By David Amoruso
Posted in 2001
Paul "The Waiter" Ricca was born Felice DeLucia in 1897 in Naples, Italy. In 1915 Ricca got in serious trouble: he murdered a man and was sentenced to 2 years in prison. When he got out he killed the eye witness who had testified against him at his trial after that Ricca went on the lam. On August 10th, 1920 Ricca boarded a boat to New York when he got there he changed his name to Paul Ricca to avoid being arrested for the death of the witness after that he took the train to Chicago where he laid low and began working as a waiter. Ricca kept himself low profile for a time but pretty soon got himself involved in the same old troubles when he hooked up with local mobsters. That wasn't a hard thing to do since the restaurant he worked in was owned by Chicago mob boss Diamond Joe Esposito. The restaurant was frequented by several high ranking Chicago mobsters after a while Ricca got to be on first name terms with these guys and became closer with them. It wasn`t long before Ricca left his waiter job and started working for the Chicago mob full time.
As a mobster Ricca started climbing the ranks and after several years held the position of second in command behind boss Frank Nitti. After enjoying some good years things took a turn for the worse when Ricca and Nitti and several other mobsters were indicted in the Hollywood Extortion Case. On the day of the trial, March 18 1943 all became clear. It turned out that Ricca and his mob cronies had been using the unions to extort large sums of money from some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. Studios that were extorted were: RKO, Paramount, MGM Studios and 20th Century Fox. The indictment sent shockwaves through the Outfit. Ricca and Nitti met with several others at Frank Nitti`s home to decide how best to handle this setback. it became clear as the men sat around the table that Ricca held more power than Nitti. Ricca confronted Nitti saying that he was responsible for the mess and that he should take the responsibility and blame for the entire case on his own putting Paul Ricca along with the others in the clear. Nitti was shocked and told Ricca and the rest to leave his house immediately. This insult did`nt sit well with the Outfit. Nitti's time was up and he knew it. On March 19 1943 Nitti went outside his house walked down the railroad track and blew his brains out. Paul`The Waiter`Ricca was now the boss of the Chicago Outfit.
On December 30th, 1943 a Federal Grand Jury returned a guilty verdict against Ricca and his cohorts. Ricca was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus $10.000 in fines along with court costs. Ricca didn't like the idea of 10 years in a prison cell and ordered his organization to see to it that he got out sooner and so the Outfit went to work. The Outfit's political fixer was Murray Humphreys, and Humphreys contacted Tom Clarke the attorney general of Harry Truman. Tom Clarke saw to it that Ricca was released on parole after serving only 3 years of his sentence. This was strange since he was handed a sentence without the possibility of parole. However there was one minus to Ricca's release he could not associate with known mobsters. On his release Ricca vacated the top position of boss and made Anthony Accardo number one in command of the Chicago Outfit, Ricca assumed the role of adviser a position he would maintain untill his death of natural causes on October 11, 1972.