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Chicago's Real Mob Doctor

First, the Fox Chicago report by Dane Placko.

Then, we'll add value.


*

From the Chicago Daily Tribune, 1936:

FRIENDS WILL FETE DR. JOHN J. VITACCO AT DINNER-DANCE

A dinner dance in tribute to Dr. John J. Victacco, 1216 West Erie street, who recently completed his internship at the Garfield and Cook County hospitals, will be given by his friends Saturday night at the Hotel Sherman.

Judge Francis Allegretti will be the toastmaster, and Dr. Louis D. Morehead, dean of Loyola university school of medicine; Miss Florence Towne, superintendent of the Erie Chapel institute; Joseph N. Degragio, state representative, and Dr. Frederick Jirka, will be speakers. Dr. Vitacco graduated from Loyola medical school in 1933.

*

From the Tribune, 1968:

BANK SUES TO GET BACK LOST $635,000: Tells Loans To Hood and Associates

A Park Ridge bank is seeking to recover $635,000 which it said it lent to a crime syndicate loan shark and his associates in the now-defunct Service Savings and Loan association in Summit, it was learned yesterday . . . .

The bank said it has received no payment on the loans even tho the Circuit court on Aug. 27, 1965, upheld its claims for the $635,000. The bank said it gave the loans to Mercurio, Newberg, James B. Wilson, president of Service, and John J. Vitacco and Homer G. Fitzgerald as officers or representatives of Service.

*

From the Tribune, 1968:

U.S. INDICTS 3 IN LOAN FIRM CONSPIRACY

A physician, a former banker, and a crime syndicate loan shark were indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge that they conspired to embezzle $450,000 from the Service Savings and Loan association in Summit, it was disclosed yesterday.

They are John J. Vitacco, 57, of 1157 Park av. in River Forest; James B. Wilson, 45, of 424 Park av., River Forest; and Sam Mercurio, 46, of 3257 N. Nottingham av.

*

From the Tribune, 1968:

SCHOOL BOARD SUSPENDS DR. VITACCO

Vitacco . . . worked three days a week performing medical examinations of teachers and school employees.

*

From the Tribune, 1968:

THREE PLEAD INNOCENT TO EMBEZZLEMENT

During the hearing, Judge Austin indicated displeasure at having been assigned hearings on a long string of indictments involving the loan company and said, "I'm just not anxious to get into this can of worms."

*

Curiously, I could find no further news reports about the case in the ProQuest archives, just these obituaries:

From the Sun-Times, May 3, 1996:

Dr. John J. Vitacco , a family physician and surgeon who delivered thousands of babies, died Thursday at Palos Community; Hospital. He was 84.

Dr. Vitacco practiced medicine for half a century. For many years, he had an office at Madison and Waller, though he finished his career on West North Avenue in Elmwood Park.

"He used to deliver 300 babies a year, when GPs (general practitioners) made house calls," his son Joseph Vitacco said. A number of students who died in the 1958 Our Lady of Angels fire had been delivered by Dr. Vitacco .

Before retiring in 1984, Dr. Vitacco spent several years as health director for the Chicago Board of Education.

Dr. Vitacco was on staff at Garfield Bethany, now EHS Bethany, and Gottlieb hospitals and taught at Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine.

He attended the former Medill High School, earned a bachelor's degree from Lewis Institute and received his medical degree from Loyola. He interned at Cook County Hospital and completed his residency at Bethany.

Dr. Vitacco was an Army major during World War II, serving in Europe with the 12th Field Hospital.

Other survivors include a son, Louis; three daughters, Joyce Cheeks, Linda Bashop and Jacqueline Norton; two stepdaughters, Roseann Ziegler and Joanne Strezchowski; two brothers, Salvatore and Alfred, and 15 grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. today at Coletta Sons Funeral Home, 3240 W. 79th St. Mass will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Alexander Catholic Church, 7025 126th St., Palos Heights. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Belmont and Cumberland, River Grove.

*

From the Tribune, May 4, 1996:

Dr. John J. Vitacco, 84 died Thursday of cancer in his Palos Heights home. He was a general practitioner, and worked at Bethany Hospital in Chicago for 52 years before retiring in 1984. Dr. Vitacco also was on the staff of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park. He was medical director of the Chicago Board of Education from 1974 to 1984 and was executive board member of the Near Northwest Civic Committee. Survivors include his wife, Rosemary; two sons, Joseph and Louis; and five daughters, Linda Barshop, Joyce Cheek, Jacqueline Norton, Roseanne Ziegler and Joanne Strezchowski. Mass will be said at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Alexander Catholic Church, 7025 W. 126th St., Palos Heights.

-

Comments welcome.




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Posted on October 2, 2012


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