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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Going a round with the Mad Hatter

Hey, you look like you could use something to read. Lucky you, here's an interesting piece on the Albert Anastasia murder.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How've you been?

Greetings one and all, it's been awhile since the last post but that should be changing. I'll now be posting some stuff here along with some other historical crime folk, more bang for clicking buck, so please come by and and check us out!
Thanks for stopping by. Here's a pic of Murder Inc. victim John "Spider" Murtha.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Read all about it!

I have a new Kindle short out:

Following the murders of a dance hall girl and police officer in the spring of 1931; nineteen-year old punk Francis "Two Gun" Crowley became the most wanted man in New York City. Traced to a fifth floor apartment on the Upper Westside, his capture would become one of the most dramatic confrontations in police history.

As thousands of New Yorkers gawked and newsreel cameras recorded the event from the streets below, Crowley shot it out with dozens of law enforcement officers. Him, running window to window banging away with his pistols and the police raking his apartment with rifle, shotgun and machine-gun fire before a final assault and surrender.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

And the winner is...neither

Was on this date in 1927, it was, when Timothy Looman (a citizen of no-goodness) was walking on the lower West side. Approaching from the opposite direction was Thomas O’Brien, (another citizen of non-upwardness). When the two men were about thirty feet away from each other, each pulled out a roscoe and started blasting away at each other in true old west fashion.

Witness’s said up to thirty shots were fired, (but who can trust them, really?) and then Looman collapsed on the corner (not unlike Rocky Raccoon who collapsed "in" the corner) but before dropping dead he managed to hit O'Brien. Severely wounded, O’Brien tried to run away but only got as far as the St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church, before crumpling to the sidewalk in true Hollywood fashion. A Monsignor and a priest (who bore striking resemblances to Pat O'Brien and Bing Crosby were the first ones to reach O’Brien and after viewing his wounds, administered the last rights, which was good cause he died the following day.

Monday, April 11, 2016

All in a Days Work

One hundred and two years ago today, at 5:30p.m., officer Hughes was standing on the corner of 116th and First Ave.when a woman came up to him and said a gang had just stolen her purse. Hughes followed her back and she identified one of the gang -Louis Pietro- as one of those who had robbed her so Hughes grabbed him.

Within a couple of moments Pietro's confederates started pelting Hughes with rocks and anything else that could be used for a missile. Pietro's gang mates then attacked the officer and, taking his nightstick,  freed their pal who took off running into a six story tenement.

Hughes pulled away from the mob and chased Pietro up the six flights to the roof and caught him just as he was trying to jump onto a fire escape. A good old fashioned Hollywood type brawl ensued as cop and robber duked it out on the roof. Each one getting the better of the other. After a bit Hughes finally subdued Pietro and dragged him down the six flights of stairs. Back on the street Pietro's boys once again started to pelt the officer with bricks & whatnot. (whatnots really hurt by the way)

Having enough Hughes pushed Pietro up against the wall, pulled out his pistol and held the other gang members at bay. Fortunately during the melee somebody in the neighborhood called the police and soon the gong of a paddy wagon could be heard approaching.

One of the gang members slipped out of the crowd and pushed the stolen purse back into the original owner's hands and everyone took off, save Pietro who was taken to the station.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Harlem Shuffle

On this date in 1931, Andrew D'Amato,the twenty-four year old proprietor of The Bible Club, a Harlem speakeasy, was put on the spot.
Three bullets had been fired into his skull and then a tablecloth was wrapped around his head to prevent a bloody mess. His body was then loaded into a car, driven outside of the city and tossed out near Mt. Vernon where a passing milkman found him early in the morning.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Clang clang clang went the trolley, bang bang bang went the gun

Ninety-nine years ago today, Mafia man Joseph "Joe Chuck" Nazzaro was lured to Yonkers by his "friends" under the pretext of killing one of their own. This was a lie however because Navarro was the one on the spot. The four men were seen walking down the street at 10:00pm when the supposed victim complained of a stomach ache and fell behind. When he was in the rear he pulled out a pistol and fired into Nazzaro's back. The remaining gangsters took out their guns and fired into the doomed hoodlum as well. In an attempt to obliterate his identity the killers dragged the dead man onto some street car tracks. A car came along and ran Nazzaro over and dragged him for about a hundred feet. Although he was badly mangled (it took a crew about a half hour to remove "Joe Chuck" from the front of the car) his finger prints were still intact and he was properly indentified.

For more on Joe Chuck and his pals check out Gangster City

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Dead Baron

On March 14, 1930 twenty-nine year old William "Baron" Simpson was added to the list of murder victims in Brooklyn's White Hand* territory when his body was found in an alleyway leading from Furman Street to pier 16 on the East River. Someone had come up behind him and placed a .38 to the back of his head and pulled the trigger. Although the murder took place at around noon next to a tin can factory with two hundred employees that were on lunch break there were no witnesses.
"Baron" was the boss of a small group of dock workers and had a reputation as a fierce street fighter. According to his brother, "Whitie" Simpson, "Baron" had gotten into an argument with three men at a near by pier about an hour before the murder. The argument turned into a fistfight and "Baron" proceeded to savagely beat all three men until they ran away. Simpson was last seen, alone, turning into the alleyway in which he was found a short time later.
Even with the story about the fight with the three men, police stated that they believed that Simpson was another in the long line of Irish thugs murdered in the unending battle for leadership of the dock rackets.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mad Men

On this date in 1927 Sam Raplansky, a thirty-year old member of the Madison Street Boys, was hanging out at the mobs HQ, the Madison Street Boys club. At about 10:00 p.m. he left for a while but returned around midnight.

At that time the club was crowded with various gang members including his brother Harry. While in the hallway somebody came up to Sam and shot him in the face twice and once in the body.  Rushing into the hallway, Harry and other gang members found Sam and carried him outside to a cab for a rushed trip to the hospital. All was for naught however as Samuel had been killed instantly.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Jersey Devlin

On this date back in 1929 a man was walking in a field near what was known as the Somerville-Clinton Highway in Whitehouse, New Jersey when he saw what he thought to be a pile of clothes near a clump of pine trees. [Long time readers of DGIS have probably already figured out what it was]. Investigating, he made the grisly discovery that it was a frozen DGIS who had been shot in the left temple three times.

Police identified the dead man as Frank "Blubber" Devlin and figured that he had been "taken for a ride" roughly forty-eight hours earlier. The condition of his pants and coat showed that he had been dumped from a car and dragged to his resting spot by the pine trees.

"Legs" Diamond was credited with killing Devlin although it was never proved. Revenge was given as the reason because Devlin, supposedly on orders from Arnold Rothstein, was sent to Denver, Colorado with fellow gangsters Eugene Moran and Joe Piteo, to kill Legs' brother Eddie who was convalescing there from with tuberculosis. [Moran and Piteo were definitely on the hit team. There was a third man but as of yet he hasn't been positively identified]

Devlin had an extensive record dating back to the September 6,1921 murder of Walter Vogel with whom he shot it out with at the Transfer saloon. Since that time police said that he had been involved with Owney Madden's gang as well as keeping busy as a robber. When he left his home for the last time on February 6, he had three indictments against him from the previous year, one for assault and robbery, one for robbery  and one  for grand larceny. Where he was going that February 6, is unknown but after he said good-bye to his mother and brother he went to the bank, withdrew $1000 and disappeared.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Look out! There goes the Spider Man

John "Spider" Murtha, called "The toughest man in Brooklyn" by detectives, was gunned down by killers from Murder Inc. on this date in 1935. Born circa 1898 Murtha dubbed himself "Spider" while a featherweight boxer in his youth but it was his exploits outside of the ring that made the plug-ugly an infamous Brooklyn character. It was said that Murtha enjoyed being pointed out in taverns as a "Cop beater" and that he never carried a gun choosing instead to rely on a razor or any weapon he could improvise out of broken beer bottle or mug.

The boys from Murder Inc. caught up with Spider at 10:30 a.m. when he and his girlfriend, Marie Nestfield, were returning from an all night outing, they had just exited a hotel when the two gunmen quietly walked up behind them. As one of them pushed Marie aside the other one exclaimed, "Now we got you Spider!" and the two men fired a total of five shots into Murtha hitting him twice in the head and three times in the chest. "Spider" stumbled for a moment then collapsed dead next to an elevated subway pillar.

For more info on Spider and Murder Inc. check out Gangster City.

Friday, February 26, 2016

This wasn't in the brochure

Ninety-three years ago today a busload of tourist got to witness a gangland killing first hand while perusing Little Italy. The victim was Joseph Marone, who was walking down the street when a car containing four men pulled up behind him and fired a shot. Marone dropped to the sidewalk with a bullet in his thigh. Before any more shots could be fired the tour bus pulled up between the car and Marone and the shooters sped off.

The tourist thought they were watching the filming of a movie and didn't realize that Marone was actually hurt but a pedestrian who knew better went and fetched a cop. At first Marone's leg wound appeared superficial and he was taken to Bellevue hospital where he was arrested. But at midnight the police received word from the hospital that he had died.

During his interrogation Marone kept his mouth shut and said nothing about his affairs or the men who shot him but police believed he was part of a burglary gang and double crossed the other members with the divvying up of spoils. The police also said that Marone knew he was a marked man and only left his house in the daytime. The killers, they speculated had been staking out his house and that's how they got him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Big Mac Attack

Ninety-two-years ago bookie Joe "Big Mac" Mahoney had a falling out with his partner and fellow bookie John Quigley. In happier days they both noshed at the same restaurant but since the break up Mahoney was asked to stay away. He did until this day in 1924.

Mahoney entered the place and started talking to Quigley, talk turned to arguing which lead to physical contact. "Big Mac" drew a .32.  Quigley grabbed him before he could pull the trigger and the men began  to wrestle. Quigley pinned Mac's arm behind his back and that's when the gun went off. That was Quigley's story anyways, Mahoney never got back up so we don't know his version.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sullivan's final travel

Ninety-one years ago as this morning, around 9:00am,three shots rang out in the rear room of a speakeasy. This was followed by about eight guys vacating the parlor in speedy fashion. Other fellers who were enjoying their morning hooch hopped off their bar stools and ventured to the back  room where they found Mike Sullivan unconscious on the floor. They sent him to the hospital but he died.

Mike was an interesting guy. A good athlete who had done stunt work for D.W. Griffith, managed boxers and owned a semi pro baseball team. He also owned a speakeasy himself and a cigar store. Past achievements also included getting the vote out with some huskies from the Bronx.

Sports, movies, bootlegging, strong arm work...wonder which one caused his demise?

Monday, February 22, 2016

AA Meeting

On this date in 1931 gangster brothers Al and Abe Wagner and their Brother in-law Harry Brown attended a supposed peace conference with rival gangsters at the Hatfield House Hotel in Manhattan. After a few hours of drinking and talking Abe left the room to make a phone call. While he was in the next room Al and Harry got into an argument with their rivals and bullets began to fly. Three of them slammed into Al's chest as another plowed into his head. Five found their mark in brother in-law Harry who managed to walk out of the Hotel and make his way to nearby Bellevue Hospital. Abe escaped unharmed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Don't eat the red snow

Eighty-six years ago this morning an employee of a Brooklyn lumber yard showed up for work and found a trail of blood. His curiosity piqued, he followed said trail which led to a pile of snow. Digging he found one James Tinorello who had been shot three times in the back of the head. Police said that Tinorello, who was 27 and had six arrest under his belt, was involved in a liquor syndicate that operated in Brooklyn and Queens.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Welcome back

According to police, Alphonse Respivo was a small time racketeer who, although a native New Yorker, having lived both on Manhattan's eastside and in Brooklyn, divided his time between the Big Apple and Chicago.

In 1921 Respivo was arrested for robbery and sentenced to a term of eight to sixteen years but was released in 1927. He was also arrested in Chicago in 1931 for carrying a gun, an offense that cost him six months in jail and a $100 fine.

Back in New York, where he was wanted for violation of his 1927 parole, Restivo returned to the eastside and at 4 p.m. on this date in 1935 he was crossing the street when two men came up from behind and shot him in the back numerous times. The gunmen then tossed their guns (a .38 and a .45) in the street and ran in opposite directions.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


Today's victim, Louis DeMaria, whose body was found on this date in 1932, was considered by police to be a small time racketeer. That may have been true but he also may have some how been involved with Vincent Coll or his murder five days before.

DeMaria had been shot three times and his body dumped on a road, where it was spotted by a bus driver. Oddly, earlier that day the car used for the murder was found just a hundred feet away, wrecked, with bloodstains and a pistol missing three shots. Apparently the killers tossed DeMaria's corpse out of the car and then crashed moments later. No one inspecting the car however, found the dead man.

How does Coll fit in? Glad you asked. DeMaria's body was found amidst a number of newspaper clippings pertaining to the Coll murder. Police were unable to place the dead man in either Coll's or Dutch Schultz's gangs so were unable to say with any certainty whether his death was a result of the murder. Perhaps he was some how involved either as a spotter or as the mystery man who entered the London Chemist drug store with the "Mad Dog" only to walk out moments later when Coll's killer entered. If in fact DeMaria was involved with Coll then there are three motives for his murder.

One, he was a Coll guy who simply liked to carry around news clippings of his boss and was a natural target as all Coll guys were.
Two, if DeMaria was the mystery man who walked out of the drug store, then the remaining members of the Coll mob figured out that he was the double crosser who set up their leader and meted out their own justice.
Three, if the news clippings were DeMaria's, chances are he was talking about it to anyone who would listen as well, perhaps bragging in his neighborhood to show that he was more than the petty racketeer the police considered him. If the killers of Coll did use him in some capacity they probably decided that his loose tongue was liability and rubbed him out.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Couple buys it in the Bronx

Carmine Barelli and May Smith had been a couple for about two years. Barelli was a safecracker and gambler and Smith was a hostess at the Dreamland Dance Academy on 125th Street. February 12, 1930 found the couple returning from somewhere and parking their car in the garage at 1416 Inwood Avenue, the Bronx. The couple was exiting the garage when a large sedan pulled up to the curb. The duo must have recognized the men in the car because the attendant on duty said that Barelli and May took off running in opposite directions with panic stricken faces. Four men jumped out of the sedan and two began to chase Smith and two went after Barelli. Smith only managed to run a few yards before tripping and falling down. The gunmen approached her and shot her in the back of the neck and between the shoulder blades. Meanwhile the two men who were chasing Barelli caught up with him on a ramp in the garage and fired five shots at him hitting him in both the chin and the chest, killing him instantly. After the killers got away Miss Smith was placed in a cab and died en-route to the hospital. Vincent Coll was picked up as one of the killers but nothing ever came of it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No dumping

With a bullet in the head, the dead body of Joe Galas was carelessly tossed in the street on this date back in 1928. Leave it to gangsters to ignore all those "Do Not Litter" signs all over New York. Police said that Joe was the victim of a bootleggers feud. Police said a lot of things that weren't necessarily true but we will take their word for it in Joe's case

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Black Hand red blood

At 11:20pm 109-years ago today thirty-five year old Felipo Randazzo locked the door to his butcher shop, located at 177 Christie Street, and turned to begin his walk home. After a couple of steps a large caliber bullet fired from a powerful rifle plowed through his heart, went out his back, passed through the shop door and hit a column inside before coming to a rest on the floor.

At first it was thought that he was an innocent victim of the Black Hand until a search of his shop turned up a dynamite cartridge of the type used in some recent Black Hand explosions.
The NYPD's famous Mafia fight cop Lt. Petrosino put his entire sixteen man Italian Squad on the case and soon learned that Randazzo was indeed a member of the Black Hand. He had come over from Palermo three years previously and worked as a plasterer before hooking up with a nefarious band of extortionist. With his profits he was able to open his butcher shop three months before being shot down.

During the investigation the Italian Squad learned through one of Randazzo's friends that the dead man had had a falling out with some of the members of his gang and he [Randazzo] intended to supply the police with information that would have resulted in their arrests but his confederates were faster and took care of him first.

Monday, February 8, 2016

If they only had cell phones back then

It was 84-years ago today, a mere week after the bloodbath in the Bronx where some of his gang was decimated [see Feb. 1], that New York City rid itself of Vince "the Mick" Coll, or "Irish" as his contemporaries also called him (It was the press that dubbed him Mad Dog.) after he and an associate entered a drug store on Manhattan's W. 23rd Street.

The victim of a double cross, Irish entered a phone booth to make a prearranged call to underworld powerhouse Owney Madden while his pal took a seat at the counter. While the Mad Dog and Owney were conversing, a car containing a hit squad pulled up front. Gunmen hopped out and covered the store's front door. Coll's pal was allowed to leave as a machine-gun toting hoodlum made his way back to the phone booths. Finding the booth containing Coll the gunman lined himself up and blasted the Mick into gangster history.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunday Night is Alright for Fighting

Ninety-five years ago tonight, a Sunday it was, a large group of guys and dolls were lining the stairwell of a lower eastside building waiting to get into a night club on the third floor. As the band was getting ready to play a couple of shots rang out and the throng of people ran out into the streets. One man, Michael Dimesci, ran across the street and dropped dead with a bullet in the heart.

Frankie Uale
The police sent officers to all the hospitals in the area to see if anyone else showed up. Within the hour Brooklyn mobster Frankie Uale stumbled into one with a bullet wound to the lung. Uale said he just happened to be walking by the club when the shooting took place and had no idea what it was about. Police later asserted that they believe the Brooklyn Mafioso was the intended target and that Dimesci may have been an innocent bystander.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Owney earns a nickname

Owney Madden, one of the top New York City mobsters of the prohibition era picked up the moniker "Killer" in his younger days as leader of the Gopher gang. 104-years ago today he lived up to his nom de guerre. Twenty-one year old William Henshaw was preparing to board a streetcar when two men came up and shot him. He didn't die outright and was taken to the hospital. On his death bed, he identified Madden as his killer but for some reason the police didn't try to hard to find him, which confounded the dead man’s father, who told the press, “It seems queer to me that the police can not catch the murderer of my boy. This band of Gophers had it in for my boy for some time. I don’t know why they wanted to kill him but he often told me he was afraid of them.”

A little more than a week after the murder police captured Madden on the Westside after a brief chase. The cops could have saved their breath however as he was released and never called to trial for the murder.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Prosecution loses a witness

In June of 1930 reputed olive oil dealer Leo Noto and some accomplices kidnapped the son of a wealthy Brooklyn baker that lived just down the street from him. The kidnappers demanded $10,000 and released the boy after $7000 was paid with the promise to make up the $3000 in the near future. In the interim the baker went to the police and a trap was laid to catch the gang when they came to claim the additional three grand. The trap worked and six members of the kidnap gang, including Noto, were apprehended.

Noto was released on $25,000 bail and made a deal with the authorities to testify against the rest of the gang. Leo's ex pals decided that it might be best for them if Leo didn't make the court date. To that end, eighty-five years ago today twenty-nine year old Noto left the house that he shared with his wife and four children and, with his hands in his pockets, began walking across a vacant lot. While he was still in the lot a Packard sedan containing three men pulled up. The doors flew open and two shotguns went off. Leo dropped and never got up.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Somebodies ringing the bell

In the spring of 1931 Vincent Coll and a contingent of disgruntled gunmen broke off from Dutch Schultz's gang and waged war against their former boss. Over the course of the summer the Dutchman's boys started popping up dead. On this date back in 1932 however, Schultz gunmen delivered a crippling blow to their foe.

Coll gang members Louis and Fiore Basile and Patsy Del Greco (center of photo) were holed up in one of the gangs Bronx hideouts with a man named Joseph Paronne (whether or not he was part of the gang is unknown) and a couple of women and some children. At approximately 9:30pm the doorbell rang. One of the gang answered the door and four or five gunmen pushed their way into the apartment and opened fire. Del Greco and the Basile Brothers were the main targets and took the majority of the lead. Patsy was killed with three shots and Louis Basile with four. His brother Fiore was severely wounded with bullets over the heart and in the left arm. Trying to escape, one of the women ran into the line of fire and was killed when a bullet pierced her head. The other woman and Paronne received non-life threatening wounds. The killer’s main target however had not been on the premises for two days. How the killers found out where the Coll gang was has never been ascertained but chances are there was a traitor in the midst.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hooray for Hollywood!

Eighty-three years ago today Hollywood actress Aileeen Pringle was entertaining MGM publicity honcho Howard Dietz at her house when four masked gunmen invaded. Pringle and Dietz were bound and gagged for a few hours while the robbers ransacked the house.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Needed eyes in the back of his head

Twenty-five year old Joseph Amastasi was well known in Harlem’s Little Italy, as a“liberal spender whose source of income was unknown”. At 11:00 P.M., eighty-five years ago tonight, two employees of a coal company heard a couple of shots and went to investigate. They found Amastasi dead with two bullets in his back. Since his source of deep pockets was a mystery its impossible to say for sure what Amastasi was involved in but apparently it involved guys who had no qualms about killing.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Meet John Doe

Four score and six years ago this very day three fellers sat in a sedan. Passing pedestrians paid them no mind until three shots rang out and then all eyes turned to the car as two men jumped out and high tailed it away. Left inside was a man with two bullets in his person.

Cops arrived on the scene and found that the man was still alive. He was rushed to the hospital where he gave the name John Doe. He said no more and passed out of this life. Since he refused to talk, the police were forced to turn to his finger prints. Never ones to withstand a police interrogation, the prints had absolutely no trouble divulging his true identity.

According to the ink stained digits the deceased was forty year old Nate Gordon, a life long criminal with a record spanning back to 1905. During his midnight rambler phase he was arrested for grand larceny and sent to Elmira. Periodic arrest and prison terms followed over the following quarter century.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hey kids, why don't you stay inside where it's safe...never mind

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Miami Vice

107-years ago today Pasquale Miami, said to be a “barber”, was walking down the street when a man stepped out of a doorway and shot him. A beat cop who was nearby gave chase but the gunman ran into a tenement and escaped over the roof tops.
     Miami was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where he died half an hour later. His body was identified by his friend Nicola Giaroffa who stated that the two men had been in the States for three years and that Miami had been involved in an Italian feud for the six months leading up to his death.

Lt. Petrosino

After viewing the body, America's first mafia busting cop, Lt. Petrosino of the NYPD Italian Squad stated that Miami (which wasn’t his real name. His real name wasn’t given) was one of the leading Black Hand agents in the city. Police felt this was bore out when twenty-five men came to the morgue to view the dead man and almost half of them raised their hands and vowed to avenge his murder.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Loose lips sinks snitch

With information provided by a snitch named Joseph Randazzo police raided an apartment and arrested a drug dealer named James Di Lorenzo who was said to be the top cocaine dealer in the city. Also arrested was Di Lorenzo’s brother in-law John Gravino who had a history of selling opium. Di Lorenzo was released on bail. Coincidentally 102 years ago today Randazzo was found in an east side saloon with twenty-two stab wounds. Actually, police didn't feel that it was a coincidence.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Frankie Goes to City Morgue

Frank Shaeffer (also known as Grey) and Dave Bacharach were standing near a Westside bar at 2:00am on this date back in 1934 when a taxi-cab brimming with gunmen pulled up and opened fire. Wanting to continue this mortal life, Frank and Dave took off running.

Bystanders dove to the ground and jumped into doorways as the cab followed Frank and Dave
with the gunmen still blazing away. After a brief chase some bullets came to rest in Frank and he pitched forward on the sidewalk and lay still while Dave kept running. With Shaeffer down the taxi took off and disappeared into the Broadway traffic.

When the coast was clear people came out of their hiding spots and crowds began to pour out of the nearby restaurants, nightclubs and other buildings. They gathered around Shaeffer and rolled him over. It appeared to them that he fell down and cut his head and was unconscious. An ambulance was called and the doctor who arrived with it informed them that what they thought was a cut was actually a bullet wound and that the man was in fact dead. Further examination showed that he had been hit under the left armpit as well.

Meanwhile Dave, who had took a superficial wound to the chest walked to the hospital for treatment. The police were notified and took the wounded man into custody and at first he said that he was a Bronx real estate man and he didn't even know that he’d been shot until he undid his coat to get a nickel for a newspaper and found blood. After more questioning however, he broke down, identified himself then clammed up.

What Shaeffer was involved with at the end is unknown but when killed he was “shabbily dressed” and only had a few dollars on him. He had a record of fourteen arrests and five convictions and was known to the police as a forger and mail thief who in 1921 was sentenced to the Atlanta Penitentiary. In 1923 he gained a bit of notoriety when he managed to escape from there with the infamous robber Gerald Chapman.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Chanel No. 5 meets Caliber 45.

After a short New Year’s respite the gangsters of New York got back to the business of killing each other. By all accounts Frank Macaluso was an upstanding member of society, he was President of the Columbia Republican Club and owned his own perfume business, but according to the police, he was also a bootlegger,(police felt that his perfume shop doubled as a alcohol drop) and it was the latter profession that probably cost him his life.
On this date back in 1932 Pietro Vello, the janitor at the Columbia Republican Club, was preparing to lock up the club for the night when Macaluso stepped outside into the cold without bothering to put on his overcoat. Since he exited sans coat he was probably going to briefly meet with someone. But a double cross lay in wait. A few moments later the perfume entrepreneur staggered into the pool hall next door, dropped himself into a chair, and whispered to the owner, “Get me a cab. I’m shot.” Detectives quickly arrived on the scene, commandeered a taxi and rushed Macaluso to the hospital where he died a few minutes later of a bullet wound in the back. Who shot him and why remains a mystery.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A short new year for Larry Fay

1933 lasted all of twenty and a half hours for Larry Fay, who was designated New York City's Public Enemy #3, I think it was #3, let me check my book Gangster City...yes there it is pg. 258 Public Enemy #3. Anyways by the end of 1932 Larry was part owner in a night club called the Casa Blanca (he seemed to have a thing for Spanish names, a previous club was called the El Fay) Like a lot of business' during the Depression the Casa Blanca saw some financial hardships and on New Year's Eve Fay informed the staff that they would be receiving a 30% pay cut (Happy New Year!). This didn't sit well with one of the club's doormen who spent the first day of 1933 drinking and being angry. After stewing for a number of hours the doorman did what a number of angry Americans do when they are mad at their employer. He returned that evening with a gun. He confronted Fay in the lobby of the club and demanded some money. Fay, a reported nice guy and easy touch, was going to comply but before he had a chance to do so, Mr. Drunk Angry Guy pulled his pistol and shot his boss a number of times killing him.