Dr. Vitacco is Chicago’s real ‘Mob Doctor’ - FOX 32 News Chicago

Dr. Vitacco is Chicago’s real ‘Mob Doctor’

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX's new show "The Mob Doctor" is about a fictional doctor who juggles patients with Chicago Outfit backgrounds. But for a long time, Chicago had its very own, very real mob doctor.

Former patient Frank Coconate says the show is a trip down memory lane.

"I'm thinking mob doctor? It brought me back to the 70s when there actually was a mob doctor in Chicago. He was our family doctor," Coconate said.

Dr. John Vitacco wasn't a mobster himself, but a family physician and surgeon who practiced for more than 50 years in the Chicago area, with an office for decades in River Forest. When he died in 1996, his obituary said Vitacco had delivered thousands of babies, and had served as medical director for Chicago's Board of Education. Yet Vitacco also had some pretty well known clients, like former outfit leaders Tony "The Big Tuna" Accardo, Sam Giancana, Jackie "The Lackey" Cerone and Joey "The Clown" Lombardo.

Coconate remembers Dr. Vitacco as a real character who loved to crack jokes.

"He had a mink stethoscope, and we all thought it was like a raccoon around his neck," Coconate said.

But special patients got special treatment.

"If Mr. Accardo came into that office, everybody had to wait until he got checked up. Dr. Vitacco was a real sweetheart about it. He'd say listen, this is the big guy! I'm gonna take care of him!," Coconate said.

So why would so many high ranking outfit leaders all go to the same doctor? Former FBI Organized Crime Chief Jim Wagner says it was all about security.

"Someone they could trust, that was going to give them the treatment they needed, and not change their medicine that would perhaps hurt them. I think they would also be secure in thinking he would keep their appointments confidential so that people would be able to figure out when they would be at a specific location," Wagner said.

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