Reputed Chicago mafia associate John Crededio, a one-time driver and confidant of 1980s Outfit boss Joe Ferriola, died of natural causes this week. The 72-year old Crededio was at the forefront of bringing Hollywood to the Windy City. He owned Chicago Studio City, one of the most prominent movie and television production companies in the Midwest, located on Taylor Street near Chicago’s Little Italy.

Crededio got into the entertainment business in the 1970s, first renting out equipment and studio time for local television commercials and magazine shoots prior to opening his own production house. His Chicago Studio Rentals building on Washington Street just west of The Loop business-district, was sold to celebrated nationally-syndicated talk show host Oprah Winfrey and her Harpo Studios venture in 1986.

Two years before that, in the summer of 1984, Crededio was called to testify before a federal grand jury investigating organized crime and refused to answer questions, evoking his Fifth Amendment rights. The grand jury was probing the affairs of the Outfit’s then-Cicero crew captain Joe Ferriola, among other Chicago mob leaders as well. In addition to looking after his Cicero regime, Ferriola was in charge of overseeing an elite hit squad known as the Wild Bunch, a group tasked with carrying out all of the organization’s top murder assignments.

Joe Ferriola

FBI surveillance logs from the late 1970s and 1980s documented Ferriola often being chauffeured around town by Crededio. The two were neighbors in the upscale suburb of Oak Brook. Crededio talked to reporters at the time with pride regarding his close friendship with Ferriola, but vehemently denied playing any role in the area’s mafia.

Ferriola became don of the Chicago mafia on an acting basis in 1985 upon his predecessor, Joseph (Joey Doves) Aiuppa going on trial for racketeering stemming from the skimming of Las Vegas casinos and led the syndicate for a total of three years. Stricken with severe health issues, he was forced to step down in 1988.

Within the underworld, Ferriola is most well known for being the man that finally brought an end to the flamboyant and quite savage reign of the Outfit’s Las Vegas crew boss Tony (The Ant) Spilotro, which was depicted in the Martin Scorsese movie Casino. Per informants, Ferriola ordered Spilotro’s murder on the night he was inaugurated as the crime family’s official Godfather in January 1986 at a ceremony held in a private banquet room at the Czech Lodge in North Riverside attended by the city’s mob brass.

Spilotro and his younger brother Michael were beaten and strangled to death in June 1986 inside a suburban Chicago basement. Ferriola died in March 1989 at 61 after receiving a heart transplant in Texas.

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