(CBS) — For years, he was an informant spilling the secrets of the Chicago mob to the FBI. Now for the first time he’s going on camera to talk about the dangers of his life undercover.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports on the story of Red Wemette.
“I was told by some people at the time, they put a million dollar contract on my head,” he said.
Wemette is talking on camera for the first time about his years as a paid FBI informant against the Chicago mob, or “The Outfit” as it is known.
He was an Old Town porn dealer who set up a secret video camera in his apartment to record bad guys like Frank “The German” Schweihs, shaking him down for protection money.
“I was fed up with these people literally getting away with murder,” Wemette said. “They were killing people and getting away with it.”
He recorded Schweihs on tape saying that if he pays, he’ll be protected.
“There is no one has the right to come in and **** in our domain,” Schweihs said. “I don’t give a **** who the *** it is, if it’s Al Capone’s brother and he comes back reincarnated.”
Wemette had reason to fear Schweihs.
“He used to tell me about all the hits he did,” Wemette said.
Retired CBS 2 News mob reporter John Drummond says, “There’s no question about it, he would have killed Red Wemette.”
Schweihs was convicted of extortion.
Enter another very bad actor into the saga of Red Wemette. His name is Kenneth Hansen.
In 1968, as Wemette and Hansen shared a bottle of scotch, Hansen revealed to his friend that he was responsible for one of Chicago’s most heinous crime, the 1955 strangulation murders of three young boys, John Schuessler , his brother Anton and Robert Peterson.
“He was intoxicated and he said, ‘I came that close to getting caught,’” Wemette said.
He later fingered Hansen in court. Twenty-six years later Hansen was convicted.
Wemette said it took long because the FBI told him not to go to the authorities.
“I probably could have taken it on my own to do it,” he said.
So why then is Red Wemette suddenly willing to go on camera to talk about his exploits? As you might expect, he’s written a book and it appears he’ll have to go out in public to sell it.
He says he no longer fears retribution from the mob.
Kenneth Hansen died behind bars at the Pontiac Correctional Center in 2007.