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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

And the Weiner is...

Today marks the seventy-ninth anniversary of hoodlum Robert Weiner taking his final bow on the Gangster City stage.

Weiner first came to attention in 1926 when he was arrested for his participation in the botched Tombs breakout by his pal Hyman Amberg and the latter’s associates Robert Berg and Mike McKenna. After being interrogated by Sgt. Rubberhose and Lt. Blackjack he signed a confession stating that he supplied the guns used in the deadly break out.

He spent thirteen months on death row because of the confession but was subsequently released after a retrial. At the very least it seems that he was going to act as getaway driver for the escapees.

In December of 1928 Weiner was arrested with three other bandits during an attempted safe blowing. Since they were picked up before they actually got into the safe they only received two years for having guns.

Weiner next shows up in custody in 1932 for his part in trying to organize a pharmacy racket. Nothing came of it. The Weinster managed to stay out of sight until April 20, 1935 when he was taking part in a supposed drug deal. Something went awry and Weiner pulled his gun and fired two shots into another guy’s throat. Some one else pulled out his roscoe and sent a .38 caliber telegram into Weiner’s windpipe.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pop, Pop, Pop Egan

London, Paris, Frankfurt, Cleveland everyone talk about Pop Egan. Talk about, Pop Egan. Talk about...

John “Pop” Egan had been out of Sing Sing for four months when he was sleeping in the rear of Samuel Zournagian’s grocery store (which police said also doubled as a gang hangout) on this date back in 1927.

At about 9:15 pm three fellas came into the rear of the building and woke Pop up. As the ex-con was rising one of them drew a pistol and popped Pop twice in the head.

Pop went back to sleep.

Two men, James Durkin and Thomas “Scrub” Morrissey, were both subsequently arrested for the murder but both were acquitted June 19, 1928 for lack of evidence.

Wonder why they woke him up first?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring break




                                                              
Took the DGIS staff to Cali for spring break here's some video.

Friday, April 11, 2014

All in a day's work

 One hundred years ago today, at 5:30p.m., officer Hughes was standing on the corner of 116th and First Ave.when a woman came up to him and said a gang had just stole her purse. Hughes followed her back and she identified one of the gang -Louis Pietro- as one of those who had robbed her and Hughes grabbed him.

Within a couple of moments Pietro's confederates started pelting Hughes with rocks and anything else that could be used for a missile. Then Pietro's gang mates attacked the officer and took his nightstick and freed their pal who took off running into a six story tenement.

Hughes pulled away from the mob and chased Pietro up the six flights to the roof and caught him just as he was trying to jump onto a fire escape. A good old fashioned Hollywood type brawl ensued as cop and robber duked it out on the roof. Each one getting the better of the other. After a bit Hughes finally subdued Pietro and dragged him down the six flights of stairs. Back on the side walk Pietro's boys once again started to pelt the officer with bricks & whatnot. (whatnots really hurt by the way)

Having enough Hughes pushed Pietro up against the wall and pulled out his pistol and held the other gang members at bay. Fortunately during the melee somebody in the neighborhood called the police and soon the gong of a paddy wagon could be heard approaching.

One of the gang members slipped out of the crowd and pushed the stolen purse back into the original owner's hands and everyone took off, save Pietro who was taken to the station.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bag full of Mike

Robberies were a near daily occurance on Manhattan's lower west side eight plus decades ago so saloon keeper Tony Renali got a gun and placed it near his cash register. A week or so later, 92-years ago today to be exact, three local bandits armed with gats entered his bar and held up the joint. They took $90 from Renali's register and whatever the customers had.

Once they had the goods the banditti - Angelo Sposato, John Drinane and Mike Swift aka "Mike the Burglar"- exited the premises promising to kill anyone who tried to follow. As the trio left, Swift in the rear, Renali grabbed his pistol and let it say goodbye for him. Swift caught both parting sentiments in the back. He staggered then fell. His pals turned and sent some lead at Renali and his patrons and they fled into the rear of the saloon. Picking up their wounded partner Sposato and Drinane took off.

Renali called the police and while he was on the phone, a couple of blocks away two cops saw Sposato and Drinane lift a large burlap sack off a delivery wagon and start for a tenement building. Something didn't look right so they approached the guys and, looking in the bag, found "Mike the burglar" suffering from his wounds. Mike was shipped off to the hospital and his confederates to the police station where Renali ID'd both of them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mandatory retirement

     Normally those put on the spot are spry young fellers in their 20's or 30's but todays victim, in a later era, would have qualified for the senior citizens discount at McDonald's. Sixty-five year old Frank Lauritano was called a "Well-to-do" resident of the Brownsville –East New York section of Brooklyn and had been arrested three years previously for his connection with a policy game.
     After he finished his dinner on this date in 1930, he took a walk to the jewelry store to have his eye glasses fixed. On his way back as he approached his house three men fired anywhere from four to seven shots the exact number doesn't really matter, the result is he was killed. Hearing the shots, neighbors rushed out on their porches and saw three men running to a car, which whisked them away.