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Friday, June 5, 2015

A good gangster is always prepared for the worst

Alberto Ricci, or Al Ritchie, as he was popularly known, was an underworld big shot in the region of Olean, New York and Bradford, Pennsylvania. It was in the latter that he was rubbed out on this date in 1931. 
Al was known to have a loose tongue around cops when it came to his rivals. And we all know what happens to squealers right? No? Keep reading then.

Al was sitting behind the wheel of his car chatting with one of his minions, Tony Maccio, when, “A big fellow pushed right up, stuck a gun in the car and started firing.” Three shots slammed into Ritchie’s head and a fourth went into his shoulder. Maccio turned away from the blasts and received two bullets in the back after they had passed through his boss.
After the gunman fled, Ritchie miraculously stepped from his car. Maccio too clamored out and collapsed on the sidewalk. Ritchie was able to walk to the ambulance that arrived shortly but died a few hours later. Maccio would succumb to his wounds in the coming weeks.
Al, who knew he was on the spot, was laid to rest in a bronze coffin he had picked out for himself just a few weeks previously. While paying his last respects to one of his guys, who was also sent the way of all gangster flesh, he told the mortuary proprietor that he might as well pick out a box for himself since it was only a matter of time.
Oh, and by the way, the “Big Fellow” who did the shootin’ would prove to be one Antonio Lorenzo Demaio aka Tony Lorenzo. Maccio, like his boss, had no problem spilling to cops. Tony Lorenzo claimed self-defense.


John DuMond said...

I'm not particularly superstitious, but buying a coffin in advance just seems to me like it would be - for lack of a better label - bad luck.

Pat Downey said...

Yes, but you know the old gangster saying, "Better to have a coffin and not need it than to need a coffin and not have it."