Murder Incorporated

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Irving "Waxey" Gordon

Waxey Gordon was a gangster who specialized in bootlegging and illegal gambling.

Born Irving Wexler to immigrant parents in NY's Lower East Side around 1889, Gordon became known as a pickpocket and sneak thief as a child, becoming so successful he earned the nickname "Waxey" for supposedly being so skilled in picking pockets it was as if his victims' wallets were waxed. Joining "Dopey" Benny Fein's labor sluggers in the early 1910'sGordon helped organize Fein's operations before being noticed by Arnold Rothstein who hired him away from Fein and put him to work as a rum-runner during the first years of prohibition.

Gordon's success later led him to run all of Rothstein's bootlegging on most of East coast, specifically NY and NJ , and importing large amounts of Canadian whiskey over the U.S.–Canadian border. Gordon, now earning an estimated $2 million a year, began buying numerous breweries and distilleries as well as owning several speak easys. Gordon began to be known to live extravagantly, traveling in limosines and living regularly in prominent Manhattan hotel suites, as well as owning mansions built for him in New York and Philadelphia.

With Rothstein's death in 1928, Gordon's position began to decline. He made an alliance with future Nationa Crime Syndicate founders Lucky Luciano, Lepke, and Meyer Lansky. Gordon, however, constantly fought with Lansky over bootlegging and gambling interests and soon an unofficial gang war began between the two; several associates on each side were killed. Lansky, with Luciano, supplied New York District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey with information leading to Gordon's conviction on charges of tax evasion in 1933. Gordon was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

Upon Gordon's release, he found his gang long since disbanded and his former political connections no longer willing to respond. He was said to have remarked to a reporter, "Waxey Gordon is dead. Meet Irving Wexler, salesman."

Gordon, however, soon began operating illegal gambling in New Jersey, then moved to selling narcotics. In 1951, Gordon was arrested for selling heroin to an undercover police officer. The 62-year-old gangster reportedly offered the detective all his money in exchange for his release. When the detective refused, Gordon pleaded with the detective to kill him instead of arresting him for "peddling junk." Gordon was later convicted and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment in Alcatraz, where he died of a heart attack on June 24, 1952.

The Undertaker

Little is known about the true name of a ruthless hitman known throughout Brownsville and the syndicate as the Undertaker.
The Undertaker got his nickname because he always buried his victims, sometimes alive. The tools of his trade were an axe and shovel. The axe to chop off the hands, feet, and head of his victims, and the shovel to bury them in the swap lands of Canarsie. When asked by Bugsy Seigel in Las Vegas, Nevada, why he had two boots and a shovel in the trunk of his car, the Undertaker replied " You never know when you have to bury someone in the dessert."
It is said that the Undertaker killed more people for Lepke and Murder Inc. than Abe Reles and Charlie "The Bug" Workman combined. A close friend and confidant of Arnold Rothstein, the Undertaker could often be found at the race tracks.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dutch Schultz

It was a normal Wednesday evening on October 23, 1935, at the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey, when a group of four well dressed men made their way past the crowded bar to a secluded dining and private dining room in the back. After ordering drinks and dinner, the men began talking business. They continued their discussion through dinner. At 9:00pm a young and attractive woman stopped to drop off some paperwork, staying for at least one drink. By 10:00pm she had left. The bar and restaurant were empty except for the four diners, a couple swinging around the dance floor upstairs, the bartender and a few employees in the kitchen cleaning up. A man entered the bar brandishing a pistol and ordered the bartender to the floor. He complied so quickly, he never even saw the second man, armed with a shotgun, enter. The two men made their way to the dining room in the back, and opened fire. Three men were quickly down and wounded. They found the fourth, the intended "hit", in the bathroom. He never had a chance. Arthur Flegenheimer, alias Dutch Schultz, and his three associates were mortally wounded. The "Dutchman" was dying.

Dutch Schultz had a long and varied criminal history. He was probably the most well known criminal of his time, and was once declared Public Enemy #1 by the FBI. Famous for his ruthlessness, violence and temper, he worked his way up the criminal ladder in the mean streets of the Bronx from an early age. Born in 1902, Schultz began with some petty thefts and assaults, and by the age of 17, had graduated to more serious crimes. He was convicted of robbery in 1919, and sent to a juvenile penitentiary. After a failed escape attempt, he was released after serving 15 months. Despite numerous indictments and arrests, he never again served time behind bars. Following his release, he quickly resumed his former occupation, and first began using the name "Dutch Schultz", appropriated from a legendary deceased New York gang member.

By 1925, Schultz had become both criminally successful, and politically connected. He used money and violence to gain control over unions and the "Numbers Racket", or "Policy Racket", an early and illegal version of the lottery. From his stronghold in the Bronx, his empire spread rapidly into Harlem and parts of Manhattan. He soon discovered "Bootlegging", the importation of liquor, then prohibited by the 18th Amendment (Prohibition), which proved to be a lucrative addition to his already profitable enterprises. His most serious rival at this time was Vincent (Mad Dog) Coll, a former associate who matched Schultz in both temperament and talent. Their fight, bloody and long, lasted for years, claiming many lives. At one point Schultz was so incensed with Coll, he went to a police station and offered a new house to any officer who would gun him down. His generous offer went unclaimed. The war ended in 1932, when Coll was killed by three of Shultz's gunmen while using a phone booth in a Manhattan drug store.

The end of Prohibition in 1933 did not slow Schultz down. He tightened his control over his unions and numbers racket, and continued to increase his influence at Tammany Hall, the seat of power of the corrupt Democratic Machine which controlled the courts, police and just about everything else in New York City. With the help of his new found friends, raids and arrests became a thing of the past, and Schultz was free to further expand and consolidate his power. Finally, the Federal Government felt it had to step in when the local authorities refused to prosecute him. Schultz was indicted in 1933 for tax evasion, but it did not interfere with business. The New York City police refused to pursue him, and he remained at large for almost two years. When J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, named him "Public Enemy #1", Schultz surrendered, possibly mindful of the fate of the previous "Public Enemy #1", John Dillinger.

Dutch Schultz's tax evasion trial began in early 1934 in Syracuse, New York, after his lawyers, who included a former U.S. Prosecutor and a former New Jersey Governor, successfully argued that he could not receive a fair trail in New York City. Schultz's defense was simple but effective. After the federal government had brought down Al Capone and his brother with the newly created charge of tax evasion, Schultz could see the handwriting on the wall and had tried to settle his debt with the government. He even went so far as to send his lawyers to the Internal Revenue Service in Washington D.C. with $100,000 in cash as a settlement offer. The IRS refused, claiming he owed much more. However, Schultz could now claim he had tried to pay his taxes like any other law abiding citizen, but the government refused to accept the money. Amazingly, this defense (along with some alleged jury tampering) worked with seven out of the twelve jurors, and a mistrial was declared. A new trial was scheduled later that year in Malone, New York, the hometown of the presiding judge on the northern edges of Adirondack Mountains. It was here that Schultz showed the "street smarts" which had kept him free and alive for so long. He and a group of his more honest looking associates arrived weeks before the trial date, and attempted to gain influence with the potential jury pool. They bought dinner and drinks wherever they went, gave interviews with the local papers, and Schultz even attended a local baseball game as the personal guest of the mayor. By the time the trial started, Schultz had convinced many people in the town that he was really a "good guy" being persecuted by a vengeful government. The presiding judge was not amused by this pretrial generosity, and he revoked Schultz's bail. However, the damage was already done and the jury found him not guilty a week later.

Although the Dutchman had beaten the rap, the end was near. There were many other pending indictments, and his business had already suffered from his absence. Other leading New York mobsters including Lucky Lucianao and Albert Anastasia moved in on his rackets, and his legal problems continued to keep Schultz out of town. He set up shop in nearby Newark New Jersey in August, 1935, and moved into the Robert Treat Hotel. Almost every evening he and his three closest associates, Bernard (Lulu) Rosenkrantz, his second in command, Otto Berman and Abe (Misfit) Landau (AKA Abe Frank), would meet at the Palace Chop House around the corner on Park Street. There they would talk business and go over the day's receipts. They kept a regular routine, which made them easy prey on that fateful October evening.

The most amazing aspect of the shooting was not the "hit" itself, but its aftermath. With all the bullets and shells that flew, no one was immediately killed. Schultz stumbled out of the bathroom and asked the bartender to call an ambulance. Rosenkrantz, despite being shot seven times, actually asked for change of a dime to use the phone booth to call the police and report the shooting. Berman was still breathing though unconscious. The final victim and the first to die, Landau, raced after the gunmen firing his pistol, causing a shootout outside on the sidewalk. He died there after collapsing from his wounds. The police arrived to find three wounded men amid the carnage with the two conscious ones, Schultz and Rosenkrantz refusing to answer any of their questions. They were all taken to Newark Hospital on Fairmount Avenue. As Schultz was wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher a photographer blocked his way. He growled, "Say, which is more important, your picture or my life? Scram!" He then gave an intern the $725.00 in cash he was carrying on him to ensure good treatment. The intern turned it over to the hospital supervisor. When the police queried Rosenkrantz, he continued to refuse to answer any of their questions, and repeatedly demanded an ice cream soda. At 3:00am Berman was the second to die, never having regained consciousness.

Dutch Schultz, although fatally wounded in the abdomen, lasted until 8:30 that Thursday evening. The wound caused massive internal bleeding and an infection, and when lucid he continued to refuse to say who shot him or why. His relatives and friends, including his wife and mother visited him at the hospital throughout the day. As his condition worsened and his fever increased, he began to drift in and out of consciousness, often babbling strange and disconnected phrases such as, "The glove will fit what I say," and "The sidewalk was in trouble, and the bears were in trouble." The authorities kept a stenographer at Schultz's bedside to record every last rambling thought he uttered. Federal agents and police from New York and New Jersey tried in vain to analyze his last words after his death. Although some of Schultz's rantings may have referred to his shooting and criminal activities, most were believed to be about childhood memories, old rhymes and songs, etc. The stenographer's transcript was immortalized in various books and stories, and forms the basis of William Burrough's well known story, "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz." With Shultz dead only Rosencrantz was left alive. He lasted until 3:20 the following morning, defiant and silent to the end. Schultz body was removed later that day to Hawthorne, New York for burial. The only rememberence of Dutch Schultz remaining in Newark is a makeshift memorial inscribed into the cement used to fill in one of the side windows of the Palace Chop House.

As for the killers, when the get-away car pulled away from the Palace Chop House following the shootings, it left one of the killers stranded. He fled on foot in the direction of the car, turned left on Pine Street, and probably headed to nearby James Street where the car was later found abandoned by the police with one of weapons used in the shootings inside. Although the police investigated the few clues they had, they were unable to identify the killers and moved on to other cases. The press at the time seemed more concerned about why one of Schultz's men was carrying an Essex County Sheriff's Badge, then the death of four men. Local authorities were more concerned with punishing the Palace Chop House and Robert Treat Hotel for allowing criminals to congregate at their establishments. Five years after Schultz's death, in the course of another investigation, a convicted criminal identified Mendy Weiss and Charlie Workman as the shooters, with Workman as the killer of Schultz. The driver of the get-away car, known only as a kid from a Jersey City gang was never identified. Workman was tried and convicted in Newark, and sentenced to life in prison. Weiss was executed in New York for an unrelated murder before he could face trial.

Who ordered the killing of Dutch Schultz? It was probably Lucky Luciano and the other mobsters who made up the "Syndicate" that controlled organized crime in New York and elsewhere. Schultz had wanted Thomas Dewey the mob-busting New York prosecutor and his personal nemesis, killed and even threatened to do the job himself. The Syndicate, fearing bad publicity and an intense crackdown on their operations, could not allow that to happen. Unable to buy Dewey off, they were forced to order Schultz killed to prevent him from carrying out his threat. Of course, with Schultz dead, Dewey needed a new number one target, and Luciano was it. Six months after Schultz's murder, Luciano was indicted on 62 charges with a maximum of 1,950 years. He was convicted in June, 1936. As he was taken to prison to begin serving his 30 to 50 year sentence, I wonder if Luciano thought maybe Dutch had the right idea after all.

Abner "Longie" Zwillman

As a youngster, Abner "Longy" Zwillman earned the gratitude of local Jewish peddlers because he and his gang, "The Happy Ramblers", defended them from assault by Irish thugs. Whenever the Irish came into the Jewish district to create trouble, a cry went up to "Ruff der Langer" (Yiddish for "Call the Tall One") and quick as a flash Zwillman and his pals would stop whatever they were doing and rush to help. As a result Longy had a reputation for helping Jews that stayed with him all his life. Over six feet two inches tall Zwillman got the name "Longy" because he was the tallest kid in his school. Together with his Italian allies, Longy ran Newark from the prohibition era until the 1950s. His influence was so great that he was referred to as the "Al Capone of New Jersey". Zwillman ran one of the biggest and most profitable bootlegging operations in the United States, importing nearly forty per cent of all the illegal alcohol consumed in the United States during prohibition. A customer wanting to but liquor came to Longy's office in Newark, deposited his money, and got a receipt entitling him to a specific amount of whisky. As Zwillman's wealth increased so did his political influence. He developed the pay off into an art, starting with the cop on the beat up to and including prosecutors and judges. The police did not just look the other way when illegal whisky was involved. They often convoyed trucks from the docks to the warehouses to prevent highjackings, and guarded the warehouses where the liquor was stored.

Despite Longy's reputation as a mobster, he always remained sensitive to his Jewish upbringing. When Heimi Kugel, a good friend of Longy's died, Zwillman would not go into the chapel where the casket lay. Heimi's son Jerry could not understand it. He felt hurt, because they knew his father loved Zwillman. After the service, he went over to Longy who was standing outside, and asked him why he did not go into the funeral parlour to pay his respects. "I can't, Jerry," long said. "I'm a Cohen".

Jerry looked confused, until someone standing nearby explained that as a Cohen, a descendant of the ancient hebrew priestly class, Longy was not allowed to be in the same room with the dead body. But Longy's luck ran out. Just as the FBI were compiling information to send Longy to prison for the rest of his life he was mysteriously found hanging from elastic cord in his home in Newark. The investigation into his death was inconclusive, but there were many bruises on Zwillman's body that remained unexplained. Underworld gossip had it that partners of Zwillman were worried that he may "sing" to the police in protection against a life sentence. Gangsters never "wait and see".

Augie "Little Augie" Orgen

Orgen was a Jewish gang leader and labor racketeer in New York City during the 1920s. Little Augie gained control of the labor rackets in 1923 when he had Kid Dropper ( Nathan Kaplan) murdered outside a Manhattan courthouse. Little Augie was shot to death on a Manhattan Street corner on Oct.16,1927. The gunmen were Lepke Buchalter and Jacob (Gurrah) Shaprio who then took over all of Little Augie's rackets. Little Augie's bodyguard that night was Legs Diamond who was also shot but survived to be murdered in 1931.

Nathan Caplin

Known as "Kid Dropper", he was a notorious Jewish gang leader. During the teens and early 1920s, his gang and the gang headed by Little Augie Orgen were fighting for supremacy of the labor rackets in New York City. On August 28, 1923, he had just left the Essex Market Court House in lower Manhattan under heavy police guard and was sitting in a taxicab in front of the courthouse when Louis Cohen walked up to the taxi and shot him to death. Cohen, who was arrested at the scene, had been hired by Little Augie Orgen (with the help of Legs Diamond, Lepke Buchalter and Gurrah Shaprio) to murder Kid Dropper. Sent prison for the murder, was paroled in 1937 and in 1939 was shot to death on a Manhattan Street in reprisal.

Louis "Louis Cohen" Kerzner

He was hired to murder Jewish gang leader Kid Dropper by Legs Diamond, Lepke Buchalter and Gurrah Shaprio on the orders of gang leader Little Augie Orgen. On August 28, 1923 he carried out his task, shooting and killing Dropper, who had been Augie Orgen’s arch rival in the union rackets of New York City, as he sat in a taxicab in front of the Essex Market Court House in lower Manhattan. Kerzner was subsequently convicted of Dropper’s murder and sentenced to twenty five in prison. When he was paroled in 1937, he was shot to death on a Manhattan Street on January 28,1939 on the orders of Lepke Buchalter.

Morris Kessler

Morris Kessler was the chauffeur and bodyguard of Jewish mobster Joseph Amberg. On Sept.30,1935, Kessler and Amberg were lined up against the wall of a Brownsville, Brooklyn auto repair shop and machine-gunned to death by a rival gang. Kessler was 23 years old.

Irving Shapiro

The Shaprio brothers (Meyer, Irving and Willie) ran a gang of Jewish mobsters that operated out of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. Their criminal activities centered around loansharking, slot machines, dice games, and extortion of shop keepers. The Shaprio brothers came into conflict with the other gangs in Brooklyn such as the Amberg brothers and the Reles gang. One by one the Shaprio brothers were murdered by the other gangs. Irving Shaprio was shot to death in the vestibule of the apartment building in which he lived at 691 Blake avenue, Brooklyn, on July 11, 1931. He was 27 years old.

Herman "Hyman" Amberg

Along with his brothers Louis "Pretty" and Joseph Amberg, they were the most feared gangsters in the Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s. Hyman was arrested for the murder of a Brooklyn jeweler in 1926 and placed in the "Tombs" jail in Manhattan to await trial. On November 3, 1926, he and another prisoner (armed with guns) tried to escape from the jail. They got as far as the prison wall but were trapped by the guards. With all hope of escape lost they put their guns to their heads and shot themselves to death.

Joseph Amberg

He along with his brothers Louis "Pretty" and Hyman Amberg were the most feared gangsters in the Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s On September 30,1935, Joseph Amberg and Morris Kessler (one of his henchmen) were lined-up against the wall of an auto repair garage in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and shot to death by three gunmen of "Murder, Inc".

Louis "Pretty Amberg" Amberg

During the 1920s and 1930s he, along with his brother Joseph, were the most feared gangsters in the Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn. On October 23,1935 (the same day Dutch Schultz was murdered) Louis Amberg's body was found in a burning car in Brooklyn. He was killed with an ax and a shotgun blast, put in a car and set on fire. The murder contract was carried out by Abe Reles and his men in "Murder Inc".

Willie Shapiro

The Shaprio brothers (Meyer, Irving and Willie) ran a gang of Jewish mobsters that operated out of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn,NY. Their criminal activities centered around loansharking, slot machines, dice games, and extortion of shop keepers. The Shaprio brothers came into conflict with the other gangs in Brooklyn such as the Amberg brothers and the Reles gang. One by one the Shaprio brothers were murdered by the other gangs. Willie Shaprio was murdered by members of the Reles gang on the night of July 20,1934. Willie was taken to the marshes in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn tied-up and buried alive in a hole dug in a sandpit. A man witnessed the gang filling in the hole, and after they left unearthed the hole and discovered Shaprio but he was already dead.

Meyer Shapiro

The Shapiro brothers (Meyer, Irving and Willie) ran a gang of Jewish mobsters that operated out of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. Their criminal activities centered around loansharking, slot machines, dice games, and extortion of shop keepers. The Shapiro brothers came into conflict with the other gangs in Brooklyn such as the Amberg brothers and the Reles gang. One by one the Shapiro brothers were murdered by the other gangs. Even though Meyer was younger then his brother Irving, he was considered the leader of the gang. On September 17, 1931, Meyer was found shot to death in the cellar of a lower eastside tenement in Manhattan. He was 23 years old

Meyer "Mickey" Cohen

In Jungian psychology, the "shadow" is the part of the unconscious that contains all of those characteristics the conscious mind considers dark or bad. If the conscious mind thinks aggression is wrong, then the shadow is the part of the personality that is aggressive. Jung believed this was how we cope with having to act in ways we would prefer not to. A healthy personality has a shadow and soul in balance.

Mickey Cohen was Ben “Bugsy” Siegel's shadow. Ben was tall, handsome, suave and welcome in the elite Hollywood circles. He mixed with the glitterati, courted royalty and bedded starlets while his shadow -- Mickey -- was picking their pockets, robbing their safes and breaking their bones.

In so many ways they were opposite sides of the same coin. Both were violent men, out of place in the Hollywood environment. They liked many of the same things: good food, fine clothes, beautiful women, shined shoes. But where Benny was able to submerge his dark side and present a more acceptable persona, Mickey was what he was. He was loud, boisterous, and pedestrian. He made no apologies for his lifestyle and his lack of refinement. Together, Mickey Cohen and Benny Siegel were an effective extension of the East Coast Syndicate on the West Coast. They changed organized crime in the West from the backwater Unione Siciliano-Black Hand penny-ante operations that had existed under the old-style Mustache Petes into the multimillion dollar industry that controlled narcotics, gambling, unions, and politics.

After Benny was punished by his Syndicate partners for skimming from the Flamingo project, Mickey Cohen was left alone as the mob's West Coast muscle and easily filled Ben's shoes. He didn't have the flair of Ben Siegel, but Mickey Cohen had a style all his own. Mickey flourished on the West Coast and appeared to have more lives than a cat. He was shot at, bombed, arrested, imprisoned, threatened, and like the fighter he started out as, Mickey kept coming back for more. In the end, he outlasted all of his enemies and went out if not on top, then pretty darn close.

Because organized crime seems to be an East Coast phenomenon, Mickey Cohen never really got the recognition that he deserved. That's a shame because Mickey was a bit of a rarity. In a business where most guys end up in a prison cell or at the wrong end of a gun, Mickey Cohen managed to avoid both of those pitfalls.

One of the reasons Mickey didn't get the recognition that other men he worked with did was because Mick was a second-generation mobster. Just like no one remembers the people who arrived in America on the next boat after the {Mayflower}, Mickey showed up in Chicago long after Al Capone had seized control of the underworld and by the time Mickey came west to join Ben Siegel, Bugsy had already infiltrated the extras union and shown Jack Dragna who was boss in California.

Mickey's rise to power came after the heyday of the Jewish mobsters. Meyer Lansky was well-established in Havana and the Southeast and was looking forward to retiring. The carpet joints were flourishing in Louisiana, Frank Costello was firmly ensconced as the prime minister and there was really no New World to be plundered. The Conquistadores had come and gone and it was Mickey's job to oversee the operations that had been put into place.

He did that with the skill and practice of a journeyman gangster. Mickey may not have been an A-list racketeer, but he was efficient and ruthless at his craft. Like Sam Giancana in Chicago, he paid his dues as a hired gun, worked his way up the chain of command and saw the traps and tricks that had foiled those in front of him. By the time he was in position to run his own operation, Mickey Cohen was as adroit and cunning as the men he succeeded.
Even though the trail had been blazed before him, Mickey Cohen's rise to the top wasn't easy. He had to pay his dues, and he got his start in the rackets like a number of other wise guys: in the ring. The things that make a good pug and a good gangster are similar. An imposing presence, tough fists and a chin that can take a punch are important characteristics for a racketeer, although the imposing presence is mostly for character.

Many of the mob's toughest characters were small men who made up for their diminutive stature with guts and heart that belonged in guys twice their size. Meyer Lansky and Lepke Buchalter are two that come to mind, although this trait is not limited to Jewish gangsters. The Westies' Mickey Featherstone wasn't all that big and he was known for his rock-solid fists and the tenacity of a Jack Russell terrier.

Current Genovese family leaders Punchy Illiano and Quiet Dom Cirillo both got their starts as boxers, as did another Genovese member, Li'l Augie Pisano. Illiano earned his nickname because of his boxing background -- and those who know him insist he is anything but "punchy." For his part, Cirillo faced Jake "Raging Bull" La Motta in the ring several times, although he was less than successful.

Mickey Cohen was born hustling. A Brownsville, New York, native -- the same neighborhood that gave the world Abe Reles and many of the Murder, Inc. troop -- Cohen was whisked away from the poverty of that Brooklyn slum before he was six years old and moved with his mother and older siblings to the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, where his family operated a drug store.

Of course, this being Prohibition, the Cohen pharmacy, in the middle of a Russian Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, operated one of the countless small-time gin mills in the area. As a boy, Mickey served as a deliveryman for his brother's moonshine operation, which resulted in his first pinch at 9 years old. The charge was smoothed over by his brother's connections and nothing came of it, but the seed had already been planted in Mickey's mind.

"I got a kick out of having a big bankroll in my pocket," he said in his biography. "Even if I only made a couple hundred dollars, I'd always keep it in fives and tens so it'd look big. I had to hide it from my mother, because she'd get excited when she'd see a roll of money like that."

Successful hustling, whether it's bootlegging, selling newspapers or swag, requires moxie and the fists to back it up, and that's how the preteen Mickey discovered he liked to box. Although the sport was illegal in California and even more so because he was so young, Mickey found many different ways to get in the ring. Along with the money it gave him, he found he also liked the respect he earned.

As he grew, Mickey continued boxing and with the blissful ignorance of youth, his thoughts turned toward becoming a professional. The skill was there, as were the promoters who saw something special in the young teen. The only problem was that 15-year-old Mickey Cohen's mother didn't know he was boxing at all.

"One day, the butcher stopped my mother -- who didn't talk real good English -- and said to her, 'Mrs. Cohen, you must be proud your boy's boxing for the championship.' So she says, 'What's this boxing?' "See, she didn't know nothing about boxing or that sort of thing."
Mickey won the championship and that sealed it in his mind. With the blessing of his older brother, he told his mother he was "going to the beach" and headed east to become a prize fighter. Fate had other ideas.

Mick bounced around the Midwest for a while and landed in New York, where he met some of organized crime's toughest characters. Tommy Dioguardi, brother of the labor racketeer Johnny Dio, was a fight fanatic, as was Owney Madden, the New York killer who would end up running the mob's resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

"Owney was a really a guy to respect and admire -- quite a guy, a man of his word," Mickey recalled later. "His faithfulness to his own kind is the strongest thing a man can have, and if Owney felt that you were an all right person, there wasn't nothing that he wouldn't do for you."
A bad bout with featherweight world champ Tommy Paul ended Mick's boxing career when the champ knocked him so senseless he wandered out of the ring and was on his way to the dressing room before anyone could catch him.

"I began to see that I really didn't have it to be great in the ring," he said. "So then I decided I'd had enough of the fight business and everything else."
A washed-up pug with no education whose only friends are gangsters has few choices in life. That's where Mickey found himself after his fight with Tommy Paul. He fell back on the only thing he knew -- hustling. "I started rooting -- you know, sticking up joints -- with some older guys," he said. "By now I had gotten a taste of what the racket world really was -- the glamour, the way they dressed, the way they always had a pocketful of money."

He didn't realize it at the time, but the places he was robbing were mob-controlled carpet joints -- the illicit nightclubs and casinos that predated Las Vegas. "Later on I learned that we were lucky to pull it through," he recalled. "Because we didn't even give a thought to whose joints those were. We were stepping on the toes of the outfit."

Fortunately for Mickey, the mobsters whose toes were crushed realized the rough talent he had and set him straight. After a killing he preferred not to talk about -- "statute of limitations and all that," he said -- Mickey moved from Cleveland to Chicago, where he later met Al Capone.
In the Windy City, Mickey, working as muscle in a card room, learned how influential the Outfit had become. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and when a couple of thugs died in a shootout, Mick was pinched.

"I certainly ain't gonna get out right away," he thought to himself, and laid on the bench to sleep. A telephone call from his goombah, Egan's Rat member Spike Hennessey, to a police captain changed that and Mickey was out on the streets without having to post bail. The charges then seemed to disappear.

"These guys were notorious anyway, and besides they had a piece on them," Mickey explained.
It was after that that Mickey met Al Capone for the first time. "I walked into his office kind of awed, because I was a young kid anyway, walking into the office of Al Capone," he said. "He did something which was a very big thing for me -- he kind of held my head and kissed me on both cheeks."

That greeting solidified Mickey Cohen's place in the Chicago Outfit and led to bigger and better things, mostly on the gambling side of the Outfit's operations. Mickey was soon running card games and then craps tables and supervising other mobsters. He was close to Mattie Capone, Big Al's younger brother, and with Mattie's backing Mickey found he could get away with things other mobsters couldn't.

"Al intimated to me like if I found something to get into, he would back me up, you understand."
While he was working under Greasy Thumb Jake Guzik, Al's bagman, Mickey experienced the first of what would be many assassination attempts. Not surprisingly, the details of the attack were etched firmly in Mick's mind.

"I had on a camel hair coat that, boy, I was really in love with," he recalled. "It had big check in it -- not loud check -- and I think this was the second time I had worn it. So when they came by shooting, I didn't even fall because I didn't want to get my coat dirty!"

A beef with another gambler made Mickey leave town and for a while he was working back with Lou Rothkopf in Cleveland, a close friend of Meyer Lansky and Benny Siegel. There wasn't enough work for a guy like Mickey in Cleveland, so Lou and his friend Joe Gentile suggested Mickey head west to work with Ben.
For years, Bugsy Siegel's presence in Los Angeles served as a firewall between Jack Dragna and Mickey Cohen. But Ben wasn't going to be around much longer, and when he was gone, Dragna had no trouble finding the courage to feud openly with Mickey. When Ben headed to Nevada with Virginia Hill and a couple million of his mob friends' dollars, Mickey stayed in southern California to oversee the Syndicate's operations there."Vegas and I disagreed, so I had to push myself to go there," Cohen wrote. "But I had an understanding with the Cleveland people that being out this way, I would make myself available from time to time in Las Vegas for pieces of work."

The day before Siegel's 1947 execution, he met with Mickey to discuss the situation in the West. The Flamingo's opening had already been a disaster and the casino was limping along woefully, although it was beginning to turn a profit as the law of large numbers caught up with the players and the casino edge began to take hold. Still, Mickey knew that Ben suspected his time was at hand. He asked about the armaments the operation had in Los Angeles and what shooters loyal to him were on hand.

"There's no doubt that Benny felt there was some kind of come-off going to take place," Cohen said. "I guess he wanted to be prepared for it, but he wasn't prepared soon enough."

Before Ben had a chance to set up a defense, he was shot to death as he sat in a Southern California bungalow. The long-range sniper was so accurate, his shot blew one of Ben's eyes clear across the room. No one was ever arrested for the hit, although Mickey had his suspicions of who ordered it and who fired the shot. Because he wanted to stay alive even after retiring from the rackets, Mickey mentions no names in his autobiography, but he suggests that the hit was done without pay as a favor for the men who requested it.

Immediately after the hit, it was business as usual. Moe Sedway and Doc Stacher took over the Flamingo hours after Ben was killed and Mickey received his own orders from the Syndicate.
"I took over from Benny right away on instructions from the people back east," he said. "Naturally, I missed Benny, but to be honest with you, his getting knocked off was not a bad break for me. Pretty soon I was running everything out here."

As the Syndicate man on the West Coast, Mickey began meeting with the movers and shakers of Hollywood and the top politicians of Los Angeles. He did favors for Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Studios and for Frank Sinatra, who was hot for Ava Gardner, but was being beaten out by Cohen gunman Johnny Stompanato. Mickey developed lifelong friendships with men like Sammy Davis Jr., and stepped in to defend Davis when Cohn wanted Frank Costello to have the entertainer whacked for dating Kim Novak. Another relationship, which was to have ramifications much later in Mickey's life was his friendship with William Randolph Hearst, who ordered his Los Angeles Times editors to stop referring to Cohen as a "hoodlum" and to start calling him a "gambler."

But none of the Hollywood types or even the police commission in his pocket could help Mickey when Jack Dragna declared war.
Before Bugsy's bones were cold in the ground, Dragna began plotting against Mickey Cohen. It was now or never, Jack reasoned, and he pulled out all the stops to get Mickey out of the way. A combination of uncanny luck on Mickey's part and incompetence on the part of the Dragna crew made the War of the Sunset Strip look like a Hollywood comedy.

One of the first salvos was fired as Mickey was heading home to Brentwood and was ambushed. Under fire from shotguns and Tommy guns, the hit looked like one of those unbelievable scenes in a movie where the bad guys open up on the star with a platoon of heavy weapons, yet the star manages to avoid every shot. In Mick's case, it was really happening. As the glass exploded from his Cadillac, he lay on his side and managed to steer his car up Wilshire Boulevard without hitting anything.

"I'm probably at my coolest in an emergency," he said. "The minute I sensed what was happening, I fell to the floor and drove that goddamn car all the way down Wilshire with one hand. I probably couldn't do it again in a thousand times." He escaped with just a little damage from flying glass.

Twice Dragna tried to get Mickey in his home, the first time using a bangalore -- a long, tube-like explosive device used by the military to clear barbed wire and beachheads -- but the TNT failed to detonate. The next time, a dynamite bomb exploded beneath the Cohen house, but the blast was directed away from the living space by a concrete floor vault that shielded Mickey and his family.

"Actually, the neighbors got it worse than I did from the concussion," he recalled. Sharpshooting hit men were only slightly luckier. Once as Mickey and several friends were sitting in a crowded after-hours diner, a Dragna shooter opened up with a .30-06 rifle and hit Mickey in the arm, tearing away much of the flesh. Buckshot from another gunman ripped through the diner, striking a couple of innocent patrons, injuring them slightly. Unfortunately, Neddy Herbert, a longtime friend of Mickey's, was killed in the shootout.

Another shooter was even less fortunate. Mick was coming out of a joint and was walking toward his new Caddy. He bent down to examine a scratch on the fender and as he did so, felt a bullet whiz past his head and ricochet off the car. The gunman didn't stick around for another shot.

In 1950, the war attracted the attention of the Senate Select Committee on Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, better known as the Kefauver Committee. Mickey was subpoenaed to testify before the commission and was lambasted by New Hampshire Senator Charles Tobey.
"I remember the old senator kept calling me a 'hoodlum.' He really used some terms that were uncalled for, from a senator in that type of thing," Cohen said. "Is it not a fact that you live extravagantly, surrounded by violence?" the New Hampshire senator asked Mickey. "Whaddya mean 'surrounded by violence,'" Mickey replied, indignant. "People are shooting at me!"

The exchange and appearance did little for Mickey and based on the findings of the Kefauver Commission, he was indicted, tried and convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to four years in federal prison

Moe Sedway

Mobster. He was an associate of Bugsy Siegel, and worked with him in Las Vegas.

Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro

New York Mafia Figure. Gurrah was one of the most feared Labor Racketeers in New York City and Lepke Buchalter's partner during the 1920s and 1930s. The nickname "Gurrah" dates back to his childhood when he tried to rob pushcarts in his Jewish neighborhood and the pushcart owners would shout "Gurra da here" (get out of here) at him. Shapiro died of natural causes at age 50 in Sing-Sing prison.

Mendy Weiss

Emanuel ( Mendy) Weiss was a member of a murder-for-hire gang made up of low-level Jewish and Italian gangsters working out of Brooklyn N.Y. during the 1930s. This gang came to be known in the news media as Murder Inc. The gang carried out gangland murders in the New York City area under the direction of Lepke Buchalter and Albert Anastasia. Weiss died in the electric chair in Sing-Sing Prison on the night of March 4,1944. The same night that Louis Capone and their boss Louis (Lepke) Buchalter were executed. Cause of death: Executed by electric chair.

Rest in Peace

Martin "Bugsy" Goldstein

Martin (Buggsy) Goldstein (real first name: Meyer) was a member of a murder-for-hire gang made up of low-level Jewish and Italian gangsters working out of Brooklyn N.Y. during the 1930s. This gang came to be known in the news media as Murder Inc. The gang carried out gangland murders in the New York City area under the direction of Lepke Buchalter and Albert Anastasia. Goldstein died in the electric chair in Sing-Sing Prison near midnight on the night of June 12,1941.

Harry " Pittsburgh Phil", "Pep" Strauss

Harry Strauss, more popularly known as Pittsburgh Phil, was a member of a crime syndicate known as Murder Incorporated. Phil was one of the most requested hit man within the organization, and their heaviest hitter. Some estimates to the number of contracts that Harry Strauss carried out surpass five-hundred, a more realistic total is approximately one-hundred. He was one of the members that wound up in the electric chair due in part to the testimony of Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. He died without a cent in hand, his earnings are said to have gone to legal fees and to ensure Reles's fate. This syndicate played a vital role in the workings of organized crime during the 1930's.

Pep was a dapper dresser who cared for his family. His suits usually ranged around $60, a large amount during the depression. He was often admired for his good looks and flashy attire. Ironically, a resentment always existed between Strauss and Reles. An event occurred during the early thirty's in a, deli. The counter person was preparing a sandwich for Reles upon request, and handed it to him. He promptly was unsatisfied with the amount of meat and threw the sandwich in his face. An argument and fight ensued between Strauss and Reles. Later that evening the deli was burned to the ground. Strauss's appearance led to an undeniable influence over women in Brownsville and afar. Love interest's even stemmed to Hollywood, as he enjoyed a brief interlude with the infamous Gene Harlow. He ultimately dated up with the Kiss of Death Girl.

On a professional level, Pittsburgh Phil was an efficient killer, which explained why he was always requested to carry out contracts. He lived in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and always led a life tangent to written law. His nickname is misleading and unaccounted for, being he never was documented to have visited Pittsburgh. Killing didn't bother him, and any occurrence that interfered with the fluidity of his profession sparked outrage. The contracted killing of Puggy Feinstein for example. It took place in a Brooklyn home, where he was to meet his demise at the hands on Phil and an ice pick. As the struggle ensued Puggy bit Strauss's finger. Irate over the turn of events, Strauss and a few of his coworkers decided to make Feinsteins demise more painful and lengthened. They did so by a process which incorporates a rope being looped around the victims head and feet. As the person struggles the rope gets tighter and they strangle themselves to death. Still aggravated over the wound on his finger Phil and his associates took the body to a vacant lot and set it on fire. "The boys then adjourned to Sheepshead Bay for a seafood dinner. Phil, however, was not happy...Phil was so upset at dinner that he failed to finish his lobster." It is said that Strauss never carried a weapon, so as to protect against police intervention or to arise any suspicion. One contract, the only one he was ever known to have failed, sent him to Florida. Phil decided he would follow his victim until the opportune moment arose. Upon entering a movie theater he planned to use the fire ax hanging from the wall to kill his target and then he would run out with the crowd. Unfortunately the target kept changing seats and Phil quit out of disgust. The "savagery" of other contracts were confirmed by the discovery and inspection of surfaced bodies. Rudnick's body was found to have in excess of 63 stab wounds, and a gaping wound leading to the bone, another victim was tied to a pinball machine. Due to gases in the intestines the body floated to the surface despite the weight and stab wounds. Later on Phil was quoted as saying "With this bum, you gotta be a doctor or he floats."

Eventually Harry Strauss's decade long career would come to an end at the hands of the district attorney Burton Turkus, and the stool pigeon Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. Phil as well as , Louis Lempke, Mendy Weiss, and Louis Capone faced trial and the death penalty. Their was no chance of beating the wrap given the overwhelming evidence. So Strauss conceited to plead insanity and played out the role with some courtroom antics. Much of his trial was spent chewing on his lawyers briefcase handle. He often spoke that he needing milk to help his ulcer. Despite these efforts he as well as the others were convicted and sentenced to die by way of electrocution. Strauss and his cohorts refused to allow "the rat" to get away scot free. Mysteriously, under heavy police protection, Abe Reles leapt from the sixth floor of the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island. It was ruled that Reles committed suicide, but the body was found 20 feet away from the building. If this theory held true, than Abe Reles must have been an unidentified athlete in the field of long jumping.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Charlie "The Bug" Workman

One of the more prolific murderers was Charlie Workman, variously known as "The Bug," "The Powerhouse," and "Handsome Charlie." He was rumored to have dispatched 20 individuals.
Workman, like many other criminals of the early 20th century, was from Manhattan’s teeming Lower East Side.
Born in 1908, he was the second of seven children. By the time he quit school in the ninth grade at the age of 17, he had earned a reputation as a neighborhood bully and was feared for his "rough tactics." At 18 he was arrested for stealing a $12 bundle of cotton thread from a truck parked on Broadway; at 19 he was arrested for shooting a man in a dispute over $20. Although the victim of the shooting refused to identify Workman as his assailant, Workman was sent to the New York State Reformatory for violating parole in the cotton theft case. Released seven months later, Workman soon found himself on his way back to prison for additional parole violations: associating with "questionable characters" and failing to get a job. After three more months in stir, he was out and back again for the same reason. This stint in prison would be his last serious jail time for the next 12 years.

This didn’t mean that Workman had become a model citizen. He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in 1932. The following year he sucker punched an off duty police officer after a traffic altercation. He was even nailed with the popular "vagrancy" charge in 1939 when the police wanted to question him on the whereabouts of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and Jake Shapiro.
At some point during this period, Workman became a gun-for-hire on the Brooklyn killing squad that became infamously known as Murder, Inc. According to Paul Sann in his classic tale titled Kill the Dutchman, Workman was paid a stipend of $125 a week, and enjoyed the fringe benefit of being able to "sweep out the pockets" of his victims. Sann states Workman was one of the "cartels" top killers.
In July 1935, New York Gov. Harry Lehman appointed Thomas E. Dewey special prosecutor, with orders to cleanup New York. The effort began, according to Dewey, "with no staff, no office, no police, no budget appropriation, and … no sense whatever." Dewey’s spirited attack took the underworld by surprise; by October mob dons were discussing a plan to kill him.

Harlem number’s kingpin, Dutch Schultz, was one of the first hoodlums to get into Dewey’s cross hairs. When Schultz let it be known that he would kill Dewey himself if the dons didn’t go through with their plan to take him out, Lucky Luciano, afraid the hit would draw too much legal heat, decided to do away with the Dutchman instead.

When the assignment came down to eliminate Schultz, Workman, with his yeoman reputation, was selected over other gang stalwarts such as Abe Reles, Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, Allie Tannenbaum, Buggsy Goldstein, or Happy Maione. It was never clear how Workman had earned his "yeoman" reputation. I have only seen one other murder attributed to him, outside of the Schultz crew slaughter, and that occurred almost four years after the Dutchman’s demise.
Workman’s partners on the hit were Murder, Inc. lieutenant Emmanuel "Mendy" Weiss, and a driver identified only by his nickname, "Piggy." On the night of the murders, Oct. 23, 1935, we only know what happened through second-hand knowledge of the killings. Workman and Weiss never revealed the events of that evening, but they had conversations with other members of Murder, Inc. who later ratted out their compatriots to the authorities.

According to Burton Turkus, the assistant prosecutor who wrote the book Murder, Inc., and prosecuted several of its members, Workman "strolled" into the Palace Chophouse in Newark, while Weiss provided cover and "Piggy" sat poised at the wheel. Workman walked the length of the bar and flipped open the door to the men’s room. Inside was a man washing his hands whom Workman thought was a Schultz bodyguard. He shot the man, who immediately dropped to the floor.

Workman then darted into the back dining room and opened up on the Schultz men – Lulu Rosencrantz, Abe Landau and Abbadabba Berman – killing all three. Not seeing Dutch on the floor, Workman realized he must have been the man washing his hands. He then went back to rifle Schultz’s pockets.

Paul Sann had a different version of the shooting. He stated that both Weiss and Workman first blasted away at the three men in the dining room. Then, after not spotting Schultz, Workman went into the men’s room and found Dutch at the urinal. Workman fired twice; one bullet hit Schultz, causing a mortal wound.

There are discrepancies in both author’s accounts of these murders. However, when the gunfire stopped, another gangland saga was created.

After Workman supposedly rifled the Dutchman’s pockets for cash, he ran back to the getaway car. Weiss, "Piggy" and the car were not in sight. This left Workman the task of making it back to the city alone, which he claimed to have accomplished by escaping through back yards and following the railroad tracks home.

Workman was livid and demanded Weiss’s life for abandoning him. In a sit-down with Lepke Buchalter, each man pled his case. Weiss’s argument for leaving was that the shooting was mob business and when it was over it was time to split. Workman’s robbing of the dying Schultz was personal business and he and "Piggy" should not have put themselves in jeopardy by having to wait for Workman to profit from the kill. Buchalter sided with his lieutenant, Weiss.

In 1940, Abe Reles began ratting out the Murder, Inc. gang, One of the first trials to get underway was Workman’s. The trial, held in Newark, started on June 2, 1941 and began with testimony from Reles and Tannenbaum. It came to an abrupt halt eight days later. On June 9, Louis Cohen testified that he had employed Workman from 1935 to 1937 as a manager and car dispatcher at his funeral home. This was Workman’s alibi for the Schultz murder planning sessions he was said to be at. After Cohen left the witness stand, he was "shadowed" by Prosecutor William O’Dwyer’s men and taken to the police department where he admitted to the false testimony.

Cohen was then driven home by a police officer who remained with him the entire night and returned him to the courthouse the following morning. As Cohen was called back to the witness stand, Workman jumped up and shouted, "Mr. Cohen! I don’t want you to…" Workman didn’t finish his sentence as courtroom attendants pounced on him.
"May I take the stand your honor," Workman yelled out. "Please let me take the stand."
"Not now," replied the judge.
Once back on the stand, Cohen revealed that he had lied the previous day.
When court reconvened after lunch, Workman’s attorney announced that his client wanted to change his plea to "no defense." Common Pleas Judge Daniel Brennan accepted the plea, dismissed the jury, and promptly sentenced Workman to life in prison.

As he was being taken away, the guards gave him a moment with his brother Abe. While Abe sobbed in his arms, Workman told him, "Whatever you do, live honestly. If you make 20 cents a day, make it do you. If you can’t make an honest living, make the government support you. Keep away from the gangs and don’t be a wise guy. Take care of Mama and Papa and watch ‘Itchy’ (a younger brother). He needs watching."

Workman was sent to Trenton State Prison. He was back in the news in 1942, when he offered his services to the United States Navy to go on a suicide mission to hit Japan and avenge Pearl Harbor. His patriotic request was denied. A model prisoner, Workman was transferred to Rahway State Prison Farm in 1952. When he was paroled in 1964, after almost 23 years in prison, his brother Abe and his wife Catherine met him at the prison. He found work, of all places, in the garment district that Lepke once ruled.

Workman never discussed his past life, except to say, "If I knew then, what I know now." He kept the details of the Schultz murders to himself, and the 16 other killings that were attributed to him.

Copyright 1999 by Allan May

Louis "Lepke" Buchalter

Buchalter was the only mob boss ever to die in the electric chair. He started out as a push cart shoplifter and ended up as one of the most powerful Jewish gangsters ever.

Lepke was nasty. The kind of guy who runs out and stomps on the head of an unconscious man. To that end, he became the master of the protection racket. He started by using his mastadonic friend Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro to rough up union delegates in the garment district of Manhattan; unions which had only just been formed ten years earlier. Lepke used the unions to threaten strikes, and demanded weekly payments from factory owners. He also raided the union bank accounts through his puppet delegates.

Kalvin Klein With a Blow Torch and a Tommy GunAfter a few years of working over the sweatshop owners in the garment district, Lepke was pulling in the cash like a gardener raking in fall leaves. Soon, he branched out into a more general protection racket. Other gangsters worked this angle all over New York. What made Lepke stand out was his intolerance of those who wouldn't pay protection money. In someone else's territory, if a mark didn't pay up, they'd get their legs broken. But with Lepke, if someone didn't pay, they were simply killed. No one got a second chance. Not only would Lepke's boys kill shopkeepers, but they'd usually set the places on fire after the owners were disposed of, and sell off the merchandise to their friends.

No one knows exactly how many people were killed or how many businesses were burned on Buchalter's orders. It's said that he sentenced thousands to their demise during prohibition. His eventual undoing was a stool pigeon who said that Buchalter was behind two out of every three arsons in Manhattan.

Buchalter's protection scheme shot him to the top of the crime world. By 1929, he attracted the attention of Salvatore Maranzano Maranzano coveted the stacks of cash Lepke was pulling in each week and wanted to move in on the operations with full force. So Buchalter went to talk to an old friend: Lucky Luciano.

First, Luciano sent Bugsy Siegel, Joe Adonia, Vito Genovese and Albert Anastasia to kill Maranzano's rival, Joe Masseria. Then he took out Maranzano. Then, he took over the world.
Board Member ExtrordinaireFor his support, Buchalter was awarded an honorary seat on the board of the National Crime Syndicate (despite Luciano's open minded policies, no Jews could actually sit on the board). He was also allowed to keep ahold of his protectorate. By the middle 30's, Lepke's rackets were pouring in cash and no one in New York dared to cross him. His reputation for comissioning hits made him a terror.

Lepke started attracting a lot of attention from the feds during the early 30's. He usually got off thanks to bribed federal judges, but in 1939, he was fingered by former Murder Inc. employee Abe Reles. Reles turned state's evidence after he was bagged for a murder he couldn't shrug off. He immediately began singing, and fingered Lepke as a major player in 4 murders.

Buchalter hid out in New Jersey in a specially made safe house filled with trap doors and false walls. The place was owned by a woman named Mrs. Walsh, and it was built in the 20's by her husband who used it to hide from Lepke Buchalter. Mrs. Walsh took care of Lepke in 1939 because she never knew that he was the man who had ordered her husband's death.
In 1940, Albert Anastasia began lobbying with Buchalter to surrender to federal authorites to answer on federal narcotics charges that were being brought against him. The plan was to fix the federal trial and avoid the charges of murder in New York.

It didn't work. He was handed over to the New York police immediately following his surrender. Abe Reles sang like a canary in court, and Lepke was sent to the electric chair. Once his appointed date of demise came, he stormed into the chamber, thumped himself down in the chair and didn't move or say a word after. He died in two minutes, covering himself in drool in the process.

Sam "Red" Levine

Surprisingly little is known about Sam "Red" Levine considering he was one of the Mafia's more colorful characters. What is know is that Red Levine was an Orthordox Jew Mafia hitman who refused to kill on the Sabbath. Levine was a member of the notorious Mafia gang, Murder Inc. and is credited with being the trigger man in the murder of Salvatore Maranzaro.

Benjamin "Bugsy" Seigel

Benjamin Hymen Siegel was an gangster , popularly thought to be a primary instigator of large-scale development of Las Vegas. He hated his nickname Bugsy and wouldn't allow anyone to call him that to his face.
Siegel was born in Brookyn, NY to a poor Jewish family, one of five children. As a boy he joined a street gang on Lafayette Street in Lower East Side and committed first mainly thefts until, with another boy called Moe Sedway, he devised his own protection racket. He forced pushcart merchants to pay him five dollars or he would incinerate their merchandise on the spot.

As a teenager, Siegel befriended Meyer Lansky formed a small gang with him that expanded to gambling and car theft . Reputedly Siegel also worked as the gang's hitman who Lansky would sometimes hire out to other gang bosses. In 1926 Siegel was charged for rape but Lansky cohersed the victim not to testify.

In 1930 Lansky and Siegel joined forces with Lucky Luciano. Siegel became a bootlegger and was also associated with Albert Anastasia. Siegel was used for bootlegging operations inNY, NJ, and Philly. During the so-called Castallermerse War in 1930-1931, they fought the gang of Joe Masseria and Siegel reputedly had a hand in Masseria's murder in Coney Island and later had a part in Murder, Inc. In 1932 he was arrested for gambling and bootlegging but got away with a fine. Lanskey and Siegel were briefly allied with Dutch Schultz and killed rival loan sharksLouis and Joseph Amberg in 1935.

In 1937 the East Coast mob sent Siegel California to try to develop syndicate gambling rackets in the West alongside Los Angeles mobster Jack Dragna . Siegel also recruited Jewish gang boss Mickey Cohen as his lieutenant. Siegel used syndicate money to set up the national wire service so that East Coast mob would get their cut faster.

Siegel had married his childhood sweetheart Esther Krakow, sister of a fellow hitman Whitey Krakow . He eventually moved her and their two daughters to West Coast after his bosses had sent him there, but kept them separate from his affairs. Siegel had a number of mistresses, including Ketti Gallian , actresses Wendy Barrie and Marie MacDonald and Hollywood socialite Dorothy DiFrasso . With the aid of DiFrasso and actor friend George Raft Siegel gained entry into Hollywood's inner circle. He is alleged to have used his contacts to extort movie studios. He lived in extravagant fashion, as befit to his reputation. In his income tax reports he claimed to earn a living by legal gambling in Santa Anita racetrack.

Siegel also became enamored with moll and courier Virginia Hill. They began a torrid affair. Hill worked for Siegel to establish contacts in Mexico. Hill was wealthy in her own right and had bought a mansion in Beverly Hills where Siegel frequently stayed. Siegel called her his "bait" and she became his more regular mistress. Later there were rumors that they were secretly married in Mexico. Their affair, however, didn't keep Siegel from womanizing. Virgina's reaction to his infidelities is unknown, but the long-suffering Esther had finally had enough; she went to Reno and obtained a divorce in 1946.

In November of 39, Siegel, with Whitey Krakower and two others, killed Harry Greenberg who became a police informer . Siegel was arrested and tried for the murder (by that time, he had also killed Krakower). He was acquitted but newspapers referred to him for the first time with his nickname "Bugsy": he was not pleased, especially when his gangland past was revealed. On one return trip to the East, Siegel drove by the then small town of Las Vegas. Legend has it that, at the moment he had a vision of turning this town into a large gambling spot, he had stopped there for a call of nature.

According to popular myth. Bugsy had a vision where he would build large casinos and hotels where people could go and gamble His vision was fueled by the fact Nevada had legalized gambling in 1931. Siegel returned to the East and convinced his fellow mobsters about the possibilities of building a major gambling mecca in Las Vegas. After convincing his gangmates, Siegel returned and began working on his dream, with the construction of a casino he would name The Flamingo , his pet name for Virginia Hill.

The reality is, the mafia had a presence in Las Vegas casinos going back to at least 1941. The swank Flamingo was conceived and started by Los Angeles businessman Billy Wilkerson, who handed the project over to Siegel only after running short of funds. In return, Siegel allowed Wilkerson to retain a one-third ownership.

However, Siegel knew little about construction; under his oversight, the construction costs ballooned from $1 million to $6 million. Allegedly, the Del Webb company, which was in charge of on-site construction, would drive building materials on site, before simply driving them out of the back gate and billing Siegel for their work. When Webb became worried that he would come to harm, Siegel reputedly joked: "Don't worry, Del. We only kill each other." The Mafia members who invested in Siegel's project became worried back East, and began to suspect that Siegel was stealing money from them. Because Hill had been taking frequent trips to Europe they also worried that Siegel might be putting their money away into a swiss bank account.

In 1946, several of his business and crime partners flew to Cuba for theHavana Conference meeting with Luciano, who had begun to operate Mafia operations from Italy after he was paroled from jail in the U.S. and deported to Europe. One of the main topics for discussion at the conference was whether they should order a hit on Siegel, who was kept in the dark about the meeting. Lansky, who remembered fondly how Siegel had saved his life on various occasions when they were young, took a stand against the hit, and he asked them to give Siegel a chance until the casino opened. Luciano, who believed that Siegel could still make a profit in Las Vegas and pay back what he owed the Mafia investors, decided to cancel the hit.

Siegel opened his casino on a star-studded night, though he did not have as many Hollywood stars with him as he had hoped. Soon the casino ran dry of stars and customers, and the gangsters met once again in Cuba to decide whether they would "liquidate" Siegel. But, luckily for Siegel, he had turned a profit on the month of the second meeting, and Lansky again stood up for his old friend. Luciano decided to give him one last chance.

Eventually, "Bugsy's" business venture in Las Vegas failed. Virginia stole the money he owed the mob and fled to Paris, then Sweden. Siegel was shot in his home by a hidden hitman outside as he read the newspaper.

Abe "Kid Twist" Reles

Abraham Reles was born in a poverty stricken area of Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, in 1907 to Jewish-Austrian immigrants. It wasn’t long before young Abe turned to a life of crime. Brownsville was the birthplace and incubator of many Jewish gangsters. Stories of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, the garment district kingpin, Benjamin Seigel, the future casino emperor, Meyer Lansky and Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer, put young Abe on his path to wealth, fame and ultimately his destruction. Unbeknownst to him, these men would shape and determine the direction his life would take. Abe would become one of the most infamous contract killers ever hired by Murder Incorporated.

Abraham Reles was short, but had long arms and hands like a catcher’s glove. He was given the name "Kid Twist", a nickname given to a previous vicious killer from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Another myth exists on how Abe got the name "Kid Twist". It was supposedly after his favorite type of candy. Abe’s weapon of choice was an ice pick, which he became very adept at using. He was so good at jamming it into the contracts’ ear, that many of his victims’ deaths were deemed as brain hemorrhages

In the 1920’s the Shapiro brothers, led by Meyer Shapiro, ran the rackets of Brooklyn with the Amberg brothers nipping at their heels. Prohibition, a Government experiment gone badly, gave rise to many groups of booze barons and hijackers. If you wanted a slot or vending machine, you had to get it from Shapiros. Abe and his friend Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein worked for the Shapiro brothers when they were still teenagers. Soon the two boys were committing petty crimes, busting up strikes and causing other distractions for their money-hungry employers. During one such event, Abe was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to a two-year sentence in an Upstate New York juvenile facility. The Shapiro’s never came to the legal assistance of their faithful employee. This inaction, by the Shapiro brothers, would prove fatal.

When young Abe was released from prison he looked up his old friend Buggsy. He found him in their old neighborhood in East New York. Abe and Buggsy renewed their friendship. They were soon heavily into the slot machine business with help from George Defeo, who was linked to Meyer Lansky, the mob’s accountant. Lansky was willing to help because his organization did not have exposure to the poorer sections of Brooklyn. Through this alliance with Reles, Lansky was able to gain a sizeable foothold in the Brownsville, East New York and Ocean Hill sections of Brooklyn. For Reles, it was the sort of backing he needed to stay in business and to stay alive.

Business was good. It wasn’t long before the two friends, Reles and Goldstein, made the Shapiro hit list. It was time to kill or be killed; you could almost here Abe say, "Time to go to the mattress", a mob term for starting a war. One night Abe and Buggsy received a call from a friend that the Shapiros had left their headquarters. They jumped in their vehicle, along with George Defeo, and headed for East New York. It was a set up. The three were greeted by gunfire. Abe was shot in the back, Buggsy was shot in the face and Defeo escaped unharmed. To add insult to injury, Meyer Shapiro found Abe’s girlfriend walking on the street. He forced her into the car and took her to an open field where he beat and raped her repeatedly.

It was hours after the attack that Abe’s girlfriend told him what had occurred. Abe tasted blood. He hatched an elaborate scheme with the help from an Italian gang named the Ocean Hill Hooligans. Reles and Goldstein struck up an alliance with Frank "The Dasher" Abbundando and Harry "Happy" Maione who jumped at the chance to get rid of the Shapiro brothers for a piece of the action. Each side made attempt after attempt to kill one another, but to no avail. Abe Reles’s band of killers finally caught up with Irving Shapiro a month later. Abe caught him in the hallway of 691 Blake Avenue and dragged him out onto into the street. He beat, kicked and then shot Irving Shapiro numerous times. Two months later, so intent on revenge Abe shot Meyer Shapiro in the head. Three years later the last Shapiro brother, William, was abducted off of the street and brought to one of the gang’s hideouts. They beat him to near death and then stuffed him in a sack. The Reles’s gang then drove him out to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn where they buried him. Before they could finish, a man spotted them and the killers fled the scene. The man began to unearth what the men were burying when he found the sack. When William’s body was exhumed from its shallow grave and brought to Bellvue for an autopsy, the medical examiner made a frightening discovery. William Shapiro had dirt in his lungs; he was buried alive.

Before there ever was a Sammy "The Rat" Gravano, there was Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. In 1940, under the order of then District Attorney, William O’Dwyer, Abe Reles was picked up on a murder charge. He was implicated in a series of murders. When it was certain that he would be sent to Sing Sing Prison to sit upon "Old Sparky", Reles decided to become an informant for the District Attorney’s Office. The information Reles gave on May 16, 1940, led to the arrest, indictment, conviction and electrocution of one of his former bosses, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter. Needless to say, Abe’s decision to become a stool pigeon did not sit well with many high-ranking mob officials. The entire Syndicate that Lepke had helped establish was now in jeopardy. However, the most damaging Reles testimony was against Murder Incorporated. One by one, District Attorney William O’Dwyer prosecuted reputed killers from the organization, Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein Abe’s childhood friend, Mendy Weiss, Harry "Happy" Maione and put them to death in the Sing Sing electric chair.

William O’Dwyer, on his road to becoming Mayor of New York City, had bigger fish to fry. He planned a trial on November 12th 1941, for Albert Anastasia, the man who ran Murder Incorporated with Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, based solely on the testimony of his star witness, Abe Reles. In the early morning hours of November 12th, Abe Reles, guarded by six police detectives, mysteriously flew from the window of room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel, in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The true events that took place that morning will never be known. Was he thrown? Was he pushed? Or was he trying to escape? When "Kid Twist" fell from the window, so did the truth.

Meyer Lansky

Meyer Lansky, born in 1902 in Poland to Jewish parents, grew up on the Lower East Side of New York. He was a virtuous and law abiding teen until one day, as he was walking home from his apprenticeship as a toolmaker, he heard a woman screaming in a deserted building. When he went in to investigate, he stumbled upon a 14-year-old Benjamin Siegel fighting a young Charles Luciano over the free services Siegel had been receiving from one of Luciano's prostitutes (the screaming woman). Not knowing either person, Lansky decided to come to the aid of Siegel, and beat Luciano over the head with a monkey wrench. After this unusual introduction the three men would become close friends and business partners. Lansky soon decided that there was more money to be made in gambling than in tool making, and started a floating crap game together with Siegel. His games proved so successful that within two years he was approached by Luciano, who asked him to join in his plans for a national crime syndicate.

By this time Lansky's mob of enforcers had grown to considerable strength, and had come to be known as the Bug and Meyer Mob. In return for his cooperation, Luciano steered a lot of business Lansky's way. During the 20's Lansky, as many of his contemporaries, grew incredibly wealthy from the rackets he was involved in. When Luciano's syndicate became reality towards the end of the decade, Lansky was appointed a position on the board of directors. He was mostly in charge of financial matters, arranging for the millions of dollars in income to be laundred, but also headed the gambling rackets. After Luciano was sent to prison for a long term stay, Lansky arranged for his cooperation in the Allied invasion of Sicily, and got his friend an eary parole. Lansky was left in charge of the day-to-day affairs of Luciano's empire when he was deported to Italy. Around that time also, Siegel had gotten himself in trouble by squandering syndicate money on his venture in Las Vegas, and although Lansky considered Siegel "his closest friend", he agreed to Siegel's elimination after the latter refused to cooperate with syndicate orders. By the 60's Lansky's gambling rackets had extended half-way across the globe, with departments all over South America , and even as far as Hong Kong. When in 1970 the federal government was plan ning to charge Lansky with tax evasion, he fled to Israel, where he lived in Tel Aviv. Israel revoked his visa under pressure from the US, however, and Lansky was made to stand trial. Reportedly he managed to escape conviction because his power stretched to the highest level of government. Eventually he settled in Miami, Florida, where his health declined and he finally died of a heat attack in 1983. At the time of his death, his fortune was estimated to be worth over $400 million.

Arnold Rothstein

Known by many names - A. R., Mr. Big, The Fixer, The Big Bankroll, The Man Uptown, and The Brain - Arnold Rothstein seemed more myth than man. He was the inspiration for Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby, and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. He was rumored to be the mastermind of the "Black Sox" scandal, the fixing of the 1919 World Series. Arnold Rothstein was gambling, and Arnold Rothstein was money. He was Mr. Broadway and had his own booth at Lindy's restaurant in Manhattan where he held court.

In 1914 Rothstein was already on his way to becoming the go-to-guy for lay-off betting in the bookmaking business. Since its early years, America has had a love affair with horse racing - and betting on horse races. As placing wagers on the sport became more popular, especially in the country's larger cities, the art of bookmaking, also known then as pool operating, became popular too. It was not until Rothstein came along to organize the various bookmakers that it became a huge money making venture. By the mid-teens Rothstein's ever-growing bankroll allowed him to set the terms for what became known as the lay-off bet. This is the process of evening out a bookie's slate when one horse has so much money riding on it that the results can break the bookie's bank. He simply bet's the other way with someone with enough money to handle the bet and the two split the winning percentage from the bets placed.

Rothstein was soon known from coast to coast as the man who could handle any lay-off bet. Assembling a loyal group of men who worked around the clock for their master, Rothstein's ability to take care of this type of betting would last until his death. Meanwhile, as the country moved through the 1910s, Rothstein's gambling contemporaries in New York fell by the wayside. Having one of the few reputable gambling houses in the city Rothstein decided to close up shop because it had become too well known. In 1916 he opened a new casino in Hewlett, Long Island where the cost of "protection" was not nearly as high as in Manhattan. Both the building and the land the gambling house occupied were owned by a state senator who was recognized as a major political figure in the area. The casino was lavishly furnished and provided the gamblers, who arrived by invitation only, with the best in food and drink. All of the casino's employees were required to dress in appropriate eveningwear.

Rothstein took advantage of what he termed "snob appeal" for his gambling den. "People like to think they're better than other people," Rothstein once told Damon Runyon. "As long as they're willing to pay to prove it, I'm willing to let them." For three years he allowed them to "pay," to the tune of $500,000 in profits, before he closed the club in 1919 after the local authorities became greedy. Rothstein did not remain out of the casino business for long. In 1917 he was approached about bankrolling a gambling house at Saratoga, which he did until closing his Long Island operation. Rothstein then opened his own place in Saratoga, which he named the "Brook." The combination cabaret, gambling casino, nightclub and restaurant was described as one of the grandest of its kind. The Brook drew the wealthiest gamblers in the country. Katcher claims, "Rothstein wanted only the best people as customers. To him 'best' and 'wealthiest' were synonymous. He had no other gauge than money by which to judge."

After the 1922 racing season was completed a reform mayor was elected in Saratoga. The candidate ran on a platform to rid the area of bookmakers and gamblers. Shortly after the election an "emissary" of the mayor-elect contacted Rothstein to let him know the new city leader was "willing to forget some of the promises he made." "How much?" barked Rothstein. "You can take care of it for $60,000," came the reply. Rothstein shot back, "You go back and tell him to go to hell. Anyone who'd sell out a whole town wouldn't hesitate to double-cross one man." The Brook was sold and, while Rothstein stayed clear of owning anymore casinos at Saratoga, he continued to bankroll various operations until he died. One of these gambling houses was the "Chicago Club," which came into the possession of a group of investors headed by Charles "Lucky" Luciano.

The Mafia Encyclopedia defines Prohibition as "the greatest day for organized crime in America." Little did Rothstein know at the advent of the Volstead Act that he would be one of the founding fathers of organized crime in the United States. In fact, Rothstein actually believed the new law would be effective.

When Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, Rothstein had many of the component parts of organized crime in place. Leo Katcher explains: "Rothstein was one of the first rumrunners. He made the smuggling of uncut diamonds and narcotics a side enterprise. "He operated one of the largest bail bond businesses in New York. Each man for whom he provided bail had to give Rothstein his insurance business. "Rothstein had 'pieces' of many night clubs and cabarets. This was a bonus he took for financing them, at his usual rate of interest. His 'partners' found that they had to purchase or rent such equipment as silver and linens from firms that Rothstein owned. They also had to place all their insurance with Rothstein's firm. "Rothstein financed many retail outlets for bootleggers. His realty firms negotiated rentals and leases. "He bankrolled many bootleggers and provided them with trucks and drivers to transport their illegal cargo. "Rothstein's main function though was organization. He provided money and manpower and protection. He arranged corruption - for a price. And, if things went wrong, Rothstein was ready to provide bail and attorneys. He put crime on a corporate basis when the proceeds of crime became large enough to warrant it."

One of Rothstein's first ventures into rum running came after a meeting with Waxey Gordon (Irving Wexler) and Detroit bootlegger Maxie Greenberg. While in Detroit, Greenberg began smuggling in whiskey from Canada. Realizing how profitable this venture was, he wanted to expand and needed $175,000 to do so. He traveled to New York in hopes that through Gordon, he could obtain financing from Rothstein. Gordon knew Rothstein from having worked for him in the garment district as a labor enforcer.

Rothstein met the two in Central Park. Sitting on a park bench, he listened to their plan to smuggle in Canadian whiskey. The following day the three men met again, this time in Rothstein's office where he made a counterproposal. Rothstein would finance the venture, but the liquor would be purchased and brought in from Great Britain. Gordon, who was acting as a middleman, asked to be included in the deal and was cut in for a small "piece." From this "piece," Gordon would launch a successful rum running empire and become a wealthy man. After Rothstein ended his partnership with the two in 1921, he continued to help finance them. Gordon took over two large warehouses when they split, one in the city and the other on Long Island. Rothstein would later use Gordon's speedboats to smuggle in diamonds and dope.
Rothstein reached his pinnacle during the wild days of the "roaring twenties." Despite his wealth, power and influence - outside of his fictionalized participation in the 1919 World Series fixing - Rothstein will be remembered most for the future underworld leaders he helped tutor. In addition to the aforementioned Waxey Gordon other major underworld personalities that came under Rothstein's wing were Jack "Legs" Diamond, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello and Lepke Buchalter.
A Arnold Rothstein Chronology

1882 - Born, East 47th Street, New York City, son of Abraham and Esther Rothstein (Jan. 17).

1899 - Leaves home; takes job as traveling hat and cap salesman.

1904 - Makes first trip to Saratoga Springs aboard Cavanagh Special; strands Abe Attell.

1908 - Meets showgirl Carolyn Green at Hotel Cadillac (Sept.).

1909- Marries Carolyn Green at Saratoga Springs; pawns her jewelry (Aug. 12).- Borrows $2,000 from father-in-law to open W. 46th Street gambling house.- Wins $4,000 against Jack Conaway at John McGraw’s pool hall on Herald Square (Nov. 18).

1910 - Charles G. Gates loses $40,000 in one night at Rothstein’s (Nov.).- Buys out West 46th Street gambling house partner, Tammany ward leader Willie Shea.

1912 - Murder of gambler gambler Herman Rosenthal at the Metropole Hotel on W. 43rd Street (July 16).- NYPD Lt. Charles Becker found guilty of ordering murder of Herman Rosenthal.- Tammany leader Charles Francis Murphy increases Rothstein’s influence in politics.

1913 - Bankroll reaches $300,000; closes house on W. 46th Street.- Opens gambling house at Hewlitt, Long Island.- Begins relationship with showgirl Bobbie Winthrop.

1914 - Begins laying off bets for fellow bookmakers.- Moves into real estate, insurance.- Lt. Charles Becker's conviction overturned (Feb. 24).- Dago Frank Cirofici, Whitey Lewis (Jacob Seidenschner), Lefty Louie (Louis Rosenberg), and Harry "Gyp the Blood" Horowitz executed for murder of Herman Rosenthal (April 13).- Becker again found guilty of ordering Rosenthal's murder (May 22).

1915 - New York State Court of Appeals affirms Becker guilty verdict. - Becker executed at Sing Sing for ordering murder of Herman Rosenthal.

1917 - Begins bankrolling Saratoga Springs gambling house owner Harry Tobin.- Robbed at Hotel St. Francis crap game (May 16).- Arch Selwyn opens Selwyn Theatre at 229 W. 42nd Street; bankrolled by A.R. (Oct. 2).- Wins $300,000 on Hourless at Laurel (Oct. 18).

1919 - Opens The Brook in Saratoga Springs.- Robbed of $11,000 in floating crap game (Jan.).- Middleman for Charles A. Stoneham’s purchase of New York Giants (Jan. 19).- Charged with assault after police raid crap game at 301 W. 57th St. (Jan. 19).- Bankrolls first edition of George White’s Scandals (June 2).- Fixes 1919 World Series between Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds.

1919-20 - Intervenes in garment industry labor disputes; places Little Augie Orgen in charge.

1920 - Henchman Nicky Arnstein (husband of Fanny Brice) in hiding for Wall Street Liberty Bond thefts (Feb-May). - Furnishes bail for Arnstein; Monk Eastman steals Fanny Brice’s car, returns it on mention of Rothstein’s name (May 16).- Subway Sam Rosoff loses $100,000 in one night at The Brook.- Bankrolls Waxey Gordon’s rum running operation.- Begins work with Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.- Wins between $850,000 and $900,000 on Sailing B at Saratoga (Aug. 27).- Grand jury convenes in Chicago to investigate baseball gambling (Sept. 7).- Billy Maharg implicates Attell and Rothstein in Philadelphia North American article (Sept. 27).- Announces retirement from gambling (Oct. 1).- Testifies before Chicago grand jury investigating World Series fix (Oct. 26).

1921 - Black Sox confessions and waivers missing (Feb. 14).- American League President Ban Johnson alleges Arnold Rothstein told him Benny Kauff offered to help fix the 1919 World Series (Mar. 8).- Ban Johnson charges Rothstein stole confessions from the State’s Attorney’s office; Rothstein threatens to sue Johnson for $100,000 (Mar. 14).- Wins $850,000 on Sidereal at Aqueduct (July 4).- Wins $500,000 on Sporting Blood in Travers Stakes (August 20).- Loses $270,000 on single race at Aqueduct (fall).- Enters Bahamian rum running scheme with Dapper Dan Collins.- Begins association with Frank Costello.- With Gene McGee discovers "padlock" loophole in Mullen-Gage Law.

1922 - Sells The Brook to Nat Evans (alternate date:1925).- Pays income tax of $35.25 for 1921; declares gross income of $31,544.48, net of $7,257.29 (Mar. 15).- Helps finance Anne Nichols’ Abie’s Irish Rose (opens May 23 at New Victory Theatre).- Fences $300,000 in jewels stolen from Mrs. Hugo A. C. Schoelkopf.- Borrows $20,000 from Irving Berlin.

1923 - Showgirl Dot King found murdered in Rothstein-owned apartment (Mar 15).- William Randolph Hearst's New York American links Rothstein to bucket shop scandals.- Closes Long Beach gambling house.- Collyer’s Eye insinuates Rothstein might be involved with Cincinnati Reds in throwing games (Aug. 18).- Testifies before Referee in Bankruptcy re: E. M. Fuller & Co. (June 25, Oct. 8).- Jack Dempsey-Luis Firpo fight; A.R. helps Lucky Luciano pick out a new wardrobe for the event (Sept. 14).- Bankrolls swindler “Jake the Barber” Factor.

1924 - Indicted for concealing E. M. Fuller assets (April).- Nicky Arnstein enters Leavenworth (May 16)- Nott suspends sentencing for Fuller & McGee (July).- Fallon acquitted of perjury (Aug. 8).- Fallon defends Giants coach Cozy Dolan (Oct.-Nov.).- Rothstein high agent in sales for Norwalk Insurance Co.

1925 - Bankrolls Jake Factor again.- Sends Sid Stajer to Asia for drug buys in China, Formosa, and Hong Kong. - Wins $80,000 on suspicious Mickey Walker-Dave Shade fight at Madison Square Garden.- Mayor John F. “Red Mike” Hylan accuses A.R. of being a “big gambler” backing James J. Walker for mayor (Aug. 24).- Tammany chief George Olvany denies knowing Arnold Rothstein (Aug.).

1926 - Rothstein, Inc. employee Irving Sobel arrested on charge of selling heroin.- Mediates garment industry strike—allegedly influences police on behalf of the Communist faction.- Sends George Uffner to Asia for further drug purchases—these will continue until after Rothstein's death.- Gives power of attorney to both L. P. Mattingly and Rolland Nutt to represent him when an additional tax assessment for the years 1919, 1920, and 1921 was lodged against him- Gambler George Formel charges A.R. had paid Saratoga Co. D.A. Charles B. Andrus $60,000 in "protection" money.- Presence ringside at first Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney heavyweight title fight causes controversy; wins $500,000 (Sept. 23).

1927 - Carolyn Rothstein tells Rothstein she desires a divorce.- Death of Bobbie Winthrop.- Arnold Rothstein meets showgirl Inez Norton.- Arnold Rothstein urges Little Augie Orgen to lay off strongarm tactics in unions and opt for infiltration of their management—Orgen refuses.- American Federation of Labor (AFL) accuses Arnold Rothstein of “fixing the police in behalf of the Communists” in recent furriers strike (June 11). - Arnold Rothstein in virtual control of U.S. drug trade.

1928 - Bankrolls Fats Waller's Broadway review Keep Shufflin' (opens Feb. 27)- Belgian multi-millionaire Captain Alfred Loewenstein arrives in New York City (Apr. 28).- Loses $130,000 at Belmont Park (May 31).- “Loans” $19,940 to City Magistrate Albert Vitale (June 17 or 18).- Death of Capt. Alfred Loewenstein (July 4).- Loses $300,000 at poker game at Jimmy Meehan’s apartment, 161 W. 54th Street (Sept. 8-10).- Shot in Room 349 at Park Central Hotel, 200 W. 56th Street (Nov. 4).- Rothstein signs will prepared by attorney Maurice F. Cantor (Nov. 5).- Arnold Rothstein dies at 10:15 AM at Polyclinic Hospital, 335-361 W. 50th Street (Nov. 5).- Funeral at Riverside Memorial Chapel; Burial at Union Field Cemetery, Queens (Nov. 7)- Sidney Stajer and Jimmy Meehan testify before Rothstein murder case grand jury (Nov. 28).- In the Tombs Bridget Fahey and two others identify gambler George McManus as being occupant of Room 349 (Nov. 28).- District Attorney Joab Banton denies Arnold Rothstein-Alfred Loewenstein link (Dec. 3).- George McManus, Hyman “Gillie” Biller, John Doe, and Richard Roe indicted for A.R.'s murder (Dec. 4).

1929 - Mayoral candidate Fiorello LaGuardia reveals 1928 A.R. loan to Vitale (Sept.).- Judge Charles C. Nott refuses to try McManus until after election (Oct. 10).- James J. Walker defeats Fiorello LaGuardia 865,000 to 368,000; Thomas C. T. Crain elected District Attorney (Nov.). - George McManus' trial postponed because of illness of witness (Nov. 12). - McManus trial begins (Nov. 18).- Judge Nott directs acquittal of George McManus (Dec. 5).- Judge Albert Vitale robbed at Tepecano Democratic Club (Dec. 7-8).

1930-Judge Nott quashes charges against Biller (Jan. 16).- Inez Norton returns from Florida, announces she will play on Broadway in a play based on Rothstein (Feb. 1).- Grand jury issues report on NYC federal narcotics office (Feb. 19).- Judge Albert Vitale removed from office over Rothstein loan (Mar. 14).- Inez Norton opens in Room 349 at the National Theater (Apr. 21)- Judge Albert Vitale honored by the Federation of Italian-American Democratic Clubs; gunmen burst in and rob guests (June 8).- Judge Samuel Seabury appointed to investigate Magistrates Courts; begins end of Walker administration (Aug. 25).

1932 – Rothstein murder grand jury dismissed (Feb. 2).- Seabury interrogates Walker (May 25-26).- Seabury sends recommendations to Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt (June 8).- Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt interrogates Walker (Aug.11-26).- Jimmy Walker resigns as mayor (Sept. 1).

1938 - Jack Rothstone files an accounting of brother Arnold's estate, no assets listed (Mar. 1)