Also known as 'The Face', Louie Russo and his brother, Willie, were 'made' under Al Capone. His brother was one of the men sent to kill Vito Corleone during the Olive Oil War and was killed by Luca Brasi. He was estranged from his only son, Luigi Russo, Jr., who was gay; nevertheless, Russo occasionally used his son for information about closeted rivals.
He gained his nickname 'The Face' (which was used by the papers - it was actually Fuckface) from a prostitute, in regards to his phallic nose. The prostitute was found beheaded in the river days later. Her head, however, was never found.
Boss of Chicago
Russo held his brother's murder against the Corleones for decades, but after he became boss, he tricked Michael into thinking that they were forgiven. Under Russo, the Chicago mob was finally accepted into the Commission and expanded into the New York area with muscle and interfered with the Corleone's Las Vegas casinos. He was involved in Hyman Roth's plot against the Corleone family and unsuccessfully conspired with Vincent Forlenza and Nick Geraci to kill Michael Corleone. Prior to this, he had attempted a hit on Fredo Corleone while Fredo was with a male lover, which would expose his bisexuality and embarrass the Corleones. However, the attempt failed, and Fredo would live for four more years.
In November of 1961, Louie invited Tom Hagen to his supper club and gambling den in rural Illinois, "almost in Wisconsin" as Tom put it, with the intention of killing him. He, Hagen, a rower, and trusted Russo soldati went on a gondola in his man-made lake. On the course of the trip, as part of Michael's revenge, Hagen killed one man by strangulation while the rower killed the other by hitting him with his oar. Hagen then personally killed Russo with a hidden gun on the boat and dumped the bodies in the lake. Police later found Louie's and several other bodies at the bottom of the lake when drained. He was later succeeded by John Villone.
Personality and traits
Louie Russo was described by Tom Hagen as "a sick man, in ways I don't like to think about." Russo was shown to have a vindictive, unpleasant personality, with a childish streak. Following an assassination attempt years before, where his eyes were permanently damaged by shattered glass from a nearby window, he wore large sunglasses to shield them from the light (and to avoid being read) but he showed his uncovered eyes to Tom Hagen after they were knocked off. Tom said they were red with a green ring in the middle and looked "evil".
Real life sources
Louie Russo is believed to be modeled on Chicago mobster Sam Giancana, the flamboyant boss of the Chicago Outfit in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Like Russo, Giancana was also known for frequently wearing large sunglasses.
Notes and references
|Boss of the Chicago Outfit|
|1947 - 1961||Succeeded by:|