"He must have done something. They don't kill you for nothing." - Chicago Gangster Ted Newberry. Rubbed out January 7, 1933

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Mean to Joe Green

After a failed attempt in 1928, Albany gangsters put thirty-two year old bootlegger Joey Green out of business for good on February 19, 1933.

It was said that Green, also an Albany bad man,  hi-jacked liquor that was traveling along the "rum trail" that lead from Canada to any number of towns in northern New York. In March of 1928, he was taken for a ride and his bullet riddled body dumped on the outskirts of the state capitol. With fourteen wounds, he managed to drag himself to a farm house and rescue.

The end came just after he was released from serving ten days on a traffic violation. Green was at a soft drink parlor in the town of Glens Falls, New York. when somebody pumped two bullets into his chest.

Joey Green

Thursday, January 7, 2021

They Didn't Kill Him For Nothing

"He must have done something. They don't kill you for nothing." This was the response that Chicago gangster Ted Newberry gave to police whenever questioned about a gangland murder.

Like those he discussed before him, Newberry too went for a one-way ride; his took place on January 7, 1933.  A product of Chicago's Northside, Newberry got involved with bootlegging in the early days of Prohibition. He muscled his away into the taxi racket and was pals with fellow racketeer Eugene Red McLaughlin during the days of the taxicab wars.

As the Roaring Twenties came to an end, Newberry was allied with George Bugs Moran and his Northside gang. In fact, Newberry narrowly missed being a victim of the St. Valentine's Day massacre as he was with Moran that morning. When they saw the rival gangsters (dressed as police) enter the gangs' headquarters, they dodged into a coffee shop assuming that it was a raid.

"He must have done something."

So what did Newberry do? In the early 1930s Moran was out of the picture and Newberry was allied with Al Capone. After Capone was sent to prison however, Newberry's relationship with Frank Nitti began to fall apart, his response was to have Nitti bumped off. A raid was set up in the latter's office in December of 1932 and Nitti was shot by a cop, but survived. After a few weeks recovery, Nitti figured out who was behind the botched raid and Newberry was removed. His body was found on a lonely stretch of road in Indiana.

Ted Newberry

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Toledo Twosome


In the wee hours of December 30, 1932 26-year old Roland "Speedy" Lampert and his twenty-five year old pal Clayton Kress sat playing cards in the former's house. Lampert's wife, Minnie, also took part in the game. At 1:45 a.m. Lampert bid farewell to his wife and he and Kress left to go to their job at an alcohol cutting plant. Mrs. Lampert cleaned up and went to bed. Later in the day, police arrived at the Lampert house. Would Mrs. Lampert be able to accompany them on a twenty mile jaunt to a morgue in Monroe, Michigan to look at a couple of corpses?

Earlier that morning two teenage brothers were on their way to do some ice skating when they came up on car bearing Toledo license plates. Looking inside they saw two guys, each had his hands bound behind them and a rope around the neck. A bullet had been fired into the heads of both men as well.

Mrs. Lampert showed up at the morgue and confirmed what the police had suspected. The duo was her husband and Kress. The murders were chalked up to Toledo gangsters who killed them and then drove the car into Michigan.

Roland  Lampert             Clayton Kress

Sunday, November 29, 2020

When Gangland Gets There First

November 29, 1933 saw the demise of gangland killer and one time South Dakota sheriff, Verne Miller. A veteran of WWI, Miller became the sheriff of Huron, South Dakota but fled office with about $2800. He was captured and sent to prison where he was released after serving 18 months.

Upon his release he became involved in bootlegging and then drifted into bank robbery in the late 1920s and early 1930s. On June 17, 1933, in a botched attempt to free his friend Frank "Jelly" Nash from the FBI, Miller and two cohorts, supposedly Pretty Boy Floyds and Adam Richetti, ended up killing Nash and five of the law men with him in what is known as the Kansas City Massacre.

After the KC Massacre the FBI was determined to bring Miller in. The hottest man in the USA, Miller found himself unwelcome in the Midwest underworld. He headed east where he was friendly with New York syndicate boss Louis Lepke Buchalter. A Lepke associate named Al Silvers helped Miller with a car and some optometry equipment to use as a front as an eyeglass salesman.

Knowing the Lepke was friendly with Miller, the FBI paid the gang lord a visit and let him know that things could get hot for him if he aided Miller. On November 1, Miller escaped a shootout with the FBI but dumped his bullet riddled car. Inside the auto the FBI found the optometry equipment and were able to trace it back to Al Silvers, who went into hiding.

Lepke had a dilemma; if the FBI caught either Silvers or Miller what might they spill in an attempt at leniency? Silvers was the first to go on November 20. Lepke's boys caught up with Miller in Detroit nine days later. Liker Silvers, Miller was garroted by those he knew and probably trusted. He was then bludgeoned to death with a hammer. His naked body, like that of Silvers, was found tossed on stretch of road covered with a blanket.

Verne Miller

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Cuckoos Get Two Birds

Lester Barth and Dewey Goebel were former Cuckoo gang members who sided with Tommy Hayes when the latter split with the St. Louis gang. It is believed that the duo were responsible for the deaths of some of their former gang mates.

Like most men of their ilk, Barth and Goebel met a violent death. On November 22, 1930 both men had just exited a grocery store they visited nearly every day at the same time (a fact no doubt known to the Cuckoo gunmen in the Hudson sedan that was following them) and, after loading the groceries into Goebel's Ford couple, the duo pulled away.

As they drove along, the Hudson, containing four or five men, pulled up along side of them and three of the men, each armed with a Thompson machine-gun, opened fire.

Bullets ripped into the coupe and crashed through the rear window. The groceries exploded as bullet after bulled poured into the car. Hoping to lose their pursuers, Goeble turned onto a side street, but the gun men made the turn as well, continuing to fire their weapons. After a couple of blocks Goebel jumped the curb and came to a stop as the Hudson continued.

Witnesses approached the coupe and pulled the duo, both of whom had bullet wounds to the head, from the car. Both died later at the hospital. A search of their homes turned up a Thompson machine-gun, two pistols and ammunition in the coal bin of Barth's house.

L. Lester Barth     R. Dewey Goebel

The death car

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Price of Friendship

Around noon on November 20, 1933 the naked body of New Jersey racketeer Albert Silvers was found on a lonely stretch of road outside of Somers, Connecticut partially covered with a blanket. He had been stabbed twice in the heart with an ice pick and garroted with a sash cord and neck tie. When found, his tongue protruded from his mouth and blood still oozed from the stab wounds. 

Though an east coast racketeer, Silvers, who was a lieutenant of New York racket chief Lepke Buchalter, was murdered for his loyal friendship to a mid-westerner; South Dakota ex-sheriff Verne Miller. Miller was the hottest criminal in America during the second half of 1933 due to his orchestrating the Kansas City Massacre, which resulted in the deaths of five law enforcement officers, including an FBI agent.

Silvers helped Miller elude capture with the help of his brother who was an optometrist. The Silvers supplied Miller with a salesman's case full of optometry equipment so he could travel the country posing as a salesman. Silvers also set Miller up with an automobile.

On November 1, 1933 Miller escaped a shootout with FBI and police and they later found his shot up car with the optometry equipment. The FBI was able to trace the equipment to Silvers, who lammed it. Since Silvers was a close associate of Lepke, the syndicate leader had a decision to make. If the FBI got hold of Silvers, what might he say to get out of trouble? Men, no doubt associates of Silvers, were sent out to him, Possibly in Hartford where he was known to stay, or at a hotel in Massachusetts; no one knows for sure. Wherever they met him, they left him on that lonely road in Somers, Connecticut.

Al Silvers

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Pain In The Leg

Jimmy Cox had already lost an arm to gangster bullets. On November 8, he almost lost a leg as well. The gangster had just left a funeral home where he paid his final respects to fellow hoodlum James Darmondy who himself had survived a machine-gun attack that took the lives of two of his comrades back in 1928.

Darmondy was rubbed out on November 5, after a run in with a cop. Cox visited the funeral parlor and left at...well, I'll just let him tell the story: "I left the undertakers about midnight...and started to drive east. I had just started when a large car with three fellows in it came up the street, and one of them started firing with a machine-gun."

Three of the bullets ripped into Cox's leg but he managed to get to a hospital with the help of a friend. Though he survived this attempt, he had a date with destiny a few years later.

James Wingy Cox