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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hooray for Hollywood!

Eighty-three years ago today Hollywood actress Aileeen Pringle was entertaining MGM publicity honcho Howard Dietz at her house when four masked gunmen invaded. Pringle and Dietz were bound and gagged for a few hours while the robbers ransacked the house.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Needed eyes in the back of his head

Twenty-five year old Joseph Amastasi was well known in Harlem’s Little Italy, as a“liberal spender whose source of income was unknown”. At 11:00 P.M., eighty-five years ago tonight, two employees of a coal company heard a couple of shots and went to investigate. They found Amastasi dead with two bullets in his back. Since his source of deep pockets was a mystery its impossible to say for sure what Amastasi was involved in but apparently it involved guys who had no qualms about killing.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Meet John Doe

Four score and six years ago this very day three fellers sat in a sedan. Passing pedestrians paid them no mind until three shots rang out and then all eyes turned to the car as two men jumped out and high tailed it away. Left inside was a man with two bullets in his person.

Cops arrived on the scene and found that the man was still alive. He was rushed to the hospital where he gave the name John Doe. He said no more and passed out of this life. Since he refused to talk, the police were forced to turn to his finger prints. Never ones to withstand a police interrogation, the prints had absolutely no trouble divulging his true identity.

According to the ink stained digits the deceased was forty year old Nate Gordon, a life long criminal with a record spanning back to 1905. During his midnight rambler phase he was arrested for grand larceny and sent to Elmira. Periodic arrest and prison terms followed over the following quarter century.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hey kids, why don't you stay inside where it's safe...never mind

Eighty-four years ago today in Harlem, a group of children came face to face with gangland when they encountered twenty-four year old Anthony Sancione in the hall way of a tenement with two bullets in his head. The kids fetched a policeman who found that Anthony was still alive. An ambulance was called but the wounded man died en-route to the hospital. His record showed that he had been arrested numerous times but never convicted.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Miami Vice

107-years ago today Pasquale Miami, said to be a “barber”, was walking down the street when a man stepped out of a doorway and shot him. A beat cop who was nearby gave chase but the gunman ran into a tenement and escaped over the roof tops.
     Miami was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where he died half an hour later. His body was identified by his friend Nicola Giaroffa who stated that the two men had been in the States for three years and that Miami had been involved in an Italian feud for the six months leading up to his death.

Lt. Petrosino

After viewing the body, America's first mafia busting cop, Lt. Petrosino of the NYPD Italian Squad stated that Miami (which wasn’t his real name. His real name wasn’t given) was one of the leading Black Hand agents in the city. Police felt this was bore out when twenty-five men came to the morgue to view the dead man and almost half of them raised their hands and vowed to avenge his murder.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Loose lips sinks snitch

With information provided by a snitch named Joseph Randazzo police raided an apartment and arrested a drug dealer named James Di Lorenzo who was said to be the top cocaine dealer in the city. Also arrested was Di Lorenzo’s brother in-law John Gravino who had a history of selling opium. Di Lorenzo was released on bail. Coincidentally 102 years ago today Randazzo was found in an east side saloon with twenty-two stab wounds. Actually, police didn't feel that it was a coincidence.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Frankie Goes to City Morgue

Frank Shaeffer (also known as Grey) and Dave Bacharach were standing near a Westside bar at 2:00am on this date back in 1934 when a taxi-cab brimming with gunmen pulled up and opened fire. Wanting to continue this mortal life, Frank and Dave took off running.

Bystanders dove to the ground and jumped into doorways as the cab followed Frank and Dave
with the gunmen still blazing away. After a brief chase some bullets came to rest in Frank and he pitched forward on the sidewalk and lay still while Dave kept running. With Shaeffer down the taxi took off and disappeared into the Broadway traffic.

When the coast was clear people came out of their hiding spots and crowds began to pour out of the nearby restaurants, nightclubs and other buildings. They gathered around Shaeffer and rolled him over. It appeared to them that he fell down and cut his head and was unconscious. An ambulance was called and the doctor who arrived with it informed them that what they thought was a cut was actually a bullet wound and that the man was in fact dead. Further examination showed that he had been hit under the left armpit as well.

Meanwhile Dave, who had took a superficial wound to the chest walked to the hospital for treatment. The police were notified and took the wounded man into custody and at first he said that he was a Bronx real estate man and he didn't even know that he’d been shot until he undid his coat to get a nickel for a newspaper and found blood. After more questioning however, he broke down, identified himself then clammed up.

What Shaeffer was involved with at the end is unknown but when killed he was “shabbily dressed” and only had a few dollars on him. He had a record of fourteen arrests and five convictions and was known to the police as a forger and mail thief who in 1921 was sentenced to the Atlanta Penitentiary. In 1923 he gained a bit of notoriety when he managed to escape from there with the infamous robber Gerald Chapman.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Chanel No. 5 meets Caliber 45.

After a short New Year’s respite the gangsters of New York got back to the business of killing each other. By all accounts Frank Macaluso was an upstanding member of society, he was President of the Columbia Republican Club and owned his own perfume business, but according to the police, he was also a bootlegger,(police felt that his perfume shop doubled as a alcohol drop) and it was the latter profession that probably cost him his life.
On this date back in 1932 Pietro Vello, the janitor at the Columbia Republican Club, was preparing to lock up the club for the night when Macaluso stepped outside into the cold without bothering to put on his overcoat. Since he exited sans coat he was probably going to briefly meet with someone. But a double cross lay in wait. A few moments later the perfume entrepreneur staggered into the pool hall next door, dropped himself into a chair, and whispered to the owner, “Get me a cab. I’m shot.” Detectives quickly arrived on the scene, commandeered a taxi and rushed Macaluso to the hospital where he died a few minutes later of a bullet wound in the back. Who shot him and why remains a mystery.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

From the never aired final episode of Gilligan's Island

"Mary Ann is mine Skipper!"
"Over my dead body Little Buddy!"

Friday, January 1, 2016

A short new year for Larry Fay

1933 lasted all of twenty and a half hours for Larry Fay, who was designated New York City's Public Enemy #3, I think it was #3, let me check my book Gangster City...yes there it is pg. 258 Public Enemy #3. Anyways by the end of 1932 Larry was part owner in a night club called the Casa Blanca (he seemed to have a thing for Spanish names, a previous club was called the El Fay) Like a lot of business' during the Depression the Casa Blanca saw some financial hardships and on New Year's Eve Fay informed the staff that they would be receiving a 30% pay cut (Happy New Year!). This didn't sit well with one of the club's doormen who spent the first day of 1933 drinking and being angry. After stewing for a number of hours the doorman did what a number of angry Americans do when they are mad at their employer. He returned that evening with a gun. He confronted Fay in the lobby of the club and demanded some money. Fay, a reported nice guy and easy touch, was going to comply but before he had a chance to do so, Mr. Drunk Angry Guy pulled his pistol and shot his boss a number of times killing him.