Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hey Batto, Batto, Batto swing.

On this date back in 1929 a group of kids were in the street playing baseball. They had a pretty clear field except for a green sedan that had been parked on the block all that day. Sure enough one of the lads got a hit and the ball bounced into an open window of the car. A boy ran over to retrieve the ball, and climbing on the running board, he opened the door and found himself looking into the eyes of a dead man. The lad let out scream and ran into a nearby tenement for help. The deadman was James Batto who had a record dating back over thirty years.

Batto, along with his partner Mortimer "Monkey" Shubert had been involved with some other gangsters, including Eugene Moran, earlier that summer. On the previous August 10, Batto, Shubert and a few others picked up Moran at his New Jersey bungalow for some job. A few hours later Moran's body was found inside a burning Packard.

Was the murder party worried about Batto so they took him out? Did friends of Moran exact revenge? Who knows. Batto's brother told police that his dead sibling had recently had a falling out with Monkey Shubert. Monkey was brought in but shrugged his shoulders and went on his way.

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