Murder Inc.

October 23, 1935: A Mobster Cheats Satan

 

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Come now, and let us reason together, said the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

 “The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone. For respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.”

Oscar Wilde

 

Arthur Simon Flegenheimer was born into a Jewish family of German immigrants in New York City on August 6, 1902, the Feast of the Transfiguration.  Early in his life his father abandoned the family, and life was harsh for Arthur, his mother and his younger sister.  He dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help support the family.  He quickly fell into a life of crime and by age 18 was serving a prison sentence.  He was paroled on December 8, 1920, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Going to work for Schultz Trucking, he swiftly returned to crime.  Among his gangland colleagues he adopted the nom de crime of Dutch Schultz.  Gangster Joey Noe hired him in 1928 to work as a bouncer at a small speakeasy, Hub Social Group.  Impressed by his brutality and ruthlessness, Noe took Schultz into partnership and soon he became wealthy owning with Noe a chain of speakeasies.  The Noe-Schultz gang quickly became a power in Manhattan, the sole non-Italian gang to rival the five Italian crime organizations that would later merge as the founding five families of the American Mafia.

The expansion into the upper west side of Manhattan, brought Noe and Schultz into conflict with Irish-American gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond.  War breaking out between the gangs, Joey Noe was gunned down and died on November 21, 1928.  Schultz was crushed by the loss of his friend and mentor.

Holding his own among the murderous New York gangs, Schultz pioneered the numbers racket at the end of Prohibition and also extorted “protection” money from restaurants.  In the summer of 1935 he was successful in beating a tax evasion prosecution.  During his trial he had portrayed himself as an honest business man, and he engaged in numerous charitable activities.  Secretly he began to study Catholicism, convinced that for some unfathomable reason Jesus had spared him from prison.

On October 23, 1935 Schultz was gunned down by Murder, Inc., the gangland Commission having ordered the murder, fearing that Shultz would attempt to murder New York prosecutor Thomas Dewey in revenge for his prosecution of Schultz, and bring the wrath of the law down on their heads.

Taken to a hospital, certain he was to die, Schultz begged to die as a Catholic.  Father Cornelius McInerney was summoned, gave Schultz some simple instruction in the Faith, baptized him and gave him the Last Rites. As  Schultz went into surgery, Father McInerney stayed at the hospital and comforted the three women in the life of Schultz, his mother, his sister and his wife.  Schultz died after the surgery on October 24.  He was given a funeral mass and buried at Gate of Heaven cemetery.

There was an uproar at the idea of this murderer stealing Heaven at the last moment among many non-Catholics.  Catholics, and Saint Dismas presumably, did not share in the outrage.

 

 

 

An Apology

(I originally wrote this about five years ago when the blog readership was much smaller.  I reran it a early last year.  Now that Planned Parenthood is back in the news,  I thought that current readers might wish to know why I refer to Planned Parenthood as Worse Than Murder, Inc.)

Lately, in several posts, I have been in the habit of referring to Planned Parenthood as Murder, Inc.  I apologize for doing so.  It was unfair of me to draw this type of comparison.

 

In the late twenties of the last century, gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky set up the National Crime Syndicate.  Organized crime needed a mechanism to keep anarchy from breaking out within its ranks between various gangs and factions.  Operating out of a 24 hour candy store in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Murder, Inc. ( the name was a newspaper invention) provided this mechanism.  Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter and Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia were the leaders of Murder, Inc.

The Syndicate, by majority vote, would order the slaying of an unruly gangster and Murder, Inc would carry it out.  The hitmen of Murder, Inc. operated under strict guidlines.  No innocent bystanders were to be killed.  No hits could be ordered against judges, police or prosecuting attorneys for fear of reprisals from law enforcement.

Over the years Murder, Inc. murdered some 800 fellow gangsters.  In 1940 the downfall of the murder enterprise began when Murder, Inc. killer Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles, turned informant in order to save himself from the electric chair.  Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter died in the chair in Sing Sing in 1944, after the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal which raised, among other issues, the contention of Buchalter that lurid press coverage had tainted the jury.  Other Murder, Inc. members swiftly followed “The Judge” down the last mile.  Albert “The Madhatter” Anastasia would have followed in their footsteps but for the tragic “accidental” death of Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles when he fell from room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island.  In the gang world he was ever after known as “The Canary that sung but couldn’t fly.”  However, with the attention of law enforcement focused upon it, Murder, Inc. could no longer function and it ceased to exist except as a gangland legend.

Based upon this grim record I hope you can see why it is necessary for me to apologize—to Murder, Inc.  Continue reading

An Apology

(I originally wrote this about five years ago when the blog readership was much smaller.  I thought that current readers might wish to know why I refer to Planned Parenthood as Worse Than Murder, Inc.)

Lately, in several posts, I have been in the habit of referring to Planned Parenthood as Murder, Inc.  I apologize for doing so.  It was unfair of me to draw this type of comparison.

 

In the late twenties of the last century, gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky set up the National Crime Syndicate.  Organized crime needed a mechanism to keep anarchy from breaking out within its ranks between various gangs and factions.  Operating out of a 24 hour candy store in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Murder, Inc. ( the name was a newspaper invention) provided this mechanism.  Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter and Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia were the leaders of Murder, Inc.

The Syndicate, by majority vote, would order the slaying of an unruly gangster and Murder, Inc would carry it out.  The hitmen of Murder, Inc. operated under strict guidlines.  No innocent bystanders were to be killed.  No hits could be ordered against judges, police or prosecuting attorneys for fear of reprisals from law enforcement.

Over the years Murder, Inc. murdered some 800 fellow gangsters.  In 1940 the downfall of the murder enterprise began when Murder, Inc. killer Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles, turned informant in order to save himself from the electric chair.  Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter died in the chair in Sing Sing in 1944, after the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal which raised, among other issues, the contention of Buchalter that lurid press coverage had tainted the jury.  Other Murder, Inc. members swiftly followed “The Judge” down the last mile.  Albert “The Madhatter” Anastasia would have followed in their footsteps but for the tragic “accidental” death of Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles when he fell from room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island.  In the gang world he was ever after known as “The Canary that sung but couldn’t fly.”  However, with the attention of law enforcement focused upon it, Murder, Inc. could no longer function and it ceased to exist except as a gangland legend.

Based upon this grim record I hope you can see why it is necessary for me to apologize—to Murder, Inc.  Continue reading

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