November 21, 2022 — Twenty-five years ago, infamous Chicago mafia hit man Harry (The Hook) Aleman became the first U.S. Citizen ever sent to trial twice for the same murder, after being found not guilty in the first trial.
Aleman was convicted of shot-gunning stubborn Teamsters steward Billy Logan to death in the fall of 1972 at a September 1997 jury trial. Harry the Hook paid off the judge in his first trial back in 1977 and bought himself an acquittal for the Logan slaying. Logan, 37, was rebuffing the Chicago mob’s effort to steal from the Interstate Trucking company in Cicero he worked at and was in a child-custody dispute with one of Aleman’s female cousins.
In November 1997, just three days after Aleman was sentenced to life in state prison for murdering Billy Logan, Aleman’s cousin and Chicago mob associate Robert (Fat Bobby) Cruz was kidnapped and killed. Cruz was last seen alive in public at Aleman’s sentencing hearing. Some informants have speculated that Aleman blamed Cruz for his guilty verdict because he trusted an out-of-town lawyer to handle his defense on Fat Bobby’s advice and had him clipped. Other informants link Cruz’s murder to him stealing from Chicago mob drug rackets.
During the 1970s, Aleman captained the “Wild Bunch,” a greatly-feared mob enforcement crew working directly for the Outfit’s then-Cicero crew’s skipper, Joe Ferriola, and suspected by federal authorities of carrying out two dozen gangland homicides. The half-Mexican Aleman was Ferriola’s nephew.
Ferriola would go on to become the boss of the entire Chicago mob in the 1980s (he died on the operating table in 1989 in the middle of heart surgery). The Wild Bunch headquartered out of the Survivor’s Social & Athletic Club on Taylor Street and Racine Avenue.
According to FBI records and court testimony, Harry the Hook got the okay from his uncle and put the contract out on Billy Logan in August 1972. Aleman and his crew of Wild Bunch hitters stalked Logan for a month, learning his habits and dail
On the late evening September 27, 1972, Logan was gunned down as he left his sister’s house and headed to his moonlight gig of at a local taxi-cab stand. Aleman’s right-hand man, Louis (Two-Gun Louie) Almeida flipped in 1975 and admitted to being the getaway driver in the Billy Logan hit. Almeida thought that Aleman and his Wild Bunch were trying to kill him.
“Everybody looked up to Harry when we were coming up,” Two-Gun Louie recalled. “He was always flashing cash, he dressed in nice clothes. There weren’t many people not familiar with his family. The guys in the neighborhood knew he was mafia blood.”
Aleman was found not guilty at a bench trial presided over by Judge Frank Wilson in May 1977. But it wasn’t a clean acquittal. Harry the Hook bribed Wilson via a dirty Outfit attorney and fixer. Wilson was never charged for corruption. He committed suicide in 1990.
When Bob Cooley, the crooked lawyer, who brokered the $10,000 bribe, joined Team USA and helped the feds bring the historic Operation Greylord case, he let the U.S. Attorneys/ Office that Aleman got off on the Logan murder because Wilson was on the take. With the knowledge and proof of a fixed case, double jeopardy didn’t apply and Aleman could be once again charged with Logan’s homicide. And in 1993, that’s exactly what happened.
Aleman died of lung cancer behind bars at the age of 71 in 2010. His cous
Fat Bobby Cruz, 50, was reported missing by his family on November 4, 1997, three days following Aleman’s sentencing, Cruz’s remains were finally recovered in March 2007 in a Wild Bunch-utilized mob burial ground in DuPage County.