Tomorrow marks the 79th anniversary Two- Gun Crowley being taken out of circulation. After the murder of Hirsh Crowley and Helen returned to New York City and went to the apartment that Crowley had been sharing with his now ex-girl friend Billie Dunne. Crowley informed Billie that he and Helen were together and that she could either go with Duringer or get lost.
You’d think the most wanted gunman in NYC would be a little more careful but Crowley was never accused of being to smart. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned the old cliché tells us and Billie, who worked at the Primrose dance hall like the late Virginia Brannen, didn’t take the news so well.
Either through Billie or another Primrose dancer (Police didn’t name tipster and Billie told anyone who would listen to her that Crowley was at her apartment) the police learned that Crowley and Duringer were at 303 West 90th Street. (Helen was also there but cops didn’t know it at the time.)
Detectives Caso and Mara were sent out to investigate and learned that that tip was true so called for back up. Over the course of about an hour or so police surrounded the apartment house with gunmen on adjoining roofs, and in small room down the hall from Crowley’s flat.
While some officers were in the buildings stairwell someone came up to the building and pressed the buzzer for Crowley’s apartment. The hoodlum stepped into the hall with an automatic saw a couple of cops and started to blast away at them. Thus began one of the most dramatic police sieges in NYC history.
Believing the fight was outside their door Crowley and Duringer no doubt shat bricks when shotgun and machinegun fire came pouring in through the windows. Not having much of a stomach for such fare Duringer squeezed his portly self under a bed. Crowley on the other collected his guns and ran from room to room exchanging gunfire with the cops.
As the battle raged more and more cops showed up on the scene as did thousands of people who gathered around the building to watch the saga unfold. It was decided that they would smoke the hoodlums out and detectives began to chop through the roof of the building. Hearing this Crowley fired up through the ceiling. Some cops stuck their guns through the hole and returned fire chasing the punk out of the room.
When the holes were of sufficient size tear gas bombs were thrown in. Crowley ran in and got them and tossed them out the window. Since the gas didn’t work the police decided on a full frontal assault. A number of cops put on bullet proof vest and climbed the stairs. All surrounding police began firing for a full minute to make sure the gunmen were unable to do anything.
After the supporting fire ended the officers stormed into the apartment and Crowley, wounded in a number of places, choking on remnants of gas and almost out of ammo tossed down his guns and surrendered. Bringing an end to our concise Two Gun Crowley saga. If you want the full story I invite you to check out Bad Seeds in the Big Apple.