Dauber, William E.


Dauber, William E. AKA Billy Born June 30, 1935 Died July 2, 1980.   In an underworld filled with frightening people, Billy Dauber was considered the coldest killer of them all. He could smile at a person one moment and murder them the next, with no remorse. Gangsters avoided him and the cops feared his mental instability.   A southerner by way of Appalachia, Dauber made his way into the Outfit under the tutelage James "Jimmy the Bomber" Catuara, a vice czar on the Southside of Chicago. When Catuara was locked in a war with Steven Ostrowski for control of Chicago’s lucrative chop shop operations staring in 969, he was credited with murdering at least twenty men, maybe more. Catuara ended the war by bringing Albert Tocco who murdered Ostrowski.

He was also questioned in the murder of another chop shop operator named Richie Ferraro, and hoodlums Dino Valente, August Maniaci, and mob enforcer Sam Annerino. During the war, Billy Dauber proved his worth to Catuara and soon became his right hand man.  But in 1973, Dauber was convicted of mail fraud and the interstate transportation of a stolen car used in an unsolved murder and sent to prison. Released in 1976, instead of joining back Jimmy Catuara, Dauber signed up as an enforcer with Albert Caesar Tocco who was pushing Catuara out of business.

On the night of July 28, 1978, Jimmy the Bomber was gunned down as he walked to his fire engine red Cadillac at Hubbard and Ogden Avenue in Chicago. It was one of 14 unsolved murders linked to the outfits take over the chop business.  Dauber, a hothead with a quick draw, started to concentrate on muscling his way into gambling and nightclub operations In the south end of Cook County, while  at the same time, corning the market on chop shops in the outer portions of the county in  a partnership with Albert Tocco who was then the South Suburban rackets boss.

Albert Caesar Tocco, who died in prison in 2005, was a ruthless gangster who demanded and almost always got, a cut from every vice operator south of 95th Street. From his headquarters in suburban Chicago Heights, he ruled over gambling, prostitution and chop shops from Calumet City south to Kankakee, from Joliet over the Indiana border to Valparaiso.  Billy Dauber was also busy building his own criminal empire inside Tocco’s territory.  He declared war on every junk yard in the area that were moon lighting as chop shops, and there were dozens of them.

Charlotte Dauber, Billy’s wife was attractive and street smart but she complained endlessly and loudly about her husband’s bosses, Butch Petrocelli and Jerry Scalise that they didn’t appreciate her husband’s skills and abilities and how they needed to be replaced. Adding to the tension of Charlotte public complaining and Billy’s insatiable quest for power  was the fact that several indictments had torn into the crew and virtually everyone in the mob had come to believe that the Daubers were government informants. 

Worse, Dauber was running his own rackets and no longer bothering to pay his street taxes on the money he made. It turned out the mobsters suspicions were right, Dauber was in fact cooperating with the government since 1979 when he was arrested on the   cocaine and gun charges. “There was a discussion (between the hit team that would kill the Daubers) recalled FBI agent Jack O’Rourke “that the mob bosses had ordered that they be hit as soon as possible. They suspected Dauber was cooperating with [the Bureau of] Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which he was, actually. They said they had to get them right now."

Jerry Scarpelli and Butch Petrocelli assigned James "Duke" Basile to trail the Daubers and take of the preparations the hit team would need to strike. (Basile, was later implicated in a bizarre armed robbery at the Balmoral Race Track in suburban Crete) But watch and follow was all he did with the Daubers  "Dukie” Said Scarpelli “doesn't have the balls to kill anybody,"  Although the murder was planned down to the last detail, no one knew when or where it would take place until Jerry Scalise was visiting Dauber’s lawyer and noticed on the secretary's agenda book that the Daubers were set to appear in Will County court on July 2, 1980.

On July 2, 1980, the Daubers and their lawyer appeared in court in Will County Illinois to face charges of concealing cocaine and weapons in their home. They asked for, and got, a continuance. After leaving the Court House, the Daubers and their lawyer, Eddie Genson, stopped in a coffee shop. 

Outside the courthouse, the mobsters waited in a Ford van parked. Inside were probably Gerry Scarpelli, Butch Petrocelli and Scalise,. When court let out, they watched Dauber, his wife and lawyer, walk into a coffee shop and sit down. Jerry Scarpelli, one of the Daubers killers who later hung himself in his jail cell, the hit team considered crashing into the coffee shop and kill them there but thought better of it because FBI agent Jack O’Rourke recalled "Somebody pointed out there were a lot of bridges in Joliet, and the police might block the bridges.” Before leaving the coffee shop the Daubers invited Genson to come back with them to their house for  dinner but he declined  "Eddie Genson told us later that on a couple of occasions he had gone to their house and the last time, it scared the hell out of him because when he left Dauber's house, he was followed for several miles by a van," retired FBI agent Jack O'Rourke said "He thought it was the mob, and instead it was a press truck. He said he decided he didn't want to be anywhere near Dauber's house. So he said, 'No, thank you very much,' and Mr. and Mrs. Dauber got into their car. And Eddie Genson left. And then the Daubers proceeded to drive back to their home in Crete," They parted with Genson in the parking lot, climbed into their car and towards drove home.

As the Daubers drove down the Manhattan-Monee Road away from downtown Joliet, a car, allegedly driven by gangster Frankie Calabrese, pulled out in front of them and slowed down, forcing Dauber to slow down. Then the Ford van, driven by Scalise, pulled alongside Dauber. The side door slide open and Butch Petrocelli lowered a .30 caliber semi automatic carbines and fired into the car.  

Gerry Scarpelli blasted the car with a 12-gauge shotgun. Billy Dauber, attempting to avoid the bullets, swerved but lost control of the car and crashed into an apple tree. The van stopped, backed up, and the men got out, aimed and fired their weapons into the Daubers car.  The couple's bodies were found sprawled across the front seat of their Oldsmobile, with three of its windows blown out and its front end crushed against a tree. The hitmen drove the van several hundred yards down the road and hidden in a clump of bushes. Petrocelli went to work and doused the van with lighter fluid and set it on fire to destroy fingerprints or any other evidence left behind.  In the meantime, the others, dismantled the weapons used in the hit and threw them in the Cal Sag Canal a bridge on Illinois Route 83. Before Gerald Scarpelli, died in federal custody by suicide or murder, whichever it was, he told FBI agents that he, Butch Petrocelli, and  Joe Scalise, helped kill the Daubers and that Albert Tocco helped in the planning.