John "Spider" Murtha, called "The toughest man in Brooklyn" by detectives, was gunned down by killers from Murder Inc. on this date in 1935. Born circa 1898 Murtha dubbed himself "Spider" while a featherweight boxer in his youth but it was his exploits outside of the ring that made the plug-ugly an infamous Brooklyn character. It was said that Murtha enjoyed being pointed out in taverns as a "Cop beater" and that he never carried a gun choosing instead to rely on a razor or any weapon he could improvise out of broken beer bottle or mug.
boys from Murder Inc. caught up with Spider at 10:30 a.m. when he and
his girlfriend, Marie Nestfield, were returning from an all night
outing, they had just exited a hotel when the two gunmen quietly walked
up behind them. As one of them pushed Marie aside the other one
exclaimed, "Now we got you Spider!" and the two men fired a total of
five shots into Murtha hitting him twice in the head and three times in
the chest. "Spider" stumbled for a moment then collapsed dead next to an
elevated subway pillar.
For more info on Spider and Murder Inc. check out Gangster City.