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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fred Kautz heard a loud noise coming from the rooming house next door (Paper thin walls you know) at 6:20 pm on this date back in 1922 so, being a good neighbor, he went next door and told Joe Epst the rooming house keeper.

Epst went up stairs and opened the door to the room in question and there found two bodies on the floor. One belonging to burglar and Sing Sing alumnus Benny “Big Nose Mannie” Rosner and a twenty-two year old sweety named Lillian Schmidt known as “the Polish Queen”. Both had been shot through the head. The fact that a bureau had been over turned (the noise Kautz heard) and some clothes and other articles had been tossed about the room lead police to believe there was a struggle before the murders.

Oddly, though the over turning of the bureau was heard no shots were. The pistol probably had a silencer. Word went out to pick up a John Farone who was renting the room. (they didn’t find him though they found a box of shells in one of his coats) As to why the murders took place. I’m open to suggestions…

Friday, September 14, 2012


One hundred and five years ago there was a feud on between Whitey Brennan’s dock gang and that of Micky Nesty. You remember them don’t you? Of course you do. Any hoo the opposing hoodlums had previously rumbled on the East 32nd Street docks but nothing was settled.

So on this date back in ’07 (1900 that is) the ruffians met on 32nd Street between First & Second Aves and went at it again. The brouhaha brought a couple thousand spectators out of the tenements to watch the carnage. After some battling, the two gangs parted to opposite sides of the street.

As the opposing mobs were deciding on how best to carry on, someone unleashed out a shooting iron and let it bark. Another scallywag answered by pulling out his noisemaker and letting 'er rip. Bullets flew and people ran helter skelter. Two young girls were wounded in the melee as well as Micky Nesty himself who was later arrested at Bellevue whilst having a bullet wound attended too. He may or may not of had blisters on his fingers. Oh, another cat named Charlie Grimm was arrested an hour or so later when police found him with a bandaged head, because as we all know a bandaged head = gang banger.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bugs gets offed

James Donovan, known around town as Bugs, was part owner in some New Jersey breweries. A lucrative business back in 1929. Rumor has it that NYC gangster Waxey Gordon was attempting to monopolize the Jersey beer racket and couldn't work out a monetary deal with Bugs and his confederates so resorted to bulletary deal.

Donovan had a sweety in Manhattan's Chelsea district and could be found at her digs quite often. The men assigned to kill him found this out so waited outside her apartment. Eighty-three years ago tonight Bugs kissed his honey goodbye and went out to his car. As he was starting it a sedan pulled up and ... well, you know.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ars Gratia Artis

Ok, this is disturbing on many levels. Clowns are creepy enough, but knife wielding clowns who hang upside down on the flying trapeze? I suspect there will be many nightmares in the near future. Also, along the lines of the giant bats from Bataan, I'm going to go out on a trapeze wire here and say that todays detectives have it much easier then their early 20th Century brethren. When was the last time one of today's gumshoes had to fight a clown in mid air during a circus performance?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Death on the tracks

Ninety-three years ago today Michael Stenson and another man were walking together when they  suddenly started to argue. During the shouting match Stenson’s companion drew a gun and shot him. The gunman ran away as Stenson doubled over. Regaining his composure, Stenson drew his own gun and began to chase his assailant. He only made it to the middle of the street before toppling over dead between some streetcar tracks. Stenson’s murder may have been premeditated and had the ok from powerful men because, although the police denied it, a witness said that there was a cop on the corner who watched the whole thing but did not interfere.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spinning the oldies at WDGIS

It was the third of September.
That date I’ll always remember.
Cause that was the day that Moe Howard died. (No that one)
It happened way back in 1930 and the facts are few
So Mama, I’m depending on you to tell us the truth.

But Mama just hung her head and said,
“Moe Howard got tossed out of a car
Enough slugs in him to fill a baby food jar
They found some cocaine,
perhaps that’s why he was slain.”

Hey Mama some people say that Moe wasn’t big on thinking
Stole booze meant for somebody else’s selling and drinking.

And Mama, bad talk going around town
Saying that Moe got arrested and threatened with life so ratted on his friends
And that ain’t right.

Heard some talk about a payroll heist and Moe holding out on his gang and that they were the ones in the car when the pistols went bang.

Mama we’re depending on you to tell us the truth.

Mama looked up with a tear in her eye and said,
“Moe Howard got tossed from a car, my sons
Enough slugs in him to fill a baby food jar.
They found some cocaine
Perhaps that’s why he was slain.”