Authority on Chicago mob murders to speak

Wayne Johnson book coverApril 7, 2014

From Chicago’s original gangsters to the Outfit’s decline in recent years, Dr. Wayne Johnson is well-versed in the organized crime that long ensnared the city.

After 25 years with the Chicago Police Department – his last assignment supervising a unit within the Organized Crime Division – Johnson was appointed Chief Investigator for the renowned Chicago Crime Commission.

Now coordinator of Harper College’s law enforcement programs and widely considered a top authority on organized crime, Johnson has written “A History of Violence: An Encyclopedia of 1,400 Chicago Mob Murders.” The 300-plus page tome is the product of painstaking research into newspaper articles, police reports, coroners’ reports and other archives over a 14-year period.

“Coming from someone who has fought in the trenches against Chicago’s wise guys, Johnson’s new contribution will be the go-to reference on Outfit violence for years to come,” said Gus Russo, author of “The Outfit” and “Supermob.”

Harper will host a public reception celebrating Johnson’s book launch at noon Tuesday, April 15, in the lower level of the library on the College’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine. Johnson will give a presentation on the state of organized crime in Chicago followed by a brief question-and-answer session and book signing.

Johnson, who also served as the only Superintendent of Police/Inspector General for the town of Cicero before entering academic fulltime, credited two Harper students for their contributions. Daniella Boyd designed the cover art for “A History of Violence” by reproducing in charcoal a real morgue photo of Sam Giancana, one of the most notorious mob bosses in history. Jackie Cooney wrote a research paper that led Johnson to discover a group of killings that fit the criteria for the book.

“I really wanted to dig in on this because every one of these cases deserves to be investigated and solved,” Johnson said. “To let them just disappear into history would be a disservice to everyone involved.”

Cover art: Harper student Daniella Boyd designed the graphite drawing cover art for “A History of Violence” by reproducing a real morgue photo of Sam Giancana, one of the most notorious mob bosses in history.

ABOUT WAYNE JOHNSON: Wayne A. Johnson served on the Chicago Police Department for 25 years and in his last assignment, supervised the Analytical Unit of the Intelligence Section, Organized Crime Division. He was then appointed Chief Investigator for the legendary Chicago Crime Commission, holding the position originally created by celebrated criminal investigator Virgil Peterson.

Johnson investigated and monitored the Chicago Mob during his five years at the Commission. The national recognition he received led to his recruitment as the only Superintendent of Police/Inspector General for Cicero.

Johnson earned his Doctor of Education degree from Northern Illinois University and Master of Science degree in Criminal-Social Justice from Lewis University in Romeoville. He is as an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Law Enforcement Programs at Harper College.

Johnson is a nationally recognized investigative and educational consultant for law enforcement and the security industry and has lectured extensively on organized crime, homicide investigations, criminal profiling, violence in the workplace and gang crimes.

Press contact: Kim Pohl, 847.925.6159