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

Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

Meet Kiki

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

There was a crooked man

Just as it had been all year, 1931 ended on a bloody note when lower Eastside gambler Louis “Crooked Neck” Levine was gunned down in a mid-town gaming resort early New Year’s Eve morning. “Crooked Neck”, so called because of a physical deformity, appeared at a club known as the Pups Kennel Yard, which was basically a private speakeasy where members, who needed a card to enter, could drink and gamble. Through out the evening Levine was called away from his poker table three times to take a phone calls. During his last call he was over heard saying, “No, I won’t meet you. I’m going to stay here.” “Crooked Neck” returned to his table and once again commenced to playing cards. At about 4:00am as Levine sat behind his approximately $400 in chips three men arrived at the club. The men however were not members and in lieu of cards showed the doorman their pistols and were granted immediate entrance. Recognizing Levine from behind the men walked up and fired three bullets into the back of his head.

On that note, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dishonest Abe

It must have been a tough holiday season for Waxey Gordon’s family. The month started off with Waxey being sentenced to ten years in prison and ended with the murder of his twenty-two year old nephew Abraham Volk.
Volk, whom police called “A small time racketeer and a cheap petty-larceny thief.” Was the son of Gordon’s sister in-law whom Waxey put to work washing barrels in one of his New Jersey breweries. He had been arrested six times since 1926 for vagrancy and theft but always managed, probably because of his Uncle’s pull, to receive a suspended sentence or have the charge reduced.
Since the fall of his Uncle’s empire he tried to cash in on his relations by organizing “social” clubs in the Bronx and shaking down businesses for protection money.
As the clock struck midnight ushering in Christmas Eve 1933 Volk entered a Bronx candy shop and spoke with the proprietor for a bit telling him he that he had an appointment to keep. Volk then left the store and moments later the proprietor saw him crouched over running back towards the store. Then he heard five shots ring out and saw Volk fall.
Waxey’s nephew was rushed to the hospital where, even though only a small timer, he kept true to the gangster code and died without telling the cops anything.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bye bye Legs, correction

Whoops, got a head of myself, Legs bought it 77 years ago this morning. So if you went by 67 Dove Street yesterday, go by again today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bye, bye Legs

Early on this morning back in 1931 three shots were fired into Jack Diamond's head as he lay in bed, bringing to an end, imo, one of the more colorful of the Prohibition Gangsters. If your in Albany today take a walk by 67 Dove Street and see where the "King Cobra" of crime was finally snuffed out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

He led them down the streets of town right to the traffic cop

and he only paused a moment when he heard him holler, "Stop"

Twas eighty-two years ago this morning at 3:00am when a patrolman was walking his beat in Harlem and a large touring car sped past him. He immediately blew his whistle and the car came to a stop. As the officer approached the auto the door opened and what looked like a bundle of laundry was tossed out. The cop ran up but Frosty the hitman & co. sped off. What looked like a bundle of laundry turned out to be thirty-four year old Dominick Alvero. He had been shot four times in the head, once in the neck and once in the hip.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Unlucky Luciano (spoilers for Bad Seeds)

Seventy-eight years ago last night, also a Sunday, Nick Luciano, called “Cheeks” because of a long scar on the right side of his face, was invited to a small dinner party at a “grimy” lower Eastside restaurant. After nearly a year of seclusion in Bayonne, NJ Luciano gladly accepted the invitation. The party, consisting of four other men and three women, was going well and all seemed to be having a good time when at 4:00am the next morning an undetermined number of men entered the restaurant and made their way to the back room where Luciano and his cohorts were having their fun. The men approached the party and pulled out pistols. Knowing Luciano’s history, the men and women who were a moment before partying with him all quickly vacated the premises and left “Cheeks” to his fate. Once they had him isolated the gunmen opened up and perforated Nick with twenty bullets.

Why was Cheeks in seclusion? What was his history and why did someone want him dead? All the answers can be found in Bad Seeds in the Big Apple

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

End of an era, and of a couple of Franks

Frank "Skinny" Partuese and Frank "Blackie" Stillo have the distinction of being New York City’s last gangland victims of the Prohibition Era. The day before Repeal went into effect (75 years ago tomorrow Dec. 5) “Blackie” had just parked his car when two gunmen came up from behind and started blasting away. After firing about ten shots the gunmen fled. Hit a number of times, “Skinny”, who was in the passenger seat, managed to get out of the sedan and run up a block or so before dropping dead. “Blackie” also made it out of the car but collapsed in the gutter. He was still alive when found and sent to the hospital where doctors said he would die.
The police believed that Parteuse was responsible for a killing three weeks previous and that he and Stillo were put on the spot for retribution. Whether or not Stillo played a part in the murder is unknown but he was a bit of a Yogi Berra as is evident by a quote he made while being transported to the hospital, “I don’t know why I should get it, but I had it coming to me.”