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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fat lady sings for the fat man

Twas this day in 1929 it was that NYC gangster Thomas Walsh was knocked off in Coral Gables, Florida.  "Fatty" or "Fats" as he was called, was a former employee of Arnold Rothstein. As such he was pals with guys like Legs Diamond and Lucky Luciano.

Walsh, who was thirty-three at the time of his death, moved to Florida a few weeks after Rothstein's death. In the Sunshine State Walsh and another New York gangster, Arthur "Chick" Clark, owned a piece of a gambling room ran out of the Biltmore Hotel. A guy named Eddie Wilson was also a partner.

At 12:20 a.m., as Walsh and Clark were seated amongst the gamblers watching the nights play when Wilson appeared in the doorway brandishing a pistol. Once he sighted Walsh he raised the gun and fired five times. Two of the bullets hit the stout gangster in the abdomen and one nicked Clark in the arm. Walsh tried to get on his feet but fell forward on his face dead. The first reaction of the press and the police was to say that the killing was some how related to the Rothstein murder from the previous November but as the investigation went on it was determined that Eddie Wilson was unhappy with Walsh because the latter was trying to shake down Wilson's share in the gambling enterprise.

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