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Jake Guzik, also known by his alias Greasy Thumb, was an associate of The Cicago Outfit.

Background[]

Guzik was born on March 20, 1886 somewhere near Kraków. His parents were both Polish Jews who emigrated to America with their son sometime early into the 20th century. At some point in his early life he became involved in prostitution and was also supposedly involved in sexual slavery. He operated with his brother Harry on the South Side of Chicago's Levee vice district and the two eventually drove a rival in the prostitution business, Jake Zuta, out of business. Later on Guzik became a powerful political "fixer" who operated in St. Hubert's Old English Grill and Chop House. While there, Guzik had "bagmen" who assisted him in delivering scheduled payoffs to various police precincts and city officials.

The Chicago Outfit and Death[]

Guzik became associated with the Chicago Outfit sometime in the early 1920s. Guzik supposedly overheard a plot to kill the Outfit's then leader, the notorious Al Capone. Guzik overheard this plot and informed Capone, eventually joining the Outfit as its trusted treasurer and financial wizard. Guzik was not a killer and never physically hurt or killed any victims himself. But despite that he was under Capone's protection and a freelance hijacker named Joe Howard was killed by Capone for assaulting and harassing Guzik. He earned his nickname "Greasy Thumb" by working as the mob's principal bagman in payoffs to police and politicians. Guzik also saw to Capone's family when the latter was in failing health.

But Capone was not the only man Guzik worked for. He was also associated with Paul "the Waiter" Ricca and Tony Accardo. The latter and Guzik would make weekly flights to meet with the heads of the Big Six, an organization that dominated the national syndicate in the 1940s-50s. Guzik eventually faced trouble with the IRS and was incarcerated for several years. He was present at the Kefauver Committee hearings. And while there he pleaded the Fifth Amendment on the grounds that any response to the questions might "discriminate" against him. Eventually Guzik settled down under the name "Jack Arnold" and rented an apartment. He died there in bed from a myocardial infarction on February 21, 1956, aged 69. His synagogue had the largest number of Italian attendees at any point prior in history.

On Criminal Minds[]

Sources[]

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