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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

G-Men in New York Part III

After the run in with the law in Philly Mais, Legenza and two gang members fled to New York City. On December 17, Legenza was checked into the Presbyterian hospital and Mais took an apartment at 8 Manhattan Avenue. Their two cohorts Edwin Gale and Martin Farrell took rooms at a midtown hotel.
Back in Philadelphia G-Men were trailing one of the gang’s molls named Marie McKeever. They followed her to New York City and over the course of a few days they established the whereabouts of each of the remaining gang members. On January 18, 1935 the law made their move. The first two captured were Gale and Farrell, who were picked up at their hotel. Next they swung by the Presbyterian hospital where they took Legenza without any trouble. McKeever was also there so they arrested her to since they didn’t need her anymore. Finally it was time for Mais, he had proved in the past that he wouldn’t think twice about killing or shooting his way out of trouble. Together G-Men and detectives from both the NYPD and Philadelphia police department gathered at no. 8 Manhattan Avenue. All exits to the building were covered and a raiding party smashed there way into the room. Fortunately for the authorities Mais was a sleep and they were able to pounce on him before he had a chance to grab the loaded pistol or knife, that were resting near his pillow. Realizing that resistance was futile the killer meekly gave in.
Both Mais and Legenza were returned to Richmond where they kept their date with the electric chair three weeks later on February 3. Hoping to by his way out of the electric with good grace gang member Farrell led police to the body of kidnap victim William Weiss.
Though the Tri-State gang is little remembered today, no doubt in part to the efficiency of the G-Men and detectives who brought them in without any fanfare, they like Dillinger and his cohorts did get the Hollywood treatment. In 1950 a movie was made about their exploits called Highway 301. Robert Stack’s Elliot Ness also went up against them when they got their own episode on the Untouchables TV show titled of course “The Tri-State gang”.

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