Chicago gangster Ted Newberry says: "He must have done something. They don't kill you for nothing." Ted was rubbed out on January 7, 1933

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Rumble (seat) In Harlem


On this date in 1932, two dead gangsters were found stuffed in rumble seat on 114th Street in West Harlem. According to the Daily News, the gangsters, Wilfred "Wolfy" Burke and Augie Marino, were members of Vincent Coll's gang and wiped out as Coll's enemies finished cleaning out the Mad Dog's confederates.

Burke, 34, had been shot six times. Marino, 33. a total of seven. Both men were accused of shaking down Harlem speakeasies. Supposedly they targeted those that did business with Dutch Schultz or Ciro Terranova's gang. This in of itself, would be enough for a death warrant regardless if they were members of Coll's gang or not.

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The car they were found in belonged to a West Harlem speakeasy owner and beer peddler named Stephen Conover who had been missing for a week.

Burke and Marino on their last ride in a rumble seat

Friday, February 14, 2020

Five bullets for Two Gun

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In the fading minutes of Valentine's Day 1932, Philadelphia gangster Joseph Magitz a.k.a. Two Gun Murray, stepped from his third story apartment and headed for the stairs. The door to the rear apartment opened and two guns went off. One bullet blew Magitz nose off and two more went into his belly. As the desperado dropped to the floor, the two gunmen ran up and fired two more shots into his head. Their job complete, they and their woman companion, stepped over Magitz and ran down the stair and got away. 

The landlord, who lived on the second floor, heard the shots followed by the trio running out of the building. He told police that he had rented the rear apartment to the woman about three days prior. A search of the room turned up only some half eaten sandwiches and a large number of cigarette butts. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Another Rat Bites The Dust

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In the early hours of February 13, 1924 in St. Louis, Egan's Rats gang member Eddie Linehan, age 22, was found in a ditch wrapped in a car blanket. To say that he had been merely bumped off would be an under statement. There was some anger behind the murder. Nineteen bullet holes were found in him, fired from all directions. He had one bullet between the eyes,  another had blown away his right eye. He took one to the adam's apple. Three to the back of his head, a straight line of six between his shoulder blades (perhaps a blast from a Tommy gun?) and various other wounds all over his body,

He was do in court later that day along with a confederate named Ray Renard for a mail robbery. Earlier the previous day, he and Renard were captured by police after a chase that started because the gangsters were speeding. Linehan and Renard told them that they were out rounding up witnesses for their trial and asked to be released so they wouldn't miss their case. The police let them go. After that the police found out that Linehan went to gang leader Dinty Colbeck's cabaret during the evening. After that they don't know what happened. Colbeck couldn't or wouldn't shed any light on the subject during questioning.

At about 2:20 am police found Linehan's body and figured he'd been dead about an hour. It was speculated that Linehan was bumped off because the Rats didn't want him to make it to court. Perhaps Linehan made some threats if Colbeck didn't somehow come to his rescue and so the gang took care of him. Another thought was that a few days before the murder, a St. Louis cop was gunned down in front of a speakeasy. He had been shot in the neck and then, when he was prostrate, the killer fired two more shots through his head. Supposedly, Linehane was known as a "cop hater" ever since he'd been shot by a one a few years earlier. However Egan's Rats had an unwritten law that gangsters weren't to shoot cops. The theory arose that Linehan was the guy who murdered the officer and so met gang justice.

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Eddie Linehan

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A machine gun toting coward killed Mr. Howard

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At a little after 2 am on this day back in 1931, Kansas City, Missouri experienced its first gangland hit involving a Tommy gun. The victim was 38 year-old bootlegger Jimmy Howard who, we are told, refused to fall in line with other KC rum runners in a forming a syndicate. Apparently Howard brought in premium stuff from Canada so was able to both charge more and please customers.

According to police, Howard, an ex-boxer, was originally from St. Louis, where he was a member of Egan's Rats.  For his alcohol business, he used the office of the A.B.C. cab company to take phone calls. In 1927 he arrested for the murder of cabaret singer Bobby Barrone. Barrone was a practical joke who liked to pull a pistol out of his pocket and tell people to "Stick 'em up!" One night he played his joke on Howard, who wasn't in on the gag, and Howard pulled out his own gun and fired. He was exonerated. He had been picked up and questioned periodically for other crimes.

Defying the other KC gangsters put Howard on the spot and he knew it. It was reported that in the last few weeks of his life he was very nervous. Hours before he was finally rubbed out, somebody took to shots at him as he was leaving his girl friends apartment.

Around 2:20 that morning, Howard stood in the front office of A.B.C taxi company speaking with one of the owners when two men walked up. The men stopped in front of the large picture window and, opening his coat, pulled up a Thompson machine-gun which was strapped to his arm and blasted through the picture window. The guy with him pulled out a pistol but didn't need to use it. Howard was perforated by fourteen bullets and expired a few hours later.

A sedan pulled up and the two gunmen jumped in and sped off. Since a tommy gun was used, it was assumed that the killer was a torpedo brought in from Chicago.

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Monday, February 10, 2020

They Die In Threes

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In the early hours of this date back in 1931, brothers Harry and William Goebel were sitting in the rear room of the St. Louis saloon where Harry worked as a bartender speaking with two women. At the bar sat a few customers and the owner.

The women, Bessie Lynam and Dorothy Evans, were not unfamiliar with the underworld. Both had been arrested for shoplifting and Bessie was the widow of John "Duke" Lynam an underworld character with ties to the Cuckoo gang.  Dorothy, also a widow, was the former wife of gunman "Polander" Mike Marchlewski, whom she killed in 1922 after he beat her.

The Goebel brothers also had ties to gangland. Their brother Dewey was a former Cuckoo gang member who turned on his own gang and ended up dying in a hail of bullets the previous November. William was also acquitted of murder after it was determine that he acted in self defense.

Bessie Lynam had stopped in to see Harry and brought along Evans. While Harry and Bessie sat at one table talking, William Goebel sat at another speaking with Dorothy. At roughly 2 am, there was a knock on the front door. William went to the door and saw three men outside. He asked what they wanted.

"Open up!" a man demanded.

Assuming that they were detectives, he opened the door. With guns drawn, the three men pushed their way in and yelled, "Stick 'em up!" William dove behind the bar while the others raised their hands.

Ignoring the men at the bar, the trio went to the rear room and opened fire on William and the the two women. They then exited out of the rear door.

Bessie Lynam was shot in the breast and died right away. Dorothy Evans was hit in the stomach and died about an hour later. William Goebel, who was probably the main target, was hit twice in the head but managed to live two days before succumbing to his wounds.

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                                Bessie Lynam                Dorothy Evans                William Goebels                                 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Can you hear me now?


88-years ago this evening, New York City rid itself of Vince "the Mick" Coll, or "Irish" as his contemporaries also called him (It was the press that dubbed him Mad Dog.) after he and an associate entered a drug store on Manhattan's W. 23rd Street.

The victim of a double cross, Irish entered a phone booth to make a prearranged call, supposedly, to underworld powerhouse Owney Madden while his pal took a seat at the counter. While the Mad Dog and Owney were conversing, a car containing a hit squad pulled up front. Gunmen hopped out and covered the store's front door. Coll's pal was allowed to leave as a machine-gun toting hoodlum made his way back to the phone booths. Finding the booth containing Coll the gunman lined himself up and blasted the Mick into gangster history.

Friday, February 7, 2020

A Boss Buys It In The Kitchen

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In the wee hours of this date (or possibly the late hours of the previous day) in 1931, Detroit Mafia boss Chester LaMare, known as the "King of Hamtramck" was gunned down in the kitchen of his Detroit home. Having the orchestrated the murder of some rival gangsters, he had been dodging both vengeful gangsters and the law for a number of months.

He returned to Detroit on the evening of February 6, and had a visitor to his house. At around 9:30 that evening, his wife left the house to give the visitor a ride home. When she returned after midnight, she found Chester on the Kitchen floor with two bullets in the back of his head. Since LaMare knew he was a marked man, his house was a virtual arsenal with at least one gun in every room, it was assumed that he killed by a trusted associate.


Chester LaMare