Chicago gangster Ted Newberry says: "He must have done something. They don't kill you for nothing." Ted was rubbed out on January 7, 1933

Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

Meet Kiki

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A bump off auld lang syne

Just as 1931 came to an end so to did the life of of lower Eastside gambler Louis “Crooked Neck” Levine. Ah, the simplicity of yesteryear. If you had red hair your nickname was "Red", if you had freckles you were "Spot" if you had a deformed neck, you were "Crooked Neck".

Levine was hanging out at a club known as the Pups Kennel Yard, which was basically a private speakeasy where members, who needed a card to enter, could drink and gamble. Not sure what time Levine showed up but through out the evening he was called away from his poker table three times to take a phone calls.

During his last call he was over heard saying, “No, I won’t meet you. I’m going to stay here.” “Crooked Neck” returned to his table and once again commenced playing cards. At about 4:00am as Levine sat behind his approximately $400 in chips three men arrived at the club. The men were not members and in lieu of cards showed the doorman their noise makers. Since their noise makers also spat bullets they were granted immediate entrance. Recognizing Levine from behind, the men walked up, counted down from ten and brought 1932  in early by firing three bullets into the back of Levine's head.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Little shop of horrors

In the fall of 1926 Eugenio Orgento opened a quaint little shop. It wasn’t stated what Orgento's store sold but most customers were interested in what could be found behind the counter as opposed to the shelves.  In the four months that he was in business Eugenio received numerous liquor violations.

Ah, but competition can be fierce in the racket they called alky and, on this date, eighty-seven years ago Eugenio was put out of business for good. The building’s janitor was making his rounds and as he performed his duties in Orgento’s  quaint little shop, there, in the rear, he found Eugenio's body in pool of blood as the proprietor had been stabbed to death.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dishonest Abe

It must have been a tough holiday season for Waxey Gordon’s family back in 1933. The month started off with Waxey being sentenced to ten years in prison and ended with the murder of his twenty-two year old nephew Abraham Volk, whom police called “A small time racketeer and a cheap petty-larceny thief.”

Waxey put Abe to work washing barrels in one of his New Jersey breweries. He had been arrested six times since 1926 for vagrancy and theft but always managed, probably because of his Uncle’s pull, to receive a suspended sentence or have the charge reduced. Since the fall of his Uncle’s empire he tried to cash in on his relations by organizing “social” clubs in the Bronx and shaking down businesses for protection money.

As the clock struck midnight ushering in Christmas Eve 1933 Volk entered a Bronx candy shop and spoke with the proprietor for a bit telling him he that he had an appointment to keep. Volk left and moments later the proprietor saw him crouched over running back towards the store. Five shots rang out and Volk dropped.
Waxey’s nephew was rushed to the hospital where, even though only a small timer, he kept true to the gangster code and died without telling the cops anything.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rest in Peace? I think not.

It would appear that graveyards were dangerous places back in the days when girls were girls, men were men and the old La Salle ran great.
First we have a well dressed man pushing another well dressed man into a grave. Seeing that the man is bound and gagged we will assume that he was buried alive and died a horrible death.
This one isn't so easy to figure out. Apparently Leslie Nielsen rose from the grave only to be machine gunned; Frank Drebin: Dead And Not Loving it. How and why he got there we don't know. Perhaps the Shadow does, or at least the Phantom Detective who seems to watch bad things happen to men in cemeteries without helping. The good old days weren't all good my friends.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mr. Diamond, clean out your desk

Twas eighty-two years ago this morning that Gangland Inc. gave Legs Diamond his walking papers. One of the more colorful characters of the Prohibition Era his fellow colleagues decided that they had had enough of his shenanigans and it was time for him to go. Actually, they tried to dismiss him numerous times but he had good contacts in HR so managed to hang on to his position longer than the powers that be intended.

If you want to know the full story, and you do, click on the book to the left. You can get an old fashioned hand held paper model, or one of them new fangled electronic doohickeys. You can also read an interview I did over at Nobody Move! as well as an article Here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

One door's open slay

T'was just about 6:00a.m. on this date back in 1927 when Richard Lubey crossed the threshold into his apartment after a long night of managing his speakeasy. At the ripe old age of six and twenty years Lubey had many a crime attributed to him, crimes like gun possession, robbery and counterfeiting.

Anywho-ville, his wife who slumbered in the next room, heard him enter and begin to disrobe. First his coat and then his vest. But before anymore articles of clothing could be removed there was a rapping, some might say a gentle tapping, a tapping at the apartment door. "Tis some gangster," Lubey muttered, "tapping at my apartment door. Only this and nothing more."

Mrs. Lubey heard him answer the door but paid no attention to the conversation he had with the early morning visitor. Ah, but she would from here on remember what happened next in that bleak December, when from the underworld came forth a member who came to settle a bootlegging score. A bullet lodged above her bed which first passed through her husband's head, her husband who now lay dead, dead upon the foyer floor.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

He talked the talk but died on the sidewalk.

If there is one thing we here at DGIS keep harping on it's; don't mess with the police. Especially if you're in the early Twentieth Century. 24 year old James Stevens, a member of Brooklyn's Sanford Street gang did not heed this advise.

It started two weeks previously when off duty police officer Francis Walsh was on his way home from a friends house. Hearing a gunshot he ran to the scene and arrested a young man named James Rubianto. Rubianto's friend, the aforementioned James Stevens, was on hand and verbally taunted Walsh. Walsh told Stevens to butt out. Stevens then threatened to "plug" the officer.

Two weeks later, this date in 1913, Walsh stepped out of his building an started on his way to work. A guy approached him and told him that Stevens was in a doorway a couple of blocks away and further more, the punk declared that he was going to get Walsh that night.

Walsh decided to settle things that morning. He went to the building where Stevens was but was met at the door by Rubianto. The latter tried to bar his entrance so the officer arrested him. As they were exiting the building Stevens fired two shots from inside.

Rubianto made a break for it and Walsh gave chase. Meanwhile Stevens ran from the building. Another cop, responding to the shots, turned the corner and saw Stevens taking aim at Walsh and yelled to his brother officer. Walsh spun around, gun in hand, and plugged Stevens in the abdomen. Steven's ran a half dozen steps and dropped dead.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Somebody's getting coal for Christmas

Twas eighty-seven years and one day ago this morning at 3:00am when a patrolman was walking his beat in Harlem and a large touring car sped past him. He immediately blew his whistle and the car came to a stop. As the officer approached the auto the door opened and what looked like a bundle of laundry was tossed out. As the cop ran up the car sped off. What looked like a bundle of laundry turned out to be thirty-four year old Dominick Alvero. in addition to two other bullet holes elsewhere he had been shot four times in the head.

After the dumping of Alvero, the gangsters went to an all night diner where they explained to the driver that one of the perks of being a gangster is that you don't have to stop the car just because a cop blows his whistle. Especially when you have a dead guy in the back seat.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Unlucky Luciano

Eighty-three years ago last night, Nick Luciano, called “Cheeks” because of a long scar on the right side of his face, was invited to a small dinner party at a “grimy” lower Eastside restaurant. After nearly a year of seclusion in Bayonne, NJ Luciano gladly accepted the invitation. The party, consisting of four other men and three women, was going well and all seemed to be having a good time when at 4:00am the next morning an undetermined number of men entered the restaurant and made their way to the back room where Luciano and his cohorts were having their fun. The men approached the party and pulled out pistols. Knowing Luciano’s history, the men and women who were a moment before partying with him all quickly vacated the premises and left “Cheeks” to his fate. Once they had him isolated the gunmen opened up and perforated Nick with twenty bullets.

Why was Cheeks in seclusion? What was his history and why did someone want him dead? All the answers can be found in the book Bad Seeds in the Big Apple

Thursday, December 5, 2013

pulpy goodness

Long time DGIS readers know our fondness for some good old fashioned pulp art. Here's a dandy. There are countless mag covers with hand gun wielding gangsters and dames. Some are toting Thompsons others daggers but I don't recall ever seeing a body being dumped over board.  This cover is definitely up for the prestigious;

DGIS Corpse Being Dumped Overboard on the Cover of an Old Detective Magazine Award.

As an aside, you'll notice both killer and victim are wearing suits and are well kempt. Nowadays your lucky if a guy has his pants pulled all the way up.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ending an era with a bang

Frank "Skinny" Partuese and Frank "Blackie" Stillo have the distinction of being New York City’s last gangland victims of the Prohibition Era.  “Blackie” had just parked his car when two gunmen came up from behind and started blasting away. After firing about ten shots the gunmen fled. Hit a number of times, “Skinny”, who was in the passenger seat, managed to get out of the sedan and run up a block or so before dropping dead. “Blackie” also made it out of the car but collapsed in the gutter. He was still alive when found and sent to the hospital where doctors said he would die.
      The police believed that Parteuse was responsible for a killing three weeks previous and that he and Stillo were put on the spot for retribution. Whether or not Stillo played a part in the murder is unknown but he was a bit of a Yogi Berra as is evident by a quote he made while being transported to the hospital,

Monday, December 2, 2013

We know who but why?

Peter Gioe is one of those mystery victims. Other than he was an importer there is nothing else known about him. Somebody however, wanted him out of the way and succeeded in this quest back on this date in 1925. It appears that Peter was set up by somebody he knew because as he pulled up in front of a building and was getting out of his car, two men emerged from a doorway and shot him in the head killing him.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Four, make that three Fierce Flanagans

Ninety-one years ago today Tom Flanagan, one of the four fierce Flanagans - a quartet of gun wielding law breaking brothers- gave up the ghost after somebody pumped a bullet into his chest at Yumpsy Cunningham's saloon. His pals, being the good guys that they were, placed him in a cab and sent him to his father's apartment. Pop Flanagan, being of sounder mind thought that a hospital would probably be a better place. He fetched a cop who saw that Tom made it to Bellevue without further ado.

Inside the hospital Tom was questioned by police about the shooting but, having memorized the Official Rules of the Underworld Volumes I-IV, he refused to say anything about it and passed out of this life at the ripe old age of thirty.

If you wanna know more about Tom and the other Flanagan brothers you can read all about it, as the newsies would say, in Bad Seeds in the Big Apple

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Done in by cheapness

A few days late with this entry. All November dues will be repaid to all DGIS members in good standing. November 25, 1933 saw one of New York City's most important gangland executions. The murder of Alexander "Red" Alpert. Even though his death barely made the news at the time it would prove to be one of the most significant in New York history because “Red's” was the slaying that started the whole Murder Inc. investigation in 1940, which resulted in the downfall of the Brownsville and Ocean Hill Combination, not to mention the deaths of most of the major players.

By the age of nineteen “Red” was already a seasoned hoodlum with a number of arrests but no convictions. He was known as a cop hater and his disdain for the officers of the law was so great, the authors of Murder Inc. tell us, that he wouldn’t even wear a blue suit. His end came after he pulled off a jewel heist and had a collection of gems worth probably upwards of $10,000.

Not having the connections to move the merchandise himself "Red" went to Brownsville and paid a visit to Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss. “Red” showed the Murder Inc. executioner his jewels and told Strauss he could have them at the bargain rate of $3000. Strauss in turn offered only $700. Alpert in no polite terms told Strauss what he could do with his offer and went on his way.

Strauss sent two guys to bring “Red” back but Alpert was wise and managed to elude them. Still wanting the gems Strauss had Abe Reles and Buggsy Goldstein pay the youthful crook a visit. The two killers told Alpert that Strauss wanted the jewels and he wanted them for the $700 he originally offered but the stubborn “Red” told Reles and Goldstein they could go to hell with Strauss. This of course sealed his fate and the contract was given to Walter Sage, whom Alpert knew and had no reason to fear. The next day Sage met “Red” at the latter's house and the two men walked off together. After they had gone about a block Sage drew a gun and killed the young hoodlum. Seven years later one of Red's friends went to the authorities and told them the story. The usual suspects were picked up and this time Reles sang.

An interesting thought to ponder. If Strauss had paid the the 3 Gs Red wanted, would Murder Inc. have gone on for years to come? No Reles out the window, no hot seat for Lepke and all the others, no movie for Peter Falk, no time for a summer rain, no time for my watch and chain. Ah, the what ifs.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Haven't had an AGIS (amorous guy(s) in suits) in a while so here goes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I ain't talking, both figuratively and literally

On this date back in 1930 Frank Calibrese and his cohorts were involved in a shooting with rival gangsters. Frank was hit by five shots, one of which smashed into his mouth and cut off his tongue. His partners loaded him into their car and drove him to the house of one of Frank’s distant relatives, Dr. Edward Caselnova. Realizing he couldn't do much for him the doctor brought Frank to the hospital where police questioned him. Since he was missing part of his tongue Frank was given pencil and paper and asked about the shooting. Frank then wrote down his name and address, the location of where he was shot and then died, leaving out the pertinent details of who shot him and why.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

That stevedoring is a dangerous job

He didn't have an underworld moniker that invoked fear but let us mark the passing of James "Pinhead" Cauley who was extinguished from gangland on this date back in 1927. Pinhead had just finished serving five years for robbery and was working as a boss stevedore on a west side pier. How does one walk out of prison and become a boss stevedore? Connections my friends, connections.

Shortly after 9:00pm on this date Pinhead was making the rounds on his beloved west side when somebody came up and pumped three bullets into him. Why? Well the coppers say it was because he was vying for leadership of a bootleg gang.Which was one of the go to motives at the time. So I guess we'll stick with that.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Guess what the milk man found?

Eighty-three years ago this morning a milk man was making his rounds in Queens when he came up on the the corpse of Felix Lopresti. The 25-year old ex-boxer had been garroted with a sash chord and had his throat slit.

Police believed that Felix was lured into a car in Manhattan and strangled. His killers then drove to Queens  to dump the body but slit his throat first to ensure death. the knife was found a short distance away in a vacant lot.

Judging by his shabby clothes it appears that Felix was down on his luck at the time of the murder. In addition to boxing the dead man was also known as a gambler and crook. He had been arrested three times in the past three years for robbery, assault and felonious assault but was acquitted in each case.

At a loss for a reason behind Lopresti's murder, the authorities wrote down a handful of motives and put them into the chief of detectives hat. The slip of paper chosen said, "Killed for welching on a gambling debt." Everyone agreed that that sounded like a good choice so they went with that.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Live from the DGIS institute Halloween party

The party still rages.
Since Halloween is one of our favorite days at the DGIS Institute we'll be kicking the party off early this year.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday morning mystery

I wonder if the passing gentleman is A) The guy who hung up the "Swinging Corpse" or B) Is a jaded New Yorker laughing off yet another stiff strung up to a street sign?

Having lived in NYC for a number of years I am quite familiar with 5th Ave and 42nd Street so I have to go with B. The reason being that, that intersection is always busy, so I'm sure the killers were seen by numerous passersby who assumed it was simply gangsters taking care of business.

I also wonder if  the deceased was considered a "Swinging Corpse" because A) He was a jazz musician or B) He and his wife...

Though a long shot, the dead guy may have been an obnoxious patron at the NY Public Library which is located at that intersection. Librarians can only take so much.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

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 in Newark, NJ, across town a small time New York City hood named Al Stern, was found dead in a cheap boarding house.
Since he 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 killed himself afterwards. I however believe otherwise. What do I think? Well, the full story on Stern can be found here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Breaking Bad Part II

Two days after his partner Arthur Siegelman disappeared, (remember him, the life guard?) Joseph Ferro another Johnny-come-lately to the bootlegging game, was put on the spot. Unlike the former life guard however there is no mystery clouding Ferro’s murder. The youthful would-be-bootlegger, he was only twenty, was walking to his East Village home with his wife and his friend. As they were approaching the Ferros’ building, two gunmen jumped out of a doorway, ran up to the trio an fired a bullet into Ferro’s head and another into his friend's stomach. Both men were rushed to Bellevue Hospital where Ferro subsequently died and his pal's wound was labeled as mortal.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Breaking Bad never works

Twenty-five year old Arthur Siegelman was a new comer to the underworld who, after a short stay, vanished and was never heard from again. Siegelman had no former training in crime, in fact he was a life guard who, at the end of beach season, decided to break into bootlegging as a way to support his widowed mother and six siblings. Needless to say the neophyte gangster did not last long where the gun and knife rule. What he did to seal his fate is unknown but he disappeared on this day in 1932 and his body was never found.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Little Augie's turn

Twas eighty-six years ago this night that Little Augie Orgen went the way of all gangster flesh. You see, he and John Diamond, (that's Legs to you and me) were walking together on the lower East Side. Why were they meeting? Personally I think it was to discuss costumes for the upcoming 1927 city wide gangster Halloween party. Though it should be mentioned that Diamond was a bootlegger, drug dealer and loft thief & the former a labor racketeer. They became pals, most likely through Arnold Rothstein and let each other in on their crimes.  
     Orgen gave Diamond a labor contract which caused strife within his own gang. His two lieutenants, Lepke Buchalter and Gurrah Shapiro, decided that they should be running the show and that Orgen had to go.  So, as Messrs. Orgen and Diamond strolled together that night so long ago, a sedan containing a handful of gunmen came drifting through the street until Orgen and Diamond were spotted. It slowed down behind them and a couple of gunmen stepped out and made their ways up behind the duo. One placed his gun behind Orgen's head and pulled the trigger, the gang leader's hat flew three feet into the air while its owner dropped to the sidewalk. Diamond turned at the sound of the explosion and was shot in the stomach lest he try to intervene in any way. You see they didn't want him dead, just his pal. And they succeeded in both.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I miss this kind of art work

Wonder how they cuffed him when they caught him?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who's the boss?

On this date in 1928 Mafia boss Salvatore D’Aquila, said by his family to be a cheese importer, was at a doctor’s office in the East Village. While his family was inside, he returned to the street to inspect the engine of his car. According to a witness, D’Aquila was looking under his hood when three men approached him. The quartet conversed for a number of minutes. The conversation escalated into an argument. Suddenly, the three men drew pistols and fired a total of nine shots into the gangster killing him.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A ride ends in the Bronx

On this date back in the year that Boris Karloff first scared the pants off of movie goers in his first incarnation of the Frankenstein monster, Charles Pasquino was found in a remote part of the Bronx at the bottom of a nineteen-foot embankment. A bloody trail in the unpaved road showed that he had been dragged from a car and tossed down the hill. Like the majority of ride victims Charles had been shot behind the left ear. Two other bullets had pierced his left arm and neck. His record showed that he had been arrested twice in 1922 for grand larceny.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Checking out at the Harding Hotel

Tony Marlow was a bootlegger who lived in mid-town Manhattan next door to the Harding Hotel. On this date in 1928 he was standing in front of the hotel smoking a cigarette at 10:30pm apparently waiting for someone.

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 Tony never got well.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Shot in the dark

Just 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. Suddenly, 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 and then he 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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Case of the murdered money collector-booze brewer-funeral parlor worker.

Angelo Lapi was an ex-con, who served sentences for both felonious assault and carrying a gun. Out of jail, forty-five year old Lapi took a job as a nightman at his brother in-laws funeral parlor. In addition to his duties at the parlor, Lapi made wine and home brew, which he in turn sold to a local speakeasy. Rumor had it he was also a money collector for the local policy racketeer.

The funeral home was connected to a tenement where Lapi lived with his wife, Maria, who also happened to be the janitress of the building. On the evening of the October 2, Maria was with her husband in the funeral parlor until midnight and then she went up to bed. The following morning as she started her daily chores she walked through the undertaking parlor and found her husband’s body on a couch in the back room. Lapi had been tied and gagged with a handkerchief. Then he was stabbed eleven times in the back.

Police were at a loss for a motive. So what was it? Did Lapi pocket some of the policy earnings? Did he fail to heed warnings not to sell his own spirits to the local speakeasy? What say you?

Monday, September 30, 2013

What is the law? No spill blood! (Without permission)

 Well, well, look who shows up after all this time. I'm not even gonna bother asking you where you've been. Have you had any dead guys in suits lately? Never mind just sit at the table there and I'll plate some up for you.

Joey Amberg, a semi-big racketeering feller in Brooklyn decided that a hoodlum named Hy Kasner had to be killed, so, together with two henchmen named Jack Elliot and Frankie Teitlebaum, Amberg set out to get Kasner. The latter was snatched, killed, stuffed in a sack and dropped into a sewer. Business as usual for a Brownsviller back in the 1930's.

Amberg went about his business assuming the sack containing Kasner had washed out to sea and Hy's disappearance would be but a mystery, but unfortunately for Amberg it was found floating in an inlet and what was left of Hy was fished out. Soon the names of Kasner’s killers traveled the underworld grapevine. Problematic for Amberg was that Kasner had been an associate of both Albert Anastasia and Louis Capone the director and assistant director of Murder Inc. and, to paraphrase Bumpy Johnson from the film Cotton Club, "If you have Murder Inc. on your ass, you truly have somebody on your ass."*

A Syndicate hearing was called. Anastasia and Capone argued that Amberg and his murdering cohorts should themselves be put on the spot for taking syndicate law into their own hands by killing Kasner without mob approval. Amberg supporters, Joe Adonis and Bugsy Siegel argued for Joey A's clemency.

Adonis and Siegel were overruled and a contract was put out on Monsieur Amberg. Chosen for the job were “Happy” Maione, Phil Mangano,(brother of Vincent Mangano the patriarch of the Mangano crime family) and another man known as “Red” Pulvino. The location chosen for the hit was the Brownsville garage (partially owned by fellow Murder Inc. gunman “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss) where Joey Amberg parked his car. The plan was to have the gunmen pretend to be armed bandits. They would ambush Amberg and tell him to raise his hands and face the wall, and then...

On this day in 1935 Amberg’s sedan, chauffeured by Morris Kessler, pulled into the garage. As driver and drivee were stepping out of the car, the killers, two dressed in khaki overalls and the third dressed in blue overalls, ran up with guns drawn and forced them to line up against the wall. As Amberg turned to face the wall he saw Maione’s face and blurted out, “It’s - -” but before he could elicit anymore words a shotgun went off. Amberg and Kessler fell where they stood. Once they were on the ground one of the killers ran up and shot each man in the head with a pistol. Justice, Murder Inc. style, had been served

*Johnson was actually referring to Owney Madden in the film. But you already knew that.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Over there again

If you are like us here at the DGIS Institute then you follow the important news of the day. That said, while we were reading up on Chaz Bono's sixty pound weight loss and the The Rock's emergency hernia surgery, this story fell through the cracks. I suspect we will be seeing many more like it as the World War I centennial approaches.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Over there

Seeing that we just spoke of the Red Baron, thought I would share this story that we came across today.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dead guys in Fokkers

Ninety-five years ago today Baron Manfred von Richthofen, AKA the Red Baron, made his final flight. With eighty kills* to his credit, Richthofen was the highest scoring ace of WWI. On this date back in 1918 the Baron broke some of his own arial combat rules and followed a Sopwith camel back over enemy lines and paid for the mistake with his life.

Who killed the Red Baron is up for debate, was it a Canadian pilot or an Australian soldier shooting from the ground? According to the Discovery Channel it was the latter, a machine-gunner named Snowy Evans.

For more on the Baron and everything else you wanted to know about WWI aerial combat check out

* Not all of those pilots that the Richthofen shot down died.

The Baron

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mandatory retirement

Normally those gangsters put on the spot were spry young fellers in their 20's or 30's but todays victim, in a later era, would have qualified for the senior citizens discount at McDonald's. Sixty-five year old Frank Lauritano was called a "Well-to-do" resident of the Brownsville –East New York section of Brooklyn and had been arrested three years previously for his connection with a policy game.

After finishing dinner on this date in 1930, Lauritano took a walk to the jewelry store to have his eye glasses fixed. As he approached his house on the return trip, three men fired anywhere from four to seven shots killing him. Hearing the shots, neighbors rushed out on their porches in time to see three men running to a car, which whisked them away

Friday, March 15, 2013

Great Caesar's Ghost!

So went back in time yesterday to save Caesar but ended up somewhere else. Did save someone but not sure who. Upon returning I see something called World War II happened. That wasn't part of history when I left yesterday. I'll go back and see if I can fix things.

In the meantime here's this:

Because of two recent, though separate, suicides, Mrs. Farrell's tenement house was considered to be haunted. In fact only one family remained in the building everyone else moved out. Twas 6:30 in the evening on this date back in 1927 when Mrs. Farrell ascended the staircase in her task of lighting the hallway lights.

When she got to the top floor she tripped over something. That something turned out to be a man, judging by appearances, of Italian descent, about forty years old. Mrs. Farrell barrelled down the stairs and got the police.

The corpse had no identification but he did have bullets in the head, shoulder and leg. He had a gun in his pocket and two more were found on the floor near him. One missing the three bullets that now rested in the dead man. The walls and a door showed evidence of another gun being fired. Oddly, Mrs. Farrell had heard nothing. The one remaining family in the building also had heard nothing.

So we have a dead guy, who didn't live in the building, a victim of a gunfight that nobody heard. The police went next door and began to ask questions. Turns out that the woman who lived in the adjoining apartment heard a little something that morning at 10:30. That something sounded like a struggle followed by a guy yelling, "Oh my God don't! Oh my God!" followed by a number of gun shots then silence.

When asked why she didn't report anything she said she was afraid the killers would come for her. Police chalked the murder up to a bootleggers feud. But having seen one or two shows on the paranormal I think it's fairly obvious that this was the working of one pissed off incubus, or is it succubus or omnibus...well one of the buses did it anyways I'm sure.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Out of hibernation

Wow, is it mid March already? Seems like just two and a half months ago that I last posted. I'd like to blame the lack of post on deadbeat interns and the fact that my computer crashed and after a six hour phone marathon with a guy half a world away it hasn't really worked right since, making simple task such as, highlighting and cutting; pasting a long frustrating and painful process...I'd like to say all those things but the simple fact is. I got a time machine for Christmas and have been having a lot of fun.

Things I've learned.
1. George Washington sounded a lot like James Cagney.
2. "Pickett's charge" should really be called, "Pickett's take a few steps then hit the deck. Get up, take a few more steps and hit the deck again."
3. My great-great grandparents kept a barrel of sauerkraut in the basement.

Up until this time I have simply been an observer. I will now attempt to go back an alter the future for the good of mankind. Don't be alarmed I know what I'm doing. I had a history course in high school.

Coordinates - Rome, 3/14/44 BC

Be back in awhile. In the meantime heres this:

On March 14, 1930 twenty-nine year old William "Baron" Simpson was added to the list of murder victims in Brooklyn's White Hand territory when his body was found in an alleyway leading from Furman Street to pier 16 on the East River. Someone had come up behind him and placed a .38 to the back of his head and pulled the trigger. Although the murder took place at around noon next to a tin can factory where two hundred employees were on lunch break, there were no witnesses.

"Baron" was the boss of a small group of dock workers and had a reputation as a fierce street fighter. According to his brother, "Whitey" Simpson, "Baron" had gotten into an argument with three men at a nearby pier about an hour before the murder. The argument turned into a fistfight and "Baron" proceeded to savagely beat all three men until they ran away. Simpson was last seen, alone, turning into the alleyway in which he was found a short time later.
Even with the story about the fight with the three men, police stated that they believed that Simpson was another in the long line of Irish thugs murdered in the unending battle for leadership of the dock rackets.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Missed this story last week. Perhaps you did too.