The Ohio Street home of reputed mobster Joey “The Clown” Lombardo is under contract.
Lombardo, who died in a maximum-security prison in 2019 at the age of 90, moved into the building in 1951, shortly after marrying Marion Nigro, who still owns it, Crain’s reported. The home had been in his extended family since at least 1925.
The West Town three-flat with a two-car garage was listed in August with an asking price of $800,000. It went into contract on Dec. 22 at a price of $665,000.
The interior retains many design choices from the 1970s, when Lombardo was one of two men said to be running the Chicago crime syndicate’s business in Las Vegas. Many of the rooms feature busy wallpaper, some even on the ceilings, and brightly colored carpeting. The home’s television sports knotty pine paneling and a wood-tiled ceiling.
Lombardo was convicted of murdering a federal witness in 2007, 33 years after the crime actually took place. He moved into the home where his wife lived with her parents, the Nigros. The sale will mark the first time in almost a century that the home will belong to a completely unrelated family.
Lombardo, who was arrested and acquitted 11 times by the age of 32, got the nickname “the Clown” due to his habit of making crazy faces in his mugshots. In 1982, he and two others were convicted of bribing a US senator and Lombardo was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He also received a separate 10-year sentence for skimming more than $2 million from the proceeds of the Vegas casinos.
Upon his parole in 1992, the 63-year-old Lombardo took out classified ads in the Chicago Tribune that proclaimed his innocence.
“If anyone hears my name used in connection with any criminal activity,” the ads read, “please notify the FBI, local police and my parole officer, Ron Kumke.”
Lombardo became a fugitive in 2005 when it was revealed that he had been implicated in the FBI’s investigation of 18 mob-related murders dating back to 1970. He was arrested in Elmwood Park, 10 miles from his Ohio Street home, after an international manhunt.
He was convicted of multiple crimes, including racketeering, loan-sharking and a 1974 murder in Bensenville.
Lombardo, who died 10 years into a life sentence, proclaimed his innocence in letters in his final days, according to ABC7 Chicago reporter Chuck Goudie.
“I am Positively Not Guilty of all charges in the indictment,” Lombardo wrote, according to Goudie. “I rest my case Judge.”
[Crain’s] — Victoria Pruitt