Meet Kiki

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunday Night is Alright for Fighting

Ninety-five years ago tonight, a Sunday it was, a large group of guys and dolls were lining the stairwell of a lower eastside building waiting to get into a night club on the third floor. As the band was getting ready to play a couple of shots rang out and the throng of people ran out into the streets. One man, Michael Dimesci, ran across the street and dropped dead with a bullet in the heart.
Frankie Uale
The police sent officers to all the hospitals in the area to see if anyone else showed up. Within the hour Brooklyn mobster Frankie Uale stumbled into one with a bullet wound to the lung. Uale said he just happened to be walking by the club when the shooting took place and had no idea what it was about. Police later asserted that they believe the Brooklyn Mafioso was the intended target and that Dimesci may have been an innocent bystander.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

In case anyone has insomnia tonight

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond is on TCM at 3:30am

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Owney earns a nickname

Owney Madden, one of the top New York City mobsters of the prohibition era picked up the moniker "Killer" in his younger days as leader of the Gopher gang. 104-years ago today he lived up to his nom de guerre. Twenty-one year old William Henshaw was preparing to board a streetcar when two men came up and shot him. He didn't die outright and was taken to the hospital. On his death bed, he identified Madden as his killer but for some reason the police didn't try to hard to find him, which confounded the dead man’s father, who told the press, “It seems queer to me that the police can not catch the murderer of my boy. This band of Gophers had it in for my boy for some time. I don’t know why they wanted to kill him but he often told me he was afraid of them.”

A little more than a week after the murder police captured Madden on the Westside after a brief chase. The cops could have saved their breath however as he was released and never called to trial for the murder.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Prosecution loses a witness

In June of 1930 reputed olive oil dealer Leo Noto and some accomplices kidnapped the son of a wealthy Brooklyn baker that lived just down the street from him. The kidnappers demanded $10,000 and released the boy after $7000 was paid with the promise to make up the $3000 in the near future. In the interim the baker went to the police and a trap was laid to catch the gang when they came to claim the additional three grand. The trap worked and six members of the kidnap gang, including Noto, were apprehended.

Noto was released on $25,000 bail and made a deal with the authorities to testify against the rest of the gang. Leo's ex pals decided that it might be best for them if Leo didn't make the court date. To that end, eighty-five years ago today twenty-nine year old Noto left the house that he shared with his wife and four children and, with his hands in his pockets, began walking across a vacant lot. While he was still in the lot a Packard sedan containing three men pulled up. The doors flew open and two shotguns went off. Leo dropped and never got up.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Somebodies ringing the bell

In the spring of 1931 Vincent Coll and a contingent of disgruntled gunmen broke off from Dutch Schultz's gang and waged war against their former boss. Over the course of the summer the Dutchman's boys started popping up dead. On this date back in 1932 however, Schultz gunmen delivered a crippling blow to their foe.

Coll gang members Louis and Fiore Basile and Patsy Del Greco (center of photo) were holed up in one of the gangs Bronx hideouts with a man named Joseph Paronne (whether or not he was part of the gang is unknown) and a couple of women and some children. At approximately 9:30pm the doorbell rang. One of the gang answered the door and four or five gunmen pushed their way into the apartment and opened fire. Del Greco and the Basile Brothers were the main targets and took the majority of the lead. Patsy was killed with three shots and Louis Basile with four. His brother Fiore was severely wounded with bullets over the heart and in the left arm. Trying to escape, one of the women ran into the line of fire and was killed when a bullet pierced her head. The other woman and Paronne received non-life threatening wounds. The killer’s main target however had not been on the premises for two days. How the killers found out where the Coll gang was has never been ascertained but chances are there was a traitor in the midst.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hooray for Hollywood!

Eighty-three years ago today Hollywood actress Aileeen Pringle was entertaining MGM publicity honcho Howard Dietz at her house when four masked gunmen invaded. Pringle and Dietz were bound and gagged for a few hours while the robbers ransacked the house.