Though Cardinal Bernadin is buried here in the Bishop‘s Mausoleum, Mt. Carmel is known to both Catholics and non-Catholics alike for its gangster graves, including the most infamousAlphonse Capone.
Next door to the Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Mt. Carmel is one of the oldest Catholic cemeteries in Chicago. While gangster myth and legend has put Chicago on the map, seeing their final resting places makes them mortals again.
The most notorious gangster-the one whose name everyone will yell out no matter where you find yourself in the world and mention that you hail from Chicago-is Al Capone. He is surrounded by family members, including his parents Gabriel and Theresa, near the main entrance in Section 35. The simple gravestones are in front of a larger marker with a cross on it. Bushes planted in front of the marker strategically hide the CAPONE name. It’s easy to spot, given that the grass around his stone has been worn away from all of the shoes stomping through so you’ll stand where thousands of gangster chasers before you have stood.
What’s fascinating about the gangsters buried at Mount Carmel is that so many were mortal enemies during their earthly lives, and here they are, buried alongside each other.
Charles Dion O’Banion, (Section L) who was killed in the flower shop shooting across Holy Name Cathedral, is thought to be killed by one of the Genna brothers, who were encroaching on the North Side to bootleg their liquor on his turf. Ironically, the Genna family mausoleum is also here. In section 17 brothers "Bloody Angelo", "Tony the Gentleman", and "Mike the Devil" Genna rest in peace while their crimes live on.
Earl "Hymie" Weiss, also has a mausoleum here in Section K. He led O’Banion’s gang after his death and was ultimately mowed down by Capone’s men.
After snapping pictures with the gangsters, take a stroll to see the rest of Mt. Carmel. While mostly Italian, you will also find an Irish section as well as the latest wave of Catholic immigrants, Mexicans, in another newer section of the cemetery. Statues and elaborate family mausoleums abound. The gravestones and mausoleums from the turn of the century up until World War II are among the most ornate and feature photographs of the deceased.
Come for the gangsters and and leave with a richer feel for Little Italy and the Irish North Side in 1920’s Chicago.
Mount Carmel Cemetery
Harrison & Hillside Avenues