Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Monday, December 28, 2015

The Office

Philadelphia gangsters Sam Grossman and Al Skale sat in the office of their second story gambling and drinking resort the "Jewish Social Cub" located at the south east corner of Girard Avenue and Watts Street. Sam and Al were former lieutenants in Mickey Duffy's gang. Former because Mickey was rubbed out in an Atlantic City hotel the previous summer. Both Grossman and Skale had been picked up as material witnesses and were currently out on bail.

But eighty-four years ago today they were in their office at the club. Grossman sat at the desk, Skale  perched on top. They may have been divvying up the nights receipts as the former had $1000 in his hand as five armed men entered the club and headed directly for the office. Once inside the quintet played a hot number with their .38s. No encore required.

Police were pretty quick to respond. When they entered the office Grossman was keeled over the desk, that grand tight in one fist a gun in the other. His eyes were glazing over but, not wanting to take any chances, a cop knocked the gun from his hand. Skale was blown off the desk and found floundering on the floor amidst $400 in small bills and an ever increasing puddle of his own blood.
"Who shot you?", a cop asked,
"[expletive of your choosing] that. I don't know. Get me out of here."
Grossman was questioned but either couldn't or wouldn't respond.

Both men were taken to the hospital where they died a short time later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You better watch out,

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a Frankenstein* carrying a mermaid, well to me anyways. The DGIS Institute wishes everyone a Happy/Merry Holiday.

*I know technically its Frankentstein Monster but I'm not a purist.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Beware the Ides of December

T'was just about 6:00a.m., in New York City, on this date back in 1927 when Richard Lubey crossed the threshold into his apartment after a long night of managing his speakeasy. At the ripe old age of six and twenty years, Lubey had many a crime attributed to him, crimes like gun possession, robbery and counterfeiting.

Anywho-ville, his wife who slumbered in the next room, heard him enter and begin to disrobe. First his coat and then his vest. But before anymore articles of clothing could be removed there was a rapping, some might say a gentle tapping, a tapping at the apartment door. "Tis some gangster," Lubey muttered, "tapping at my apartment door. Only this and nothing more."

Mrs. Lubey heard him answer the door but paid no attention to the conversation he had with the early morning visitor.
Ah, but she would henceforth remember/what happened next in that bleak December/ when from the underworld came forth a member/ come to settle a bootlegging score.
A bullet lodged above her bed/ which first passed through her husband's head/ her husband who now lay dead, dead upon the foyer floor.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dear Sir or Madam....

The paperback version of my new book - Hollywood on the Spot: Crimes Against the Early Movie Stars is now available on Amazon.
Remember you heard it here first!

Pulpy goodness

"Ok, ok, you don't look like Leo Gorcey!!!"

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Two dead guys and a partridge in a pear tree

Was on this morning in 1928 when some early birds came to an intersection in Chicago Heights and found...a magic hat which they placed on a snowman who miraculously came to life...just kidding, it wasn't a magic hat they found but a dead body with four bullets in the head and neck.

Now I feel bad.

Here you were thinking you were going to be treated to a nice holiday story and I talk about dead gangsters...let's try again shall we? While Chicagoans were trying to figure out who was blocking their intersection on this date back in 1928, about four hundred miles away in Mount Clemens, Michigan, a trucker was hauling produce to Detroit when something off to the side of the road caught his eye. He put on the breaks. Jumping to the road he ran up and found a magic hat. He put it on the nearest snowman who then began to dance around....ok, I lied again. He didn't find a hat it was dead gangster who had been shot and then his body lit on fire.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Unlucky Luciano

Eighty-five years ago last night Nick Luciano, called “Cheeks” because of a long scar on the right side of his face, was invited to a small dinner party at a “grimy” lower Eastside restaurant. After nearly a year of seclusion in Bayonne, NJ Luciano gladly accepted the invitation. You see, the reason Nick was in Jersey was because he squealed on some former gun toters he palled around with which ended up with them going to the chair. These guys had friends and Nick knew they weren't going to let bygones be bygones.

     So into New York Nick went. The party, consisting of four other men and three women, was going well and all seemed to be having a good time when at 4:00am the next morning an undetermined number of men entered the restaurant and made their way to the back room where Luciano and his cohorts were having their fun. The men approached the party and pulled out pistols. Knowing Luciano’s history, the men and women who were a moment before partying with him all quickly vacated the premises and left “Cheeks” to his fate. Once they had him isolated the gunmen opened up and perforated Nick with twenty bullets.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Coming soon...



Hollywood On The Spot: Crimes Against the Early Movie Stars. The lives of Hollywood’s early movie stars have become the stuff of legend; the glitz and the glamour, the conspicuous consumption, the never ending carousel of parties and premieres. Rarely discussed is the dark side of their stardom; the constant fear that at any time they could become victims of gunmen, kidnappers, or extortionists. In these pages are the stories that normally get left out of the Hollywood history books: the armed robberies, home invasions and the threats of abduction, maiming, and murder that plagued Tinseltown throughout the early years. Whether it was “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford or sex siren Mae West – no star was immune. Hollywood on the Spot brings to light the nightmares inside the Dream Factory.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

They can't all have a story

Let us remember John Cody, said to be a member of St. Louis' Cuckoo gang, who was found in a ditch on this date back in 1927. What he did or didn't do to end up in a ditch on the outskirts of town wasn't stated. We here at DGIS offer a few motives.
1) Gang warfare
2) Internecine gang warfare
3) Highjacking booze
4) Somehow wronging some other underworld figure
5) Stating that "Al Jolson really sings!" in the Jazz Singer without first saying, "Spoiler alert."