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Friday, April 30, 2010

Knock yer Block off

Harry Block, an associate of Owney Madden’s, who owned a piece of both the Cotton Club and the Silver Slipper nightclubs and was also a bootlegger got his on this date back in 1930.

It appears from his movements on the night of his death that Block didn't know he was a marked man. He picked up his wife and they went out for dinner, which was followed by the late show at the Capitol Theater. After the show they went to another restaurant and finally caught a taxi for the ride home to their apartment building. Not really trying to stay out of sight.

At 3:00am the Blocks arrived at their apartment building and the doorman unlocked the front door and escorted them onto the elevator to take them up to their 15th floor apartment. Mrs. Block stepped in and to the side behind the doorman who was by the controls. Mr. Block stepped in and turned around to face the door and just as the doors were shutting two men, each brandishing two pistols, appeared out of nowhere. One of the gunmen yelled an insult at Block who, seeing the pistols, let out a scream and instinctively threw up his arm to protect his face as the gunmen let loose a barrage of shots.

Block took lead in the neck and forearm. The gunmen ran out and escaped in a tan sedan that had been waiting for them. The doorman wanted to call an ambulance but Mrs. Block said no since it would attract the police so instead Harry was loaded into a cab and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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