Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Take a seat boys, we'll be done playing in a minute

Antonia Zaraca had only been out of Elmira for a number of weeks and was staying in a room above Giuseppi Jacko’s café in Harlem’s Little Italy. The former rarely left the latter's premises unless he was accompanied by a number of friends. This day September 2, 1912, his friends were off at a party so Zaraca stayed in the café playing cards with Jacko. During the game four men entered and took seats. A short time later a group of about twenty more men, some of them known through out the neighborhood as gunmen, also entered. They watched Zaraca and Jacko play a hand and then cheered for Jacko when he won the game. As the ex-con and café proprietor shuffled the cards and prepared for the next round one of the onlookers drew a gun and fired into Zaraca’s face. The bullet ripped through his left jaw and tore into his head. The wounded man attempted to rise but fell over dead. Jacko kicked over his chair and turned to run but another gunman fired and brought him down with a shot to his left temple.
Seeing that the large gang of men, which included known gunmen, that entered the café did not alarm Zaraca and Jacko and that these men cheered for Jacko after he won the game, it appears that the victims were either members of the same gang or allied with them. Perhaps the victims were some how double crossers in the feud between the Morello-Terranova’s and the “Charley Bakers”. {Gangster City pgs 32-33}
One police theory was that it was a revenge killing for a gang leader known as "Coney Island". According to police it was after this guys murder that Zaraca refused to leave Jacko's without an escort of friends.

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