John Lazia

John Lazia

John Lazia (1896-July 10, 1934) was an American organized crime figure in Kansas City, Missouri during Prohibition.

Born to an Italian laborer in the North End section of Kansas City, Lazia became a successful night club owner and greyhound racing track operator. During the 1920's, Lazia gained control over racketeering and other criminal activity in the city's Northside . Developing political connections with Kansas City's "Pendergast machine" throughout the decade, Lazia was eventually appointed head of the Northside's Democratic Club in 1928. In 1929, after failing to file a $82,000 federal tax return, Lazia was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to one year in prison. However, thanks in part to the influence of ward boss Tom Pendergast, Lazia was released from custody pending appeal.

Lazia resisted continual attempts by outside organized crime figures from moving in on Kansas City. During the early 1930s, Lazia would be linked to several gangland slayings, including the infamous Kansas City Massacre. In August 1933, a failed attempt on Lazia's life turned into a gunfight on Armour Boulevard in Kansas City.

On July 10, 1934, John Lazia was shot to death by two unidentified gunmen armed with a submachine gun and a sawed-off shotgun.

In popular culture

*Lazia is portrayed by Harris Yulin in the 1975 television movie "The Kansas City Massacre".
*Lazia is played by Joe DiGirolamo in the 1996 film "Kansas City".

Further reading

*Messick, Hank. "Lansky". London: Robert Hale & Company, 1973. ISBN 0-7091-3966-7

External links

* [ John Lazia] at Find-A-Grave
* [,9171,747585,00.html Obituaries] (July 23, 1934)

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