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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Breaking bad is never good part II

Two days after his partner Arthur Siegelman disappeared, 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 gangster-he was only twenty- was walking to his East Village home with his wife and his friend. As they were approaching Ferro's building, two gunmen jumped out of a doorway, ran up to the trio and fired a bullet into Ferro’s head. Another went intohis friend's stomach. Both men were rushed to Bellevue Hospital where Ferro subsequently died and his pal's wound was labeled as mortal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear screenwriters

The following things need to stop immediately.
 1) The use of the phrase "It's not personal, it's business" it's also hackneyed and cliched writing. We all saw the Godfather. Think up something new.
2) When one character, usually the bad guy, repeats what the antihero just did and tells them they are "Smart".
e.g. "Approach me and my men in the mall food court cause you know we can't shoot you. Smart."    First time I remember hearing a variation of this was in Road To Perdition now the Hollywood hacks whip it out almost as much as "It's not personal, it's business."  
3) The stone faced hero walking towards the camera/away from the explosion. I guess we can blame unimaginative directors for the repeated use of this one.

Anyone else have anything to add? Come on now, it's not personal, it's show business.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breaking bad is never good

Twenty-five year old Arthur Siegelman was a new comer to the New York City 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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Politics can be murder

Frank Paresi was a life long gangster who was awarded a political appointment for services rendered to Tammany Hall. His record dated back to 1904 when he was sent to the House of Corrections for petty larceny. He was arrested again in 1909 for assault and robbery but released. In 1912 he was sent to Sing Sing for ten years for robbery but his record shows he didn’t serve the full sentence because he was arrested for grand larceny in Brooklyn in 1920. By 1922 however he had been appointed a Market Supervisor by Market Commissioner O’Malley, a Tammany man.

Why all this talk about Paresi? Well, ninety-two years ago today, he was making his rounds amongst the pushcart vendors in his district, who at the time were complaining that they were the victims of municipal graft, when a gunman walked up behind him and shot him down. The killer slipped away with the crowds as they ran for shelter.

The first one at the dead man’s side was his brother Thomas who yelled, “It’s my brother Frank!” Thomas and some others carried Frank into a store then transferred him to a nearby hospital where he died.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Death from below

Back on Chicago's south side on this date in the year of nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, Ralph Murphy and Michael "Bugs" Quinlan had just stepped out of the saloon where the former was bartender. The latter was the owner of a gambling establishment.

Perched in a basement window across the street was a feller with one them there Tommy guns and as Quinlan and Murphy entered the Bugsmobile well, that feller went ahead and pressed down on the trigger long enough to let thirty-five .45 caliber bullets fly. A number of which landed in Quinlan and Murphy. Murphy died on the spot. Quinlan was still breathing when the story went to press but doctors didn't hold out to much hope for him.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Diamonds are not a Noes best friend

Remember how in yesterday's post Legs Diamond got shot in the stomach? What?! You didn't read yesterday's post, go  ahead we'll wait....Ok, a year and a day after he caught that bullet whilst walking on the lower east side with Little Augie Orgen, Diamond was on the other side of the hit. He had an appointment 86 years ago this morning with Joey Noe & Dutch Schultz to exchange some money for territory.
     Correctly assuming that Diamond might try to pull some monkey business, Noe was wearing a bullet proof vest while Dutch and possibly a few others took positions in some nearby second story windows. As Noe approached the designated meeting spot a blue Cadillac came speeding up from behind and a guy, Louis Weinberg, opened fire on him. The assassin scored a lucky shot on Noe's body where the vest wasn't covering and the Dutchman's partner went down. Dutch, and any others, in hiding opened fire on the Cadillac, which sped away. One of the bullets from above pierced the roof of the Caddy and killed Weinberg. The car, with the dead man, was ditched on the lower east side. Noe was taken to the hospital and questioned but kept to the gangster code until dying about a month later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little Augie bows out

Four score and seven years ago this night Messrs. Little Augie Orgen and Jack Diamond were walking together on the lower East Side. Diamond was a bootlegger, drug dealer and loft thief. The former a labor racketeer. They became pals through Arnold Rothstein and let each other in on their rackets. Diamond was letting Little Augie in on some dope deals and Orgen gave Diamond a labor contract which caused strife within his own gang. Not happy with their leader's new direction, Orgen's two lieutenants , Lepke Buchalter and Gurrah Shapiro, decided that they should be running the show. So as Augie and Diamond strolled and conversed a sedan laden with gunmen went on the prowl. When they caught sight of Orgen and Diamond, heck they knew where they were gonna be, the car slowed down behind them. A couple of guns stepped out and made their ways up behind the duo. One placed his gun behind Orgen's head and pulled the trigger, the gangleader's hat was blown into the air while its owner was blown into oblivion. Diamond turned and was shot in the stomach lest he try to intervene in any way. If they wanted him dead it would have been so. 
Little Augie

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mandatory retirement for a boss

Mafia boss Salvatore D’Aquila, head of what would one day become the Gambino crime family, and said by his family to be a cheese importer, kept an appointment at his doctor’s office in Manhattan's East Village on this date back in 1928. Due to some health issues D’Aquila and his wife had been making the drive down from the Bronx every day at the same time. Supposedly he was fine but his wife still had some problems.

On the drive down his car acted funny so once at the doctor’s office he walked his wife and kids inside and then returned to the street to inspect the engine. According to a witness, D’Aquila was looking under his hood when three men approached him. The quartet conversed for a number of minutes then the conversation escalated into an argument. Suddenly the three men each drew a pistol and fired a total of nine shots into the gangster killing him.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The dangers of tobacco

In the early hours of this day back in 1931 Abe Lubitsky, Norman Blatt and Harry Abrams were out for a drive in the fine city of Toledo, Ohio when a car full of gunmen pulled up and fired numerous shots into their car then pulled away. If that wasn't offensive enough, just as the gunmen pulled away another car containing gunmen pulled up and they too discharged there weapons into the trios auto.

A number of the bullets came to rest in the heads of Abe and Norman. Harry survived the deal. Why the hate? Well, police said that the two dead men owned a cigar store together and that Abe was shot at previously. Harry had been recently arrested in raids on cigar stores. Having watched many many episodes of Matt Houston and Hart to Hart we here at the institute have come to the conclusion that something nefarious was going on at these Toledo cigar stores.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The bookie's number came up

At some point seventy-six eighty years ago today John Amenbola stumbled out the back door of a New York City tenement building and dropped dead with three bullets in his body. Though only twenty-three years old he was a hardened criminal with a record dating back to 1926.

Amenbola served a term in Sing Sing for robbery and was paroled in 1930. He went back in in March of 1934 for parole violation and was released a short time before his demise. The janitor of the building found him at 11:00pm and reported his grisly find to the police who subsequently found a plethora of policy tickets on and around Amenbola's body. It appears that his post Sing Sing employment was that of a bookie

Friday, October 3, 2014

Funeral home brew

Angelo Lapi was an ex-con, who served sentences for both felonious assault and gun possession. Now out of jail, forty-five year old Lapi took a job as night man at his brother in-laws lower Manhattan funeral parlor. Why did the funeral parlor need a night man? Because people were just dying to get in.

Could it be that this job was just something to show the parole board? Could be, because in addition to his duties at the parlor, Lapi made wine and home brew, which he in turn sold to a local speakeasy and 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 stabbed eleven times in the back.

Murdered in a funeral home, the only thing that would have made it better was waiting until Halloween night.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wake up call

On this date back in 1930, Sam Therina, said to be a member of the Cuckoo gang, pulled up in front of a St. Louis hospital, layed on the horn of his coupe then passed out. The reason for his passing out was multiple machine gun bullets in his pelvis. He was carried into the hospital and prepped for surgery.

During the operation police came in to question him. Guess they could do that back then. He told them that he, two other Cuckoos named Peter McTigue and James Dormandy along with William Boody, an "agent" with a plumbing union who happened to have a rap sheet matching the Cuckoo guys and some other guy were working a still near the town of Valmeyer, Ill.

According to Therina, he and McTigue were sleeping when machine gun fire began to rake the shack they were holed up in. Therina jumped up and was immediately wounded. He heard Boody gasp, "I'm dying." and saw that McTigue was already a goner. Dormandy and the other guy hightailed it into the woods.

The gunmen left and Therina managed to get to Boody's coupe and drive himself to the hospital. Detectives went out to the shack and, sure enough, there were McTigue and Boody just like Therina said.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pulpy goodness

"My time is coming. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow or next week, maybe not even until 1974 but my time is coming."