Francesco Ioele, better known as Frankie Uale or Frankie Yale, was a Brooklyn gangster and second employer of Al Capone. Take a look below for 29 more interesting and strange facts about Frankie Yale.
1. Born in Longobucco, Francesco and his family arrived in the United States in 1900.
2. As a teenager, Ioele was befriended by John Torrio, who ushered him into the Five Points Gang and groomed him for a life of crime.
3. Shortly after Torrio left for Chicago, in 1909, Ioele “Americanized” his last name to Yale.
4. Despite his medium height and chubby build, Yale was a fearsome fistfighter and thief.
5. In 1910, at the age of 17, Yale and a friend, a wrestler named Bobby Nelson, severely beat several men during a fight in the Coney Island pool hall, which involved cracking pool cues and curling billiard balls.
6. One of his early arrests, in October 1912, was on suspicion of homicide.
7. Torrio left Yale and New York for the Chicago underworld in 1909, but he imparted his approach to crime before he left. Yale, like Torrio, came to believe in business above all.
8. Yale quickly set about real racketeering, infiltrating and dominating the ice delivery trade in Brooklyn.
9. He used the money from that scheme to buy a bar on Coney Island that he called the Harvard Inn.
10. It was through the bar that Yale came into contact with the second of his great underworld connections: Al Capone, who worked there as a bouncer.
11. Scarface, as Capone hated to be called, earned that nickname at Yale’s bar one night when he insulted the sister of a patron and the patron cut him across the face.
12. Yale and his gang dipped their fingers in several criminal pies. They carried out the Black Hand extortion scheme popular among Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, sending citizens letters that threatened physical harm unless money was paid.
13. Yale engaged in protection and labor racketeering. As a front, he sold cigars and ran a funeral home across the street from his own house.
14. With the advent of Prohibition, Yale, like his friends, turned his sights to liquor. He became one of the biggest bootleggers in New York.
15. In 1920, Torrio and his acolyte Capone called Yale to the Windy City to assassinate Giacomo “Big Jim” Colosimo. He ran the city’s underworld, but Torrio wanted him out of the way so the Chicago Outfit could make more money bootlegging.
16. Four years later, Yale returned to Chicago for another hit, this time at the behest of Capone, who had taken over the Outfit when Torrio retired.
17. Yale and two other men allegedly walked into the Schofield Flower Ship on the North Side of Chicago and gunned down Capone rival Dean O’Banion.
18. Assassins tried to kill him twice in 1921, the first time while he was outside a banquet, the second while he was driving down a street in a car full of men.
19. Yale spent much of his time in conflict with the White Hand Gang, a group of Irish American mobsters.
20. The dispute came to a head in 1925, when the leader of the White Heads was killed at the Adonis Club in Brooklyn by Capone, who was in town, and men working for Yale.
21. At his peak, Yale was one of the most important gangsters of the day. The modern Mafia structure was still evolving, but Yale was one of the most powerful players in it.
22. Yale smuggled Canadian whiskey during Prohibition, and he oversaw the trucks that shipped it on to Capone in Chicago.
23. On July 1, 1928, Yale received a strange phone call saying that there was a problem with his wife at home. He ran outside and sped off in his Lincoln coupe.
24. He was ambushed by a Buick sedan with four armed men inside. The Lincoln had armor plating, but the windows hand’t been bullet proofed, and Yale was killed by the gunfire.
25. Capone was suspected in the murder, but no charges were ever filed. It was the first time a Thompson submachine gun was used in a New York Mafia hit.
26. Yale’s funeral was one of the most lavish in mob history.
27. Thousands poured into the streets of Brooklyn to watch his coffin pass.
28. His silver casket cost $15,000. It took 38 cars to carry his flowers.
29. Two women showed up at the Holy Cross Cemetery claiming to be his wife.