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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bye bye brother Tom

Ninety-two years ago today Tom Flanagan, one of the four fierce Flanagans - a quartet of gun wielding law breaking brothers- gave up the ghost after somebody pumped a bullet into his chest at Yumpsy Cunningham's saloon. His pals, being the good guys that they were, placed him in a cab and sent him to his fathers apartment. Pop Flanagan, being of sounder mind thought that a hospital would probably be a better place. He fetched a cop who saw that Tom made it to Bellevue without further ado.

Inside the hospital Tom was questioned about the shooting but, having memorized the Official Rules of the Underworld Volumes I-IV, he refused to say anything about it and passed out of this life at the ripe old age of thirty.

Now, don't go confusing Tom with his little brother Joe who followed his brother to an early grave in 1929.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Even gunmen make mistakes

Eighty-seven years ago today Henry Keller stepped out of a store on Chicago's South Street. He pulled up his collar around his face and braced himself for the cold. Little did Henry know the weather wasn't his only problem. After a few steps a shot rang out and Henry fell to the street with a slight wound to his leg. He looked up and saw a man and woman, an attractive woman at that, standing over him. A smoking gun was in the man's hand...

Was Henry about to get the coup de' grace?
Had Henry double crossed this duo?
Was yet another Chicago hoodlum going to make the front pages for being the victim of a grisly murder?

At this time we would like to inform the reader that Henry Keller was in no way involved with the Chicago underworld, in fact Henry was a night watchman.

As Henry lay on the sidewalk with a bullet wound to the leg looking up at those who had shot him the woman took a closer look at Henry.

"My goodness, that isn't the man!" She blurted out.
"Excuse us." Said the gunman as he and the woman ran off.


We here at the DGIS Institute realize you probably made the trip here to read about a DGIS and to show our appreciation would like to mention that on the same day that Henry Keller received his wound, Chicago police did find a"Well dressed man" with a bullet in his head just outside of town on the road to Bensonville. Because of his fancy clothes and the fact that he had a nice bankroll on him  police believed he, unlike Henry Keller, was probably an underworld sort.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Purples lose two

On this night way back in 1933 Abe Axler and Eddie Fletcher, the "Siamese Twins", of Detroit's Purple gang were found in the back of a sedan in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Both had been riddled with bullets. The "Siamese Twins" label came from the fact that they were always together, both were originally from Brooklyn and made there way to Detroit in the early 1920s where their talents with the gun helped them rise in the ranks as well as earn the titles of Detroit's Public Enemies #1 & #2. (Mommas Axler and Fletcher must have been quite proud.)

As Prohibition was coming to an end so to was Abe's and Eddie's use to the gang. They spent their last night together (naturally) drinking with a couple of other guys, supposedly fellow Purples, leading to the thought they may have been killed by their own gang. The killers were softies, after the deed they clasped one of Abe's hands with one of Eddie's. Together in death as well as life.

Eddie & Abe

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dead Men Write No Tales deux

Eighty-two years ago this evening Francis Fabrizzio sat in the Brooklyn apartment of his parents. In addition to a couple of siblings was a lawyer who was helping Francis out with a literary project. You see, Mr. Fabrizzio was a life long bad guy. Two of his younger brothers were both killed by gangster guns and Francis decided the best way to get back at the underworld was to expose them and so, to that end, he wrote a book.
    As the Fabrizzio family dined, the lawyer punched the typewriter transcribing Francis' memoir.  After a bit there was a knock at the door. The senior Mr. Fabrizzio answered. Three guys flipped some badges and said they wanted to talk to his son. Frances was summoned and asked to step into the hallway. If you guessed that the trio weren't really detectives good for you. Moments after Frances entered the hall the family heard four shots. Mr. and Mrs. Fabrizzio rushed to find their third son claimed by the gun....oh, the manuscript? Coppers took it, evidence you know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pulpy goodness

Death was eventually disqualified and barred from racing for making opponents burst into flames. His dreams of being a famous jockey dashed, Mr. Reaper went back to harvesting souls. He also made a passive income as a bee keeper.

Can only wonder what is happening down the track as the spectator and the cop seem to care less about the spectacle in front of them...and yes that is the do-nothing Phantom Detective passively looking on as usual.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Baby Joe has left and gone away, hey hey hey

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the passing of "Baby" Joe Flanagan. The youngest of New York City's the "Four Fierce Flanagan's ", Joe was the second brother to die by the gun. Brother Tom preceded him by seven years.
      It was Sunday when Joe was eliminated from the underworld and it was a churchgoer who found him. As the pious one was leaving his apartment he saw Joe lying in the hallway and thought he was sleeping off a drunk. When the man returned after the services the “drunk” was still there so the man took a closer look and realized that the “drunk” was in fact quite dead.
     Not quite sure why the dumped Joe in a hallway but then again not quite sure why a lot of these guys did what they did.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dead men write no tales

On this date back in 1930 New York gangster Frank Calibrese and his cohorts were involved in a shooting with rivals. Frank was hit by five shots, one of which smashed into his mouth and cut off his tongue. His partners loaded him into their car and drove him to the house of one of Frank’s distant relatives, Dr. Edward Caselnova. Realizing he couldn't do much for him the doctor brought Frank to the hospital where police questioned him. Since he was missing part of his tongue Frank could only communicate with pencil and paper. In response to police questions Frank wrote down his name, address and the location where he was shot. Then he died.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cohen may have been Lucky, Rich, not so much

On this date back in 1932 gangster Richard Fishman, said to have three notches on his shooting iron, was standing in the front parlor of Lucky Cohen's Chicago gambling joint, which doubled as a cigar store. Just as regular joe Jack Magdal entered, to either buy a cigar or gamble, a burst of machine-gun fire spat forth and Fishman dropped dead Magdal fell with a bullet in the arm. I suspect his stogie was on the house.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Extra! Extra!! Read all about it!!!!


The DGIS Institute is pleased to report that long time crime blogger/author John DuMond has published a true crime short on the 1945 Eastern State Prison break. Mr. DuMond is a top notch researcher, writer and all around swell guy. He comments regularly here and has even treated us to a post in the past.

Under The Wall is a fun, quick read. If you enjoy true, vintage crime stories this is for you. It is currently available on Amazon and Smashwords and will be coming soon to Kobo, Apple, B&N etc.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Luck was no lady to Harry

Ah, the carefree life of a gambler. All you need is a suitcase and a trunk and in the case of Chicago gambler, Harry Teuber, eyes in the back of the head would have come in handy. For it was eighty-one years ago today that Harry was seated at a table in a barbershop getting a manicure. While a young lady polished his digits another, named Annette, who polished other parts of Harry, waited in a barber's chair.

Through the back door of the barber shop crept a man with gun and a grudge, or, possibly just orders from above to remove Harry from Chicago's underworld. He came up through the rear of the shop, stuck a pistol through a partition and fired four shots into Harry's head. Slump went Harry across the table. The manicurist jumped up horrified, Harry's girlfriend jumped up and skedaddled. The gunman escaped out the back.

Harry's wife identified him at the morgue. Police found the apartment he shared with Annette and there they learned that her father worked at the upscale gambling joint the 225 Club. The owner of which went the way of Harry the previous month. That seemed to be enough for the cops to chalk the murder up to "gamblers feud".

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Paul is Dead

Paul Robinson was a Los Angeles gangster, whom police believed was involved in some sort of  gangland feud. This belief stemmed from the fact that Robinson's bullet riddled corpse was found in a recently dug ditch near a San Mateo golf course.

Police determined that Robinson had been killed in San Francisco and his body taken to the golf course and dropped into the ditch. (I suspect a "hole in one" joke is applicable here so if you have one, by all means leave it in the comments) After Robinson's body was deposited his slayers fired ten more shots into him. The dead man's auto was then parked near San Francisco's Presidio district and set on fire.