Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Bad Seed buys it.

Back on this date in 1935, while papers were filled with stories regarding the shooting of Dutch Schultz and his cohorts, across town a small time hood named Al Stern, was found dead in a cheap boarding house.

Since Al was found in the same city where the Schultz massacre took place, right away it was assumed that he some how played a part in it. Some papers said that he was the gunman who mowed down the Dutchman and his confederates while others said that he may have been the man who acted as a spotter for the killers and was himself killed afterwards. The full story on Stern can be found in Bad Seeds in the Big Apple.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Checking out at the Harding Hotel

Tony Marlow was a bootlegger who lived in mid-town next door to the Harding Hotel. Eighty-four years ago tonight he was standing in front of the hotel smoking a cigarette at 10:30pm apparently waiting for some one.

William White, a real estate salesman, who knew Marlow from the neighborhood saw him loitering and walked over. “Hello Tony!” White said offering his hand. As the two men were shaking hands, two more guys appeared from behind a parked car, one tall and slim and the other short and stout. Before anyone knew what was what they opened fire hitting Marlow five times before he had a chance to pull out his own gun.

A beat cop heard the shooting, ran to the scene and started after the gunmen. After a short chase the killers escaped. Returning to the Harding Hotel the officer loaded Marlow into a cab and took him to the hospital where the gangster was questioned about the shooting. When asked who shot him, Marlow responded in typical gangland fashion, “I’ll take care of them myself when I get well.” But his slayers needn’t of worried because he died the next the day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shot in the dark

At around midnight on this date in 1920 sixty-year old John Tollard, the watchman over at the National Aniline and Chemical Works in Canarsie, was standing guard in the counting room where hundreds of pay envelopes were ready for the night crew to pick up. Another payday like all the others.

Then the lights went out.

Assuming correctly that lights out meant trouble Tollard drew his pistol and hid behind a counter. Sure enough three gunmen entered the room and demanded the dough. Tollard answered with lead. It wasn’t a one way conversation however, and the bandits responded threefold. Pieces of counter and wall plaster rained down upon the watchman who emptied his piece. The bandits continued to fire until some workers came up to investigate what all the fuss was about.

When members of the night shift arrived the gunmen hightailed it outta there sans the ten grand they came in for. Later cops learned that half an hour after the failed raid some cops from another precinct found a seriously wounded guy on the sidewalk and took him to the hospital. Thinking that the watchman’s bullets may have hit home they went and questioned him about the botched robbery but the wounded man denied involvement. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012