FRANK SCHWEIHS, 78
Reputed mob enforcer
Frank "The German" Schweihs, reputedly one of Chicago's most feared mob enforcers, has died while awaiting trial on charges that he took part in a conspiracy that included numerous organized crime murders.
Mr. Schweihs, who had cancer, died Wednesday after he was taken from the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center to Thorek Memorial Hospital in Chicago, authorities said. He had been in federal custody for more than two years.
Prosecutors said Mr. Schweihs was responsible for killing two people: a Phoenix man whom mobsters deemed a potential federal witness and a suburban Chicago businessman who had evidence that might have sent another mobster to prison.
Star witness Nicholas Calabrese, brother of one of the defendants, testified Mr. Schweihs came up with the idea of using an Uzi submachine gun to murder Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, the Chicago mob's longtime man in Las Vegas.
Mr. Spilotro was the inspiration for the Joe Pesci character in the movie Casino.
Federal law enforcement officials said Mr. Schweihs specialized in beatings and murders, and they had hoped to put him in prison for life.