Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Friday, February 1, 2008

"Knock, knock" "Who's there?" "Rat-a" "Rat-a who?""Rat-a-tat-tat-tat"

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), 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.

For more on the Schultz-Coll war check out Gangster City: The History of the New York Underworld 1900-1935


JadasGrandma said...

Patsy DelGreco was my step-father's older brother and it's interesting to see that family lore is true. They never discussed him, only said that an older brother had died because of the mob. Pete was 7 when Patsy died - and only heard rumors of him.

Pat Downey said...

Thanks for writing. Wow thats a pretty big difference in age. Most families never talked about the "one". It's unfortunate as it would be interesting to get first hand accounts of these events. Is this the first picture you've seen of him?

JadasGrandma said...

Yes - this is the first picture. One of my father's sisters had pictures but we never saw them. There were 12 children, my father was the youngest. You can contact me at

Wolfman's Blog said...

What info do you have on the car you have pictured here of Two Gun Crowley's car used in a shootout? Who was he, and who was the dame? I'm gearing up for a new Gangster Car calendar. Would like more info on that car and him! Thanks

Pat Downey said...

Don't recollect anything about the car. There is a chapter dedicated to Two-Gun in Bad Seeds in the Big Apple.