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, April 29, 2011

Jerry Maida mistake

Jerry Maida, an underworld sort known as the "Lunchman" because of his tendency to hang out at a certain restaurant, was loitering about on this day in 1913 when four fellows with ties to Chick Tricker and Paul Kelly walked up and filled him full of the proverbial lead. Rumor had it that the Lunchman was a snitch and we all know what happens to snitches.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wild Wild West

Timothy "Chuck" Looman was a walking this way, then Tommy O'Brien came a walkin' that way and then when they was just thirty feet from each other both drew their pistols and started bustin' caps.

Folks was a running to and fro and then Chuck he starts to fall as he got what they call a mortal wound. But as he's a droppin' he squeezes off one more and sure enough it finds a home in Tommy O'Brien. Tommy he gots some life in him yet though and he starts to run away. He makes it as far as St. Bernard's Church and then drop like a sack a taters.

A Monsignor and a priest walk into a bar, I mean a Monsignor and a priest were the first ones to approach Tommy and they can see he ain't long for this world so they gives him the last rites. It was too late for Chuck cause he was already dead. Tommy though, he made it till the following day before saddling up with the ghost riders.

Oh, and this all happened on this day back in 1927. Honest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hello, I'm Johnny Cashel

And on this date in 1929 somebody shot me in New York City just to watch me die.

Four guys done approached me,
one of them had gun
we spoke for just a second
then started all the fun.

Yeah, Four shots were fired
I was hit in my front and side
A cabby rushed me to the hospital
and that is where I died.

The guys who killed me
never did no time
A cop who said he knew me
claimed I was deep in crime.

Sure I had a record
I never said I was square
and I ended up a statistic
of Prohibition gang warfare.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gangster Haiku

Bill Fusco sold drugs

on this date in thirty-two

Killed in east village

Monday, April 25, 2011


The Lawlor brothers were simply trying to run a peaceful speakeasy and then David Beadle showed up and ruined everything. The youngest of the Lawlors, Larry, 23, was behind the bar on this date back in 1930 when Beadle walked in and started waving a pistol around.

Sensing the inevitable trouble that was going to happen the patrons slowly made their way to the door. You see, the Lawlors weren't exactly alter boys, they had police records too. Anyways Larry started yelling at Beadle who responded by letting everyone know just how tough he was. After a few moments of Beadle's gloating Larry decided he had had enough and came out from behind the bar to open a can of Ye olde Kickinthebehind © but before he could pull the tab Beadle shot him in the chest.

Hearing the shot Larry's older brothers, Bill and Mike, came running out from the back room. Seeing their little brother on the floor, they jumped over him and went for Beadle, who fired a fusillade in their direction. Both brothers went down with serious wounds. In the end both Larry and Mike died and Beadle took off to live another day, (though he wouldn't survive the decade)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pop gets popped.

Ah yes, April 20, 1927; I remember it like it was eighty-four years ago. I had just entered Zournagian's grocery store to purchase a can of milk. Was about 9:13pm. While walking past the rear room I saw someone back there laying on a cot. Taking a closer look I saw that it was John Egan. Everybody in the neighborhood called him Pop. Not sure why, now that I think about it, but everyone knew Pop and tried to stay out of his way. He had a bad reputation. In fact he had only been out of Sing Sing for four months at this time. Anyways I made my purchase and as I was leaving three other guys entered the store. I saw them around the neighborhood before, hell I might have even known their names but I forgot them at that moment. Before I was a couple doors down we all heard two pistol shots. Then the three guys come running out of the grocery store and went somewhere. I don't remember where. After that Zournagian came out and said to call the cops as someone one just croaked Pop. Two shots to head.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rum, Sodomy & the Hash

Ninety-eight years ago a British ship dropped anchor in New York harbor. Two of its sailors, brothers Leo and Edward Dobson, bounded down the gangplank and headed straight for Harlem's Little Italy. Tucked away on their persons were nine canisters of opium they had smuggled in from one of their voyages. They had a meeting arranged with three Italian men to sell the goods. According to Edward, they met the trio in a tenement hallway and when they told them that they wanted forty bucks a piece for the canisters the Italian guys laughed at them and then pulled out their guns. Edward was lucky, when the shooting started he was knocked over the head and fell unconscious. Leo fell next to him with a bullet in the noggin. Edward was rushed to the hospital where he told his story. He was promptly arrested on a drug charge.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We can't work it out, we can't work it out.

T'was this date in 1925 it t'was, when Frank Fedele, only twenty-two but a graduate of the New York State penal system (Sing Sing class of 1924) was speaking with two other fellers on a Brooklyn corner. The speaking turn to yelling and the yelling to shooting when the two fellers whipped out their irons and perforated Franks neck and chest. When their irons were done talking the fellers skedaddled through a tenement and got away. Frank not so much. Police flipped a coing and decided he was killed over a bootleggers feud.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Max Headboom

Ninety-eight years ago today Mrs. Wolff was awaken by three pistol shots. She shook her husband, the custodian of the tennement and a heavier sleeper, awake and told him to go investigate. Mr. Wolff shuffled out of bed and climbed the stairs to the other apartments. He met five men who were on their way down. He asked them if they heard any shooting. they told him it sounded like it came from upstairs and they exited the building. Mr. Wolff gave the building a once over, found nothing suspicious, and returned to his apartment. His wife was sure there was something amiss so a after discussing it for a few hours. Mr. Wolff went for a cop. While escorting the cop through the building he noticed that the rear apartment on the third floor had a padlock on the outside which had never been there before. The officer knocked on the door and when they received no answer he forced his way in. There, crumpled on the kitchen floor was twenty-three year old Max Levine. Somebody placed a gun to the base of his head and pulled the trigger. After he was down they put the gun under his chin and did the same. (Possibly twice since Mrs. Wolff heard three shots) The reason for the shooting is unknown. Seeing that Mr. Wolff was custodian of the building and had to clean up I think we can scratch him off the suspect list.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The not so mighty Quinn

Ninety-nine years ago today James Quinn stood at the bar telling anyone who would listen about how the Gophers wanted him dead. Jimmy was supposedly the leader of the west side gang but shot one of his own in a fight two weeks before and now the guys were mad at him. Jimmy was tough though, lifting his shirt tail he flashed his gat to the other saloon patrons and assured them that "Anyone who comes after me is going to get more than they can give." All agreed and returned their attention to their drinks. Five minutes later a quintet of Gophers walked in and shot Jimmy five times*. Giving more than they got, the Gophers ran from the bar as Jimmy gave up the ghost on saloon floor. *555 off to the lottery stand.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Smitty and Sully

Eugene Smith, we are told, was a member of a lower east side gang. Which one? Take your pick. I'll say the Cherry Hill gang. Anyways. On this date way back in the year of nineteen hundred and thirteen. Eugene was walking to a ball being held by the Italian Democratic Club of Tammany Hall. As Smith was passing a building a man stepped out of the doorway and fired a shot into the east side gangster's temple. The bullet passed through Eugene's brain and exited at the bottom of his skull. Thus ended Eugene's life. Witnesses saw a total of four men run from the murder scene. Most likely Smith's murder would have gone unsolved but the killer, Michael Sullivan, was wracked with guilt and turned himself in a few days later after confessing to a priest. He told the police it was a case of self defense as Smith was out to get him and if he didn't act first he would have been tucked away himself.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Warning: Smoking may be hazardous to your health

At 9:30pm on this date back in 1930 James Clark walked into a drug store to purchase a pack of smokes. Clark, 30, had a record going back to the preprohibition era when he used to pal around with Tanner Smith. His claim to fame was taking part in the stealing of $92,000 worth of aspirin back in 1926. His purchased complete, Clark stepped out of the store and into a bullet. Somebody was waiting for him and this somebody stuck his gun to Clark's head and pulled the trigger. Miraculously Clark wasn't killed. He was rushed to a hospital where he refused to talk to police. Though alive when the story went to press Clark's doctors gave him no chance of recovery.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool

Who says gangsters don't have a sense of humor. On April fools day back in 1910 John Lewis, known as Spanish Louis to the underworld and probably to some members of the upper world as well, was walking down Second Avenue when somebody came up and said a couple of pals wanted to see him around the corner. Thats the sort of thing that happens in the gangster biz, friends hide in doorways and what not, anyway, Louis nodded thanks and went around the corner but SURPRISE it weren't friends at all but gangsters sent to kill him. Louis caught on to the gag at the last moment as he was pulling out his gun when a bullet pierced his head.