Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's all in the name

He didn't have an underworld moniker that invoked fear but let us mark the passing of James "Pinhead" Cauley who was extinguished from gangland in 1927. Pinhead had just finished serving five years for robbery and was working as a boss stevedore on a west side pier. How does one walk out of prison and become a boss stevedore? Connections my friends connections.

Shortly after 9:00pm on this date Pinhead was making the rounds on his beloved west side when somebody came up and pumped three bullets into him. Why? Well the coppers say it was because he was vying for leadership of a bootleg gang. But to this day there are some grisly old dock workers with gnarled hands who spend their days hoisting shells of cheap beer and eating pickled eggs who swear that back in their day when Irish gangsters had nick names like "Killer", "Mad Dog" and "Peg Leg" they simply couldn't be embarrassed with a mug named "Pinhead".

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