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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sleeping with the fishes

Just as New York gangsters on the lam could be bumped off in other cities so to could gangsters from other cities be knocked off in the Big Apple. Such was the case of Isidor Kantrowitz from Detroit. His story begins back in the Motor City where he had become a successful bootlegger and turned the profits into a fortune by controlling the raw sugar that was used by bootleggers in Detroit and the surrounding areas in the preparation of whiskey.
Out on bail following the murder of a colleague, which he witnessed, Kantrowitz was offered $5000 by his rivals to leave town. He refused to go and what's more agreed to testify against the killers. A short time later he appeared in New York at an apartment shared by his brother and a few cousins and said, "The mob from Detroit are after me. I've got to hide somewhere." He was with another man and told his brother, "This fellow is going to take me over to Brooklyn." That was the last time he was seen alive.
Around the middle of April the police got an underworld tip that Kantrowitz's body could be found in the East River. Sure enough the body of a murdered man was fished out of the river but it proved to be some one other than Kantrowitz. The police went back to the underworld informant with the news and were told, "When you find his body it will be in the East River and it will have five bullets in it."
Two more weeks passed but finally, on April 28, 1924, a body did pop up and was fished out by a police boat. This corpse proved to be Isidor Kantrowitz and true to the informants words he had five bullets in him, one in the back of the head and four in the body.

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