Meet Kiki

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pulpy goodness

"Quick, you get the jewels and I'll give him a hot foot. The practical joke gang strikes again!"

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Milo's demise

In Detroit, the final day of August 1928 saw the final day of thirty-one year old Pete Milo. Pete didn't spend his entire career in Detroit, he was known to police out west as well as the Motor City. T'was out west where Pete and a pal named Zero Pachi were convicted of murder in Utah in 1914 and sentenced to life. Both were paroled, the former, in the fall of 1926 and headed for Detroit.

On June 16, 1927 Pete and Zero were riding in a cab when they started fighting. Pete drew his gun and perforated Zero. He pushed his friend's body out of the car and forced the driver to take him from the scene. He was arrested however but the jury let him off the hook. Since Michigan was too hot for him Pete went back west where he was arrested for burglary in Salt Lake City. Once again the jury let him go and he returned to Detroit.

The boys in blue weren't aware of Pete's return until he was gunned down a mere three blocks from police headquarters. It was was about 3:30a.m. and as Pete was walking along a car pulled up and some guns went off. Underworld juries seldom acquit.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

He should have saw it coming

A bonus story about a DGIT (Dead Guy in Turban). On this date back in 1930 Chicagoans were walking about minding their own beeswax when *SPLAT* a man's body hit the sidewalk after having been tossed out of a second story window. Ok, maybe not quite a *SPLAT* from that height, maybe more of a *THUDD*. But anyways to add to the intrigue the corpse had been stabbed three times in the chest. Even more exciting is that the dead guy was Chris Vlanos, fortune teller. Who killed him and why? Also why throw him through a window? Only Chris and his killer know. Police found a crystal ball in the dead man's room but the spirits were of no help.


Today marks the seventy-ninth anniversary of the passing of Frank Dolak and Benny Holinksy. Who were they you ask? Well they were part of a gang of Bronx kidnappers who thought they would make a quick bundle by kidnapping a bookie named Bart Salvo and ransoming him back to his outfit. Unfortunately for they gang they either didn’t know or didn't care that Salvo was a connected mob guy.

To make a long story short, Salvo was snatched and ransomed then it was retribution time. Flush with cash the gang was planning their next move. Dolak and Holinsky picked up a third member of the gang named Miller and they went for a ride. Holinsky at the wheel, Miller riding shotgun and Dolak in the rear.

After a bit Holinksy announced that they were being tailed by whom he suspected were cops. Unfortunately for them it was a carload of gun toting gangsters sent to kill them. Holinksy pulled over to see if the cops were indeed following them.

Seizing the opportunity the gangster car pulled up alongside and three men, armed with pistols, jumped out. Miller saw what was happening right away and jumped out his door and rolled on the sidewalk, got up and took off as one of the gunmen fired some shots in his direction. Trapped in the car, Holinsky and Dolak had to take it as the two remaining gunmen pumped bullet after bullet into their bodies. Their guns empty, the gunmen took off. Holinsky and Dolan stayed there and waited for an ambulance. They lingered in the hospital a few hours before expiring.

The full story behind the kidnapping and other depredations of Holinksy and Dolak’s gang can be found in Bad Seeds in the Big Apple.

Friday, August 29, 2014

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, 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."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hooray for Hollywood

unless you're gangsters new to the neighborhood
then three pistols go ka-plooey
killing two mugs from St. Louie
who were there to sell their drugs
R. Whiting, J. Mercer, P. Downey

Yes, it was eighty-one 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's wrap!

 Crimes, like customers who get killed before the check comes, don't pay.