by Chris MaGee
Back in 1983 the Chicago mob boss Vincent Solano felt that one of his own, a gambling underboss named Ken "Tokyo Joe" Eto, was becoming a liability. Eto was about to be sentenced on a racketeering charge and fearing he would turn State's witness Solano ordered his death. The only thing is that the two hitman that Solano sent to take care of Eto failed... miserably. They did manage to shoot Eto in the head three times, but by some miracle each of the bullets richocheted off Eto's skull (!) He managed to stumble into a pharmacy and called the police, and Solano's worst fears came to pass. Eto ratted out Solano and and other members of the Chicago mob and then spent the next 21 years living in the witness protection program under the assumed name of Joe Tanaka, a restauranteur from Iowa.
Has the Pow-Wow blog turned into a true crime website? No, but I thought I'd give you this background story because it forms the basis of a new documentary from Japanese filmmaker Ken'ichi Oguri titled "Tokyo Joe: The Man Who Brought Down the Chicago Mob". Oguri interviews everyone from retired FBI investigator Elaine Smith who worked the Eto case to Eto's own son to cull information on, as Smith describes him in the film's trailer, this "scary guy".
To check out the trailer and more info on this new documentary head over to its official site here. "Tokyo Joe: The Man Who Brought Down the Chicago Mob" opens in Japan on December 13th. Thanks to Cinema Today for the above image.