Some other books you may be interested in

A new one

Meet Kiki

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pulpy goodness

Who brings a zombie to a mummy fight?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chicken Ala Spot

Eighty-Six years ago this afternoon three St. Louis gangsters were keeping a rendezvous in what was called a "chicken yard" on the outskirts of the city in Wellston. The trio, James Russo, Mike Longo and Jack Griffin pulled into the yard at 2:00pm and waited. After a moment two cars pulled up and blocked the only way out.

The threesome seemed to realize they were on the spot and jumped from their car with their guns out and began firing at the cars. From inside a nearby chicken coop a Thompson went off. Longo dropped by the car dead. Russo and Griffin ran for cover. Russo caught a fatal dose of lead while heading for a tree and fell.  Griffin caught six bullets but managed to make it to a nearby house.

A witness described the machine gunner to a police artist:


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the ice picks bite.

On this day back in 1931 Chicago bootlegger John Bakovatz took a nap. Bootlegging generally means long nights so we can see why John would snooze during the day. Little did John know that his nap would last an eternity.

Since the young kiddies were napping in the same room as pop, Mrs. Bakovatz took the opportunity to go visit the neighbors leaving a quiet house with no one to raise an alarm should somebody like, I don't know, an underworld hitman come by. One wonders what John may have been dreaming about. Perhaps visions of his ex partner Sherlock (yes Sherlock) Gasparino who had recently fled the country because he was afraid that he was going to be put on the spot danced in his head. By the way, as his name would imply, Sherlock was the smarter of the two for there was indeed danger afoot.

As John lay there sawing logs, into his room crept one of those fellows whom Sherlock feared. He approached the sleeping bootlegger and, wanting to do his deed in silence, plunged an ice-pick into John. Nothing wakes a man quicker than an ice pick in his person. Now that John was awake there was no need to be quiet so the killer pulled a gun and sent a bullet into John's throat. John went back to sleep.

The melee didn't wake the kiddies, anyone who has had small children knows that the tykes can sleep through anything. Not until John's brother in-law showed up did anyone know something was amiss.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Job opening

Phillip Plazza was said to be the top gangster of Chicago Heights with a couple of hundred guys on his payroll. He had "scores" of alky cookers working for him and in a raid on one of his "cafes" Prohibition agents uncovered one of the largest stills on record along with 10,000 gallons of hooch and another 1,000 gallons of wine.The wealthy gangster was also currently under indictment for his booze biz.

He also owned two roadhouses where he sold his goods, the Milano cafe and the Derby Inn. A month and half earlier a jeweler and his date were killed in a drive-by as they stepped out of the Derby. Police believed that the bullets were meant for Plazza.

On this date back in 1926 Plazza stepped outside of the Milano, which was only four short blocks from the police station. As he stood outside his cafe a sedan drove by and a number of guns went off. The next day the Chicago Heights help wanted section had an ad seeking a new underworld gang chief. Great pay but no job security.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Love stinks

On this date back in 1928 Philadelphia gangster John Farrar alias Johnny the Wop was at the Black Horse tavern in Easton Pennsylvania having a swell time with a blonde dish. Johnny excused himself to use the phone. While Johnny conversed four guys toting sawed off shotguns entered the Black Horse. Patrons hit the dirt and the blonde dish commenced to screaming cause she put two and two together real quick like and figured out the reason for the arrival of the hogleg quartet.

Johnny was still on the phone when the guns went off. After a series of loud noises what was left of Johnny slumped to the ground as the gunmen ran out to a car with New York license plates and sped off. Police said that Johnny was erased due to some gang feud in Brooklyn, but... Pssst, come closer...can you keep a secret? Good, just between us, word on the underworld grapevine was that the blonde dish Johnny was making time with, well she was the main squeeze of a Philadelphia big shot who didn't like the fact that Johnny took his sweetie away so he called in some fellows from New York to help mend his broken heart.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Choose your friends wisely

Eighty four years ago today marks the exit of one Peter "Ash Can Pete" Inserio from the Chicago underworld. Now before you go making assumptions about Pete's hygiene please know that he was known as Ash Can Pete because he was proprietor of the Ash Can club. Now if you would like to make assumptions about a drinking hole called the Ash Can, go ahead. Others possibly did because Pete changed the name to the Idle Hour club by this date in 1930.

So here we have Ash Can Pete, (Perhaps if he lived longer he would have become Idle Hour Pete, we'll never know) Sitting outside his club when somebody(ies) came up and fired six bullets into him. Police arrived and Pete was still kicking. They took him to the hospital and along the way asked who it was who shot him. "I don't know," said Pete, "but they did a good job." and so they did, Pete died a short time later.

When asked for a motive the police stated that Pete had recently aligned himself with the Moran-Aiello gang. They, by the way, were Al Capone's top enemies. If true, not a good move on Pete's part.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Goodbye Larry

At 2:00am on this date back in 1931 Cincinnati gangster Larry Coates had just left a camp on the outskirts of town. In the car with him was his father. They met outside of town because Larry was persona non grata in Cinncy. Why? Well for a number of reasons but mainly because a gun  found in his possession after an arrest in Florida was found by ballistic experts to have fired the bullets that killed another Southern Ohio gangster by the name of Jew John Marcus earlier that year. Coates beat it from Florida.

After the campground rendesvous, Coates was giving the old man a ride home in his high dollar sedan complete with bullet proof windows. However, if bullet proof windows are to be effective they must be rolled up. Being that this was a warm July night, Larry had his window down.

As they approached the city limits another car pulled up alongside them. Larry looked over and didn't care for what he saw and hit the gas. The other car did like wise and caught up. A shotgun, and possibly other guns, went off and Larry slumped over the wheel with shot in the back of his head, neck and shoulder. The elder Coates grabbed the wheel and managed to steer the car into an embankment.

Coates was rushed to the hospital After the crash senior Coates stood around waiting for help. After some time a cab pulled over saw the dying gangster and took off. Once back in town he called the cops who sent an ambulance. Coates was taken to the hospital where he lingered until shedding his mortal coil on July 28.