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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mob justice

Seventy-six years ago today Benny Holinksy, Frank Dolak and Fred Miller went for a drive in the Bronx. The trio were flush with cash as they were part of a kidnap gang that had recently ransomed a bookie named Bart Salvo.

Unbeknownst to the gang who believed that Salvo was a lone wolf operator, the victim was in fact connected with the mob and it wasn't long before Salvo's benefactors were looking for vengeance.

After a bit driving Holinksy, who was at the wheel, mentioned that they were being tailed. What he assumed was a car full of detectives was actually gunmen out to get them. He pulled over to see if the were indeed being followed. Seizing the opportunity the mob guys pulled up and in a flash they were running up to the car with guns drawn. Miller, who was riding shotgun, saw what was happening right away and rolled out of his side of the car and ran away as one of the gunmen fired a number of shots in his direction.

Holinksy and Dolak had no such luck. Trapped in the car, they covered themselves the best they could as two gunmen pumped bullet after bullet into them. They died a short time later in the hospital. If you want to read the full story of the kidnapping and what happened to the rest of the gang pick up a copy of Bad Seeds in the Big Apple.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In Memoriam

They wore capes, they entertained, they each died on this date. The DGIS institute remembers E & Bela.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stomping in the Boneyard

On this date back in 1919 a number of some patrolmen heard shots coming from a vacant lot that was previously part of a cemetery. When they arrived they found 28-year old Tony Santino lying on the ground with five holes in his person.

Tony gave a brief description of his killers and then joined whatever ghost remained in the area from the graveyard days. Down at the morgue they took Tony's finger prints and found him in the rogues gallery under the name of Tony Contino and ex-convict who served a term in Elmira for robbery.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Birthday Boy

You lucky dogs, guest post today from Dutch Schultz biographer Alana Atterbury

Today would have been the 110th birthday of the mobster known to his mother as Arthur Flegenheimer, but in the underworld hall of fame he is best remembered under his adopted moniker Dutch Schultz.

Like many of his contemporaries, Schultz was the son of immigrants who came to this land looking for a better life. And also like his contemporaries, he didn't settle on a profession that guaranteed a pension and a retirement party at the end of a 30-year career. Instead, by his late twenties, he had assumed the title of mob boss and was raking in millions of dollars a year in the beer business, the policy racket, restaurant shakedowns and a bail bond racket to name a few of the achievements dotting his resume.

It wasn't easy being the Dutchman, as is learned by a succession of highly publicized events, from former underlings gunning after him all over town (led by the trigger happy youth Vincent Coll), a deadly misunderstanding with two men sitting on a park bench (who knew they were cops?) to Uncle Sam knocking on the door and saying, "You owe me my money, even if it was made illegally."

How did it all pay off?

Well on October 23, 1935 his fellow contemporaries gave him an early retirement party in Newark's Palace Chop House. The going away gift? A rusty bullet. All this roughly two months after celebrating his 34th birthday with a not guilty verdict in an income tax evasion case. All because he wanted to knock off a nosey Special Prosecutor named Tom Dewey.

You will be able to read more about the drama and escapades in the life of Mr. Flegenheimer in the bio I am presently working on about the man. It'll be coming your way real soon!

Thank you Alana! Looking forward to it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Coffee can be bad for you

Ninety years ago today Frank Lorrella (probably an alias) was the victim of a one-way park. A one-way park is sort of like a one-way ride but the car isn't moving.

Anyways it went down like this: Frank pulled up to a deli and ran in for a sandwich and coffee. He returned to his car with the chow and released the break. Before he could pull out however a "Squat, swarthy man" appeared and opened fire with a .25 automatic pistol.

The first shot missed and Frank ducked down. Pedestrians ran helter-skelter as the gunman cooly approached Frank's car and pumped three bullets into him. Frank died on an empty stomach.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wonder if there was a second date?

Out of the "Wow, imagine that! file comes this -

Ninety-nine years ago today one Arbin Barber sat in an ice-cream parlor with a Mrs. Miller. Where was Mr. Miller? Who knows. Perhaps the two were merely friends or perhaps...

Anyways it seems that Arbin ordered some ice-cream for Mrs. Miller. The refreshment was delivered but the demure Mrs. Miller decided that she didn't want any.

Of course you do, eat some.

No, thank you.

Come now, it is hot, have some of this ice cream that I purchased for you.

No really, I've changed my mind.

It's melting, and there are no refunds.

Arbin, dear, it is only ice cream.

But I paid good money for it.

Arbin dear, you're scaring me.

East the god damn ice cream.

Arbin, what are you doing?

Angered by Mrs. Miller's refusal to eat the ice cream, Arbin pulled out his pistol and fired at Mrs. Miller's head. Fortunately his aim was a little off and Mrs. Miller spent the rest of her life minus a piece of ear.

Arbin made a run for it but was captured a few hours later.