FAMILY SECRETS Bus Tour in Chicago
A Review by Rich Larsen
Today, December 10, 2017 I was “taken for a ride” on the Family Secrets Tour bus, which was created and is operated by our friend Frank Calabrese Jr. This was a very interesting experience, even for someone such as myself who has been researching AL Capone and the Chicago Outfit for over 30 years. I learned a variety of new facts and information about The Chicago Outfit, and I thought I knew it all…
The Untouchable bus tour and the Chicago Crime Tours are also certainly interesting and informative. However, those two tours focus exclusively on the Capone era. They visit locations of buildings connected to Capone that have long since been demolished, such as Capone’s Lexington Hotel and the Valentine’s Day Massacre garage. The locations visited in the Family Secrets Tour still retain most of the original buildings.
I arrived at the Bella Luna restaurant an hour early for the tour, which enabled me to sample some of the outstanding Italian food served there. I would highly recommend doing the same if you plan to take the tour. The meals are high quality and reasonably priced. Arriving early also allows time for some personal interaction with Frank, getting a personal copy of his book signed, and taking photographs with Frank, all of which he graciously provided.
The Family Secrets Tour takes you into the heart of the three primary Chicago neighborhoods which The Outfit controlled and lorded over with iron fists for decades. These are known as Taylor Street, Grand Avenue and Chinatown. Each “crew” had its leader and a plethora of soldiers (soldati) who were ready, willing and able to kill or perform any act of treachery on behalf of “The Outfit”, “The Syndicate”, “The Mob”.
Frank Calabrese Jr. is detailed, accurate and expansive in relating so many exciting, risky, if not downright dangerous situations he encountered during his years a member of this prolific criminal organization. Frank Calabrese Sr. (father of Frank Jr.) was a major player in the mob and one of the most feared men in Chicago.
In addition to the Family Secrets Tour, Frank Jr. has also written a riveting account about the circumstances, the FBI (“Forever Bothering Italians”) investigation and the trial that ultimately decimated and ended the decades-long reign of the Chicago Outfit.
For more information about the bus tour or book, please contact Frank Calabrese Jr. at (847) 261-4435, or visit FamilySecretsTours.com