For more than a decade, the Chicago mob experienced mass bloodshed from the so-called “Chop Shop Wars” of the 1970s and early 1980s, the Outfit’s violent takeover of the Windy City’s stolen-car racket. From 1971 to 1983, over 20 bodies dropped connected to the conflict, including a number of local organized crime figures tasked with leading the siege on the region’s vast network of independent car thieves and the black-market garages they operated out of the Southside of Chicago and in Northwest Indiana.

Chicago Heights crew button man James (Jimmy the Bomber) Cataura and his top enforcers William (Billy the Chopper) Dauber and Sam (Sammy the Mule) Annerino were originally assigned to oversee the takeover effort by Outfit administrators, but each ended up victims themselves in the hit parade. Dauber turned government informant before his slaying.

Chicago Chop Shop Wars Murder Timeline

June 17, 1971 – Car thief and race-car driver, Robert (Bobby the Racer) Pronger disappears from a Southside diner

August 8, 1972 – Outfit associate and mob strong arm Guido (Weeds) Fidanzi gunned down in front of the gas station he owned

September 2, 1972 – South Bend, Indiana chop shop operator Roger Croach shot to death the same day his auto yard is raided by the FBI

September 3, 1972 – South Bend, Indiana chop shopper Mike Ragan, Croach’s partner, was kidnapped and killed the very next day. He was found shot to death and left on a Starke County, Indiana road.

June 16, 1975 – Windy City chop shopper Harry Holzer and his girlfriend Linda Turner are shot to death inside their home. Holzer was the co-owner of South Chicago Auto Parts with Outfit associate Steve (Stevie O) Ostrowsky. Their one-time partner-in-crime Harry Carson was blown up in a car bomb in 1969.

July 1975 – Outfit associate, enforcer and car theft ring operator Jesse Richardson is gunned down in Cicero

October 1975 – Outfit associate, car thief and Richardson’s partner in his chop shop racket Ronnie Munson is killed

November 1975 – Outfit associate and car thief Donnell Crawford is killed

December 1975 – Outfit associate and car thief Jimmy Small is killed

October 5, 1976 – Trusted Illinois mob associate and chop-shop specialist Steve (Stevie O) Ostrowsky is slain in the parking lot of a wrecking plant business he owned on the Southside of Chicago, caught in the crossfire of an internal Outfit power struggle staged over the chop-shop racket (in essence a war within a war) pitting Jimmy Cataura and his primary muscle, Billy Dauber, against his main rival in the Chicago Heights crew Albert (Caesar the Fox) Tocco. Stevie O reported to Dauber and Cataura and was their man on the scene at Ground Zero.

Jamuary 13, 1977 – Outfit associate and Northwest Indiana chop-shopper Norm Lang is shot to death and found in the trunk of his car

March 4, 1977 – Outfit associate and car thief Pat Marusarz is killed at a card game

June 13, 1977 – Outfit associate and chop-shop specialist Richie Ferraro disappears. Ferraro, who wned Statewide Auto Wrecking, was Stevie O’s replacement as Cataura and Dauber’s point man in the car-theft racket

June 15, 1977 – Outfit associate and car thief Joe Theo, Ferraro’s right-hand man, is shot-gunned to death less than 48 hours after his boss is kidnapped and murdered

July 3, 1977 – Outfit associate and car thief John Schneider, a confidant of Sam (Sammy the Mule) Annerino, Cataura’s No. 3 in charge, is found shot to death in the trunk of his car

July 7, 1977 – Outfit associate and car thief Earl Abercrombie, another Annerino confidant, is found shot to death in the trunk of his car

July 25, 1977 – Chicago mob lieutenant and Cataura strong-arm Sam (Sammy the Mule) Annerino is gunned down in Oak Lawn, Illinois leaving a furniture store

August 25, 1977 – Outfit associate and car thief Jimmy Palaggi, closely aligned with Annerino, Abercrombie and Theo, is found shot to death in the backseat of a van

July 28, 1978 – Chicago mob crew leader James (Jimmy the Bomber) Cataura is gunned down behind the wheel of his red-colored Cadillac on a Westside street corner, paving the way for Albert Tocco to grab complete control of the Chicago Heights crew and the Outfit’s lucrative chop-shop tax.

May 23, 1979 –  Outfit associate Timmy O’Brien, a salvage yard owner and former friend and business partner of Richie Ferraro is found shot to death in the trunk of his car in Blue Island, Illinois

July 1979 – Outfit associate and car thief Don Lawson is killed

May 24, 1980 – Outfit associate Robert (Chick) Kurowski, a Northwest Indiana junkyard owner, chop-shopper and mob enforcer, is killed by a sniper’s bullet as he walked his horse

May 27, 1980 – Outfit associate Eddie Dejesus, Kurowski’s right hand man and a suspect in the Stevie Ostrowsky hit from the previous decade, is felled by a barrage of shotgun fire in East Chicago, Indiana alleyway

July 2, 1980 – William (Billy the Chopper) Dauber & his wife Charlotte are gunned down in their car following a high-speed chase in rural Will County with the infamous Outfit hit team known as “The Wild Bunch” after appearing at a court date. Dauber had been busted for narcotics and begun cooperating with the FBI and DEA

August 5, 1981 – Outfit associate, drug dealer and car thief Charlie Monday is beaten to death, stuffed in the trunk of his car

August 7, 1981 – Outfit associate, drug dealer, car thief and Monday’s partner-in-crime Anthony Legato is beaten to death, stuffed in the trunk of his car

November 1982 – Outfit associate and car thief Harry Rosenbloom is killed

January 11, 1983 – Outfit associate and chop shopper Bobby Subatich is found shot to death in the trunk of his car. He had been reported missing a week earlier

March 2, 1983 –  Outfit associate and chop-shop specialist Michael (Monk) Chorak is found shot to death behind the desk at his office. Chorak belonged to the Chicago mob’s Grand Avenue crew captained by Joseph (Joey the Clown) Lombardo, another Tocco rival, who had recently been sent to prison

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