William Daddano, Sr.
William Daddano, Sr. (December 28, 1912 – September 9, 1975), also known as "William Russo" and "Willie Potatoes," was a top enforcer and loan shark for the Chicago Outfit and a participant in some high-profile robberies.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Daddano became a member of the Forty-Two Gang, a local street gang from Maxwell Street on Chicago's West Side. Gang members included future Outfit heavyweights as Salvatore Giancana ("Sam," "Momo," "Mooney") and Sam "Teets" Bataglia.
Enforcer and mobster
By 1936, at age 24, Daddano had accumulated an extensive criminal record in the 42-Gang, including nine counts of bank robbery, larceny and auto theft. Giancana and Battaglia eventually recruited Daddano into the Chicago Outfit. In 1944, Daddano was arrested for attempting to steal three million war ration stamps. While police suspected that the Outfit was behind this crime, Daddano refused to name his accomplices. After World War II, Daddano had become a leading enforcer for The Outfit. He also controlled illegal gambling operations in Dupage, Will and Kane counties and in the Chicago suburbs of Cicero and Berwyn.
Though a "made man" and valued "capo" in the Chicago Outfit, Daddano was not unlike Sam "Mad Sam" DeStefano, who was not allowed by the Outfit bosses to be "made." Daddano has been described as a "ruthless and pitiless killer" who was refined in torture with ice picks and blowtorches, keeping victims alive for hours while torturing them. In 1963, he had left a Capone-era mobster's wake with DeStefano, in his Cadillac, with Chicago police in hot pursuit of the speeding car. Daddano was the main suspect in at least seven murders.
Prison and death
In May 1966, Daddano was arrested and tried for hijacking $1 million in silver bullion, but was later acquitted. He was later arrested for conspiracy to rob a Franklin Park Bank, a heist planned by him six years earlier. Daddano was sentenced to 15 years in prison, in the Marion, Illinois, federal penitentiary, a supermax prison at the time. The prison was downgraded in 2006.
On September 9, 1975, he died of natural causes in prison, three months after Giancana was executed in the basement of his home by someone who has never been positively identified.
- Russo, Gus, Outfit, The (2001), pgs. 184ff; Giancana was not part of the Outfit until February 1945, as Tony Accardo's driver; but, Giancana apparently did not return to the 42-Gang after leaving prison in 1942. He went "legit" for those few years.
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