On March 14, 1930 twenty-nine year old William "Baron" Simpson was added to the list of murder victims in Brooklyn's White Hand* territory when his body was found in an alleyway leading from Furman Street to pier 16 on the East River. Someone had come up behind him and placed a .38 to the back of his head and pulled the trigger. Although the murder took place at around noon next to a tin can factory with two hundred employees that were on lunch break there were no witnesses.
was the boss of a small group of dock workers and had a reputation as a
fierce street fighter. According to his brother, "Whitie" Simpson,
"Baron" had gotten into an argument with three men at a near by pier
about an hour before the murder. The argument turned into a fistfight
and "Baron" proceeded to savagely beat all three men until they ran
away. Simpson was last seen, alone, turning into the alleyway in which
he was found a short time later.
Even with the story about the fight
with the three men, police stated that they believed that Simpson was
another in the long line of Irish thugs murdered in the unending battle
for leadership of the dock rackets.