With the Chicago Cubs fighting for their first World Series championship in over a century, historic Wrigley Field and the surrounding Wrigleyville neighborhood is a hotbed of activity these days – the Cubs are squaring off with the Cleveland Indians in the franchise’s first appearance in pro baseball’s big dance since 1945. Some people speculate that the Chicago mob’s last hit might have taken place in the heart of the Wrigleyville area six years ago.

Reputed Outfit associate Norberto (The Bull) Velez was gunned down in his West Addison Street apartment building, a stone’s throw away from the storied ball park, on November 26, 2010 in a Thanksgiving Day slaying that remains unsolved. The 31-year old Velez worked as a bouncer at the iconic Cubby Bear bar and grill located just outside the confines of Wrigley Field and is alleged to have quarreled with Chicago mobsters from the city’s Westside Grand Avenue crew regarding a debt on a loan he had taken out a year earlier. The Cubby Bear first opened its’ doors in 1953.

Sources categorized Velez as a “collector” and “sometime bookie and drug dealer” for the Outfit on the Northside where bustling, party-heavy Wrigleyville is. Since the late 1990s, Chicago’s Northside has been under Westside mob rule. Suspected Grand Avenue crew capo Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena, an alleged hit man who beat homicide charges at a 1995 trial, is the focus of a multi-agency federal criminal probe, according to members of Windy City law enforcement.

If Velez’s murder was related to Outfit affairs, sources say, it would have had to at least be sanctioned by Vena due to his position in the local mafia hierarchy and the fact that any business Velez did on the street fell under his jurisdiction. The diminutive, yet highly-feared 68-year old Vena rose through the Outfit ranks as a collector on the Northside. Back in the summer, the FBI named Vena as a suspect in the 2006 disappearance and presumed murder of disgruntled Chicago mob underboss Anthony (Little Tony) Zizzo.

The investigation of Vena went into high gear, per sources, after Outfit associate and Grand Avenue crew enforcer Jeff Hollingshead began informing in December 2013 while in prison staring at kidnapping and home invasion charges which he eventually received a 15-year sentence for. Hollingshead, 50, was in Vena’s inner circle, a first cousin to Vena’s second-in-command, Christopher (Christy the Nose) Spina and a driver and bodyguard for Vena lieutenant Robert (Bobby Pinocchio) Panozzo, before being jailed.

At the time of Velez murder in the late fall of 2010, Hollingshead was living in Wrigleyville in the same apartment that Velez resided in and was killed at and per sources was tasked with overseeing Outfit activity in the neighborhood. Panozzo, 56, is currently behind bars facing a state kidnapping and racketeering case and a federal extortion beef out of Rockford, Illinois.

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