William Jackson a.k.a. "Action Jackson" (December 1920 Chicago, Illinois – August 11, 1961 Streeterville) was an enforcer and loan collector for the Chicago Outfit. He earned his nickname of "Action" because it was slang for "Juice Man", which meant debt-collector. He was tortured to death by his fellow gangsters, allegedly on suspicion that he had become an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Chicago Police described him as a man with the body of a giant and the brain of a child, who was known in syndicate circles as a mob "juice" collector who specialized in pain for delinquent customers. In 1941 he was arrested in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for assault and robbery. In 1947, he was arrested and charged with rape; he went on to beat those charges. In 1949, he was arrested and sentenced to four to eight years in prison for robbery. In 1953, he was paroled and became a muscle man for gangsters in Chicago.
In 1961, Jackson was arrested along with five others at a warehouse as they were unloading $70,000 worth of electrical appliances from a stolen truck. While the others tried to escape Jackson stood still because he was too fat to run. Agents learned that Jackson was a "juice" collector for Sam DeStefano. Suspected Informant
In 1960, an FBI agent, Bill Roemer asked Jackson to become an informant for the FBI. Being a loyal member of the Outfit, Jackson declined to become an informant.
Nonetheless, in 1961 Jackson was accused of being an informant for the FBI. According to sources he was kidnapped and taken to a meat-rendering plant on Chicago's South Side, where he was tortured by gangster Sam DeStefano. It is suspected that DeStefano and his crew took Jackson at gun point and led him to the plant, where he was tortured and killed in what is known as one of the most brutal gangland killings in US history.
Torture and Death
When police found the almost nude body of Jackson in the trunk of a car parked in Chicago, his body was face forward with rope marks on his wrists and feet. He had many cuts and burns all over his body, his chest had been crushed and he had a hole in his right ear from some kind of sharp object.
Jackson was impaled a foot in the air through his rectum with a meat hook while being questioned by mob enforcers. Jackson kept insisting he was not a rat but his torturers did not believe him. They stripped him naked, smashed his knee caps with a bat, shot one of them with a gun, broke his ribs, stuck him with sharp objects, used a cattle prod on his penis and anus making him lose his bowels, burned parts of his body with a blow torch, and told him how they were going to kill his wife and kids if he did not confess. Then they left him for three days until Jackson finally succumbed to his wounds and died.
According to Gus Russo, author of The Outfit, there were Mob insiders who believed Jackson was killed for raping an imprisoned Mob-connected burglar's wife. Russo also states that Mrs. Humphreys, wife of Outfit fixer "The Camel" Murray Humphreys, asserted the conversation where the government learned about Jackson's fate was staged by mobsters who were aware that the government had planted a microphone. These possibilities have not been verified.
Jackson's death is named and shown near the beginning of the semi-biographical movie Ruby. He is portrayed by Frank Orsatti in the film.