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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tough break for Tough Tony

With a bullet near his heart, "Tough" Tony Bove dropped to the sidewalk eighty-nine years ago today. Some said it was an affair of the heart that lead to the lead. Others, including Tony himself, figured it was the result of another gangland shooting from earlier in the week that resulted in three guys approaching him on the corner of James Street and New Bowery and giving him the bang.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Spaniard Gets the Works

On this fig wee back in 19019 when the sideruns were walked by gangstars. Johnny Lenn- er Spinach was meeting the Yoko for din but before he had a chance to conjoin with the misses Lad Dripper and the moondogs aroached him.

Spinach and Dripper spoke like the wheels they were until one of the moondogs slipped behind Spinach and gave him a couple of fatal kisses.

Spinach wilted and Dripper collected the honey from then on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends

Turns out all the movies are right. Young men shouldn’t play with guns. They should talk things out instead of…well you know. One who didn’t know or care was twenty-three year old Ed Dempsey.

Ninety-seven years ago this morning at around 1:00a.m. Ed and some of his street gang brethren started banging away at some Eye-talian fellers. Word on the street was that some of Paul Kelly’s old gang were messing around in Gopher territory.

Anyhoo, a gun battle erupted and after a series of shots were fired a cop came running down 41st and between Eighth and Ninth Avenue he saw a couple of the Kelly boys, Jim Monico and Jim Scaraco, limping along. The officer ran up with his gun out and yelled for the two to halt which they did. “They winged us.” Monico said, grabbing his leg. Scaraco appeared to be more than simply winged as his blood leaked through the bottom of his coat onto the sidewalk.

As the policeman questioned the wounded gangsters bullets began to ricochet around them. Someone was firing directly from above. Crazy Irish. Another cop came running up and ran past the trio on the stoop and headed into the dark building. As he approached the stairs the officer saw a flash from a pistol shot and felt a bullet fly past his ear. He fired in the direction of the flash and heard a thump. Then from further down the second floor hall he heard, “Did they get you Eddie?” Indeed. Eddie was got. Asking about Eddie’s well being was his pal Charlie Smith who was captured moments later and forced to carry his buddy outside.

Eddie was deposited in front of the building along with Monico and Scaraco. The latter were asked if Eddie was the guy who shot them. “Never saw him before.” Was the reply. (The cops knew that would be the answer but had to ask)

Before long the whole neighborhood was out and trying to get a close look at the wounded gunmen. A couple dozen cops were called out to keep the mob at bay and they were forced to form a circle around the gangsters until an “auto-ambulance” arrived on the scene. The drive shined the headlights on the trio of wounded guys so the doctor could administer aid. Once he prepped them for the trip they were loaded up and sent to the hospital where Dempsey checked out a short time later.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bad Luck Chuck

Ninety-eight years ago today Chinatown was rocked by another Tong murder when…ok, it didn’t really rock it. Murders were pretty frequent back then I was just trying to jazz things up…anyways thirty year old Hip Sing member Chuck Jow was sitting in the rear of the restaurant he worked at peeling potatoes. (and you thought gang life wasn’t glamorous).

Jow sat near a window working his peeler while a guy with a rifle took aim from the roof of the building across the back lot. Five times the trigger was pulled and two bullets went into Chuck’s neck and another in his head. Taters were off the menu.

Why would anyone want to kill a spud stud? Turns out that Jow was formerly a member of the On Leong who switched allegiances. Not saying that’s why he was killed but just throwing it out there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Don't talk, don't talk to strangers.

Almost seven weeks after his brother was found nearly decapitated at Coney Island, thirty-four year old Sylvio Melchiorre, who told police he had no idea why anyone would want to kill his brother, was shot down outside his Venetian café in Little Italy on this date back in 1921.

According to witnesses, of whom there were many since the murder took place at noon on a Saturday, Sylvio was outside his café conducting business with the iceman. After having a youth point him out, a stranger went up to the intended victim and attempted a conversation.

Melchiorre waved him off and continued talking with the iceman but then the stranger said something that made Melchiorre angry because the two men began to argue. During the heated debate the stranger made sure that Melchiorre continued to face him so he wouldn’t notice the gunman coming up from behind.

As the café owner waved his arms about yelling at the stranger the gunman crept up, drew his pistol and fired five times. Each bullet found it’s mark and Melchiorre fell to the sidewalk dead. The gunman returned his gun to his holster while the first man spoke to him. Both men split up and escaped in different directions.

That thar is most likely a pic of Melchiorre at the top of the blog.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

G-Men get their man

We leave the safe confines of NYC of yesteryear to bring a special edition of DGIS

On this night in 1973 Warren Oates walked out of a movie theater with Pamela Sue Martin and Phyllis, the trio having just viewed The Hooker Cult Murders, and after taking a few steps G-Men, lead by SAC Lawrence Tierney, came up and began shooting at Oates.

History dictates that special agents Mark Harmon and John Depp were the men who brought the character actor down but gangster enthusiast tend to believe that it was in fact Oklahoma lawmen Scott Peters and Robert Conrad who actually fired the forty-seven fatal shots.

There are some that say Oates didn’t really die that night, that it was an Oates look-a-like and that the actor spent another ten years or so making movies before retiring to Mexico but there is little to support this theory.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All for naught

Eighty-eight years ago today New York City was treated to a good old fashioned, though at the time modern, cops and robbers chase. At 1:00pm a truck containing Jacob Laux, VP of the Stutz Cigar Box Co. was riding in a truck along with a cash box containing the company's payroll of about $5200.

At the intersection of Broome and Columbia a car pulled up and three men jumped out. Two of them pointed pistols at the driver and told him to stop. The third man jumped into the truck with a crow bar and pried open the cash box and grabbed a sack containing the dough. The gunmen jumped back into their car and took off.

Laux ran to the nearest police station and reported the crime. Alarms went out to all bridge and tunnels. Back in them days each bridge and tunnel had stations with attendants. The Queensboro Bridge station called police officer Michael Neu in his booth and was giving him the details when he saw a speeding sedan approaching. “I think I’ve got them now.” He said and hung up the phone.

The bandits zipped by Neu at a breath taking 65mph and the officer jumped on the running board of a large touring car and told the driver to pursue the bandits. Both cars entered Long Island City and continued the chase. As they turned into Crescent street George Asher, a chauffeur for a police lieutenant, saw the chase and joined.

As the cars were racing through the streets Neu began firing at the bandits. The driver started to swerve to avoid being hit but ended up hitting a pile of sewer pipes and losing a tire. Sans rear wheel the bandits out flipped on its side and all the four occupants were thrown from the wreckage.

The driver and the guy riding shot gun got up and escaped through some empty lots. The two guys from the back seat ran in the opposite direction with Neu pursuing. One of them carried the loot and the other a pistol. He turned to fire at Neu who fired back until he was out of ammo.

In the meantime the Asher, the police chauffeur, drove around the lots and waited on the other side. Moments later the bandits came his way. The gunman fired his final shots at the chauffeur then tossed his gun aside. Asher then charged him and dropped him with a punch to the jaw. Neu closed in and got the yegg with the money pouch.

The two bandits were identified as Harry Cohen and Harry Walker and they went to the pokey without spilling the names of their confederates.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Personally, I think it was Elsie & Elmer

Twas ninety-years ago today that two bandits liberated nearly ten grand from the Borden Milk Company’s Westside operation which was located at 400 West 29th Street. As was custom the branch superintendent Bill Thieler went to the companies stables across the street and got a company buggy and brought it up to the Borden building. Once the buggy arrived company cashier Bill Fowler stepped out of the building with a tin box containing $9,853 in cash and another $600 in checks.

As Fowler approached the buggy a passing pedestrian suddenly grabbed him and placed his hand over his mouth and pushed the cashier up against a railing. The man then pushed a pistol in Fowler’s stomach. Simultaneously another man trained a pistol on Thieler and grabbed the cash box from the cashier’s hand.
The gunmen then ran a short distance down the street, waving their pistols at any would be heroes, and jumped into a Ford and made their getaway. The milk employees stood by helpless with their horse and buggy. Technology favors the criminal.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Clipped Wing(er)

Thirty-year old New York gangster Edward Winger had just gotten back from Philadelphia and registered at Lower Eastside bathhouse. There he hooked up with a man he knew only as “Louie”.

On this date back in 1929 Winger and “Louie” were walking together on the Lower eastside when a slow moving sedan pulled up and a gunmen shot Winger. “Louie” made a run for it. Winger was taken to the hospital where he refused to say anything other than he was with “Louie”. The police continued to question him but he remained mum until he died the following day.

Rumor had it that the gunmen were music fans from the future looking to prevent the birth of somebody named Kip Winger.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Off On

Fifty-five year old Chu On was a member of the Four Brothers Tong and Chinatown gossip had it that he was one of the men responsible for the infamous murder of actor and Chinese Theatre manager Ah Hong the previous year.

Since that killing On had been staying in Albany making periodic visits to the city. It was on one such visit exactly one hundred years ago today that he crossed the border from Pell Street over in to Mott Street, the territory of the rival On Leong tong, and was shot five times; twice in the chest, twice in the back and once in the wrist. A cop who was nearby caught the gunman after a short chase over some rooftops.

Chung Sam Lok, the head of Four Brothers Tong, assured the police that their would be no outbreak of war saying in effect that On got what he deserved for going onto Mott Street. “Chu On did wrong,” Said the Tong leader, “He knew he musn’t go on Mott Street. He knew he would get shot. He went there a few days ago. He got a warning, but he did not need a warning. He knew they would shoot him…This shooting today means nothing new. There is no new quarrel between the On Leongs and Four Brothers. It’s just the rule, On Leongs keep off Pell Street or get shot; Four Brothers Keep off Mott Street or get shot.”

On died the following day. Like the smoke from an opium pipe word spread through the narrow streets and alleys of Chinatown that the surviving On brothers, Dream, Get and Hold vowed to avenge their brother's murder but Chung Sam Lok had them exiled to the streets of San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The episode of My Ghost Story with Vincent Coll will not be on this Saturday July 17. Other ghostly goodness but not the Mad Dog episode. When I find out the air date so will you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's no longer make believe

Dead Guys in Suits is now on Twitter.


Lets Gangster Twitty.

On the Waterfront

Ah the good old days, friends I'm talkin' back before gangsters wore fedoras and fancy coats with velvet collars, before they drove big six-cylinder cars and sprayed streets with Tommy-guns, before they made millions in booze and labor rackets. Yeah, brothers and sisters I’m talking about the hazy lazydays of yesteryear, when the clippity clop of horse hooves could be heard on cobblestone, when dames with parasols paraded up and down Fifth Ave., when a Westside mob known as the “Growler Gang” pilfered the docks for something that could be sold for beer money. The simplicity of it. Goons want beer but have no money. Goons go to docks and steal. Goons sell merchandise. Goons get beer. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

Who were the Growlers? Well they were the motley crew that replaced the “Slaughter House Gang” that’s who the Growlers were and that should be good enough for you. What did the Slaughter House gang do? They used to rob the captains of the many scows and barges that docked on the Westside for beer money. (See a pattern forming?)

So as I was saying 110 years ago today the Growlers were hanging out by the river when they saw a lumber scow stacked with, you guessed it, lumber, and jumped aboard. The Growlers grabbed a single board and attempted to make off with it. An employee of said scow tried to stop them and ended up going for a swim.

Seeing this, a number of barge captains charged the Growlers as they were making their way down the dock but ended up being turned back under a hail of rocks and anything else the Growlers could find to throw at them.

One of the would be heroes, Andrew Evensen, the captain of a Norwegian barge, drew a pistol and fired into the air. Loud noises only angered the Growlers however, and they chased Evensen back to his scow where the captain ran into his cabin. The Growlers tried to enter Evensen’s quarters and he fired a shot that hit one of the lead Growlers, Ed Shine, in the shoulder. Eager for beer money Shine informed his comrades that the captain was indeed only firing blanks and that they should continue with there Growlery. They continued their push forward and Evensen fired again hitting Growler, Bill Martin, in the leg. Bill wasn’t made of the same stuff as Shine and he went down without pushing the blanks charade.

Seeing that the captain meant business the remaining Growlers picked up Martin and beat a hasty retreat but left him to his fate when a cop came running up. Shine and Martin were sent to the hospital and Captain Evensen was tossed in jail. After all we can’t have any Norwegians shooting our beer deprived thugs now can we?

Monday, July 12, 2010

W'e're back

The fishing trip was a success. DGIS interns are currently gutting and cleaning everything that came within a 400 foot radius of the DGIS Nautilypso. But now it's time to get back to work, and by that we mean slack.

Some updates- Coming up this Saturday July 17, on A&E Biography at 10:00pm is a show titled My Ghost Story. The subject of this show is John Colasanti owner of who's club is haunted by Vincent Coll. John has a unique family history that DGIS readers will no doubt be interested in. We here at DGIS also assisted with some back ground info on the Mad Dog. So set your tivo or mark your calendars and tune in.

Also the Legs Diamond book is complete and waiting for a "Yay" or "Nay" from a prospective publisher. When we hear something so will you.