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

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Gopher Gets it


May 9, 1929 saw the demise of New York City gangster Vincent Gaffney. Born in 1897, the racketeer was a member of the infamous Gopher gang during his youth. His record dated back to 1914 with arrests for burglary and assault. He gained some fame in 1918 when he murdered another hoodlum named Charles "Chick" Tucker.

Gaffney was sentenced to 18 years but managed to escape from the Tombs prison and remain free for about four months before being picked up in New Jersey. After serving eleven years, Gaffney was released in 1929 and married his girl friend who had waited for him.

The Gaffneys moved to Queens where the self proclaimed rehabilitated gangster open a few "cordial" shops, which were speakeasies. He came to the westside of Manhattan regularly where it was said that he wanted to form a new Gopher gang and "take the whole west side over." The west side was currently controlled by another former Gopher named Owney Madden.

Whether it was Madden or friends of Chick Tucker or someone else entirely, Gaffney went out in an ugly way. He had been stabbed upwards of forty times. The palms of his hands were sliced to ribbons so he had attempted to ward off the blows. After he was dead (or perhaps dying) his body was run over numerous times by the killers' auto. To make it worse, there was no tire on the rim that had gone over him, slicing and smashing him up even worse.

gaffney -
Vincent Gaffney