Chicago Mob Legend John "No Nose" DiFronzo Dies At 89

Jim Gudas
May 30, 2018 - 8:02 am

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago TV legend takes a look back at the life of a Chicago mob legend, the man called "No Nose." 

John "No Nose" DiFronzo's lawyer, Joe "the Shark" Lopez, confirms DiFronzo died Sunday at home in River Grove after battling Alzheimer's Disease. He was 89.

Longtime CBS-2 crime reporter John Drummond said experts believe DiFronzo was the head of the "Chicago Outfit," or mob syndicate by federal investigators.

DiFronzo was investigated, but never convicted in a series of crimes including the gang killings of brothers Tony and Mike Spilotro. The movie "Casino" was based on that case.

DiFronzo rose to power during a leadership vacuum: Joe Ferriola and Sam Carlisi had died and Jack Cerone was in jail.

DiFronzo, a former enforcer, first appeared in the criminal record in 1949. There are conflicting theories on how he got his colorful nickname "No Nose."

One story claims he lost part of his nose after jumping through a plate glass window after a Michigan Avenue clothing store burglary in 1949, while another claims a police bullet hit his nose during another burglary.

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DiFronzo was a suspect in the unsolved 1952 murder of Charles Gross, a West Side politician with suspected ties to organized crime. He was a member of the Three Minute Gang, and identified as a member of a loan sharking operation along with former Chicago police officers Albert Sarno and Chris Cardi in 1964.

Imprisoned syndicate leader Joseph Aiuppa chose DiFronzo to head criminal operations in Chicago's western suburbs over acting syndicate boss Joseph Ferriola. Eventually, he became one of several de facto leaders running The Outfit in Chicago.

Drummond said DiFronzo's modest personality was one reason he rose to the top of the Chicago mob.