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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ars gratia artis

One thing we all agree on here at the DGIS Institute (and by all I mean me, everyone else just nods their head for fear of being fired) is that pulp art is the cat's pajamas. A new intern suggested that I check out the work of Norman Saunders, so I did. Great stuff. Those of you artists out there probably already know him but for the rest of us, if you like pics of dames with guns (and a host of other cool stuff). Give him a Google. His son compiled his work into a nifty book I'll have to get. If you want to check it out yourself it's up there in the the book carousel.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Standing on the corner watching all the gangsters go bye

Eighty-five years ago today, twenty-eight year old Mariano Bennedetto, who had been arrested in 1923 for a carrying a gun, strolled up to an intersection in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. He loitered about, apparently waiting for someone. A few minutes later a large sedan containing two guys pulled up. One of the guys jumped out and shot Mariano four times. Bennetto fell to the ground dead while his kiillers escaped in the excitement that followed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My way or the hallway

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Should have ordered in II

John Doyle, known as both Jocko Doyle and Jackie Doyle, was a career criminal with fourteen arrests and three convictions on his record. The three convictions were for burglary and assault with intent to kill but it was for moving into the drug trade that police believe he was put on the spot. The end came eighty years ago today, at 3:00 am, when two gunmen entered the restaurant where Jocko was dining and shot him, not once, not twice, but seven times. Hopefully they left a tip for the busboy who had to clean up the mess.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Paranoia will destroy ya

..And it goes like this, 'ere it goes-

Three fellas, Thomas Abbruzzo, Mathew Casselli and Thomas Costello, robbed a Fourth Avenue saloon and  fled to Boston with the loot. While in Bean Town some bad blood arose between Abbruzzo and Costello and the former killed the latter in front of Casselli. Minus their partner the two hoods returned to New York.

Once they were back in New York however Abbruzzo started to worry about his partner. Would he be able to keep his mouth shut about that little piece of business back in Boston? After pondering it for a while Abbruzzo decided that the best way to keep Casselli quiet was to silence him for good. So ninety-four years ago today he lured his partner to a room in mid-town Manhattan. There, he slit Casselli's throat. Abbruzzo was subsequently arrested and found guilty, not for the murder of Costello for which he was worried about, but for the slaying of Casselli which was supposed to guarantee his safety.

Friday, January 20, 2012

They just don't name them like that anymore

There used to be a saloon in the Bowery known as the “Tub of Blood” and on this night ninety-eight years ago it lived up to it’s name when five men entered and blew past the bartender and two women patrons (ah to meet a gal who would hang out at the T.O.B.) and entered the rear room. A moment later the women and bartender heard one of the men yell, “You’re a squealer! You sent him to Dannemora! (a prison in upstate NY)” the yelling was followed by a series of shots and then four of the five men came running out and fled from the saloon.

The police were summoned and in the back room was the body of Thomas Murphy age thirty-six. There was also a trail of blood leading out of the saloon so police figured some one else had been injured in the shooting. A short time after the killing a man named Michael Matera walked into the Mulberry Street Police station and said that he had been shot in the leg while exiting the subway but the police decided that he was probably the wounded guy who made a separate exit and held him for the Murphy slaying.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Should have ordered in

Mob boss Joe Bonanno tells us that todays victim, Joe Parrino, was a casualty of the Castellemmarese War.

The details of the killing are thus, eighty-one years ago today, three “hard faced men” entered a restaurant called Del Pezzo, and took a table. A half hour later Parrino arrived and sat two tables away from the trio. At approximately 6:00pm while Parrino was eating alone, one of the three men began insulting him and an argument broke out. One of the trio broke up the fight and Parrino went back to his meal. Moments later the peace-maker pulled out a .32 and began firing at the Joe. The first shot went wild, but as Parrino got up to defend himself, the second shot caught him between the eyes. He dropped to the floor and the gunman deposited two more shots into the back of his head. Mission accomplished the killer tossed the gun to the floor and, with his confederates, calmly walked out.

Parrino’s brother Sasa was also a victim of the war having been murdered the previous May 30, in Detroit with fellow gangster Gaspar Milazzo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I was a teenage Gopher

Ninety seven years ago four members of the Gopher gang waited outside of the Miner’s Eighth Avenue Theatre for a guy named Martin Sullivan to emerge from the show. Why? So they could kill him. Why? Who knows.
After the curtain dropped, Martin exited, with approximately two hundred other people and the four gunmen opened fire. They succeeded in wounding their target with two bullets in the hip and one in the thigh. The gunmen then took off running, but a couple of cops, who were nearby, managed to captured two of them (Wm. MacNamara age 16 & Henry Thompson, 17) after a running gunfight. Sullivan was taken to Bellevue Hospital but did not comment on the shooting. They rarely did.

BTW- Wm. MacNamara was released from Sing Sing just last week at the age of 113. He holds the record for serving the longest jail term in New York history. Whe asked what he thought about the dubios honor he cupped a hand to his ear and replied, "Eh?"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Legs Book

Legs Diamond: Gangster, is currently being fitted for kindle so orders through Amazon will be on hold for a short time as the gurus who turn paperbacks into ebooks can work their magic.

Don't be fooled by the other "Available Sellers" they don't have it either.

New beginnings

After a long leisurely midwinter holiday I logged on to the DGIS blog to see what the minions have been up to. It turns out nothing. A couple of days later I rushed over in earnest to find out why there have been no postings.

Turns out there was a revolt of the interns. Seems that the staff was tired of toiling away in ananim...anonimi..without recognition, while I received all the glory from the 32 followers who visit, on average, twice a week. After some careful consideration, I fired them all. Who do they think they are? Big deal, they research and write post. Who doesn't?

I will admit that I should have introduced readers to the core staff that runs the institute. Those able souls who work tirelessly to see that the Institute remains a viable research facility. So without further ado here are some of the important DGIS folks that make it possible for us to exist.

Our VP of finance: Vivian

Our Controller: Velma

Our comptroller: Verna
Events coordinator: Olga

And Mark the IT guy.