- John Lazia
John Lazia (
1896- July 10, 1934) was an American organized crimefigure in Kansas City, Missouriduring Prohibition.
Born to an Italian laborer in the North End section of Kansas City, Lazia became a successful night club owner and
greyhound racingtrack 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 evasionand 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 gunand a sawed-off shotgun.
In popular culture
*Lazia is portrayed by
Harris Yulinin the 1975 television movie "The Kansas City Massacre".
*Lazia is played by
Joe DiGirolamoin the 1996 film "Kansas City".
*Messick, Hank. "Lansky". London: Robert Hale & Company, 1973. ISBN 0-7091-3966-7
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=21436 John Lazia] at
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,747585,00.html TIME.com: Obituaries] (July 23, 1934)
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