Lincolnwood's Purple Hotel witnessed gangland murder, end of Chicago mob era

August 27, 2013 (LINCOLNWOOD, Ill.)

The Purple Hotel may have been many things to many people, but it spelled the end for the Chicago mob as we know it.

On a bitter January day in 1983, the suburban landmark that was famous for its purple exterior, all of the sudden became infamous for the color blood red when six shots were fired into the head of outfit-connected businessman Alan Dorfman.

Dorfman's mob pedigree went back to Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, who had appointed him to run the union's pension fund.

It was hundreds of millions of dollars in union funds that bought and paid for the central Las Vegas strip, largely financed by the cabal that was the Chicago outfit and the Teamsters union. Alan Dorfman was the mob's anointed king atop the Union Bank that built Las Vegas.

Until January 1983, when Dorfman was shot dead in the parking lot of the Purple Hotel, three days before he was to be sentenced for labor racketeering. He and an associate were walking in for lunch. Federal authorities said the gangland hit was to keep Dorfman from cooperating.

But the feds already had what they needed to move on Chicago's top outfit bosses from microphones that had been hidden inside Dorfman's office.

The government's best evidence hadn't died that day in the Purple Hotel parking lot. They had recordings that would prove the Teamsters had a lock on Vegas and the mob was skimming millions from casino proceeds.

Three years later, Chicago's top mobster Joey "Doves" Aiuppa was convicted-- largely on evidence collected from those conversations recorded in Dorfman's office-along with his major domo Jackie Cerone, Angelo "The Hook" La Pietra and Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo.

The Chicago mob was never the same, and neither was Las Vegas, with the eventual reconfiguring of casino and hotel ownership there.

It was the end of an era, an era that began with the man who died that day outside the Purple Hotel.

The Alan Dorfman murder is as unsolved now as it was thirty years ago when ABC7's Chuck Goudie was with a Channel 7 crew camped out in front of the Purple Hotel looking for answers from federal agents.

It's part of the lore of the Lincolnwood building that is now being reduced the dust, to be replaced with a modern mix of retail, residential, office space, and probably a hotel.

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