweihs the prime suspect. Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, convicted last summer in Operation Family Secrets along with "Little Jimmy" Marcello, who called Frank Schweihs "Hitler" because of his brutal nature.

"A cold-blooded, tough killer who would murder anyone if ordered to," said John J. Flood, former Cook County detective in May.

On FBI undercover tapes, Schweihs himself let it be known he was the boss. "I don't care if Al Capone's brother comes back reincarnated," he'd said.

Schweihs was due for trial this October on racketeering and murder. Federal prosecutor Marcus Funk said once they get a death certificate, the case will be dropped.

Schweihs' legacy is an arrest record beginning in 1949.

And he may take to the grave the ultimate family secret: Marilyn Monroe. As the I-Team reported in May, some investigators suspect the Outfit sent Schweihs and Tony Spilotro to kill Monroe in 1962 and make it look like a drug overdose because of her connections to the Kennedys and mob boss Sam Giancana.

Schweihs' lawyer Thursday denied the Marilyn Monroe story. Attorney Paul Brayman said that Schweihs was "a great father of three kids, who thought the world of him" and wanted his day in court.

When Schweihs died Wednesday night, his lawyer was drafting a court motion for release from federal custody so that he could go to his daughter's home for his last few days.


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