Paula & The Chicago Mob

Paula M. Kramer’s Chicago Mob Facedown


What The Top Chicago Mobsters Didn’t Know:
Paula M. Kramer’s Connections To Both The Real Godfather And The FBI


Why Most Mobsters Don’t Want Their Children
Following In Their Footsteps


Paula M. Kramer’s Chicago Mob Facedown

When I was 21 years old, I worked the lunch shift at a fancy Chicago restaurant. The uniforms were red with ruffles. They showed some cleavage and were very short. The uniform covered me enough to feel comfortable, and I enjoyed the job.

After I’d been working a few weeks, the restaurant scheduled a Friday the 13th party. The maître d’ assigned me to work that party. I was the only waitress. The large banquet room was dimly lit with superstition props, including a ladder to walk under and a black cat. The guests were all men, including local celebrities, the Chicago Bears (it was autumn), local politicians, and movie and television star Cesar Romero.

A group of tables was set up at the back of the banquet hall. Several men just sat, talking and watching. The maître d’ never sent me to wait on them.

The restaurant also invited the news media. I remember bright lighting for the camera while the news crew was there. Friends later told me they saw me on the 10:00 local news.

I was the only waitress, but I don’t remember doing any work. I must have done something like get drinks and pass around hors d’oeuvres, but I don’t remember doing any work at all. I just remember having all kinds of fun. That party stands out as the best party of my life. I felt so comfortable that I walked right up to Cesar Romero to shake his hand and say hello.

The week after the party I went back to working my lunch shift. The restaurant manager came in one day, sat at the bar, and asked me to serve him. He wrote his phone number on a napkin, pushed the napkin towards me, and told me to call him. I knew he wanted sex. I knew sex would bring me perks. I did not call him because I did not want the sex and I did not need the perks.

A week or two later, the restaurant manager was back at the bar, asking me to serve him. This time, he gave me a dime. I did not call him.

Days later I when I started my shift, the maître d’ told me to serve a table of ‘top managers’. I had never heard of or seen these top managers before. I rarely even saw the dime manager. The four top managers were all older white men. They were all expensively dressed. Four men at a square table. I served them the way I had always served lunch. Immediately after lunch, the maître d’ fired me for ‘not smiling’ at the managers.

Of course I had smiled at the managers. I wasn’t fired because I didn’t smile at them. If I had been an unsmiling waitress, the maître d wouldn’t have assigned me to be the only waitress working the Friday the 13th party. That top manager lunch played in my mind for decades before I was ready to admit what had happened. This was Chicago, the city of Al Capone and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. The Chicago mob laundered money through legitimate businesses, including restaurants. The ‘top managers’ of that fancy restaurant were top mobsters.

The Friday the 13th party was an audition to see how comfortable I would be with a roomful of men. Since it was the best party of my life, I obviously felt very comfortable. The next step would have been to audition me sexually. If I had agreed to the sex, I could have attended more parties with more celebrities and more celebrities and more athletes and more Hollywood stars. Sex with partygoers would have been an expectation.

I knew my assignment to the Friday the 13th party was something of a privilege. It was only after I was fired that I understood I was supposed to pay for that privilege with my body. Every other member of the restaurant staff knew I had refused to call the dime manager. The top mobsters were there that day to decide how to punish me as a warning to the rest of the staff to never say no to the managers.

Firing me was the mildest punishment the mobsters could have chosen. The extreme option was to make me disappear that day. It would have been easy to make me disappear. Plus, they saw me as a nobody waitress whose disappearance could never come back to haunt them. But they didn’t make me disappear. Throughout my time at that restaurant, I had been naively positive that everyone like me because I liked what I was doing. They gave the Friday the 13th party to me, which proved that they did like me. Something about my naive positivity must have made me an insignificant threat who didn’t require the worst punishment.

Although I did not recognize the four men at the square table as top mobsters, I knew they were top managers. I knew they were powerful men. I also knew I was their equal as human beings. Sister Vianney spent the last four years of my elementary school education teaching me that I was equal to powerful people. She was the school principal so she was the most powerful person in our school. She treated me as her equal. Since my days sitting across the desk from Sister Vianney, I have known with certainty that I am equal to any powerful person anywhere in the world. I would not curtsy to any royalty anywhere in the world because I do not curtsy to my equals as human beings.

I treat everyone as my equals in humanity, including people others consider beneath them. I know the power of equality. I will follow Sister Vianney’s example in treating all people as equal in humanity for the rest of my life.

Positive Identities & The Ability To Say No

I was able to say no to the dime manager because I did not need the perks of having sex with him. I did not need the perks because I had positive identities from six people. Ironically, Italian girls with strong family ties have also been able to say no:

“Against the odds, the Italian immigrants succeeded in gaining a foothold in the New World.
And despite the perception of a crime-prone Italian subculture, the facts reveal just the opposite. Consider the issue of prostitution. Whereas poor girls from most every race and nationality were represented in the nation’s bordellos, Italian girls were curiously immune to temptation — their strong family ties made such a choice unthinkable.”

To understand how I went from a neighborhood where the son of the real godfather lived to a waitressing job in Chicago, read “Was I A Loser?”.

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld In The Shaping Of Modern America
Gus Russo, 2001, page 13


What The Top Chicago Mobsters Did Not Know:
Paula M. Kramer’s Connections To Both The Real Godfather And The FBI

According to the book The Outfit, Tony “Joe” Accardo was the real godfather. My fear of Tony Accardo began when I was five or six years old. In 1956, Salvatore “Sam” “Mooney” Giancana owned Villa Venice (accent on “ice”), a nightclub about a mile from my house. My family was never afraid of Giancana, but we became afraid of Accardo. My father knew people all over the northern suburbs of Chicago. Someone in the know must have told my father about Accardo, because Accardo always stayed in the background.

A man matching Accardo’s description rented the getaway car for the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, Illinois. The FBI recorded Murray “the Camel” Humphreys talking about Accardo being at the massacre. Chicago crime boss Al Capone called Accardo “Joe Batters” because of the way Accardo used a baseball bat. (Another nickname was “Big Tuna”.) After Capone went to prison, Accardo and other top mobsters ran “The Outfit”, as the Chicago mob was known.

My family moved to a new house in 1960. At age nine I was relieved to move away from Villa Venice and the mobsters. When I was 15 years old, Tony Accardo, Jr. moved into a house next to my family’s property. Accardo, Jr. lived there for about 10 years. I still lived at home for about six of those years.

When I was 19 and still living at home, I babysat occasionally for families I liked. One night when one father drove me home, he told me he worked for the FBI. The local office needed to hire a secretary and he offered me the job. He told me I would have to lock up my typewriter ribbon every night. I thought to myself, “But I don’t want to lock up my brain every night.” I said, “No, thank you.”

Contrary to the top mobsters belief that I was a nobody whose disappearance wouldn’t come back to haunt them, I had a personal connection to an FBI agent. If the top mobsters had decided to make me disappear, that FBI agent would have gone after them with a vengeance.

Tony Accardo, Jr. still lived next to my family when the FBI agent offered me a job. The FBI agent would, of course, have known that the son of the real godfather lived next to my family. I’ve always been thankful I was smart enough at age 19 to say no. I did not need any further involvement with Tony “Joe” Accardo or his family.

The first Godfather movie came out in 1972. Don Vito Corleone includes the characteristics of many gangsters, particularly Frank Costello, Carlo Gambino, and Joe Profaci. Frank Costello died in 1973. Carlo Gambino died in 1976. Joe Profaci died in 1962.

Tony Accardo became the final authority of The Outfit in 1972. Chicago’s Boss of Bosses died in 1992.

Tony Accardo, Jr. still lived next to my family in 1972.


I do not answer questions about Tony Accardo, Jr. He did not choose his father. He did not choose a life of crime. Tony Accardo, Jr. and his family have the right to privacy. I respect that right.

“5 True Mob Stories Behind The Godfather”

John William Tuohy
Rich Porello’s American Mafia
June, 2001

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
Gus Russo
New York: Bloomsbury, 2001
St. Valentine’s Day massacre and Al Capone’s Joe Batters quote, page 57
Sam Giancana buying Villa Venice in 1956, page 413
Tony “Joe” Accardo as “ultimate survivor” mob boss, page 473-474
Tony “Joe” Accardo’s death, 489


Why Most Mobsters Don’t Want Their Children
Following In Their Footsteps

Many people are fascinated with mobsters. The articles below go into detail about the likely whys for that fascination. One reason for the fascination is the belief that mobsters can do anything they want. Wrong. Because of the realities of mob life, most mobster parents do not want their children to become mobsters. Sam Giancana’s daughter Antoinette said,

“I don’t think any of these guys wanted their kids to get involved with crime.”

Being the child of a top mobster could make success outside of the mob difficult. A few years before Tony Accardo, Jr. moved next to my family’s house, he wanted to open a travel agency. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy let Accardo, Jr.’s potential clients know that they would have IRS problems if they went to Accardo Jr. That was the end of the travel agency.

Even Al Capone became so tired of mob life that he decided he would be safer in jail.

“I’ve been in this racket long enough… Every minute I was in danger of death…
I’m tired of the gang murders and the gang shootings… During the last two years
I’ve been trying to get out. But once in the racket you’re always in it, it seems.
The parasites trail you, begging you for favors and for money, and you can never
get away from them, no matter where you go.”

The mobster heirs to Al Capone recognized that Capone fell because he refused “to hide his money or to provide an explanation of what he did for a living.” Capone’s “fancy clothes, flashy cars, and movie-star hangers-on” made Capone “his own worst enemy.”

When mob boss Tony Accardo decided to buy a fancy house in Chicago suburb River Forest, Curly Humphreys warned him against it.  The “Palace” had 22 rooms, including “an indoor pool with a garden on its roof” as well as “a gun and trophy room, a pipe organ, a walk-in safe, wood spiral staircases, carriage and guests houses on the backyard half-acre.”

Humphreys told Accardo,

“The smart money don’t go to the suburbs. You and your family will stick out like a
sore thumb and the feds will always know exactly where you are.”

Humphreys was right. Under FBI scrutiny, Tony Accardo eventually had to sell his Palace and move into a smaller house. Other mobsters traveled constantly to avoid the FBI.

Even when he was enjoying his house, Accardo did not get the respect he felt he deserved. A gang of thieves burglarized his Palace. He had them tracked down and murdered in revenge.

Salvatore “Sam” Giancana bought the myth that mobsters should be able to live anyway they wanted to. His high-profile lifestyle included dating singing stars. He gave Dorothy McGuire a white Cadillac convertible, partied in Las Vegas, and missed mob business meetings. Giancana wanted to kill an FBI agent, but other mobsters stopped him, afraid of the FBI response. Tony “Joe” Accardo and Paul Ricca made Giancana leave the country. After success with gambling operations in Mexico,  Mexico deported him. Giancana could not recover his gambling millions from Mexican banks. The Chicago mob eventually had Giancana aide Butch Blasi kill Giancana in his own basement.

Decades after my last encounter with the Chicago mob, I learned just how much fear mob families live with. In 2018, I had an email conversation with the woman then living in the Tony Accardo, Jr. house. When the new owners took possession, the house had a central burglar alarm. Each window of the house was wired directly to the burglar alarm. In addition, wires to the burglar alarm ran all the way up the stairs to the second floor, hidden underneath the rug.

Mobsters only seem to be in control and have endless power. The reality is otherwise. Being the son of the real godfather didn’t give Tony Accardo, Jr. the power to feel safe in his own home.

If adults faced the reality of mob/gangster life, teenagers could follow their example and face the reality of gang life.


I do not answer questions about Tony Accardo, Jr. He did not choose his father. He did not choose a life of crime. Tony Accardo, Jr. and his family have the right to privacy. I respect that right.


Socializing With Mobsters Has Its Drawbacks

Do you wonder if Marilyn Monroe’s death was murder or suicide? Read about an event that gave Monroe a reason to commit suicide on pages 431-432 of The Outfit. The event happened at the end of July 1962. Monroe died on August 5, 1962. Frank Sinatra was supposedly Marilyn’s friend. I borrowed this book through interlibrary loan. You don’t have to buy the book to read what happened.

I’m forever grateful I said “No” to the dime manager at the fancy restaurant. I probably saved myself from something similar to what Marilyn Monroe endured.


“A fascination with gangsters”
Justin Parkinson
BBC News Magazine
September 22, 2015

“Grave Warning”
July 24, 2006

“Mob week: Why we can’t get enough of the gangster life”
Ann O’Neill
June 22, 2013

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
Gus Russo
New York: Bloomsbury, 2001
Tony Accardo, Jr. travel agency, pages 477-478
Al Capone choosing jail, page 43
Capone’s refusal to hide his money, page 51
The Palace, pages 245-246, 437, 485
Salvatore “Sam” “Mooney” Giancana, pages 414-415, 420, 461, 472-473, 480-481, 482

“Why Do We Admire Mobsters?”
Maria Konnikova
The New Yorker
September 16, 2015

‘Why the Mafia continues to fascinate”
Jennifer Hunter
September 20, 2015


© Paula M. Kramer, 2022.
All rights reserved.
Updated January 28, 2023.