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Sunday, January 31, 2010

McLaughlin Group

One gangster, or one gangster's death I should say, that has always stuck with me was Chicago's
Eugene "Red" McLaughlin. I first read about him in Fred Pasley's Capone biography probably fifteen or more years ago. It was the way that Red was found. The passage reads, in part: "...in the drainage canal at Summit...a passing tugboat churned up the body of Eugene Red McLaughlin..."

Now, I've read about the demise of probably a thousand gangsters or so but this one has always made me feel squeamish. I don't know why, I suspect it is the two words "drainage" and "churned". Two words that really shouldn't be associated with the human body. Had he simply been found in a canal by a fisherman I doubt it would have had the same impact, but no, he was "churned" out from the bottom of a "drainage" canal like an old boot. I doubt Red is due any sympathy but eeww.

Red received a paragraph or two in the Pasley book and seemed to be a small time guy who met a grisly fate. So what does that have to do with us? You say. Well some authors say that Legs Diamond was the guy who put Red in the canal (Oh, by the way, Red had his hands and legs tied, and a sack tied over his head, which may have contained two bullets) with some iron to keep him on the bottom.

The story goes that Arnold Rothstein got word that Red was coming in from Chicago to snatch him for a kings ransom. A.R. then sicked Legs on him and Legs went to Chi-town and SPLASH!

I was always a little wary of the story and didn't put much creedence in it but just for laughs I googled Red to if there was anything out there. I'm pleased to report that Red was a bigger deal than I knew. Turns out he was involved in Chicago's taxi cab wars Here you will find a fun read on the war and Red's part.

In a nutshell he killed the president of a cab company and then his brother took over the number one spot. It also mentions he was a bandit who robbed a New York jeweler of $85,000 and was also involved in kidnappings, murders and other nefarious activities on a national scale. Just the type of guy who might want to put the snatch on A.R. So could it be that maybe Legs did...nope, Red went canal diving in late May early June of 1930. A good twenty months after A.R. took his final bow. So no Diamond connection but nice to read a little more on the victim of the hit that creeps me out.

3 comments:

MathildeHayward said...

生活盡可低,志氣當高潔..................................................

Alana said...

ick indeed, what an unpleasant way to go.

Pat Downey said...

Mathilde- I never thought of that. Maybe you're right.