GIUSEPPE "JOE" ZANGARA (September 7, 1900 – March 20, 1933) was the
Anton Cermak , the
Mayor of Chicago
* 1 Early life
* 2 Physical and mental health problems
Zangara was born on September 7, 1900, in
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Zangara was a man with little education who became a bricklayer . He suffered severe pain in his abdomen , which was later attributed to adhesions of the gall bladder . This condition possibly originated from an appendectomy performed in 1926. These adhesions were later cited as a cause for his increasing mental delusions, and it became increasingly difficult for him to work owing to his physical and mental disabilities.
On February 15, 1933, Roosevelt was giving an impromptu speech at
night from the back of an open car in the
Bayfront Park area of Miami,
At only five feet tall, he was unable to see over other people and
had to stand on a wobbly metal folding chair, peering over the hat of
Lillian Cross to get a clear aim at his target. After the first shot,
Cross and others grabbed his arm, and he fired four more shots wildly.
Five people were hit, including
Zangara confessed in the Dade County Courthouse jail, stating: "I have the gun in my hand. I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists." He pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. As he was led out of the courtroom, Zangara told the judge: "Four times 20 is 80. Oh, judge, don't be stingy. Give me a hundred years." The judge, E.C. Collins, replied: "Maybe there will be more later" in reference to two additional charges of murder that had been entered against Zangara in case one (or both) of his most severely injured victims, Cermak and local resident Mabel Gill, were to die.
Cermak died of peritonitis 19 days later, on March 6, 1933, two days after Roosevelt’s inauguration . Zangara was promptly indicted for first-degree murder in Cermak’s death. Because Zangara had intended to commit murder, it was irrelevant that his intended target may not have been the man he ultimately killed, nor that Cermak's death was in part the result of medical malpractice . In either case, he would still be guilty of first-degree murder under the doctrine of transferred intent .
Zangara pleaded guilty to the additional murder charge and was
sentenced to death by Circuit Court Judge Uly Thompson. Zangara said
after hearing his sentence: “You give me electric chair . I no
afraid of that chair! You one of capitalists. You is crook man too.
Put me in electric chair. I no care!” Under
On March 20, 1933, after spending only 10 days on death row, Zangara
was executed in
While most accounts for years repeated that Cermak was the unintended
victim of an attempt to assassinate Roosevelt, more recent theories,
especially in Chicago, assert that Zangara was a hired killer working
Frank Nitti , who was the head of the
Another point is that Zangara had been an expert marksman in the Italian Army (though not with a pistol from a great distance) and would presumably hit his target.
Raymond Moley interviewed Zangara and believed he was not part of any larger plot, and that he had intended to kill Roosevelt.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
In the original Off-Broadway production of Assassins by Stephen Sondheim , Zangara was played by Eddie Korbich . In later productions, he was played by Paul Harrhy in London and by Jeffrey Kuhn in the show's original Broadway production. Appearing in several songs from the play, he has a major solo in the number "How I Saved Roosevelt."
Zangara plays a significant role in the background provided for
Philip K. Dick
In 1960, in a two-part story line titled 'The Unhired Assassin' on
the TV show The Untouchables , actor
Joe Mantell played the part of
Giuseppe "Joe" Zangara. This episode, while depicting Zangara's story
throughout, focuses mostly on Nitti's plan to kill Mayor Cermak with
an initial (fictionalized) attempt in
Max Allan Collins ' 1983 novel True Detective, first in the Nathan Heller mystery series, features Zangara's attempted assassination of Roosevelt, positing it as an actual attempt on Anton Cermak, Chicago's mayor at the time. The novel won the 1984 Shamus Award for Best P.I. Hardcover from the Private Eye Writers of America.
The 2011 fantasy noir novel Spellbound by Larry Correia features Zangara's attempted assassination of FDR. Zangara is magically enhanced in a plot to inflame bigotry and curtail the civil rights of the magically gifted protagonists of the Grimnoir Society. Instead of using a small-caliber handgun, Zangara is made into a living cannon or bomb and kills nearly 200 onlookers, including Mayor Cermak, and cripples Roosevelt.
In the second season of the HBO drama The Newsroom , lead character
Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) uses Zangara's attempt to
assassinate Roosevelt as an example of how one thing can change
everything. He describes how if the chair Zangara had been using
hadn't been wobbly, he would have succeeded in killing Roosevelt.
Roosevelt's running mate, John Nance Garner, who opposed the New Deal,
would have been elected. Thus, the drama suggests, if not for a wobbly
chair, America would not have survived the
* ^ Boertlein 2010 , pp. 48–49.
* ^ Geoffrey Abbott (17 April 2007). What a Way to Go: The
Guillotine, the Pendulum, the Thousand Cuts, the Spanish Donkey, and
66 Other Ways of Putting Someone to Death. St. Martin's Press. pp.
99–. ISBN 978-0-312-36656-8 .
* ^ McCann 2006 , p. 70.
* ^ Benzkofer, Stephen (February 10, 2013). "\'Tell
* Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta (2007). Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A
National Hero. New York: Sterling Pub. Co. ISBN 978-1-4027-4747-2 .
* Boertlein, John (2010). "A Little Luck for the President-Elect".
Presidential Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem in the Oval
Office. Clerisy Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-1-57860-361-9 .
* Davis, Kenneth S. (1994). FDR: The New York Years: 1928–1933.
* Dwyer, Jim, ed. (1989). "An Assassin's Bullets for FDR". Strange
Stories, Amazing Facts of America's Past. Pleasantville, New York