By Evan O'Brien
Provided by John Binder
John Binder, Mob historian and author of The Chicago Outfit, will once again conduct the popular There Goes the Neighbor Hood tour of gangster history in Oak Park and River Forest starting this April. The exterior tour visits 15 houses in these two suburbs which were previously owned by major hoodlums, including Tony Accardo, Paul Ricca, Sam Giancana, “Tough Tony” Capezio, and “Machine Gun Jack” McGurn. John will discuss the criminal careers of the former owners, the interesting features of each home (eight of which he has been in), the family’s time there, and answer questions from the audience. The tour lasts approximately two hours and is a deep immersion into the history of organized crime in Chicago from Prohibition until the 1990s, focusing on the lives and careers of some of Chicago’s most famous gangsters. The tour is by minibus with no walking required.
Spring dates are April 17 and May 22 with fall dates to be announced shortly. The tour departs from — and returns to — the Oak Park Visitor Center, 1010 Lake, at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. on each date. Please call the Visitor Center at 708-848-1500 or visit www.visitoakpark.com to purchase tickets.
John Binder has studied the history of organized crime in Chicago for over 20 years, covering its evolution from 1900 to the present. He is frequently interviewed by the news media, cable and other television programs, and many authors on the subject and was the historical consultant on the A&E Biography of Al Capone and the History Channel two hour documentary on the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.