Meet Kiki

Thursday, October 8, 2015

In case you wondering...

Yes, gangsters did walk the streets of New York City, shoulder to shoulder, toting Thompsons. Honest engines. If it's on t.v. you can believe it.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Checking out of the Harding Hotel

Tony Marlow was a bootlegger who lived in mid-town next door to the Harding Hotel. 87-years ago tonight he was standing in front of the hotel smoking a cigarette at 10:30pm apparently waiting for some one.

William White, a real estate salesman, who knew Marlow from the neighborhood saw him loitering and walked over. “Hello Tony!” White said offering his hand. As the two men were shaking hands, two more guys appeared from behind a parked car, one tall and slim and the other short and stout. Before anyone knew what was what they opened fire hitting Marlow five times before he had a chance to pull out his own gun.

A beat cop heard the shooting, ran to the scene and started after the gunmen. After a short chase the killers escaped. Returning to the Harding Hotel the officer loaded Marlow into a cab and took him to the hospital where the gangster was questioned about the shooting. When asked who shot him, Marlow responded in typical gangland fashion, “I’ll take care of them myself when I get well.” But his slayers needn’t of worried because he died the next the day.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wake Up Call

On this date back in 1930, Sam Therina, said to be a member of the Cuckoo gang, pulled up in front of a St. Louis hospital, laid on the horn of his coupe then passed out. The reason for his passing out was multiple machine gun bullets in his pelvis. He was carried into the hospital and prepped for surgery.

During the operation police came in to question him. Guess they could do that back then. He told them that he, two other Cuckoos named Peter McTigue and James Dormandy along with William Boody, an "agent" with a plumbing union who happened to have a rap sheet matching the Cuckoo guys, and some other fella were working a still near the town of Valmeyer, Ill.

According to Therina, he and McTigue were sleeping when machine gun fire began to rake the shack they were holed up in. Therina jumped up and was immediately wounded. He heard Boody gasp, "I'm dying." and saw that McTigue was already a goner. Dormandy and the other guy hightailed it into the woods.

The gunmen left and Therina managed to get to Boody's coupe and drive himself to the hospital. Detectives went out to the shack and, sure enough, there were McTigue and Boody just like Therina said.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Anybody got a a head in the parachute joke I can borrow?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Little Jewish Navy loses some Torpedos

Back in Detroit on this date in the year nineteen hundred and thirty one the Purple gang had a rendezvous set up with the upper echelon of "the Little Jewish Navy" a gang of bootleggers who traversed the Detroit River and a few of the great lakes transporting spirits of an intoxicating nature in from Canada.

Turns out the Purples were not happy with the Navy fellows and meant to terminate their partnership in a most permanent way. Joe Lebowitz, Hymie Paul and Isadore Sutker,  the LJN leadership showed up at the Collingwood apartments with Sol Levine, a mutual friend of both gangs, who was in on the plan. So the quartet arrived to find a couple of Purples, Harry Keywell and Irving Milberg, waiting there and after a few minutes of light chit chat, the Purples drew guns and sunk the Little Jewish Navy.

As the gun men ran out of the building they dropped their pistols into an open can of green paint (why not purple, to obvious?) to obliterate any finger prints. They hopped into a waiting car driven by gang leader and architect of what would become known as the "Collingwood Massacre", Ray Berstein. And off they went.

After awhile Sol Levine got to thinking that the Purples might want to tuck him away for insurance so went to the cops. As a result of his squealing Bernstein, Keywell and Milberg went from selling booze to making license plates.