Sam Giancana, Chicago mob boss, was untouchable until 1960, when he met Phyllis McGuire, lead singer of the popular McGuire Sisters. Deftly eluding the Justice Department, the F.B.I. and rival mobsters, the murderous gangster was helpless in the hands of the wholesome, "virginal" singer he first saw in Las Vegas.

Phyllis McGuire was not a gold digger when she met Sam Giancana. Phyllis was hot, had hit recordings topping the charts and making long money in personal appearances around the world.

But Phyllis was in love.

All those in the know say it was Phyllis who could not help herself. She knew better than to fall for a lousy guy like Sam. She didn’t need anything from him. Sam was not even a handsome man, so why then? Well, they say “love is blind” and it could not be truer than with Phyllis's love for Sam. Power is the ultimate turn on we guess...

Phyllis McGuire

San Giancana enjoyed the limelight, some say he was even envious of show business personalities. Perhaps this is where he went way wrong. Sam seemed to thrive on his own notoriety in the media.

Tony Accardo had advised Sam on various occasions to “keep your head down,” as being visible would only bring dangerous attention to the Outfit. Sam would not listen.

Phyllis testifies at the Grand Jury (No Comment)

At this time Sam was seeing singer Phyllis McGuire of The McGuire Sisters and it was a routine thing to see their photo in a newspaper or magazine on a regular basis.

This brought a lot of attention from the Feds. In 1965, Sam was the subject of a grand jury inquiry. Sam again took the fifth, refusing to answer their probing questions, but was soon given immunity. Sam still refused to talk and he was sent to Cook County jail for contempt.

He served a year and was released in May of 1966, and headed straight for Mexico. Where he lived until 1974 when the U.S. pressured the Mexican government to stop protecting him. The Mexicans literally pushed Sam across the border into El Paso, TX, into the waiting arms of FBI agents.

Sam was brought back to Chicago to wait to testify again. The Grand Jury intended to repeat the process in hopes of putting Sam back in jail, now that he was medically ill. The Outfit did not like either of these events.

Phyllis McGuire was also called before this grand jury and many experts to this day say “she never told one tale out of school” about Sam. She gave them only “surface” information, not even if Sam ever got a parking ticket. Phyllis held up.

HBO produced a really HOT version of the Sam and Phyllis romance and although they took great license with the real story it is one of my favorite films to watch often. Shoot I think I have it on Dvd and am going to put it on right now!

JFK Judith Exner and Sam Giancana
Great Story on Sam HERE



  1. What's the name of the movie? I love Mob movies.

    1. The movie must be Sugartime, with John Turturro (made in 1995):


  2. This was the biggest story of the day... Like Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Like JLO and Ben Affleck, But a singing star falling for a short mobster WAS JUST NOT DONE. Phyllis has lived VERY well and it is often though Sam funneled a ton of jewels and money to her before he died. She lives in a marvelous mansion in Vegas to this day. Phyllis donetes lots to charity there too.

  3. I've always had two thoughts about Phyllis' relationship with Sam. 1) She disappointed a lot of people. 2) It's no one's business but hers. I remain an avid fan.

  4. Yes she did pull off a shocker! A snarky one was Ms McGuire

  5. I love your info on Sam and Phyllis...I'm watching Sugartime right now and it is AWESOME!!

  6. I love that movie so much. Only John Turturro can make that short little mobster look HOT! Thanks for stopping!

  7. I found it (movie)very boring!

  8. I found it (movie)very boring!witize

  9. Yes there were some boring parts but this story has been number 1 on my blog for months so there is a lot of interest in these 2. Maybe Martin Scorsese should make an edgier movie?

  10. Very interesting reading, I marvel at how some people throw in some negatives into their assessment aside from the nature of the business. The era of the underworld is now a part of Americana. I find it amusingly interesting and myself proud to be an Italian American of Sicilian Decent. I’m sure many were envious of Sam having Phyllis McGuire as a lover, she was and still is a beauty. Considering how the our society has evolved, I kind of long for that era.
    Vinnie Z

  11. I have always been fascinated by the American gangster lore of the 30s-80s and this story of Momo and Phyllis has stayed near the top of all the stories I have posted since then. There is very little written on them and would love to see more. AS they say power is the ultimate aphrodisiac no? Thanks for stopping by Vin!

  12. Phyllis McGuire is an enigma. I saw her in a Barbara Walters interview in the 90's and it was kind of strange. She was decked out in diamonds/emeralds in the water up to her neck much like the Elizabeth Taylor photo with the parrot/emeralds. She had the Eiffel Tower replica in her dining room and her home was,well---opulent? Walters went in for the Giancana story and McGuire wasn't singing...it was more like a commercial for her excesses. Too bad few remember her for the McGuire Sisters vocal trio today. Some of those pre-rock nightclub songs are fun. I like "Picnic". Thosee sisters had incredible harmony...and success...until Valentine's Day for Phyllis and mobster Giancana and she was really blackballed for that strange love affair. She's laughing all the way to the bank...and never "sang" a note about Giancana to the Feds. You go, girl~

  13. Phyllis to her credit, I think, has never denied her friendship with Sam Giancana and never criticized him. Nor has she apologized for anything. The film "Sugartime" casts the McGuires as a trio of emptyheads but anyone who has met them or knows them knows that's just not the case. They always took their craft seriously, worked hard and kept their heads on straight. When it came to Sam, I think Phyllis just fell for him, no rhyme, no reason, just fell. She knew who he was, she knew she must have been hurting her parents terribly, she knew he wasn't a dreamboat, but she fell and that's that. She was never some sort of vamp or loose woman. I think this all was as much as surprise for her as for everyone who knew her and the group. I spent some time with them at a Chicago engagement and they were classy, intelligent and absolutely gorgeous and the show they gave was one of the best-prepared I'd ever seen. The film I think is mostly guesswork and wishful thinking. Don't judge Phyllis by it, folks.

  14. Dorothy Collins Swanson4/10/2012 7:35 PM

    I've been a loyal fan since I was 13 years old and saw the sisters' initial appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Show in 1952. Since that time I've been privileged to meet the trio several times and Phyllis as a solo several times, in Michigan and in Canada; even enjoyed a correspondence with Phyllis in the 60s and 70s. I always felt that whatever occurred with Sam was her business, still feel that way. She's in her 80s now, this forever fan in her 70s - I continue to unabashedly adore her.

  15. Than k you so much Ms Swanson....I loved your comment so much!

  16. I believe I saw this movie on HBO. I loved it. I remember all the interogating that she went through, and she held her own! As stated above, she never said a bad word about Sam! She just fell for a bad apple but couldn't help herself! We've all made mistakes @ one time or another! She's just a classy lady!

  17. The ultimate proof of the mystery of the sexes: a religious, successful talented woman mystified by a meretricious murderer.

  18. Thank you for this story I never knew of it at all

  19. The ending of the film, with Phyllis tragically alone in her opulent Las Vegas home, was baloney. Always a highly social person, friendly and lively and fun and energetic, Phyllis never wanted for friends, believe me! Within show business she was adored and her talent highly respected. I met the Sisters and they were, with all their enormous success, still clearly three girls from Ohio. Beautiful, turned out perfectly, warm, personable, classy. Their shows were rehearsed to the nth degree and they always gave audiences their best. Why Phyllis fell for Sam, who knows. To her credit, she never said a bad word about him and never denied knowing him. That's class.

  20. I just saw the movie and it's not really a mob movie if your looking for
    Good Fellas type but it's just a good movie period. Great acting by J.T.
    and all the cast and well written. I never heard this story before until
    I saw the movie and the movie made it seem she didn't like or 'love' him
    just had a fascination with him for some odd reason. I'd like to know
    how she afforded a big mansion in Las Vegas after her career went bad.
    But still a great HBO movie from back when they made great movies.

  21. Still cherish their harmony, the persons, the memory. Listened and saw them on Arthur Godfrey show alomst every day, snd also the Andy Williams Show or whenever on TV. I'm an octogenarian from OHIO. Adored the three girls .

  22. I love watching Sugar time. I have it on DVD. considering I wasn't around in the 60's, it was very well done! lol my wife and I love mob movies, so when I made her watch sugartime she loved it.


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