Jack Whalen

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Jack Whalen (May 11, 1918 – December 2, 1959), also called Jack O'Hara and "The Enforcer," was a freelance contract killer and bookie, who most often worked for the Los Angeles crime family, although he also was associated with Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, the Shannon brothers (Joe, Izzy, Moe, and Max) and Mickey Cohen during the 1940s and 1950s.[1]

Jack F. Whalen was born on May 11, 1918 in Missouri. Whalen's father Fred—who was also a career criminal—had enrolled Jack in military school to give his son a better life. Jack played polo in school and piloted bombers in World War II. After the war, he married into a rich family in Los Angeles; however, by 1955, his own criminal career had begun. He was soon called "The Enforcer" because he was "so tough he didn't need a gun."[2]

On December 2, 1959, Whalen was shot "square between the eyes" and killed at Rondelli's in Sherman Oaks by Sam Frank LoCigno, in the presence of Mickey Cohen and three other of his associates.[3] LoCigno were charged but later acquitted of the murder. Whalen was 41 years old at the time of his death.


  1. ^ Bunker, Edward. Education of a Felon: A Memoir. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000. (pg. 54) ISBN 0-312-28076-9
  2. ^ Unlikely pals' luck changes
  3. ^ Juvenile Delinquency: Hearings before a Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1971. (pg. 3255)

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