The Panda Express Derailed: Turncoat Chicago Mob Enforcer Killed On Golf Course In ’09, Per New CST Report

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Panda bear in grass

February 1, 2022 — Former Chicago mafia debt collector Jimmy (Panda Bear) La Valley was killed on the 15th hole of a golf course while in the Witness Protection Program in 2009, according to a multiple-sourced report in a Chicago Sun-Times article this past weekend. The slaying had never been confirmed nor written about before Sunday.

LaValley would have been 65 at the time of his death. Rumors of LaValley’s passing and how it occurred have circulated in Windy City gossip circles since the 2000s. Some said “Jimmy the Panda” committed suicide. Others claimed they heard he was murdered in a gangland-style hit.<

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Back in the 1970s and 80s, LaValley served as an enforcer in the Chicago mob’s Northside crew under Jewish Outfit skipper Lenny Patrick and the Outfit’s “fixer” and crew boss in the Loop, Gus (Slim) Alex. Both Patrick and LaValley flipped in the early 1990s and became federal informants and star witnesses at Alex’s trial. Alex died of a heart attack in prison at age 82 in 1998, six years into a decade-and-a-half sentence for racketeering and extortion.

In Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times, scribe Rob Miech reflected on the Outfit’s glory days with one-time bookie John Murges in a feature about one of the Northside crew’s many sports-betting operations back in the pre-cell phone and internet days. Murges was brought into the Patrick regime’s bookmaking business by LaValley in 1983. According to LaValley’s own testimony, he was tasked with all of the Northside crew’s toughest collection assignments.

1 COMMENT

  1. I just read the Sun Times article and didn’t see any mention of the potential golf course hit; wonder if it has been edited to remove mention?

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