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Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Birthday Boy

You lucky dogs, guest post today from Dutch Schultz biographer Alana Atterbury

Today would have been the 110th birthday of the mobster known to his mother as Arthur Flegenheimer, but in the underworld hall of fame he is best remembered under his adopted moniker Dutch Schultz.

Like many of his contemporaries, Schultz was the son of immigrants who came to this land looking for a better life. And also like his contemporaries, he didn't settle on a profession that guaranteed a pension and a retirement party at the end of a 30-year career. Instead, by his late twenties, he had assumed the title of mob boss and was raking in millions of dollars a year in the beer business, the policy racket, restaurant shakedowns and a bail bond racket to name a few of the achievements dotting his resume.

It wasn't easy being the Dutchman, as is learned by a succession of highly publicized events, from former underlings gunning after him all over town (led by the trigger happy youth Vincent Coll), a deadly misunderstanding with two men sitting on a park bench (who knew they were cops?) to Uncle Sam knocking on the door and saying, "You owe me my money, even if it was made illegally."

How did it all pay off?

Well on October 23, 1935 his fellow contemporaries gave him an early retirement party in Newark's Palace Chop House. The going away gift? A rusty bullet. All this roughly two months after celebrating his 34th birthday with a not guilty verdict in an income tax evasion case. All because he wanted to knock off a nosey Special Prosecutor named Tom Dewey.

You will be able to read more about the drama and escapades in the life of Mr. Flegenheimer in the bio I am presently working on about the man. It'll be coming your way real soon!

Thank you Alana! Looking forward to it.

8 comments:

johndumond said...

Great post, Alana. I'm looking forward to that book as well.

Alana said...

Thank you John! And thank you Mr. Downey for allowing me to be the guest blogger. All of the DGIS interns were so nice to me...they really deserve a raise :)

Pat Downey said...

Thank you for stopping in and chatting about the Dutchman. Don't give he interns any ideas they already get free coffee.

Pat Downey said...

From reader Rich T.

Alana,
Will your new book include the story fo the ConEd workmen who witnessed two Schultz gunmen murdering some guy? They went to the chair. Schultz said one of them was innocent. Usually civilian who witness gang rub outs remain understandably forgetful. I always wondered about those workers.
Thanks!
Rich T

Alana said...

For Rich T, yes it will be included. That was an interesting case and is highlighted in the book.

c.o. moed said...

This is THRILLING!!!!!!!

and very gruesome and brutal. Who do you think they'll cast? Matt Damon or Mark Wahlberg?

Pat Downey said...

I'd go with Wahlberg.

Alana said...

as long as they get the last words right I wouldn't care.