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December 13, 2017, 03:25:44 pm *
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Author Topic: PzLdr History Facts  (Read 17431 times)
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apples
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« Reply #345 on: December 03, 2017, 10:48:32 am »

I thank both of you for another history lesson!
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apples
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« Reply #346 on: December 04, 2017, 11:25:44 am »

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He was the self-proclaimed [and only] "Capo di Tutti Capi" ['Boss of all bosses']. He had fought a bloody internecine Mafia war for control of the Italian mob in New York against Joseph "Joe the Boss" Masseria. And he had won. He had then re-organized the Mafia in New York City into five families, a structure they still function under today. And then he made one mistake. He crossed Lucky Luciano. And that mistake was fatal.

Salvatore Maranzano was a late comer to New York. Unlike Joe the Boss, he had not emigrated to the United States with the early waves of Italian immigrants. Unlike Lucky Luciano, he had not arrived as a child. Maranzano had come to America in the 1920s, as an adult, an as a Mafia Don.

He gathered around him other Mafiosi from his hometown and region Castellammare del Golfo, including future Mafia Dons Joe Bonano, and Stefano Maggadino. He then began to cut into Masseria's rackets and 'territory'. The result was called the Castallamase War.

The Castallamarese War was strictly intramural. Except as hired hands, no outsiders were involved. No matter. the bodies piled up, and although Maranzano was winning, it was a long slow slog. The breakthrough came when Maranzano cut a deal with Masseria's underboss, Lucky Luciano.

Luciano had led an interesting life of crime. He had worked for Arnold Rothstein, along with a crew that included Jack 'Legs' Diamond, Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter and Meyer Lansky. his association with Lansky, and Benjaimn "Bugsy" Siegel went back to his adolescence. So Luciano came to his criminal adulthood in an ethnically mixed organization which operated on the principle that you worked with anybody you could make money with.

The Mafia at that time did NOT operate that way. Membership was for Sicilians only [Al Capone was never a Mafiosi. First he was American born. Second, he was of Neapolitan descent]. and even within the Mafia, they tended only to work with Mafiosi from their hiome region in Sicily [It was no wonder Luciano referred to them as "Moustache Petes"].But the Mafia knew talent and they wanted Luciano, putting increasing pressure on him to join. It was the classic offer you couldn't refuse. And by the time of the Castallamarese War, Luciano was Masseria's underboss.

But Luciano was extremely unhappy with the situation. He had an instinctive aversion to all the publicity the dead bodies in the street were causing, and the 'heat' that went with it. and the fighting was 'bad for business', as close to a religious credo as Lucky had.

So Luciano was receptive to Maranzano's overtures, and a deal was struck. Luciano would head his own family [he believed he was being offered an equal partnership with Maranzano]. There would be no repercussions against Masseria loyalists, who would be folded into the new organization. the price? joe the Boss.

Luciano took Masseria to a favorite restaurant in Coney Island for lunch. they ate, played some cards, and drank some wine. then while Lucky was in the bathroom, four men walked in, including mkore than likely, Albert Anastasia, and possibly Frank Costello and Bugsy Siegel, and opened fire. Masseria slumped dead on the table [the famous picture of him holding an Ace of Spades was actually posed by a photographer who responded to the scene]. the war was over.

Much to Luciano's surprise, he learned two things at the massive  banquet to herald the end of the war. First, he didn't get his own family and a partnership with Maranzano. He became Maranzano' underboss. Second, he became aware that Maranzano was in the processing of contracting one Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll to kill him. The betrayal did not sit well with the now betrayed Luciano. so he made his own plans.

Maranzano fronted his rackets with an office in the New York Central building. His only concern seemed to have been IRS agents. And then, mirabile dictu, four men, with badges and credentials appeared in his office, claiming to be from the IRS. they weren't. they were from Luciano [none were Italian, to avoid being recognized]. Maranzano was shot and stabbed to death [his guards, having been disarmed, were not harmed]. As the killers fled, they ran into Coll, who was a day late, and a dollar short for his meetin with Maranzano.

Luciano took over the New York Mafia. He gave Joe Bonano Maranzano's family. He abolished the title of "Capo di Tutti Capi", preferring Augustus Caesar to Julius Caesar [Maranzano's hero], and became Primus Inter Pares. He established  the  Commission to govern criminal activities like a Board of Directors. He actively cooperated and worked with non-Sicilian gangsters. Allegedly, he organized a massacre of "Moustache Petes" nationwide, the so-called "Night of the Sicilian Vespers", but that appears to be urban legend, more than fact. What he did do was drag the Mafia into the twentieth century, and made it the most successful, and longest standing criminal organization in American history. And it toke the death of two men, Joe the Boss and Salvatore Maranzano, to bring it about.

Was able to watch on TV about Lucky and these gangs.  Going to re-read these now.
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apples
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« Reply #347 on: December 04, 2017, 11:28:55 am »

When Lucky Luciano set up organized crime in the early '30s, it was not a purely Italian organization. the Purple Gang of Detroit was Jewish. the Mayfield Road Gang and Egan's Rats were ethnically mixed. And aside from Luciano's associates, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, there was a strong component, especially in the New York area of Jewish criminal organizations [Lepke and Shapiro, Dutch Schultz, Longy Zwillman, etc.]

So when the Commission began to put together an enforcement team, they looked to combine both Jewish and Italian gangs in its composition. the result was the Union of two gangs from East New York, Happy Maione's Ocean Hill crew, and the Brownsville gang helmed by Abe 'Kid Twist' Reles, and 'Bugsy Goldstein. The two gangs were combined for the purposes of contract killing, and were put on retainer. They were also allowed to keep their own rackets in East New York, without 'kicking up'. In addition, the individual killers on any contract were paid for the job. Contracts in New York were passed down by the Commission through Albert Anastasia, who supervised the gang, and occasionally went along on a job. Contracts from the rest of the U.S were funneled through the commission to the gang, and then carried out nationally.

Murder, Inc., as it later became known, had a crew of "talent" unrivalled in gangland. There was Charlie "The Bug" Workman, the man who killed Dutch Schultz. There was Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, who volunteered for contracts and favored ice picks. There was Frank "The Dasher" Abbondando, Vito "Chicken Head" Guarino, as well as Reles , Maione and a raft of others.

In an era before forensics, Murder, Inc. was a fearsome proposition. Out of New York City, they came, killed, and left, often on the same day as the murder. With no connection to the victim, they were virtually untraceable. IN New York City, they dumped bodies down sewers, sunk them in bodies of weater in the Catskills, burned the bodies in vacant lots. By the mid to late 1930s, Murder, Inc. had carried out hundreds, if not a few thousand, contract killings. They had even scouted Thomas E. Dewey for the feasibility of his murder [They decided it was possible, but the contract was never let.]

As the '30s progressed, Murder, Inc. began to evolve into a hit squad primarily for Louis "Lepke" Buchalter. Luciano and the Five families had their own killers [One of the ways you 'made your "button"', and get on the books was to kill someone], although Murder, Inc. was still contracted for Commission hits. But an increasing percentage of their work was silencing people who presented a threat to Lepke, real or imagined.

Lepke was in hiding, from both local and Federal authorities, and he began ordering murders in job lots. Bodies began turning up in greater numbers, and many had connections to Lepke. the authorities began to take notice. And a result was increased heat on the Brownsville boys

And Abe Reles, sitting in jail, and somewhat concerned about when, not if, Lepke got around to him, decided to sing for his supper. And Reles sang an aria. His first transcripted statement took over three days to record. Reles brought three things to the table. First he had been in Murder, Inc. from its founding. Second, he had an almost photographic memory for some 44 murders he had either participated in, witnessed or heard ordered. And third, he could give the DA Lepke on a murder rap, the execution of Joe Rosen. Reles, who had not participated in that homicide had been present when Lepke ordered his own button man, Mendy Weiss, to kill Rosen. But Reles, in return for immunity gave the District Attorney, William O'Dwyer so much more. By the time he finished testifying, Happy Maione, Bugsy Goldstein, Pittsburgh Phil, Frank the Dasher, Vito Guarino, and most of the rest of Murder, Inc. were awaiting an appointment with the electric chair, as was Lepke, Mendy Weiss, and Louis Capone [no relation]. Charlie the Bug was sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey.

And then O'Dwyer prepared his star witness for the "Lord High Executioner of Murder, Inc.", Albert "The Mad Hatter" Anastasia, the man who had ordered most of the contracts Murder, Inc. had carried out. But there was a problem. That problem's name was Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Anastasia was a loyal friend and follower of Luciano. He had been made underboss of a family on Luciano's orders. Hwe had helped kill Joe "The Boss" Masseria for Luciano. And Lucky was not about to let Reles bury his friend.

Abe Reles was in protective custody on the 7th floor of the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island. He was the only occupant on the floor, and possibly that whole wing of the hotel, except for his police guards. Reles either fell, jumped or was pushed out the window [bed sheets which would have gotten him to the 5th floor were tied to the radiator]. Luciano later mentioned that Reles had cost him 50 grand to fix. But with Reles' death, Anastasia was in the clear.

Murder, Inc. died not with a bang, but a thud.
Not only died with a bang....but was a canary that couldn't fly!
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