Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

Meet Kiki

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What is the law? No spill blood.

In the summer of 1935 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 they set out to get Kasner. The latter was snatched, killed, stuffed in a sack and dropped into a sewer. Business as usual in Brownsville back in the 1930's.

Amberg was hoping that the sack would be washed out to sea and Hy's disappearance would be but a mystery, but unfortunately for Amberg it popped up near shore 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 was 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 while Joe Adonis and Bugsy Siegel argued for Amberg’s clemency.

Adonis and Siegel were overruled and a contract was put out on Joey A. Chosen for the job was “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, which was partially owned by “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss, where Joey Amberg parked his car.

On this day in 1935 Amberg’s sedan, chauffeured by Morris Kessler, pulled into the garage and as the men were stepping out, 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 began to say, “It’s - -” but before he could get anything else out he and Kessler were cut down by a blast from a shotgun. Once Amberg and Kessler 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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Addy Gets Subtracted

At fifty years of age Arthur Black, known as Addy to some of the folks in Providence, Rhode Island, had lived two lives in gangster years but when the underworld decides its time for you to go they don't really get sentimental about age, sagacity, years on the job; stuff like that.

So it was on this date back in 1932 when Addy, known to the Providence police as one of the bigger "lottery operators" of the city, was gunned down in his own home. (told you there was no sentimentality. You'd think they would have shot him down in the gutter as is every gangster's birth rite.)

No, there Addy sat at home with his bodyguard when two men rushed into the house with guns-a-blazin'. Addy took a pill to the heart and gave up the ghost. Mr. Bodyguard went to the hospital with holes in his arm and chest.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Help!

Anybody got a a head in the parachute joke I can borrow?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Little Jewish Navy loses some Torpedos

Back in Detroit on this date in the year nineteen hundred and thirty one the Purple gang had a rendezvous set up with the upper echelon of "the Little Jewish Navy" a gang of bootleggers who traversed the Detroit River and a few of the great lakes transporting spirits of an intoxicating nature in from Canada.

Turns out the Purples were not happy with the Navy fellows and meant to terminate their partnership in a most permanent way. Joe Lebowitz, Hymie Paul and Isadore Sutker,  the LJN leadership showed up at the Collingwood apartments with Sol Levine, a mutual friend of both gangs, who was in on the plan. So the quartet arrived to find a couple of Purples, Harry Keywell and Irving Milberg, waiting there and after a few minutes of light chit chat, the Purples drew guns and sunk the Little Jewish Navy.

As the gun men ran out of the building they dropped their pistols into an open can of green paint (why not purple, to obvious?) to obliterate any finger prints. They hopped into a waiting car driven by gang leader and architect of what would become known as the "Collingwood Massacre", Ray Berstein. And off they went.

After awhile Sol Levine got to thinking that the Purples might want to tuck him away for insurance so went to the cops. As a result of his squealing Bernstein, Keywell and Milberg went from selling booze to making license plates.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

DGIO (Dead Guys in Overalls)

William Paske should have stayed behind the plow on his Wisconsin spread but the thirty-year old struggling farmer decided that bootlegging was the short cut to big money. In late spring/ early summer of 1932 he got a job delivering hooch for a concern that involved underworld types from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.

Not long into his job, he was hijacked and the load lost. Tough luck for a new timer. By the end of the summer William decided that maybe stealing booze paid more than delivering it (or perhaps he wasn't really hijacked that time, hmmm). So on Sunday night, September 11, he along with a guy named Paul Zimmerman and another confederate stole 600 gallons of alcohol from a warehouse owned by the concern.

Members from the concern learned rather quickly that Paske was behind the theft. Early the next morning Paske received a phone call saying that the "Big Shots" wanted to see him in the town of Baraboo post haste. Paske drove over to Zimmerman's house to pick him up. Zimmerman told him he needed a few minutes to get dressed. While dressing, Zimmerman saw a car pull up an order Paske to leave right away for the meeting with the big shots.

Paske pulled out of the driveway and headed out followed by the other car. Zimmerman watched as Paske stopped at a nearby intersection where two other cars came from the opposite direction and stopped him As Paske idled, the auto that was following him pulled up along side the other two cars. A guy got out and jumped on Paske's running board and fired four fatal shots into the ex farmer.


Zimmerman, who had just dressed, needed to change his pants. He and the other guy involved in the robbery were taken in as witnesses and had no problem singing. As a result of the duet, concern big shots, Harry Feinberg, Horace Wrieglow and Richard Green were arrested. Green was exonerated in the spring of the following year. Last we hear of Harry and Horace they went to trial in spring of 1934. Nobody seemed to record the outcome. Voting at the DGIS Institute is 27-11 that they walked.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

He just got in town about an hour ago

Today marks the 82nd anniversary of L.A. gangster Axel Anderson's demise. Known as Three-fingered Jack, presumably because he had a trio of digits on one hand, or, perhaps he was a sloth; either way Axel was not a lucky little gangster in the city of light, but another lost angel, city at night, city at night. Why did he die? Was it a case of motel, money murder madness? It may be he was killed for hijacking a load of booze and/or that he was killed for offing another gangster. Either way we don't get to many L.A. DGISs here so lets just enjoy the moment.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Another one bites the dust

Police felt that Michael Stenson- drilled 96-years ago today in the Chelsea section of Manhattan- was a member of the Marginal gang and killed as a result of the death of "Tanner" Smith. An eyewitness to the murder stated that Stenson and another man had been walking together when an argument broke out. During the argument Stenson’s companion drew a gun and shot him then ran away as Stenson doubled over.

Stenson regained his composure and drew his own gun and began to chase his assailant but dropped dead in the middle of some streetcar tracks. To add intrigue to the killing, the rumor was floated that Stenson’s murder may have been premeditated and had the ok from powerful men because, although the police denied it, a witness said that there was a cop on the corner who watched the whole thing go down but did not interfere.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

From the hit parade

It was the third of September.
That date I’ll always remember.
Cause that was the day that Moe Howard died.
It happened way back in 1930 and the facts are few
So Mama I’m depending on you to tell us the truth.

But Mama just hung her head and said,
“Moe Howard got tossed out of a car
Enough slugs in him to fill a baby food jar
They found some coca-a-aine,
perhaps that’s why he was sla-a-ain.”

Hey Mama some people say that Moe wasn’t big on thinking
Stole booze meant for somebody else’s selling and drinking.
And Mama, bad talk going around town
Saying that Moe got arrested and threatened with life so ratted on his friends
And that ain’t right.
Heard some talk about a payroll heist and Moe holding out on his gang and that they were the ones in the car when the pistols went bang.

Mama we’re depending on you to tell us the truth.

Mama looked up with a tear in her eye and said,
“Moe Howard got tossed from a car, my sons
Enough slugs in him to fill a baby food jar.
They found some coca-a-aine
Perhaps that’s why he was sla-a-ain.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The South Pole

On this date back in 1932 Walter “the Terrible Pole” Zwolinski was found on Chicago’s south side, trussed up in the back of a car with about six bullets in his noggin. Zwolinski had been a member of the Spike O’Donnell gang and a few months previous he decided that he should be running the show.

The Terrible Pole, along with two other defectors, approached Spike on the street one day and told him he was out.  But Spike saw things different.

After a handful of attempts on his life however, Spike decided a California vacation might be nice. Meanwhile Zwolinski, now allied with the McGeogehan - Quinlan gang managed to carve out a large piece of the back of the yards locale for his beer business. Yes, the Terrible Pole was doing alright, that is until he was found trussed up in the back seat of a car with six bullets in his noggin.