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Mob of the dead in real life- The Chicago mobsters


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So I finally got around to making this post. 
First I want to point out that not everything discussed here is new (some stuff is actually quite old), but as far as I'm concerned the most of it is new.
There are several interesting ties between events that happened IRL and the zombies lore,
However, when searching "Mob of the dead" in real life, you find the famous escape story from Alcatraz.
The point of this thread is to expose deeper connections to a different part in history. Since there are many connections, I'm surely going to miss a few,
but you'll get the idea and the main connections.  

I want to start with where I started to discover these connections, Blood of the Dead ciphers.
The ciphers have several references to a character named Torrio.


Slumlord wouldn’t sell his slum to Johnny. Torrio turned him into a flaming scarecrow in front of his building. Wouldn’t ya know it the whole neighborhood fell in line.


Three of Torrio's guys payed a visit to sal's grand opening at the cabana room. One of 'em happened to be a buddy of mine from the barber shop job, and I knew he was sweet on the devils dandruff. Lure him out back for a taste, cut his throat and clip the other two, as they come runnin' out. Clean as could be, but not clean enough, evidently.


We had our laughs with amateur hour, but soon enough Torrio stepped it up. Four man hit squad packin' tommies, whacked two real good guys.


Forgive me father for I have sinned. I saw the evil inside of Billy, and I stoked the fire til it was red hot. When I let him off the leash, the streets ran red with Torrio blood. Men, women, children. Whoever it took and whoever had the bad luck to be around when we took 'em.

Clearly Torrio seems is a rival mobster of Sal. 
I tried to search up if there is someone named Torrio, and there was. Johnny Torrio
He is a member of the Chicago outfit, which has been referred to in a Mob of the Dead cipher:


While I realize that the current lack of cooperation from Chicago's finest leaves us at something of a disadvantage, I find your latest report extremely troubling. The alliance that exists between our outfit and the north side gangs must be sustained - Lest we face a repeat of February 19th 1929.

This cipher lines up with some IRL events, but let's paddle back to Torrio. 
Torrio was the main partner of Al Capone, which is arguably the most famous Prisoner of Alcatraz.
Now where is where stuff starts to get interesting: The nickname of Torrio is in fact "The Fox" and we all know that Al Arlington is named "The weasel". 
Also, "Al" being a reference to Al Capone is an old idea which has been brought up. Could there be more connections? 
The answer is yes, and we didn't even start. 

Let's have a look at another BoTD cipher from Salvatore "Sal" DeLuca:


I'll start with my mother and father. They did the Ellis Island thing, came over with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
So I ran, Lord. I ran to the Windy City and I didn't look back, forsakin' my mother and father.
That's a sin bad enough for an Italian, but for a Roman Catholic too? I guess I had all this comin'.
Salvatore DeLuca

This matches up with Al Capone: "Capone was born in New York City in 1899 to Italian immigrant parents."
"Capone showed promise as a student, but had trouble with the rules at his strict parochial Catholic school. His schooling ended at the age of 14, after he was expelled for hitting a female teacher in the face."

Now recall the cipher that discussed the war between Sal's organization and the north side gangs. This was a real gangster war.
The north side gang was an Irish American gang. It was founded by Dean O'Banion. And yes, this is easily similar to Finn O'Leary.
The gangs used to illegally sell alcohol when the law didn't allow it. This act is knowng as bootlegging, a term which is frequently repeating in the related page in Wikipedia.
The war between the gangs revolved around the areas where the gangs sell alcohol. Each side tried to sell drinks in the "other's area".
This bootlegging wars have lead the south-siders to kill O'Banion. This has sparked an armed war between the gangs.
A potential connection here is that one of his killers is named Albert Anselmi.


The most known event in the Chicago gangs war is the Valentine's day massacre. Before we dive in the history of this event, let us notice that it is referred to in the zombies lore:


The big, ahhh, Valentine's Day, what a way to finally go out, one for the history books. That ratfink, lyin', schemin', little fucker Weasel.

Also potentially, the date in here refers to the event as well. It is not the same date, but it is very close to it:


The alliance that exists between our outfit and the north side gangs must be sustained - Lest we face a repeat of February 19th 1929

In this event 7 members of the north side gang were brutally murdered, in a public park during the day. The main suspects are members of the Egan's Rats gang which were sent by Al Capone.
This event has lead citizens to demand that the government would take action, and newspapers referred to Al Capone as "Public Enemy No. 1".
More potential connections: One of the gang memebers that were killed were "Albert Kachellek". Moreover, Al is referred by the others as a rat: 


You're a survivor Al, there is no shame in that, even a rat survives

Egan's rats made more headlines when a member named Leo Vincent Brothers (Brothers is a part of his name) killed a journalist named Jake Lingle.
So basically... Vincent killed Jack. Furthermore, Jake Lingle was in fact a reporter. Just like this guy:

Treyarch could have set anyone to take the role of Mr. Rapt's agent, and they chose a reporter. Funny.
In regards to Valentine's day, I also want to point out that one of the only holiday related in-game events zombies had (and perhaps the only one)
was in fact BO3 Valentine's day: 

We will end with probably my favorite connection. Barber shops have been brought up quite a few times: 


Three of Torrio's guys payed a visit to sal's grand opening at the cabana room. One of 'em happened to be a buddy of mine from the barber shop job


Got paid big bucks for a solo hit, four wise guys at a barber shop. Fish in a fuckin’ barrel.

We also know that Al had a barber shop in SoE: 


Do any of the real life mobsters have something to do with barber shops? The answer is yes. April 16, 1957. Torrio enters a Barber shop, sits on the barber's chair, and dies from a heart attack. 


This is also a direct connection to the electric chairs in MoTD, as in each iteration of the loop the characters die on the chair, just like Torrio. 




I want to end the thread by saying that the vast majority of Wikipedia references in here were taken from the top of the relevant pages.
Even though some linked pages here are short, they directly show in the top front of the main pages. It's not the first time we see Treyarch takes inspirations from wikipedia either.
If you ask me, the story of the Chicago mobsters is the real life Mob of the dead. 

Thanks for reading! As I said I probably missed a few connections in this post so I encourage people to look further in the material and see if there connections themselves. 
I also did not discuss potential BoTD connections, so if you are aware of any, feel free to share them below. 

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Goddamnit Rich, you nailed it! This thread certainly deserves brains! I'm a sucker fot this kind of indirect yet actually quite direct references made by the developers. Thanks alot for sharing, I enjoyed to read it. 


I'm currently reading through the Chicago gangster's background & Alcatraz escape. Lets say Al is (based on) Al Capone, O'Leary on O'Banion, the reporter on Jack Lingle and Torrio on Torrio. What does that say about Sal and Billy? Could Sal be based on Frank SALvatore Capone, Al Capone's brother? Seems like he was a gangster as well, though according to the timeline he joined buisiness with Al only in 1929.

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7 minutes ago, anonymous said:



It appears not only MotD has characters based on reality

Wow! Fantastic find! Notice that he is also from Chicago. Gonna read more carefully this wiki.
One character that I couldn't find anything on is Billy Handsome. Even though all of them are bloody killers, 
there is no one particular killer that significantly stands out or any parallel. 

edit: It seems like the Nero connection has already been found, but it's still very cool. 


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  • 10 months later...

@anonymous recently brought up this thread and so I thought I'll add two more connections I ran into, specifically quotes from Sal DeLuca in Mob of the dead: 



"Hey, my old outfit used to use these to muscle Chicago's bootlegging operation from the Irish"- Sal, MoTD, Upon picking an SMG


This is straightforwards, Sal DeLuca's outfit against the Irish north gangs, just like in real life as explained in the main thread.



"Joey Luciano once sold me a brewery knowing it was about to be raided. I use one of these to renegotiate the term."- Sal, MoTD, Upon picking a favorite weapon. 

Now, although there is no guy named "Joey Luciano", there is a famous mobster named with the nick name Lucky Luciano
Lucky Luciano was working with Johny Torrio and Al Capone in their early days, when they were all in a gang named the Five Points Gang in New York (Johny Torrio and Al Capone ofc moved out later to Chicago). According to Wikipedia, Lucky Luciano was later to be considered the powerful gangster in New York. He was also involved some of what happened in Chicago, talking with several Chicago mob heads to prevent gang wars. 



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