Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Owney earns a nickname

Owney Madden, one of the top New York City mobsters of the prohibition era picked up the moniker "Killer" in his younger days as leader of the Gopher gang.

One-hundred years ago today he lived up to his nom de guerre. Twenty-one year old William Henshaw was preparing to board a streetcar when two men came up and shot him. He didn't die outright and was taken to the hospital. On his death bed, he identified Madden as his killer but for some reason the police didn't try to hard to find him, which confounded the dead man’s father, who told the press, “It seems queer to me that the police can not catch the murderer of my boy. This band of Gophers had it in for my boy for some time. I don’t know why they wanted to kill him but he often told me he was afraid of them.”


A little more than a week after the murder police captured Madden on the Westside after a brief chase. The cops could have saved their breath however as he was released and never called to trial for the murder.

* DGIS President, Founder & Grand Poobah Pat Downey made us check the facts twice. He is having a hard time accepting the fact that when he started researching those profiled on this site, "One hundred years ago" meant the 1800s. He is now consoling himself with an 18-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and will be out for the rest of the day.

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