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

Monday, June 29, 2015

No parlay for Parlow

At 4:30am on this date back in 1929 Mrs. Albert Parlow, of Point Place, Ohio (a suburb of Toledo) received a phone call. "Hurry over to the Riverview Inn," the anonymous caller said, "Your husband has been injured." Mrs. Parlow in turn, called two of her husband's friends, picked them up, and together they drove to the Riverview.

When the trio arrived they found the front door of the inn wide open. Inside were signs that a terrific fight took place, the most obvious indication that there had been trouble was her husband's corpse on the floor with a bullet in the back of the head. Police decided that Albert, aka "Dago Holly", known as a bootlegger and gambler, was killed due to a liquor feud... or was it over money... or a private matter with a business associate...or....

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The big one that didn't get away

Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and a finder of dead guys. I think that's how it goes. Well anyways, that's how it went for a couple of Ohio fisherman who were going to get an early start eighty-four years ago today.

In the Cleveland suburb of Moreland Hills the previously mentioned anglers were driving along River Road at about 2:00am when their head lights shone on the body of one Jack "Kibby" Langman. Kibby had been tossed into the road a few minutes earlier with two bullets in the back of his head.

According to police Kibby was a "gunman, gambler and a gangster member of a notorious east side mob". An Associate of his murdered a local council man and police thought that maybe Kibby was taken for a ride  because the killer was afraid he was gonna do a little singing that might cook a few more gooses. Another theory was that he had moved from gambling into bootlegging.  So take your pick.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Chicago double

Was on this date in the summer of 1928 that Joe Salamone and John Oliveri were put on the spot in Chicago's Little Italy. According to police, Salamone and Oliveri were bootleggers who were enemies of the Aiello brothers but joined with them when they believed that the Aiellos were going topple Al Capone. After some time passed Salamone and Oliveri switched allegiance to Big Al & Co. and it was because of this that they were rubbed out. So said the police.

What IS known is that the duo had just stepped out of a market and headed towards Salamone's car. As Salamone climbed behind the wheel a guy, we'll call him "Decoy", came up and engaged the duo in conversation. During the short chat two other guys, we'll call them "the shotgun twins" stepped out of a nearby doorway. Decoy took a few steps back and the guns went off. Salamone fell over dead as Oliveri, wounded, made a run for it but another quick blast brought him down.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Crayola color - On the Spot Yellow

Tony Greco was visiting his cousin, Mrs. Perconti, in Gary, Indiana on this evening in 1931. Mr. Perconti was not there having been taken for a ride a year and half previously. According to the press the late Mr. Perconti was one of the top bootleggers of Gary, Indiana and Tony was his body guard.

After his visit, Tony stepped out on to the porch and into two shotgun blasts fired from the basement window of the vacant house across the street. Some of the pellets missed Tony and hit Mrs. Perconti, seriously wounding her.

While inspecting the crime scene police noticed that someone had drawn a cross on Mrs. Perconti's door with a yellow crayon. Across the street there was also a yellow cross drawn on the window that the gunmen fired from, leading police to believe that the killers were out-of-towners brought in for the job. They were definitely good shots.

Friday, June 12, 2015

St. Louis Jones and the bundle of doom

At around five a.m on this date in 1927 T.P. McCarthy was traveling along the Collinsville Rd. in East St. Louis. When he was a block north of the terminal railroad tracks he saw a dark object about three feet off the road. Being of a curious nature McCarthy pulled over and went to investigate. Guess what the "bundle" was?

If you guessed St. Louis gangster Michael Jones aka Mickey Joe Morris you win. Jones, we are told, was well known by the St. Louis police having been arrested fifty-three times in a few short years. Jones had been shot four times in the head after being conked over said noggin with some heavy instrument. Police say he was killed elsewhere and dumped.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

DGIS in Cincinnati

Back when the 1920s were roaring George “Fat” Wrassman was a big wheel in the Cincinnati underworld, as well as that in nearby Hamilton, in fact some said he was the biggest wheel of Southern Ohio. Like most wheels of any respectable size he was able to beat a number of raps over the years, including murder. “It was self-defense your Honor, honest. Cross my heart, hope to die squirt some seltzer in my eye.” 
Well as the mobsters would have it, a handful of gangland killings took place in the spring of 1929, out around the rural areas of Butler County where people liked to take it easy in a cabin, you know, fish, swim, relax and oh yeah, drink at night in the many roadhouses.
Anyways, detectives wanted to talk to Wrassman about the recent uptick in dead guys in suits in the vicinity but Wrassman didn’t want to be talked to, savvy? Thus, the authorities had to go looking for him. It was on the night of June 10, that detective Joe Schaefer and his partner Walter Fricke were cruising downtown Cinncy and they saw Wrassman’s car parked. The detectives took to the streets in search of the rotund gangster. Fricke perched himself in a doorway while Schaefer loitered across the street. A handful of minutes into the new day, Schaefer was getting ready to call it quits when he heard someone holler, “I’m going to kill you, you dirty--”* It was Wrassman and he saw Schaefer before the detective saw him. The gangster pulled his pistol and fired off two shots, both of which missed. Schaefer un-holstered his piece and fired off five shots all of which hit.  Wrassman collapsed muttering, “Joe, you got me at last.” Then he said no more, forever.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

One out of four

In 1930 there was a wee bit of a gang warfare going on in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn between the established hoodlumarchy of the Shapiro brothers, Meyer and Irving, and the upstarts Abe Reles, Buggsy Goldstein, Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss and the rest of their click which included their counterparts of neighboring Ocean Hill (the two gangs united under the moniker of the Combination)

Eighty-five years ago on this date Reles, Goldstein and  two other guys named George DeFeo and Joe Ambrosia stopped into a candy store to pick up the profits of a slot machine.

While the quartet was in the store a Shapiro man crept up to their car and slit the rear driver's side tire. When the gangsters reappeared Reles began to change the tire while his associates loitered about. Moments later a car drove by and a Thompson machine-gun spat fiery death as the pulps might say. All four gangsters took a dose of lead but it was DeFeo who got the worst of it with bullets in the heart and head. Reles, Goldstein and Ambrosia lived to fight another day but DeFeo was done.

The full story on the Shapiro/Combination's battle for Brownsville can be found in Gangster City.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Surgeon General's Warning: Smoking can be harmful to gangsters

Cigarette in hand, Chicago racketeer Aloysius Kearney, was walking along South Troy Street on this date back in 1930 after a hard day/night of making collections from area garage owners. Yes, there was a garage racket officially known as the National Association of Garage Owners. (Other than not getting bombed or shot, I wonder what the garage owners got for their dues?) Anyways, as Aloysius made his way along the sidewalk a car pulled up and a number of shots rang out. Five of which hit Kearny in the chest and one in the head. With cigarette still clenched in his hand,  Aloysius crumbled to the ground dead.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A good gangster is always prepared for the worst

Alberto Ricci, or Al Ritchie, as he was popularly known, was an underworld big shot in the region of Olean, New York and Bradford, Pennsylvania. It was in the latter that he was rubbed out on this date in 1931. 
Al was known to have a loose tongue around cops when it came to his rivals. And we all know what happens to squealers right? No? Keep reading then.

Al was sitting behind the wheel of his car chatting with one of his minions, Tony Maccio, when, “A big fellow pushed right up, stuck a gun in the car and started firing.” Three shots slammed into Ritchie’s head and a fourth went into his shoulder. Maccio turned away from the blasts and received two bullets in the back after they had passed through his boss.
After the gunman fled, Ritchie miraculously stepped from his car. Maccio too clamored out and collapsed on the sidewalk. Ritchie was able to walk to the ambulance that arrived shortly but died a few hours later. Maccio would succumb to his wounds in the coming weeks.
Al, who knew he was on the spot, was laid to rest in a bronze coffin he had picked out for himself just a few weeks previously. While paying his last respects to one of his guys, who was also sent the way of all gangster flesh, he told the mortuary proprietor that he might as well pick out a box for himself since it was only a matter of time.
Oh, and by the way, the “Big Fellow” who did the shootin’ would prove to be one Antonio Lorenzo Demaio aka Tony Lorenzo. Maccio, like his boss, had no problem spilling to cops. Tony Lorenzo claimed self-defense.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Waxey loses a couple of guys

On this date in 1933 beer mogul Waxy Gordon was sitting safely in jail waiting for his income tax trial to commence while members of his gang were being thinned out by the Bug & Meyer mob. In the early morning hours this day, a car was found in the Bronx containing the body of Abe Durst, a forty- year old associate of the gang leader and later on this night across the river in Passaic, New Jersey, just as patrons were exiting a local theater, a sedan drove down the street and a burst of machine gun fire left Charles Brady, said to be a Gordon associate, dead on the sidewalk. Ah, the good old days when you could go to the local movie palace and see a gangster picture then walk outside and see an actual gangster get sprayed with a tommy gun.