Meet Kiki

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pulpy goodness

"My time is coming. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow or next week, maybe not even until 1974 but my time is coming."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is the law? No spill blood.

In the summer of 1935 Joey Amberg, a semi-big racketeering feller in Brooklyn, decided that a hoodlum named Hy Kasner had to be killed, so together with two henchmen named Jack Elliot and Frankie Teitlebaum they set out to get Kasner. The latter was snatched, killed, stuffed in a sack and dropped into a sewer. Business as usual in Brownsville back in the 1930's.

Amberg was hoping that the sack would be washed out to sea and Hy's disappearance would be but a mystery, but unfortunately for Amberg it popped up near shore and what was left of Hy was fished out. Soon the names of Kasner’s killers traveled the underworld grapevine. Problematic for Amberg was that Kasner was an associate of both Albert Anastasia and Louis Capone the director and assistant director of Murder Inc and, to paraphrase Bumpy Johnson from the film Cotton Club, "If you have Murder Inc. on your ass, you truly have somebody on your ass."*

A Syndicate hearing was called. Anastasia and Capone argued that Amberg and his murdering cohorts should themselves be put on the spot for taking syndicate law into their own hands by killing Kasner without mob approval while Joe Adonis and Bugsy Siegel argued for Amberg’s clemency.

Adonis and Siegel were overruled and a contract was put out on Joey A. Chosen for the job was “Happy” Maione, Phil Mangano,(brother of Vincent Mangano the patriarch of the Mangano crime family) and another man known as “Red” Pulvino. The location chosen for the hit was the Brownsville garage, which was partially owned by “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss, where Joey Amberg parked his car.

On this day in 1935 Amberg’s sedan, chauffeured by Morris Kessler, pulled into the garage and as the men were stepping out, the killers, two dressed in khaki overalls and the third dressed in blue overalls, ran up with guns drawn and forced them to line up against the wall. As Amberg turned to face the wall he saw Maione’s face and began to say, “It’s - -” but before he could get anything else out he and Kessler were cut down by a blast from a shotgun. Once Amberg and Kessler were on the ground one of the killers ran up and shot each man in the head with a pistol. Justice, Murder Inc. style, had been served

*Johnson was actually referring to Owney Madden in the film. But you already knew that.
Joey Amberg

Monday, September 29, 2014

Iron man

In the early hours of this date back in 1932 Aaron "Iron" Barger's bullet riddled corpse was found in an automobile on Chicago's south side. We say riddled because he was shot nine times. He was also tortured before the riddling process.

Barger was known as suspect in the Evergreen mail robbery and it was his brothers garage that the bandits used as a hideout. He went to trial but was acquitted while robbers Frances Keating and Tommy Holden were convicted.

Police say Iron was riddled and tortured because he was muscling his way into the south side beer business which was currently the theater of battle for the Spike O'Donnell and Danny McGeoghegan gangs.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Trouble with the B & T crowd

On this date in 1930 two cops were walking their beat on Manhattan's Lower Eastside when they heard a series of shots. They ran to a six story tenement from whence the shots were fired and as they entered the gunsmoke filled hallway they found the well dressed corpse of 27-year old Brooklyn gangster Joseph Bivone. The killer(s), after depositing five bullets into Bivone, escaped out of the back of the building but a trail of blood led the police to believe that another person was wounded in the fracas. Bivone had a record consisting of three arrest and, probably because he was from Brooklyn, police believed he was the victim of a battle over gang territory. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What you want is in the limo, what you get is no tomorrow

At 6:00 am on this date in 1925, Murray Goff was driving a fare in his taxi when a large limousine rear ended him. Goff got out of his cab and out of the limousine jumped the driver and two other men cursing and waving pistols at Goff, yelling at him to get back. The men took off on foot while and Goff went to find a cop. Back at the scene the officer and the hack inspected the limo. On the floor of the passenger side was 37-year old David Bram with two bullets in his head. Bram had an extensive record for dealing drugs as well as bootlegging. In addition to New York he had been arrested in Detroit, Toledo, Chicago and Pittsburgh. He was also wanted in Kansas City where he escaped from custody the previous November 20, after appealing a five year sentence for a narcotics rap.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Addy gets subtracted

At fifty years of age Arthur Black, known as Addy to some of the folks in Providence, Rhode Island, had lived two lives in gangster years but when the underworld decides its time for you to go they don't really get sentimental about age, sagacity, years on the job; stuff like that.

So it was on this date back in 1932 when Addy, known to the Providence police as one of the bigger "lottery operators" of the city, was gunned down in his own home. (told you there was no sentimentality. You'd think they would have shot him down in the gutter as is every gangster's birth rite.)

No, there Addy sat at home with his bodyguard when two men rushed into the house with guns-a-blazin'. Addy took a pill to the heart and gave up the ghost. Mr. Bodyguard went to the hospital with holes in his arm and chest.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Last Supper

Let us round out the week in the Motor City where on this date back in 1930 one Marcello Castiglioni drew his final breath. Marcello was a DYI kind of guy. Why buy bootleg beer when you can make it yourself. Marcello spread the word and soon he was setting up breweries for others and instructing them on how to produce their own suds much of which, no doubt, went up for sale.

One can see how this would be problematic for fellows like the Purple gang or Mafia types who weren't keen on competition. Word got back to Marcello that he was earmarked for a slab. He moved into his cousin's house to hide out. It was during a family supper that Marcello's time ran out. Apparently he was expecting it because he had a pistol under his napkin when the family sat down to break bread.

During the meal two guys with sawed off shotguns barged into the house (probably didn't want to interrupt their dinner by knocking or ringing the bell). Marcello grabbed his pistol and charged the intruders, firing and missing. The two dinner crashers fired off a total of four rounds and didn't miss.