Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Late to the game

As Prohibition was winding down Edward Patterson, called a “Petty and ambitious beer runner” with a long list of arrest dating back to 1920, decided that he would try to break into the business by muscling into the south Brooklyn beer racket. He started dropping in on speakeasy owners and tried forcing his beer on them. Those long established bootleggers in the region did not appreciate the competition. They thought perhaps coupons, or customer appreciation day might help them retain their clients but then they just decided it would be easier to kill Patterson.

The first attempt came on September 3. Patterson was in a speakeasy when gunmen came in-a-blastin' but they only managed to wound him while accidentally killing the bartender. No such mistakes were made on this date back in 1932. Patterson was exiting his second floor room at a Brooklyn boarding house and someone fired two shots into the back of his head, then, judging by the powder burns, the gunman placed the pistol against “the petty and ambitious beer runner’s” skull and fired twice more. Patterson Beer Distribution was officially out of business.

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