Federal authorities in Illinois are probing cold-case Chicago mob murders, including the 1977 Chuckie Nicoletti hit and the 1983 Allen Dorfman hit, according to sources in Windy City law enforcement. The fresh look at the unsolved gangland slayings is part of a multi-agency investigation into the Chicago Outfit’s West Side and Cicero regimes, per these sources.

“What’s old is new again,” joked one source. “Murders don’t get free passes, no matter how long it takes. Time gives you perspective. We know things now, some things as recently as the last couple years, that we didn’t know before.”

The 61-year old Nicoletti, a veteran mob assassin himself – linked by some to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy –, was shot to death in the parking lot of a suburban Chicago restaurant on March 29, 1977. Dorfman, an insurance magnate and gatekeeper to the robust, mobbed up Teamsters union pension fund, was gunned down in the parking lot of a suburban Chicago hotel on January 20, 1983, weeks away from having to start a prison sentence for a racketeering conviction.

When he was slain, Nicoletti was under subpoena to testify in front of the U.S. Senate about the Kennedy assassination. He had been the top muscle for deposed Chicago Godfather Sam Giancana, executed in his kitchen two years earlier, also slated for testimony in future Senate hearings. The Dorfman hit was depicted in the 1995 movie Casino, with comedian Alan King portraying the 60-year old second-generation mob associate.

The feds have been investigating the West Siders, known as the Grand Avenue crew, and their alleged leader, captain Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena, since 2013. Vena is alleged to be the Outfit’s street boss, reporting directly to reputed Chicago mafia don Salvatore (Solly D) DeLaurentis of the Cicero crew’s Lake County wing. Longtime Windy City mob player James (Jimmy I) Inendino allegedly runs the Cicero regime these days.

Vena, DeLaurentis and Inendino are all convicted felons who have been suspects in homicides before. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Inendino, 75 today, was part of the so-called “Wild Bunch,” an enforcement subunit within the Outfit tasked with high-priority murder assignments. DeLaurentis, 80, and Vena, 69, both beat murder raps in court in the 1990s.

Vena’s name has popped up in the Dorfman murder before. His build and appearance matched witness descriptions of one of the two triggermen involved and when news of a federal inquiry into his affairs broke three years ago, the Dorfman hit was mentioned as possibly playing a role in what authorities were putting under the microscope. Per people familiar with the probe, Vena is being eyed for his role in other mob hits besides just Dorfman’s slaying.

While it was known as far back as 2015 that Vena and his Grand Ave. crew were in the feds’ crosshairs, the information about the Cicero crew being targets is fresh. Some of the past activity getting glances regarding Vena, like the Dorfman hit, occurred when he was an up-and-comer in the now-defunct North Side crew.

“Albie Vena has a lot of eyes on him right now, I think that’s one of the reasons Solly made him street boss, to let him act as the lightning rod since the heat was coming towards him regardless,” one source commented.

Leave a Reply