Body of infamous Chicago mob killer Frank Schweihs exhumed
BY STEVE WARMBIR AND FRANK MAIN Staff Reporters June 12, 2012 5:16PM
The gravesite of former Chicago Mobster Frank "The German" Schweihs, is covered with plywood after his body was exhumed inside of St. Mary Cemetery at 87th and Pulaski in Evergreen Park, IL on Tuesday June 12, 2012. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:35AM
For decades, the FBI believes, Frank “The German” Schweihs was a prolific killer of the mob’s enemies.
But he never got caught, giving the families of his victims no peace.
On Tuesday, the late prolific mob killer saw his own peace disturbed as his daughter had his body exhumed.
It was all part of her unusual quest to ensure it’s actually “The German” in the grave, as chronicled on the VH1 reality show “Mob Wives Chicago.”
Nora Schweihs is one of the stars of the show, which chronicles the lives of several woman related to Chicago mobsters. Last week, she obtained a court order from a Cook County judge to have her father exhumed from his plot at St. Mary Cemetery in Evergreen Park and have him cremated.
Early Tuesday, Schweihs’ remains were exhumed and taken to a nearby funeral home.
It’s unknown if Schweihs was cremated because all of his family needs to sign off on it, and it’s unclear if that happened, law enforcement sources said.
Either way, taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the bill to exhume Schweihs, and the producer of “Mob Wives Chicago” refused to say Tuesday if the show paid for it.
On the reality show, Nora Schweihs says she has returned to live in Chicago after time in Florida to find out what happened to her father, saying she never actually saw him lowered into the ground.
“You can assure that the casket’s in the grave, but you can’t assure that it’s my father in the grave,” Schweihs says at one point in the series.
“I will get closure one day,” Schweihs says.
“I will resume the body,” she says outside the gates of the cemetery, apparently meaning exhume.
Frank Schweihs died in 2008 at the age of 77 of complications from cancer before he was set to go to trial in the historic Family Secrets mob trial case in Chicago, which solved 18 Outfit murders.
Schweihs was implicated in one of the most notorious Outfit hits, the 1974 murder of a federal witness, Daniel Seifert, in front of his wife outside Seifert’s business in the Bensenville area.
Nora Schweihs describes on the show the confusion surrounding her father’s burial.
“On the day of the funeral, the funeral director called and [said] ‘I’m sorry, your dad’s not going to show up at the cemetery because the FBI just came in and confiscated his body.’ This feeling that I don’t know what happened to my dad, it’s eating me away inside.”
What happened to her father, though, is more prosaic, and had nothing to do with the FBI.
Schweihs’ funeral was delayed after the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office told the funeral home to give the county the body because the office had not been properly notified that Schweihs had died.
The following day, after the body was properly examined by the medical examiner’s office, it returned Schweihs’ remains to the funeral home, and he was buried.
The reality show describes Frank Schweihs as “presumed dead.”
The feds, though, are sure Schweihs is dead. They dropped the case against him.
While alive, “The German” was feared, even by other top mobsters, and the feds believed he was a psychopath.
When he was a young man robbing a store with his crew, Schweihs once defecated in a cash register, a law enforcement source said.
Once, Schweihs was caught on tape telling an undercover informant: “I won’t see you for a while. I gotta — I got a f------ hit.”
Schweihs also said of a street-tax collector he did not like: “I think he’s gonna open up a hotdog stand in Alaska.”
“The German” was also known as “The Nut” on the street.
On “Mob Wives Chicago,” Nora Schweihs’ fellow cast members more affectionately question her sanity and point out she is fond of conspiracies in which the government is targeting her family.
Jennifer Graziano, the producer of “Mob Wives Chicago,” declined to detail the exhumation.
Nora Schweihs “was very upset throughout the day,” Graziano said.
“But she is close to closure.”
Contributing, Mark Konkol