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From The Archives - July 2016

July 2016 - John U. “Jack“ Zuta

John U. “Jack“ Zuta was born on February 18, 1888 to a peasant family in Russia; he was killed on August 1, 1930. Zuta became known for being an accountant and political “fixer” for the Chicago Outfit. He began this as an ally to Al Capone and soon switched sides and began working for Bugs Moran’s North Sider Gang with the Aiellos also as allies.

Jack Zuta got his start in Chicago, peddling cheap wares to make a living. Soon after that he became a junk dealer setting up on the near west side. With his earnings he rented a hotel and setup a prostitution crib. Vice soon enough became Zuta’s trade. He bought the hotel and many others and had a string of brothels along West Madison Street. Within a matter of a few years he made a large profit, but it attracted the attention of gangsters and was run out of business and out of Chicago.

The shifting lines of the Chicago gangs which were frequently altered by murder permitted Zuta to return to the city. He became an accountant for Capone in the mid-1920s. Zuta then became allies with Bugs Moran’s North Side Gang during the gang war between Capone and Moran. In June 1930 Zuta borrowed money to politicians and police for favors and supposedly used that money to have the Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle snuffed out. Zuta apparently had Lingle killed because Lingle tried to extort money from Moran’s gambling operations.

June 30, 1930 Jack Zuta was brought in for questioning along with his pal Albert “Elli Zoota” Bratz, who was Zuta’s cousin and vice lieutenant. One of Zuta’s henchman; Solly Vision was there and his girlfriend, Leona Bernstein. As the four were leaving they were given a ride by the lieutenant who brought them in because Zuta was afraid they would not make it home alive since they were in Capone territory. They were in fact shot at by unidentified gunmen, but were not harmed.

After Zuta escaped that night he went into seclusion. He soon registered at a hotel on the shores of Upper Namahbin Lake near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was listed at the hotel as J.H. Goodman of Aurora, Illinois. Zuta’s stay did not last long at the resort; on the night of August 1, 1930 five gunmen came into the hotel. The gunmen found “Goodman”, he was standing by the jukebox when a bullet came crashing into his mouth. Zuta tried to escape but soon enough more bullets found their way into his head and body. Zuta sagged onto his knees and fell to the floor. The gunmen had already fired several bullets at this point but came up to Zuta and fired a few more times into Zuta’s dead body. It is known that his killers were allies of Al Capone.

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