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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The South Pole

On this date back in 1932 Walter “the Terrible Pole” Zwolinski was found on Chicago’s south side, trussed up in the back of a car with about six bullets in his noggin. Zwolinski had been a member of the Spike O’Donnell gang and a few months previous he decided that he should be running the show.

The Terrible Pole, along with two other defectors, approached Spike on the street one day and told him he was out.  But Spike saw things different.

After a handful of attempts on his life however, Spike decided a California vacation might be nice. Meanwhile Zwolinski, now allied with the McGeogehan - Quinlan gang managed to carve out a large piece of the back of the yards locale for his beer business. Yes, the Terrible Pole was doing alright, that is until he was found trussed up in the back seat of a car with six bullets in his noggin.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The long nap

William Cusick make that Mickey Duffy was considered by some to be the Al Capone of Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Though he grew up as Bill Cusick of Polish descent, he changed his named to Mickey Duffy because, well, because a lot of non-Irish gangsters did that in the early days. Guess when the Irish cops were handing out beatings they went a little easier on you if they thought you were green. Guess maybe it helped with the corrupt Irish politicians as well. Anyways we're getting off topic. Topic is that on this date in 1931 the Philadelphia beer baron was shot to death in his suite in the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Earlier in the day three men arrived and the foursome, the three men and Mickey that is, whom witnesses say were in jovial mood, went out for a stroll along the boardwalk. Later they went into Mickey's suite for lunch and at some point in the early afternoon Mickey laid down to take a nap. As he slept his pal(s) shot him to death.

It was assumed that Mickey was done in by his own gang whom were unhappy with his management. Apparently he had to close down a brewery and was also under Federal indictment for shaking down trucking lines that traversed the south Jersey roadways.  Though he had been wounded in a 1927 shooting in Philadelphia, in which his bodyguard had been killed, he felt safe in Atlantic City and didn't have any security.

Oh, for some reason everyone seems to think he was killed on the 30th or 31st, but as Mickey Duffy himself used to say, "You can't believe everything you read on the internet."

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hooray for Hollywood

Yes, it was eighty-two years ago today that St. Louis gangsters Harry Mackley and Frank Keller stopped into a Hollywood eatery for their final supper. Whilst the duo broke bread three guys entered and approached their table. Each man drew a gun and emptied it into Mackley and or Keller. The trio of killers then walked out to a waiting auto and made a successful getaway.

Though both men were originally from St. Louis, Harry was known to the police of New York and New Jersey as the result of some nefarious activities. It wasn't Harry's first time in Tinsel Town either, he had been arrested as a suspect in a murder back in 1929.

Both men flew in from St. Louis the week before and checked into one of the city's premier hotels. They also got in touch with a woman who had moved there from Kansas City about three years earlier. It was her car that the men used to drive to the restaurant. Cops traced it back to her and through her they learned that Mackley and Keller also had an apartment in town. They checked it out and found $1000 worth of drugs. That's nearly eighteen grand in today's dollars. So perhaps local drug dealers wanted them out of the way or maybe, as the police believed, the murder was retribution from the 1929 killing. Either way, that was a wrap!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A double

 Joseph Cigna and Anthony Justiano were standing on a corner in New York City's Little Italy on this date back in 1931. Eight other guys were chatting it up with the duo when a quartet of of gunmen walked up and pulled out some pistols.

Cigna and Justiano apparently knew they were the targets because both of them immediately fled. The gunmen followed letting loose with a barrage of gunfire. One of the duo almost made it into a tenement but dropped dead at the door while the other pitched forward on the sidewalk. Autopsies proved the gunmen to be competent marksmen. Cigna was hit by eight bullets and Justiano ten.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Two Vacancies

Vincent Pisano and Oresta DeRobertis were former members of the "Forty Thieves" gang that operated out of the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. By this date in 1934 both men were living in the same rooming house and each had a room on the top floor.

At 4:00am, eighty-one years ago this morning, two gun men gained entrance to the house. They made their way upstairs then split up. One went into Pisano's room, the other DeRoberis's. All the tenants of the house were suddenly awakened by numerous shots, twelve actually. Six of which lodged in Pisano's abdomen while three, out of the six that were fired at him, crashed in DeRobertis' skull.

Why? Who knows, maybe the "Forty Thieves" didn't take kindly to becoming the "Thirty Eight Thieves" or maybe the landlord knew she could get more money for the top two rooms. I suspect they had the best view.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Take a cha-cha-cha-chance

Happy boithday to me, happy boithday to me! Why am I da only one singing?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Bozo Show

Twas this day in 1929 it twas when Chicago's cop Sgt. Murrin, was walking to work on the west side and came across three guys banging away at each other in Madison Street. He ran up just as one of the guys staggered into a car with a woman at the wheel and sped off.  Left at the scene were  bootlegger James "Bozo" Shupe and his partner George Riggins, proprietor of the cigar shop out front of which the shooting took place. Both men had been hit. George collapsed on the riding board of a parked car and Bozo simply collapsed.

The cop took the wounded gangsters to the hospital where a short time later a woman pulled up and dropped off Thomas "Big Six" McNichols, also said to be in the beer business. Big Six said he was standing on a corner when some guy whom he didn't know shot him. When asked about Bozo and George snarled, "Don't bother me".

Bozo was the first go followed a few hour later by Big Six. Before the latter gave up the ghost he told his mother that he had two grand in cash and a $3000 ring on his person when brought in. She brought this up with the Police who told her that he had nothing of the sort when he got to the hospital.