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                                  A Repulsive Old Jewish Gangster Gloats: A History of the Jews and the Mob

 

Myron Sugerman, the “Last Jewish Gangster,” describes to an assembly of Jews at a Chabad, which is very revealing, the Jewish mafia’s role in fighting anti-Semitism in the 1930’s and the crucial role the Jewish mob played in arming the infant Jewish State. He of course forgets to mention how the jewish mobsters flooded the US with heroin (amongst other vices) and infiltrated the highest positions of power within the US.

Click on this link to watch Myron Sugarman describe Jewish Criminality in America during the early 20th Century...

 

 

 

Jewish-American organized crime emerged within the American Jewish community

during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It has been referred to variously in media

and popular culture as the Jewish Mob, Jewish Mafia, Kosher Mafia, Kosher Nostra,[1][2]

or Undzer Shtik (Yiddish: אונדזער שטיק‎).[a][2] The last two of these terms are direct

references to the Italian Cosa Nostra; the former is a play on the word kosher, referring

to Jewish dietary laws; while the latter is a direct translation of the Italian phrase

Cosa Nostra (Italian for "our thing") into Yiddish, which was at the

time the predominant language of the Jewish diaspora in the United States.

 

In the late 19th century in New York City, Monk Eastman operated a powerful Jewish gang

that competed with Italian and Irish gangs, notably Paul Kelly's Five Points Gang, for

control of New York City's underworld. Another notorious gang, known as the Lenox Avenue Gang,

led by Harry "Gyp the Blood" Horowitz, consisted of mostly Jewish members and some

Italian members (such as Francesco Cirofisi). It was one of the most violent gangs

of the early 20th century and became famous for the murder of gambler and gangster Herman Rosenthal.

 

In the early 1920s, stimulated by the economic opportunities of the roaring twenties,

and later prohibition, Jewish organized crime figures such as Arnold Rothstein were

controlling a wide range of criminal enterprises, including bootlegging, loansharking,

gambling, and bookmaking. According to crime writer Leo Katcher, Rothstein

"transformed organized crime from a thuggish activity by hoodlums into a big business,

run like a corporation, with himself at the top."[3][page needed] Rothstein was allegedly

responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series.[4][page needed] At the same time, the

Jewish bootlegging mob known as The Purple Gang dominated the Detroit underworld

during prohibition, while the Jewish Bugs and Meyer Mob operated in the Lower East Side

of New York City before being absorbed into Murder, Inc. and becoming affiliates of the Italian-American Mafia.

 

The largely Jewish-American and Italian-American gang known as Murder, Inc. and

Jewish mobsters such as Meyer Lansky, Mickey Cohen, Harold "Hooky" Rothman,

Dutch Schultz, and Bugsy Siegel developed close ties with and gained significant

influence within the Italian-American Mafia, eventually forming a loosely organized,

mostly Jewish and Italian criminal syndicate known in the press as the "National Crime Syndicate."

Jewish and Italian crime groups became increasingly interconnected in the 1920s and

1930s, as they often occupied the same neighborhoods and social statuses of the time.

The two ethnic crime groups became especially close in New York City following the

establishment of the close relationship between partners Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky

and their subsequent elimination of many of the so-called "Mustache Pete", or the

Sicilian-born gangsters that often refused to work with non-Italians and even non-Sicilians.

The Cohen crime family of Los Angeles and Las Vegas was notably part of

both the Jewish Mafia and Italian-American Mafia, and lines between the two ethnic

criminal organizations often blurred throughout the 20th century. For decades after,

Jewish-American mobsters would continue to work closely and at times

compete with Italian-American organized crime.[5]

 

Origins and characteristics


The Siegel family's memorial plaque in the Bialystoker Synagogue.[6]
 

Jewish-American gangsters were involved

in many different criminal activities, including

murder, racketeering, bootlegging, prostitution[7][page needed]

and narcotics. Their role was also significant in

New York's burgeoning labor movement, especially

the garment and trucking unions, as well as the

poultry industry. Jewish organized crime

fueled antisemitism and deeply concerned the Jewish community.[8] Jewish organized

crime was used by antisemites and anti-immigration supporters as arguments to bolster

their agenda. Jewish gangs controlled portions of the Lower East Side and Brownsville in

New York City,[9] and were also present in other major American cities. American Jewish

mafia boss Kid Cann held sway over Minneapolis for over four decades

and remains the most notorious mobster in the history of Minnesota.

 

Jewish-American organized crime was a reflection of the ethnic succession among

gangsters, which has tended to follow the immigrant waves in the United States:

English, German, Irish, Jewish, Italian, Asian and Latino. Ethnic involvement in

organized crime gave rise to alien conspiracy theories in the US law enforcement

community, in which the conception of organized crime as an alien and united entity

was vital. The involvement of a small percentage of recent immigrants in organized

crime created a lasting stereotype of devious immigrants corrupting the morality of

native-born Americans. Organized crime was a complex set of relations between

the recently arrived Jewish and Italian criminals and groups like the Irish-American organized crime

networks, which had been established before the 1920s

and which the newer groups were sometimes subordinate to.[10]

 

Although never receiving close to the level of cultural attention of the Italian-American Mafia,

from the late 1960s, Jewish-American gangsters would figure as characters in

Jewish American literature. For some writers, Jewish gangsters and boxers in the

post-World War II era were seen as tougher, more aggressive literary role models,

freeing the community from the stigma of defenselessness and powerlessness, compared

with the physical aggressiveness and lawlessness more associated with the Irish and

Italian immigrants.[11][12][13] According to Rich Cohen, author of Tough Jews:

Fathers, Sons and Gangster Dreams: "If Jewish gangsters still thrived today, if

they hadn't gone legit, if Jews of my generation didn't regard them as figments,

creatures to be classed with Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster, I think the

ewish community would be better off".[12] However, Cohen's description of Jewish

gangsters ignores their criminality and immorality. These tough characters were

still gangsters who extorted, exploited and murdered other members of the Jewish-American

community for profit. They forced Jewish women into prostitution,[7][page needed] and

were generally considered a scourge within their own community.[14] The Yiddish

press and literature of the 1920s and 1930s was resolute in its

condemnation of Jewish mobsters.[citation needed]

 

History

19th century to early 20th century

 

A large wave of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late-19th and early

20th centuries produced Jewish mobsters such as Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach,

"Big" Jack Zelig, and Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis who

competed with and were acknowledged by Italian and Irish gangs.

 

Just as their Italian counterparts, gangs specializing in extortion began operating in

the heavily Jewish neighborhoods of New York's Lower East Side most prominently

the so-called Yiddish Black Hand headed by Jacob Levinsky, Charles "Charlie the Cripple"

Litoffsky and Joseph Toplinsky during the early 20th century. A significant Jewish

underworld already existed in New York at the start of the 20th century, with Jewish

mobsters conversing in a jargon with Yiddish origins. A pimp was known as a "simcha,"

a detective as a "shamus" and a loafer as a "trombenik."[15] Jewish-American

organized crime arose among slum kids who in pre-puberty stole from pushcarts,

who as adolescents extorted money from store owners, who as young adults practiced

schlamming (wielding an iron pipe wrapped in newspaper against striking workers

or against scabs) – until as adults they joined well-organized gangs

involved in a wide variety of criminal enterprises boosted by prohibition.[16]

 

The lure of quick money, power and the romance of the criminal lifestyle was attractive

to both second-generation Jewish and Italian immigrants. There was a supposed Jewish

"crime wave" in early-20th-century New York. In disturbing numbers young Jews

had joined crime "rackets," it was said, along with children of Irish, Italian and other

immigrants.[17] However, the supposed Jewish-immigrant crime may have been

exaggerated by the press and law enforcement.[citation needed] Crime and population

figures show that Jews in New York committed crimes at a rate far below the average

for the wider society. As described by sociologist Stephen Steinberg, less than a sixth

of the city's felony arrests were Jews during the 1920s,

when Jews constituted nearly a third of the city's population.[18]

 

As the 20th century progressed, Jewish-American mobsters such as "Dopey"

Benny Fein and Joe "The Greaser" Rosenzweig entered labor racketeering, hiring

out to both businesses and labor unions as strong arm men. Labor racketeering or

"labor slugging" as it was known, would become a source of conflict as it came under

the domination of several racketeers including former Five Points Gang members

Nathan "Kid Dropper" Kaplan and Johnny Spanish during the Labor slugger wars until

its eventual takeover by Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro in 1927. Other Jewish organized

crime figures involved in controlling labor unions include Moses Annenberg and

Arnold Rothstein, the latter reportedly responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series.[4]

 

Prohibition

 

According to crime writer Leo Katcher, Rothstein "transformed organized crime from a

thuggish activity by hoodlums into a big business, run like a corporation, with himself

at the top."[3] According to Rich Cohen, Rothstein was the person to see during

prohibition (1920–1933) if one had an idea for a tremendous business opportunity,

legal or not. Rothstein "understood the truths of early 20th century capitalism

(hypocrisy, exclusion, greed) and came to dominate them". According to Cohen,

Rothstein was the 'Moses of Jewish gangsters', a rich man's son, who showed the

young and uneducated hoodlums of the Bowery how to have style. Lucky Luciano,

who would become a prominent boss within the Italian-American Mafia and organize

New York's Five Families, once claimed that Arnold Rothstein "taught me how to dress".

The stereotypical attire of the American mobster portrayed in

movies can partially trace its roots directly to Rothstein.[19][20]

 

During prohibition, Jewish gangsters became major operatives in the American

underworld and played prominent roles in the distribution of illegal alcohol and the

spread of organized crime throughout the United States. At the time, Jewish gangs

operated primarily in America's largest cities, including Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis,

Newark, New York City, and Philadelphia. Numerous bootlegging gangs such as the

Bug and Meyer Mob headed by Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel and Abe Bernstein's

Purple Gang[21] would see the rise of Jewish-American organized crime to its height.

Other Jewish mobsters, including Dutch Schultz of New York,[22] Moe Dalitz of

Michigan, Kid Cann of Minneapolis, Charles "King" Solomon of Boston and

Abner "Longy" Zwillman (the "Al Capone of New Jersey") became wealthy during prohibition.

 

During this time, Luciano successfully eliminated the Old World Sicilian Mafia bosses

like Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano in the 1931 Castellammarese War and

took control of the New York Italian Mafia. Luciano did not discriminate against Jews

and valued longtime associates such as Meyer Lansky and Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel.

Several Jewish gangsters such as Red Levine and Bo Weinberg were used in the war

as unsuspected non-Italian hitmen.[16] After Masseria and Maranzano were murdered,

a conference was held at New York's Franconia Hotel on November 11, 1931

which included Jewish mobsters such as Jacob Shapiro, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter,

Joseph "Doc" Stacher, Hyman "Curly" Holtz, Louis "Shadows" Kravitz, Harry Tietlebaum,

Philip "Little Farvel" Kovolick and Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg. During this

meeting, Luciano and Lansky convinced the Jewish-American mobsters of the

benefits of cooperating with the Italian-American Mafia in a newly created consortium

called the National Crime Syndicate by the press. At the meeting's conclusion,

"Bugsy" Siegel supposedly declared "The yids and the dagos will no longer fight each other."[23]

 

Those Jewish gangsters hostile to the idea of cooperation with non-Jewish rivals gradually

receded, most notably Philadelphia bootlegger Waxey Gordon, who was convicted

and imprisoned for tax evasion. Following Gordon's imprisonment,

his operations were assumed by Nig Rosen and Max "Boo Hoo" Hoff.

Meyer Lansky in 1958
 

Under Lansky, Jewish mobsters became involved in syndicate gambling interests in

Cuba, Miami, and Las Vegas.[24][page needed] Buchalter would also lead the

predominantly Jewish Murder, Inc. as the Luciano-Meyer syndicate's exclusive hitmen.[25]

 

After World War II

 

For several decades after World War II, the dominant figures in organized crime were

second-generation Jews and Italians, often working in concert. As late as the 1960s,

Jewish presence in organized crime was still acknowledged as Los Angeles mobster

Jack Dragna explained to hitman and later government informant Jimmy Fratianno:

 

Meyer's got a Jewish family built along the same lines as our thing. But his family's

all over the country. He's got guys like Lou Rhody and Dalitz, Doc Stacher, Gus Greenbaum,

sharp fucking guys, good businessmen, and they know better than try to fuck us.[23][26][27]

 

Jewish mobsters, such as Meyer Lansky and the Los Angeles-based Mickey Cohen,

along with Harold "Hooky" Rothman, continued to hold significant power and control

organized crime groups in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami,

and Las Vegas, while the Jewish-American presence remained

strong in Italian-American criminal rackets.

 

Jewish-American organized crime derived from dislocation and poverty, where language

and custom made the community vulnerable to undesirables, the sort of thing that

fosters criminality among any other ethnicity in a similar situation.[17] As American Jews

improved their conditions, the Jewish thug and racketeer either disappeared or merged

into a more assimilated American crime environment. American Jews quietly buried the

public memory of the gangster past; unlike the Mafia, famous Jewish American

gangsters like Meyer Lansky, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel founded no crime families.[19]

 

Much like Irish-Americans and other ethnicities (with the exception of Italian-American

criminal organizations), Jewish-American presence in organized crime began to decline

after World War II. Jewish-American individuals remain closely associated with

organized crime, especially Italian-American and Israeli organized crime,[28] but the

Jewish-American criminal organizations and gangs which once rivaled the Italian

and Irish-American mobsters during the first half of the 20th century have largely faded.

 

 

Late 20th century to present

 

In more recent years, Jewish-American organized crime has reappeared in the forms

of both Israeli and Jewish-Russian mafia

criminal groups, and Orthodox kidnapping gangs.

From the 1990s till their 2013 arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a

sting operation, an Orthodox ring led by Mendel "The Prodfather" Epstein imposed

a reign of terror on Jewish men in troubled marriages by kidnapping and torturing them

into granting religious divorces to their wives, who paid Epstein up to $100,000 for his

services.[29] In 2016, another sting collared Shimen Liebowitz and Aharon Goldberg,

two Satmar Hasidim who colluded with a third man to perform a contract killing

on an estranged husband.[30]

 

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was sued by former Sands China CEO

Steven Jacobs for wrongful termination. Jacobs, who was fired in 2010, alleged that

instead of Adelson losing confidence in his ability to run the Macau-based casinos, the

true reason was his attempts to distance the company from ties to the Triads, the

Chinese mafia, involving activities such as in-casino loan sharking, prostitution, drug

dealing, using the Triads to blackmail and/or bribe various corrupt Chinese lawmakers

(in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and utilizing accounts used by

large-money gamblers (known as whales) transferring money from one casino to another

as money laundering transactions.[31] The suit, which was filed in late 2010, was set to

go to trial in September 2016, though nine months earlier, Adelson purchased the

Las Vegas Review Journal in a controversial and ill-fated attempt to turn public opinion

against the presiding judge.[32] On May 31, 2016, the two sides

reached a confidential settlement.[33]

 

Jewish-American organized crime and Israel

 

Several notable Jewish American mobsters provided financial support for Israel

through donations to Jewish organizations since the country's creation in 1948.

Jewish-American gangsters used Israel's Law of Return to flee criminal charges or

face deportation. Notables include Joseph "Doc" Stacher, who built up Las Vegas

by pairing the Jewish and Italian Mafia into a national organized crime syndicate.

Prime Minister Golda Meir set out to reverse this trend in 1970 when she denied

entrance to Meyer Lansky.[34] He was the mob's accountant, thought to be among

the most powerful people in the country, with a gambling empire stretching

throughout the United States.

 

In 2010, it was reported by Wikileaks that the United States Embassy in Israel, in a cable

titled "Israel: The Promised Land of Organized Crime?", had expressed grave concern

about the activities of Israeli organized crime figures and was taking measures to

prevent members of crime families from being issued visas to the United States.

American diplomats expressed concern that Inbal Gavrieli, the niece of one of Israel's

most powerful mafia bosses, had been elected to the Knesset as a MK for Likud.[35]

 

Russian and Israeli mafia in the United States

 

The Soviet and Russian émigré community in New York's Brighton Beach contains

a large Jewish presence. Some of these newer American-based Jewish gangsters,

such as Ludwig Fainberg (who has lived in Ukraine, Israel and the United States, but

never in Russia), share more in common culturally with Russia and

the Soviet republics than their predecessors, such as Meyer Lansky.[36]

 

Russian Jewish mafia figures, such as Semion Mogilevich, have attempted to penetrate

the United States, including participating in a US$10 billion

money laundering scheme through the Bank of New York in 1998.

 

Israeli mobsters also have had a presence in the United States. The Israeli mafia

(such as the Abergil crime family) is heavily involved in ecstasy trafficking in America.[37]

 

Notable members and associates

 

In popular culture

 


Jewish Criminals and
their Activities

 

 

These excerpts are compiled from the following books:

 

•   The American Jews

•   An Empire of Their Own

•   Esau’s Tears

•   Heil Kahane

•   Jews and Money

•   The Rest of Us

•   The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America

•   Jewish Criminals and Their Activities

 

The American Jews: portrait of a split personality

Author: James Yaffe ©1968 Publisher: Random House Library of Congress No. 68-28553 ISBN No. N/A

61, 62 -- Jews Fear Headlines Exposing Jewish Criminal Activity

 

A great many Jews live in terror of the banner headline that screams out the guilt of someone with an obviously Jewish name. If a Jew must commit a murder or an embezzlement, let him be named Smith or Robinson. ...

 

The sensitivity of some people to this kind of thing can hardly be exaggerated. Every time they read that bookies have been arrested, draft dodgers have been exposed, building inspectors have been accused of taking bribes, they automatically check the list for Jewish names. Jews felt as grieved at President Kennedy’s death as all other Americans; but I wonder how many of them, in the first hour after the assassination, didn’t say a little prayer to themselves, “Please God, make it not be a Jew!”

 

Not only must Jews keep their own sins out of the gentile gaze, they must be careful not to expose the sins of their fellow Jews. this is the source of the friction which has existed since time immemorial between the official Jewish community and the Jewish writers. The writer feels that his first obligation is to deal honestly with the world he knows best. The official community feels that his first obligation is to make that world look attractive to the gentiles.

 

Book Title: An Empire of Their Own

Author: Neal Gabler ©1988 Publisher: Crown Publishers Inc. ISBN No. 0-517-56808-X

304 -- Put Ficticious Jewish Hero Into Movie: Stone

 

In effect, though, Stone’s [John Stone, formerly John Strumwasser] work mainly came down to picking nits: influencing the producer of The Sands of Iwo Jima to incorporate a fictitious Jewish soldier; advising the producer of I Can get It for You Wholesale, a film about the garment industry, that he must proceed cautiously since the general public associated Jews with the garment trades; trying to beef up the role of Justice Brandeis in a film biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes; leaning on the writer of Murder Inc., about the Jewish gangster Louis Lepke, to include a crusading Jewish prosecutor as well; and most ludicrously, suggesting that Sammy Glick, the conniving Jewish protagonist of Budd Schulberg’s novel What Makes Sammy Run?, be changed to someone of indeterminate ancestry.

 

Book Title: Esau’s Tears

Author: Albert S. Lindemann ©1997 Publisher: Cambridge University Press ISBN No. 0-521-59369-7

66 -- Eastern European Jews and Criminal Activity

 

Eastern European Jews were also infamous in the nineteenth century for involvement in activities associated with the saloon, as pimps, or in the language of the time, in “white slavery,” but also in other illegal activities. A substantial Jewish subculture of criminality thrived in cities like Odessa and Bucharest.

 

Anti-Semitic conclusions were frequently drawn from the prominent participation of Jews in the liquor trade, saloons, usury, prostitution, smuggling, and racketeering. Such conclusions were drawn in the West as well as in eastern Europe and were part of the reason that western Jews often tended to consider Jews from eastern Europe to be social deviants, parasites, and criminals. Jewish reformers did not deny the existence or extent of Jewish criminality but rather emphasized how much the environment in eastern Europe encouraged criminality. They expressed concern about what they termed the “unnatural situation of Jews in eastern Europe and the unhealthy Jewish character that resulted from it. Western Jewish leaders campaigned with special vigor to root out the large participation of Jews in prostitution.

 

The Rise and fall of the Jewish Gangster in America

Author: Albert Fried ©1980 Publisher: Holt Rinehart Winston ISBN 0-03-021371-1

Dust Jacket Introduction

 

Once there was a Jewish ghetto in every major American city, each with its own distinctive underworld culture, its own amalgam of prostitutes and pimps, gamblers and gangsters. From the largest and most famous of these ghettoes, New York City’s Lower East Side, there emerged in the years from 1880 to 1914 some of the best known criminals of their time, the likes of Monk Eastman, Kid Twist, Gyp the Blood, Big Jack Zelig, Dopey Benny, Yoski Nigger, Kid Dropper, Little Augie, Arnold Rothstein...

 

... The prominent Jewish gangsters of a later day came from the same ghetto environment. One group specialized in industrial and labor racketeering, from garments to baking and movies. Of these racketeers none were more powerful, none more feared and despised after World War I than Lepke Buchalter and his sidekick Gurrah Shapiro; they and their Murder Incorporated allies cut a swath of terror that is without precedence in the annals of American crime...

 

... The other group specialized in bootlegging. Soon after Prohibition went into effect Jewish gangs sprang up in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Newark, Minneapolis, and of course New York, calling forth such celebrated men of the age as Waxey Gordon, Dutch Schulz, Bugs and Meyer (Benjamin Siegel and Meyer Lansky), King Solomon, Longy Zwillman, Moe Dalitz and the Cleveland Four, the Purple Gang and Kidd Cann. These mobs evolved into giant syndicates as they joined or merged with their (mostly) Italian counterparts in each city and formed cooperative arrangements, regional and national in scale, to control the illicit alcohol market. And it was these very gang/syndicates, with their concentrations of wealth and muscle, that expanded into new commercial realms, especially gambling, after Prohibition ended in 1933. Organized crime had by then become an established institution.

 

18 -- Pimps

 

Some were large-scale indeed. Motche Goldberg (“King of the Vice Trust”) had started out in the 1890s with one girl; by 1912 he had a controlling interest in eight whorehouses and 114 women and was earning $4,000 a month, an incalculable amount by today’s standards. Capitalists like Goldberg, furthermore, possessed resources that enables them to go far afield in pursuit of business, to ship their women wherever the traffic was most profitable — out west, even to the remotest mining towns, and abroad as well.

 

25, 26 Fagins and Fences

 

Like his counterparts in every other poor neighborhood the Jewish criminal exploited the opportunities that lay close at hand. He shook down peddlers and pushcart vendors and storeowners, anyone with property vulnerable to assault, anyone whose livelihood could be easily impeded. He was occasionally a burglar or thief or “fagin.” One such fagin, Harry Joblinsky, had fifteen nimble pickpockets under his wing, another, Abe Greenthal, commanded the notorious Sheeny Gang. More often, the criminal was a fence, a receiver and mover of stolen goods. For years the untitled queen of the fences was “Mother Fredrika Mandelbaum, squat and corpulent, citywide, indeed nationwide if the accounts about her are true, complete with a battery of defense lawyers and a whole communications network. Common too, and especially loathsome for obvious reasons, was the arsonist who would gut a store or house for the insurance it brought him or his employer. In the early 1890s, after an epidemic of neighborhood fires, the authorities sent eighteen of the worst arsonists to jail, some for life. The most fiendish of them, Isaac Zucker, had a ring of “mechanics,” each of whom he paid $25 for burning down a building or store which he, Zucker, had insured.

 

95, 96 “Black Sox” Scandal

 

[Arnold] Rothstein had vaulted far beyond the stuss parlors and pool halls and political clubhouses of his Lower East Side youth and was now America’s premier gambler, certainly its cleverest, best known, and most daring gambler. It was no surprise that Rothstein’s name had recently surfaced as the evil genius behind the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal, the worst, or the only serious, scandal in baseball history. And though Rothstein denied having anything to do with the fix, and was never brought up on charges, he bore the inescapable presumption of guilt: only he could have inspired such a heinous deed, the corruption of the great American pastime (and the World Series at that!). Nor was gambling his only claim to notoriety. The press also referred to him as a “sportsman and man about town” who consorted with the rich (even as he fleeced them) in Saratoga and Long Island and elsewhere, who had his own stable of fine race horses and belonged to the exclusive New York Jockey Club.

 

103 Dutch Schulz

 

Arthur Flegenheimer is an improbable name for an aspiring gangster. So this child of Austrian-Jewish parents, brought up in the sinkholes of the South Bronx, chose as his nom de guerre Dutch Schulz. “the Dutchman” demonstrated his exemplary gifts at an early age; he was smart and quick and demonically cruel, and he had no trouble becoming the leader of his local street gang. After serving as a freelance gunman with several bootlegging and highjacking outfits the Dutchman struck out on his own. His South Bronx gang, a grab bag of Jewish, Italian, and Irish hoods, a ruthless assemblage if there ever was one, beat down, muscled in on, or co-opted one neighborhood rival after another, supplying beer and liquor to speakeasies, restaurants and clubs as far away as Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Harlem. It was a foolhardy adventurer who dared challenge the Dutchman’s expanding fiefdom.

 

234-238 Meyer Lansky in the 30s

 

No one in America, it seems, was busier in the 1930s than Meyer Lansky, ambassador extraordinaire of organized crime. Here is a checklist of some of his endeavors at that time. ...

 

With a number of his colleagues, among them Bugsy Siegel, Frank Costello and Joey Adonis, he owned shares in Capitol Wines and Spirits, a giant New York distributor. ...

 

Lansky joined the Cleveland outfit — Dalitz, Tucker, Kleinman (who happened then to be in jail), Rothkopf, and the Polizzis — in building a series of distilleries strung across the northern tier of the country from Ohio to New Jersey, the largest illicit operation of its kind uncovered by revenue agents. ...

 

Lansky was instrumental in converting Hot Springs, Arkansas, from a venerable watering hole into an up-to-date casino gambling town — though it never lost its quaintness — and an ideal refuge for syndicate gangsters on the lam. ...

Lansky was a partner in the enormously lucrative slot machine business that Frank Costello opened in New Orleans. ...

 

In Cuba, Lansky dealt with another kind of boss, ex-army sergeant Fulgencio Batista, who late in 1933, and with the help of the United States, made the law himself, giving the stamp of legitimacy to whatever he authorized. He and Lansky were the closest of friends. Catching the vision Lansky outlined, Batista would rent Havana to the American underworld, not at once but bit by bit and for as long as he could. In return Lansky and his associates would build up the tourist industry as only they knew how, and the whole island, from Batista to the humblest campesino (though in unequal measure), would enjoy the blessings of their largesse.

 

241 Meyer Lansky in the 40s

 

Now it was universally assumed that the Mafia controlled the International Longshoreman’s Association of the Port of New York, and so the commanding officer of the Third Naval District concluded that the best way to improve security was to win the cooperation of the ILA. (It never occurred to the Navy to appeal directly to the patriotism of the longshoremen. There is an implied racism here: Italians equal Mafia.)

 

In the spring of 1942, the head of Naval intelligence operations for the Third District called on the New York District Attorney for help. The D.A. got in touch with Joseph “Socks” Lanza, boss of the Fulton Fish Market on the east River. Lanza, a tertiary figure in the gang/syndicate order, could not do very much and referred the government officials to Luciano. This they did through one of Luciano’s lawyers in the 1936 trial, Moses Polakoff, who happened also to be Meyer Lansky’s lawyer. It was Lansky who conveyed the government’s message to Luciano, secured Luciano’s agreement to do whatever he could in behalf of the war effort, and as Luciano’s emissary worked closely with the ILA leaders. Luciano granted the government one more favor: he saw to it — again through Lansky — that his Sicilian Mafia paisanos lent the American and Allied expeditionary forces every assistance (quite valuable as it turned out) when they landed there in 1943. ...

 

Messick quotes from a secret Narcotics Bureau memo sent by one of its agents to Italy on December 4, 1951. “Lucky Luciano,” the memo goes, “came to an understanding with Mafia elements in the U.S.A.,” the burden of which was this: “If anyone in the U.S.A. interfered or muscled in on Lansky’s activities Lucky Luciano would take appropriate strong actions from Italy.

 

261, 262 Going Straight?

 

That the Mafia was hardly the point at issue — in the form the Committee imagined at any rate — was blatantly obvious from the number of Jewish gangsters who appeared before it, gangsters as rich and powerful as the most notorious of the Italian witnesses. With the exception of King Solomon’s men — Joe Linsey, Hyman Abrams, and Louis Fox (Kefauver having inexplicably omitted Boston from his itinerary) — and Kidd Cann, just about every important Jewish gangster testified. And on the whole they comported themselves very well. They pictured themselves as men who after a few youthful peccadilloes and false starts were trying earnestly to make a go of it in business. There was of course some truth in this misrepresentation. Detroit’s Bernstein Brothers, retired Purples, were raising horses and selling real estate in California; Moe Dalitz, besides running a huge Las Vegas hotel with his partners, had many legitimate concerns in Cleveland and Detroit, from scrap iron and laundries to steel mills; Nig Rosen had dress factories in the Bronx and Pennsylvania; Longy Zwillman rented cigarette vending and washing machines and sold cars, among other things; Lansky lamented his failure in selling jukebox television to bars and restaurants (“We should have gone into the home set end, and maybe I would have been a rich man today”); and so on and on went the parade of gangster-entrepreneurs.

 

When pressed hard and forced to admit that they were still friendly with “known underworld figures,” were indeed still engaged in illegal activities, they shifted ground, pleading for sympathy, claiming they were trapped, overwhelmed by circumstances. Addressing Moe Sedway, Bugsy Siegel’s ex-sidekick and now one of the Flamingo’s bosses (he also had risen to considerable respectability: he was in 1950 the chief fund-raiser for the Nevada United Jewish Appeal), Senator Tobey said with unflagging righteousness: “You are in cahoots with a lot of people like Bugsy Siegel, and you wonder whether it all pays or not or what it amounts to, and why men do these things. I look upon these people in my state of New Hampshire that till the soil and make $2,000 a year as a lot richer than these people down here. They have peace of mind and can look everybody in the eye.”

 

286 The Present

 

It is a fading memory enveloped in twilight now: the Lower East Side of Maier Luchowljansky’s childhood, where Big Jack Zelig and his men (Lefty Louie, Whitey Louis, and Gyp the Blood) still commanded the streets, taking up where Monk Eastman and Kid Twist had left off, where the whores and gun molls and cadets and gamblers and guerrillas and life-takers met at Segal’s Cafe and in scores of hangouts like it, where youth gangs abounded on every block, where aspiring criminals learned the technique of survival and with luck and audacity and brains achieved success as well. But the Lower East Side and every other urban ghetto — Chicago’s and Philadelphia’s and Cleveland’s and Boston’s and Detroit’s and Newark’s — once tenanted by Eastern European Jews are gone, and so are all the children of the underworld, those who fell in battle and those who died peacefully in the bosom of respectability, the anonymous mass and the privileged few. That past is vanquished. Meyer Lansky is the last of its heroes.

 

Heil Kahane

 

Author: Yair Kotler © 1986 Publisher: Adama Books ISBN No. 0-915361-35-3

46, 47 -- Kahane & the Mafia

 

Kahane received substantial aid from the New York Mafia. The first real link between Meir Kahane and Joseph (Joe) Colombo, a Mafia figure in New York, was formed in May 1971, when Kahane was in jail on a charge of illegal possession of weapons and explosives. He wanted to be freed on bail, but the JDL treasury was empty, as usual. Imprisonment drove Kahane mad. He had always feared it and done everything (even informing on his comrades to the authorities) in order to avoid going to jail. Kahane knows that he can attract publicity only when he is free.

 

Nine other JDL activists were imprisoned along with Kahane. In 1972 Kahane stated that a total of $155,000 out of a budget of $250,000 was spent on bail. In order to leave jail as quickly as possible, Kahane was willing to make a pact with the devil himself.

 

Kahane’s criminal lawyer was Barry Slotnick, one of the leading criminal lawyers in New York, who was also Joe Colombo’s lawyer. Kahane asked Slotnick to make the connection with the Mafia leader. Kahane’s arrest attracted the attention of the media. He found the attention flattering, but the imprisonment unbearable. Colombo listened attentively to Slotnick, who told him that Kahane wanted Colombo’s help in raising bail. Colombo jumped at the opportunity. He replied that Kahane was a man after his own heart, a man “fighting for his people.” As a veteran Mafioso, Colombo could appreciate Kahane’s violent methods. He realized he could use Kahane to improve his own image: public disclosure of the link between the two would benefit Colombo. He immediately agreed to provide bail for all the prisoners.

 

50 -- Firearms

 

Colombo’s group treated Kahane as a hero after he was charged with possession of firearms without a license — a serious offense which further distanced Kahane from the Jewish leadership. Both Kahane and Colombo were regarded as pariahs by their respective communities.

51 -- Mafia Connections

 

Kahane’s critics in the United States maintain that the JDL also had ties with Meyer Lansky, the Cosa Nostra’s financial wizard, and that JDL activists were used to smuggle hard drugs into the United States. When the Italian police arrested a drug smuggling ring led by Salvatore Zizzo in September 1974, Kahane’s opponents charged that the Zizzo family had close ties to a JDL branch — ties that were forged by Colombo in the late sixties. The Zizzo ring was involved in smuggling drugs from the Far East to the U.S. and Canada. Many are aware that some JDL members have been addicted to drugs in both the United States and Israel. Several were charged with the use and distribution of drugs in the United States. The charges were inexplicably dropped, suggesting that they may have served as informers.

 

63 -- Time Bomb

 

[Elderly Jewish impresario, Sol] Hurok refused to bow to JDL pressure. In retaliation, they determined to destroy his offices. On January 26, two young well-dressed men entered Hurok’s twelfth-floor office suite and politely asked for the date of a future performance. They were asked to wait for the information, but they quickly left the offices, leaving behind a vinyl-covered briefcase. A time bomb quietly ticked away inside the case. At the same time, two other young men were similarly engaged at a Manhattan location nearby: the offices of Columbia artists, a film company that also organized visits to the U.S. by Soviet performers.

 

Before anything could be done, the two bombs exploded. Flames burst forth. The offices were filled with dense, choking smoke. The fire caused great heat. Panic-stricken employees jumped from the windows of the Columbia Artists office, fought their way through the smoke filling the lobby, and escaped to the street. Hurok’s office, on a high floor of a skyscraper, encased in hermetically sealed glass, became a deathtrap, filled with lethal smoke. the windows could not be opened. The central air conditioning system spewed forth smoke. Hurok almost choked and was rescued by firefighters; he had to be rushed to the hospital, more dead than alive.

 

But Iris Kones, a 27-year-old Jewish woman who worked in the accounting department, and two other women with whom she worked tried to escape the smoke. They kept their faces close to the floor, which was covered with wall-to-wall carpeting. The firefighters found them like that when they entered the room, with their faces buried in the carpet and their hair burned. All three were unconscious. Two were successfully resuscitated with the use of oxygen, but Iris inhaled too much smoke. She died of suffocation. (Twelve other employees were injured; two suffered serious burns.

 

65 -- Kahane Chutzpah

 

The police arrested seven people, including three minors, all JDL members. (One of them, Michael Brown, was a planted agent arrested by mistake; he was soon released) The League responded by picketing police headquarters and charging the chief of police with harassment and anti-Semitism. Those directly responsible for Iris’s death, either hid or fled to Israel. The fugitives included Jerome Zeller and several others subpoenaed by the grand jury investigating the crime.

 

The police nets soon drew in Stuart Cohen, Sheldon Davis, and Sheldon Seigel, three members of the top echelon of the JDL. They were arrested and charged with causing the death of Iris Kones. Kahane hurried back to the United States, and held a press conference at the Belmont Plaza. Kahane charged Nixon with attacking the League. He repeated his denial of JDL complicity in the bombing, and said that the “beautiful Jewish children” taken into custody had been arrested solely because they were JDL leaders.

 

68 -- Serious Incidents

 

The grand jury met in closed session and heard Seigel’s testimony. Indictments were returned against Seigel and six others for the bombs in Amtorg and Glen Cove. In the meantime another serious incident occurred. A JDL sniper fired into the seventh-floor bedroom of the residence of the Soviet delegate to the UN. Fortunately none of the diplomat’s four children asleep in the room were harmed. The sniper fired from the roof of Hunter College, using a Remington 243.

 

Seigel named the real sniper: Gary Shlian, a seventeen-year-old. Shlian was arrested while on his way to the airplane which was to take him to Israel.

 

Seigel told about fantastic plans against Soviet diplomats envisioned by the JDL with the grandiose notion of damaging an emerging détente between the U.S. and the USSR. The first plan had reached the operational stage. JDL members built a radio-controlled model airplane, with a wingspan of 6 feet, which could carry 66 sticks of dynamite. The plane could be transported on the top of an automobile and controlled from a distance. JDL members planned to land the plane on top of the Soviet mission to the UN on Park Avenue and explode it.

 

The second plan concerned dynamiting a Soviet diplomat’s car while it was parked in the underground garage of the Soviet Mission. League members conducting surveillance on the diplomat discovered that he parked his car in an accessible location during weekly visits to his mistress. The dynamite would be attached to the bottom of his car at that time, to be detonated by remote control, when the car was later parked in the Soviet Mission’s underground garage. Other plans included shelling the Soviet residence in Glen Cove, Long Island and murdering the Soviet ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin, as he entered the Soviet embassy.

Acting on Seigel’s information, police located the miniature plane in the basement of a house in Borough Park. They also scotched notions of shelling the residence in Glen Cove and assassinating the Soviet ambassador.

 

Jews and Money: the myths and the reality

Author: Gerald Krefetz ©1982 Publisher: Ticknor and Field ISBN No. 0-89919-129-0

112 -- La Kosher Nostra

 

Of all the areas of Jewish enterprise, none has been so overlooked as the field of crime. And it isn’t because of a lack of Jewish criminality. For an introspective people, this oversight is significant. It is as if Jewish crime did not exist, an unsavory skeleton best left in the family closet. Naturally, it goes against the grain to think that among all the other Jewish-American prototypes — doctor, lawyer, businessman, financier, artist, musician, scientist, and academician — there is also a Jewish gangster. Recent circumstances have forced this unpleasant recognition, for Jewish criminals are again in the limelight.

 

114, 115 -- Unzer Shtik (Our Thing)

 

While contemporary Jews believe that crime is someone else’s problem, Jewish criminality is well-established. Perhaps the refusal of the Jewish establishment to examine dispassionately the record of Jewish-American crime “reveals a fundamental lack of security and self-respect.” Jewish criminals, however, cut out a niche for themselves quite a while ago, whether or not other Jews wish to recognize their achievements. The list of prominent villains is long and the aliases are intriguing: Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, Mickey Cohen, “Tootsie” Feinstein, Solly Gross, Jake Guzik, Phil “The Stick” Kovolick, Abe “Kid Twist” Relis, Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, and Maier Suchowljansky, a.k.a. Meyer Lansky.

For the most part, Jewish crime has followed the tradition of the Jewish people: it is verbal, intellectual, quasilegal, and non-violent. From the beginning, Jewish criminal activity has mirrored the activities of legitimate business. While some Jews were involved in the seamy, violent forms of crime, especially the gang warfare of the Prohibition era, more Jews drifted to white-collar crime and to the economic organization of crime. They left the more vigorous bully work to the Italians, with whom they allied in their joint effort to make a name for themselves. In the 1920s, rum-running and manufacturing illegal liquor were the major underworld activities. However, smuggling drugs and diamonds, loansharking, betting, numbers, stock swindles, and securities fraud were also rackets.

 

Perhaps the most notorious Jewish criminal of that period was Arnold Rothstein. After fixing the 1919 World Series, Rothstein turned to smuggling whiskey across the Atlantic, but not before bribing the Long Island police and the Coast Guard commanders in the area. Rothstein retired before he was caught, and provided the financial backing and the political protection for his one-time bodyguard, Legs Diamond. Rothstein was murdered, but his two spiritual heirs, Dutch Schulz (nee Arthur Flegenheimer) and Waxey Gordon (nee Irving Wexler), took over. Also around that time, Meyer Lansky and “Bugsy” Siegel were busy making their reputations as killers and hijackers.

 

In 1934, the criminals got together in an ecumenical congress, a clandestine gathering that became the National Crime Syndicate. It was Rothstein’s vision to organize lawlessness on a regular, paying basis, and reduce intergang homicides. Organized by men of ethnic backgrounds, the syndicate was led by Luciano, Lepke, Lansky, and Siegel. Lansky, the chairman of the board, set up an organization to settle jurisdictional disputes.

 

Under Lansky, crime was no longer a cottage industry of small, warring groups disposed to petty rackets and grand violence, but an elaborate corporation with subsidiaries and affiliates in gambling, prostitution, narcotics, industrial racketeering, bribery, and political corruption. Muscle was still used, and Lansky, the “little enforcer,” knew when to apply it. But the wholesale slaughter that existed earlier was largely a thing of the past. Some observers mark the Lansky chairmanship as a maturation of American crime, a watershed. A contemporary, Al Capone, was a product of the era of guts, while Lansky was a forerunner of the era of brains. Capone didn’t have a bank account; Lansky left a trail of paper. The former died from syphilis in jail; the latter retired with an officially reported net worth of $300 million.

 

129-139 -- The Bernard Bergman Saga

 

Central casting could not have found a more perfect image of orthodoxy and self-righteousness — that mixture of piousness and studied indifference to modernity — than Bernard Bergman. He was born in Hungary but in 1929, immigrated to the United States, where he was ordained in 1934 at Yeshiva University. After a brief visit to Jerusalem, he returned to New York City. At about the same time, his stepfather was arrested in Paris, passing himself off as the “grand rabbi of Brooklyn,” trying to smuggle seventeen pounds of heroin among his religious books. Bergman’s mother pleaded guilty as an accomplice.

 

Bergman’s first association with a nursing home was as a rabbi at a Lower East Side establishment. After the war, he gave up the active rabbinate and moved into nursing homes and real estate as businesses. His first partner was sued by the state for bilking Jews out of $2.3 million in a cemetery swindle. Bergman attracted characters of dubious ethics.

 

While Bergman was busy wheeling and dealing, he maintained an active role in Zionist activities and Jewish philanthropic work. ...

 

... As his holdings grew, he had few qualms about using his contacts to expedite permits, quash unfavorable reports, and promote rate increases. From an inheritance of $30,000, left to him by the founders of the first nursing home he worked in, Bergman’s net worth grew to exceed $10 million by 1960.

 

By that time, his nursing homes earned big money and had attracted the attention of city authorities. Some of the practices of the nursing facilities were fraudulent. The Commissioner of Investigation, Louis Kaplan, found that the private nursing homes were overbilling the city for the care of welfare patients — giving them minimal care but charging maximum rates. Kaplan found the records so badly kept that his accountants had to extrapolate a formula for the erroneous billing. He concluded that the city had been overcharged $3.7 million in a two-year period in the late fifties, much of it due to simple fraud. One Bergman home was responsible for $213,000 in overcharges, and the president of the trade association, Eugene Hollander, had overbilled by $237,000. The case was forwarded to the District Attorney for legal action while the corporation counsel recovered $650,000 for “unjust enrichment,” an out-of-court settlement in which the city collected seventeen cents on a dollar. If the recovery was incomplete, due to the difficulties in proving the case in court, the criminal acts of the defendants were mysteriously forgotten. Forty out of 119 houses were closed after Kaplan’s report. However, the nursing home operators filed for and received rate increases of thirty percent. ...

131 ... As a consequence of the Kaplan report, Bergman was notified by the New Jersey authorities that he was “persona non grata.” Undeterred, Bergman moved into that state through front organizations nominally owned by members of his family. ...

... Bergman’s “success” in the nursing home business can be attributed to a number of things: his presence in the right field at the right time; the indulgence of government agencies, which seemed more concerned with custodial space than care for the elderly; but probably most of all, to chutzpah, plain gall.

 

135 Bergman’s single-minded profiteering was his undoing. He milked Medicaid, taking advantage of the latest government-sponsored program to aid the aged and indigent. What was heinous about Bergman’s activities was not the theft of government funds — in those terms he was no different than the wanted men on post office bulletin boards — but that he was preying on people who were unable to defend themselves. It can, of course, be argued that Bergman was no different from any other fast-buck artist. He was just dealing in volume. But perhaps he should have been different — as a man of the cloth, he should be devoted and held to higher standards of morality. ... 136, 137 ...

 

Dr. Fleck, the first Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health summarized Bergman’s activities:

 

A long history of repetitive arrangements ... which follow a consistent pattern under which the parties fulfill, on an alternating basis, roles as buyers and sellers, lessors and lessees of real estate devoted to nursing home purposes. The only standardized and consistent relationship in these arrangements is continued inflation of paper real estate values. ... Dr. Bergman wishes to choose among the various options available to him under our current laws and regulations in order to maximize the profits he can obtain by an eventual sale of real estate. Apparently, the quality of the nursing home operation and the service to be provided to the public is not an important consideration influencing Dr. Bergman’s choices. ... The Public Health Council is concerned about the inflation of costs as a result of this type of decision-making which is characterized by them as “trafficking in nursing home real estate values” with regard to its effect on patient welfare.

 

138, 139 ... When the courts caught him, Bergman was sentenced in federal court to four months for Medicaid and tax fraud and in state court to one year for bribery of a state legislator. He signed over his assets to satisfy a government claim of $2.5 million as the judge termed him “an unscrupulous and corrupt individual” with “little or no remorse.” Bergman then left for a minimum security prison with minimum fences “not designed to keep people in or out, they’re just designed to let us know where our property ends,” said the superintendent. Fences are probably a good idea; otherwise Bergman might have tried to subdivide the property and build a nursing home after he arranged a sale-and-leaseback dodge with the warden. Bergman served ten weeks for his federal offenses.

 

 

Book Title: “The Rest of Us”

Author: Stephen Birmingham ©1984 Publisher: Little, Brown & Company ISBN 0-316-09647-4

 

77 -- Beginnings

 

And crime, of course, carried the highest risks of all. It was a business so unbusinesslike that it could not properly be called a business at all, and yet the Lower East Side would also produce some of the most successful and powerful gangsters in the world. One of these arrived at Ellis Island in April, 1911, as a ten-year-old boy named Meyer Suchowljansky.

141 -- Among Jews, Jewish Criminal Viewed as Part of American Landscape

 

That the East Side had produced a number of criminals was well known, and the attitude toward these people among the Russian-Jewish community was somewhat ambivalent. On the one hand, Jewish parents did not point out these men to their children as examples of American success. And yet, at the same time, there was a certain grudging admiration for men who could buck the system and get away with it. The Jewish criminal wore snappy clothes, drove an expensive car, was good to his wife, and could afford to send his sons to Harvard instead of the City College of New York. There was a certain glamour about him, rather like a Hollywood movie star. Crime, after all, was another way out of the ghetto, and nobody could be faulted for wanting to get out. And, for some, it was proving a very rapid way out of the ghetto — as whirlwind a way as Rose Pastor’s engagement and marriage. Also, for otherwise perfectly legitimate Jewish businessmen, it was often useful to have a friend with “connections” who could get things done expeditiously, without going through a lot of legal red tape. Union problems, for example, could often be handled with a little muscle from certain quarters. And so the Jewish criminal was not regarded, among Jews, as an enemy of society, but more as a part of the general American landscape. By 1920, Meyer Lansky had become part of this panorama.

 

142 -- The Lansky-Luciano Connection

 

There are at least two versions of how Meyer Lansky first became friendly with another tough young East Sider named Salvatore Luciana, later to become known as Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Lansky liked to recall that they had first encountered each other at what had threatened to become a Lower East Side street battle between the Italians and the Jews, and how Luciano had been attracted by the tiny — fully grown, he was only a few inches over five feet tall — Lansky’s spunk and nerve. Luciano had called off the fight, and later taken Lansky under his protection, gratis. Luciano would recall the initial meeting somewhat differently. Luciano had been earning extra pin money collecting pennies from Jewish youths for protection, but when he approached Lansky with the usual proposition, Lansky had replied, “Fuck you!” Impressed, Luciano had offered to supply Lansky with free protection, to which Lansky had replied, “Shove it up your ass!” Realizing that they were kindred spirits, the two became lifelong friends and business associates. This friendship, too, marked the beginning of a Jewish-Italian alliance against a common East Side enemy, the Irish.

 

Soon, into the Lansky-Luciano group came another, somewhat older Jewish youth named Benjamin Siegel.

 

143 -- Crime As A Business

 

Lansky never liked to think of his chosen means of livelihood as anything other than a business. It might not be a legitimate business, but it was still a business, and Lansky tried to keep it on as businesslike a level — no tampering with the books — as possible. It was a business, as he saw it, that was designed to cater to certain basic human needs — a service business. Human beings liked to gamble, and would gamble whether gambling was legal or not, and so Lansky and his associates would put themselves at the service of gamblers. At the same time, Lansky had his own strict moral code. He would not, for example, involve himself in prostitution. Prostitution could also be rationalized as fulfilling a human need, but Lansky would have none of it.

 

144 -- Prohibition

 

On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified, to become law one year later. The amendment banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor, wine, beer, or other intoxicating substances. Nine months later, over President Wilson’s veto, the Volstead Act was passed by Congress, toughening the Prohibition laws and setting up the machinery for their enforcement.

 

145 -- Prohibition A Golden Door to Riches For Lansky

 

It also allowed men like Meyer Lansky and his friends the time to develop an elaborate game plan for buying and marketing alcoholic beverages, so that when the Volstead Act finally went into effect, they had a virtually foolproof strategy for working around the law. On the very eve of Prohibition, nightclub comics joked about the various ways of obtaining liquor that would become available the following day. Had it not been for Prohibition, men like Lansky, Luciano, and Siegel might have continued as operators of small-time gambling parlors, living in a series of cold-water tenement flats. But Prohibition offered a golden door to riches — for Lansky, what would become one of the larger personal fortunes in America — all for helping Americans defy an unpopular law.

 

149 -- A Canadian Jewish Connection

 

Meanwhile, to the north of Lake Erie, another gentleman was emerging who was becoming very important to Meyer Lansky and his flourishing American bootleg business. His name was Samuel Bronfman, and it was not long before Lansky and Bronfman had entered into an arrangement that would be enormously profitable to both. ...

 

153 What impressed Lansky the most was that what Bronfman was doing was all perfectly legal — in Canada, that is. Bronfman had no trouble with customs or police on the Canadian side of the border. In fact, the Ottawa government actually encouraged the export of liquor to the United States by refunding the nine-dollar-a-gallon tax that is imposed on all liquor sold for consumption within Canada.

 

156 -- The Jewish Lake

 

Meanwhile Sam’s [Bronfman] profitable connection with Meyer Lansky and his growing organization continued apace. Sam Bronfman might not consider himself a bootlegger, but Lansky and Company certainly did. As Lansky’s chief confederate, Lucky Luciano, put it, Sam Bronfman “was bootleggin’ enough whiskey across the Canadian border to double the size of Lake Erie.” It was no wonder that wags in the liquor trade were beginning to refer to Lake Erie as “the Jewish lake.”

285 -- Lansky and The Cause of Israel’s Independence

 

During the war years, while Lansky, Mickey Cohen, and their friends — now beginning to be known as the “syndicate” — had been devoting much energy and money to the cause of Israel’s independence, huge reserves of capital had been lying, untouched, in Swiss bank accounts, quietly accruing interest. In Lansky’s personal accounts reposed something in the neighborhood of thirty-six million dollars, most of it from Prohibition profits. All this was fine, though Lansky did not consider earning interest a very exciting way to make money. The problem was that the syndicate was cash poor. It had an excess of venture capital, but no new venture to invest it in. On the drawing boards, in the meantime, lay Benny Siegel’s idea for Las Vegas.

343, 344 -- Lansky Looks to Israel for Sanctuary

 

By 1970, meanwhile, Lansky had begun to weary of the constant surveillance under which the government was keeping him. He was sixty-eight years old, his heart had been giving him a bit of trouble, and there was the recurring problem of his stomach ulcers. Over the years, he had been very generous to Israel — not only with personal contributions, but also by regularly turning over his Las Vegas hotels and casinos for Bonds for Israel rallies. Israel continued to offer itself as a land of refuge to Jews of any nationality. ...

... Lansky spent his two tourist years in Israel pulling every string, using every contact and connection he could muster to try to gain his citizenship. he even had a friend who was on good terms with Golda Meir take his case directly to the prime minister. Mrs. Meir was sympathetic, and agreed that the one gambling charge for which Lansky had been convicted was definitely minor. But she refused to commit herself. The original blanket invitation to all Jews had been given a bothersome amendment in 1950 to bar any Jewish “undesirable.” It was in this category that the FBI insisted that the Israelis place Lansky in order that he could be returned to the United States to face the various indictments it had waiting for him.

 

345 -- Lansky Reluctantly Heads Homeward

 

In November, 1972, a few days before his visa would expire, Lansky realized that his cause was hopeless. If Israel did not want him, he decided, he would leave the country voluntarily. Armed with a clutch of airplane tickets and entry visas to a number of South American countries that he hoped might take him in, he headed to the Tel Aviv airport. He had no sooner passed through Passport Control, however, than he was joined by FBI agents, who followed him on a zigzag journey halfway around the globe — to Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Paraguay — where, at each stop, he was denied entry despite his valid documents. His last hope was Panama, for which he also had a visa. Alas, he was denied entry to Panama. The FBI had done its advance work well. The next stop was Miami.

 

The irony was that, during the decade that followed, in none of the cases that the government had arrayed against him was the government able to obtain a conviction. Millions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money were spent, only to have case after case dismissed for insufficient evidence. And so, in the end, officially declared innocent of all his crimes, Lansky was allowed to live out his life in retirement at Imperial House, forbidden to leave the country, his passport revoked, forbidden to go to Israel — the man who may have been the most successful criminal in American history sentenced to life imprisonment in Miami Beach. At the time of his forced return, Lansky was both bitter and philosophical. “That’s life,” he told reporters. “At my age, it’s too late to worry. What will be will be. A Jew has a slim chance in the world.” He died in Miami in January, 1983 at eighty-one.

 

 ___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 


____________________________________________________________________________________________

                                          List of Jewish American mobsters...

And organized crime

figures, ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.

Name Portrait Life Years active Notes References
"Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan No image
available
1895–1923 1910s–1920s A former member of the Five Points Gang, he and Johnny Spanish fought over control of labor racketeering during the Labor Slugger Wars. [1][6][10]
Abe "Kid Twist" Reles Abe-reles.jpg 1906–1941 1921–1940 One of the most feared hitmen of Murder, Inc. during the 1930s, he later became a government witness and was responsible for sending many of his former partners to the electric chair. Died under suspicious circumstances while in protective custody in 1941. [1][2][4][5][6][9][10][13]
Abe Bernstein No image
available
1892–1968 1910s–1960s Detroit mobster and leader of The Purple Gang. After the end of Prohibition, he ran syndicate gambling operations in Miami up until his death in 1968. [2][7]
Abe Landau No image
available
1898–1935 1920s–1930s Lieutenant of New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [1][2][5][9][10]
Abner "Longy" Zwillman   1891–1959 1910s–1950s Prohibition gangster. Popularly known as the "Al Capone of New Jersey", he was a founding member of the "Big Seven" Ruling Commission. He was also associated with Murder, Inc. [1][2][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][14]
Abraham Chapman   1904/06-1991 1930s–1991 Member of Murder, Inc.; imprisoned in Alcatraz 1951–1960; 1991 pleaded guilty to charge of conspiracy.
Abraham Friedman No image
available
1897–1939 1920s–1930s New York mobster and enforcer for labor racketeer Nathan Kaplan, and later Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. [5]
Abraham Telvi   1934–1956 1950s Hitman for New York labor racketeer Johnny Dio. Responsible for blinding crusading New York journalist Victor Riesel with acid in 1956.
Abraham Weinberg   1897–1935? 1920s–1930s Hitman and chief lieutenant for New York mobster Dutch Schultz during Prohibition. Disappeared in 1935 and long presumed to have been killed by the mob. [5]
Albert "Tick–tock" Tannenbaum No image
available
1906–1976 1920s–1950s Enforcer and hitman for Lepke Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s. A member of Murder, Inc., he was responsible for the 1939 murder of Harry Greenberg. [1][4][5][10]
Alex "Shondor" Birns No image
available
1907–1975
A major gangland figure in Cleveland throughout the 20th century. At one time considered Public Enemy No. 1, he controlled the city's underworld until his murder by Danny Greene in 1975. [2]
Alex Louis Greenberg
Alex Louis Greenberg - Appearing before Senate Crime Committee
d. 1955 1930s-1950s Wealthy brewer, hotel owner, and financial adviser for the Capone crime syndicate. [23]
Andrei Katz No image
available
1952–1975 1960s–1970s Romanian-born mobster associated with the Gambino crime family. Killed by the DeMeo crew in 1975 after agreeing to become a government informant.  
Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein   1882–1928 1900s–1920s One of the first major underworld figures in New York during the early 20th century. Widely reputed to have been behind the Black Sox scandal of 1919. [1][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][13]
Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer   1902–1935 1910s–1930s Headed bootlegging and policy rackets in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. [1][2][4][5][6][7][9][10][12][13]
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel Mugshot Benjamin Siegel.jpg 1906–1947 1910s–1940s New York mobster associated with Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello and Charles "Lucky" Luciano during Prohibition. Credited with the creation of syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s. [1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][13][14]
Benjamin "Dopey Benny" Fein Fein.jpg 1889–1977? 1900–1941 New York mobster who dominated labor racketeering with Joseph Rosenzweig in the Lower East Side during the 1910s. [1][5][8][10]
Benjamin Tannenbaum No image
available
1906–1941 1920s–1930s Mob accountant for New York labor racketeers Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. Murdered by members of Murder, Inc. in 1941 while babysitting for a friend. [5]
Bernard Rosencrantz No image
available
1902–1935 1920s–1930s Bodyguard and chauffeur of New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [2][5]
Boris Nayfeld No image
available

1970s–1990s Russian-born mobster and heroin smuggler in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. He and Monya Elson later waged a gang war over Brighton Beach.
Charles "King" Solomon No image
available
1884–1933 1900s–1930s He and Irish gangster Dan Carroll controlled bootlegging, narcotics and illegal gambling in Boston during Prohibition. Killed at the Cotton Club by rival mobsters in 1933. [1][6][7][9][22]
Charles Birger No image
available
1881–1928 1919–1928 Illinois bootlegger who feuded with the Shelton Brothers Gang throughout Prohibition.
Chris Rosenberg   1950–1979 1970s A member of the Gambino crime family's DeMeo crew during the 1970s. He was later killed by DeMeo to cover up the murder of Colombian drug cartel members.
David Berman No image
available
1903–1957 1916–1957 Associate member of the Genovese crime family who ran syndicate operations in Iowa and Minnesota from the 1920s to the 1940s. Involved in syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s, he and Moe Sedway took over The Flamingo after Bugsy Siegel's murder in 1947. [2]
Emanuel Weiss Louis Capone and Emanuel Weiss.jpg 1906–1944 1920s–1930s An enforcer for New York labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1920s. He was also a member of Murder, Inc. up until his arrest in 1940. [4][5]
Evsei Agron No image
available
d. 1985 1970s–1980s Russian-born mobster who established and ran the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn until his murder in 1985.
Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal   1929–2008 1960s–1980s One of the top sports handicappers in the United States during his lifetime. Secretly ran several syndicate casinos for the Chicago Outfit, most notably the Stardust, throughout the 1960s and 1970s. [2][11]
George Weinberg No image
available
1901–1939 1920s–1930s Younger brother of Schultz' gunman Abraham Weinberg. After his brother's disappearance in 1935, he agreed to become a government witness but committed suicide while in police custody in 1939. [5]
Gus Greenbaum No image
available
1894–1958 1910s–1950s Member of the Chicago Outfit and ran syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [1][2][6]
Harry "Doc Jasper" Sagansky No image
available
1898–1997 1920s–1990s Ran one of the largest bookmaking operations in Boston during the 1950s. At the time of his imprisonment in 1988, at age 91, he was the oldest organized crime figure to serve a federal prison sentence.
Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss No image
available
1909–1941 1927–1941 Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. credited with the murder of Irving Feinstein and at least five other gangland slayings. Sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing in 1941. [1][4][5][6][10]
Harry Greenberg No image
available
d. 1939 1920s–1930s An associate and childhood friend of Bugsy Siegel, he later worked for Charlie "Lucky" Luciano and Meyer Lansky.
Harry Horowitz aka Gyp the Blood Gyp 2422667831 20669b23e4 o.jpg 1889–1914 1900s–1910s Leader of the Lenox Avenue Gang. [1][5]
Harry Keywell No image
available
1910–1997 1920s–1930s Detroit mobster and member of The Purple Gang. A suspect in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and later convicted of Collingwood Manor Massacre in 1931. [2][12]
Harry Maione No image
available
1908–1942 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Participated in the murders of the Shapiro Brothers and George Rudnick. [5]
Harry Rosen No image
available

1920s–1950s Major bootlegger in Philadelphia during Prohibition. He was a member of the Big Seven and later involved in drug trafficking with Meyer Lansky during the 1930s. [2][7]
Harry Tietlebaum No image
available
1889–? 1920s–1930s An associate of the Bug and Meyer Mob during Prohibition. Later part of a major heroin smuggling operation with Meyer Lansky and Harry "Nig" Rosen during the early 1930s.
Herbert Blitzstein No image
available
1934–1997
Loanshark and bookmaker for the Chicago Outfit during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the top lieutenant of Anthony Spilotro when he and his crew were sent to Las Vegas. [11]
Hyman "Pittsburgh Hymie" Martin No image
available
1903–1987 1920s–1930s Pittsburgh mobster associated with Moe Davis and Lou Rothkopf. Acquitted of the 1931 murder of Cleveland city councilman William E. Potter. [2]
Hyman Abrams No image
available

1920s–1960s Lieutenant of Boston Mobster Charles Solomon during Prohibition. Later financed syndicate Las Vegas casinos with Meyer Lansky, Carl Cohen and Jack Entratter during the 1950s and 1960s. [1][2]
Hyman Amberg No image
available
1902–1926 1919–1926 New York mobster and chief enforcer for his brothers Joseph and Louis "Pretty" Amberg. Hyman and another convict committed suicide following an unsuccessful escape attempt from Tombs Prison. [4][5]
Hyman Holtz No image
available
1896–1939 1920s–1930s New York labor racketeer associated with Jacob Orgen and a later protege of Louis Buchalter. [4]
Hyman Larner No image
available
1913–2002 1950s–1970s A close associate of Sam Giancana, he headed gambling and smuggling operations for the Chicago Outfit during the 1960s and 1970s.
Ike Bloom IkeBloom.JPG 1865–1930
An early organized crime figure in Chicago associated with "Big Jim" Colosimo. Owned some of the city's most popular nightclubs, such as Midnight Frolics and Kreiberg's, during Prohibition. [7]
Irving Feinstein No image
available
1910–1939 1930s New York mobster involved in illegal gambling and labor racketeering with Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1930s.
Irving Kaye No image
available
?-1977 1950s–1970s New York crew member of Longy Zwillman[19] and coin-op business partner of Gerardo Catena.[20]
Irving, Meyer and William Shapiro   1904–1931 (Irving)
1908–1931 (Meyer)
1911–1934 (William)
1920s–1930s Rivals of Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the late 1920s and 1930s. Irving and Meyer Shapiro were killed after initiating a gang war with Buchalter and Shapiro in 1931. William Shapiro was eventually murdered by Murder, Inc. in 1934. [2][5]
Isadore "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld No image
available
1900–1981 1900s–1980s Minneapolis mobster who ran the city's underworld from the 1920s until his conviction for violating the Mann Act in 1957. Later retired to Miami Beach where he and Meyer Lansky operated a real estate empire and were involved in syndicate operations in Miami and Havana up until his death in 1981. [1][2][12]
Isadore Friedman No image
available
d. 1939 1920s–1930s New York mobster associated with labor racketeer Louis Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s.
Israel "Ice pick Willie" Alderman No image
available
1902–1970
From North Minneapolis; associate with David Berman In Minneapolis and Las Vegas. 1965 convicted in Denver of conspiring to use telephone lines to threaten death to a disbarred attorney; 1969 reported under indictment for grand larceny. [3]
Jack "Big Jack" Zelig Jack Zelig NYWTS.jpg 1882–1912 1890s–1910s Start of the 20th century gangster and one-time leader of the Eastman Gang. Killed by Phil Davidson shortly before his testimony in the Charles Becker murder trial in 1912. [1][10]
Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro   1899–1947 1910s–1940s He and Louis Buchalter controlled industrial labor racketeering in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. Shapiro also helped establish Murder, Inc. Died in prison in 1947. [1][2][5][6][8][9][10]
Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen JacobOrgen.jpg 1901–1927 1900s–1920s New York gangster involved in bootlegging and labor racketeering during Prohibition. He took control of the garment district from Nathan Kaplan at the end of the end of the third labor sluggers war. Killed by his former associates Lepke Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro in 1927. [1][5][6][10]
Jacob Katzenberg No image
available
1888-? 1920s–1930s New York organized crime figure who supplied narcotics to mobsters throughout the United States during the 1920s and 1930s.
Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik No image
available
1886–1956 1910s–1950s Financial and legal advisor to the Chicago Outfit. [1][2][6][7][8][9][10]
John "Johnny Spanish" Wheiler No image
available
1891–1919 1900s–1910s A former member of the Five Points Gang, he and "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan battled over New York's garment district during the Second Labor Sluggers War. [1][6]
John "Spanish Louie" Lewis No image
available
d. 1910 1900s Gunman/stick up artist at the turn of the century.
John Factor No image
available
1892–1984 1920s–1960s British-born Chicago gangster and con artist associated with the Chicago Outfit whose staged 1933 kidnapping resulted in the wrongful conviction of Roger Touhy. He later became a prominent businessman and casino owner in Las Vegas 1950s and 1960s. [2][7]
Joseph "Doc" Stacher No image
available
1902–1977 1920s–1960s An associate of Abner Zwillman and Meyer Lansky. Assisted Lansky in organizing the Atlantic City Conference and later in financing syndicate casinos in Las Vegas. Deported from the U.S. in 1964 and later emigrated to Israel where he died years later. [1][2][6][10]
Joseph "Joe the Greaser" Rosenzweig No image
available
1891–? 1910s New York labor racketeer allied with "Dopey" Benny Fein during the first labor slugger war. [1]
Joseph Amberg No image
available
1892–1935 1919–1935 New York mobster who led one of the top gangs in Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s with brothers Hyman and Louis Amberg. Amberg and an associate, Morris Kessler, were executed by Murder, Inc. in his Brownsville auto garage. [4][5]
Joseph Linsey No image
available
1899–1994 1920s–1970s Lieutenant of Boston mobster Charles Solomon during Prohibition. After Solomon's death in 1933, he and other associates split Solomon's territory between themselves.
Joseph Reinfeld No image
available


Early, major bootlegger in the northeast U.S.; established connections with the Bronfmans in Canada and brought Longy Zwillman into the bootlegging empire that Zwillman eventually took over. After Prohibition, went legitimate, establishing the largest wholesale liquor distributorship in New Jersey.
Joseph Toblinsky No image
available
1879–? 1900s–1930s He, along with Jacob Levinsky and Charles Vitoffsky, led a criminal organization in New York's Lower East Side known as the Yiddish Black Hand around the start of the 20th century.
Leonard Patrick No image
available
1913–2006 1920s–1990s One-time member of the Chicago Outfit involved in bookmaking and extortion with Gus Alex. Agreed to become a government witness in 1992.
Lou Kravitz No image
available
fl. 1933–1939 1930s New York labor racketeer and drug trafficker involved in a major heroin operation with Jack Lvovsky and Yasha Katzenberg during the early 1930s. Later testified against Lepke Buchalter at his trial. [1][5]
Lou Rothkopf No image
available

1920s–1930s Longtime associate of Meyer Lansky, he was a member of the Bug and Meyer Mob during Prohibition. Later ran syndicate gambling operations in Cleveland with Moe Dalitz, Jack Licavoli, Maurice Kleinman and Thomas Joseph McGinty (aka T. J. McGinty). [2][6][7][8]
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter Louis Buchalter.jpg 1897–1944 1910s–1940s New York labor racketeer who dominated the Lower East Side with Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. Later headed Murder, Inc. and was eventually sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing for his role in the organization. He is the only major mobster to be executed by the state. [1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][13][14]
Louis "Pretty" Amberg No image
available
1897–1935 1919–1935 He and brothers Hyman and Joseph Amberg led one of the top criminal gangs in Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s. The last surviving brother, he was murdered a month after his brother Joseph by members of Murder, Inc. [4][6]
Louis Cohen   1904–1939 1910s–1930s New York mobster who killed Nathan Kaplan on behalf of rival labor racketeers Jacob Orgen and Louis Buchalter in 1923. [5]
Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg No image
available
b. 1958 1980–1999 Ukrainian-born New York mobster associated with the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and South Florida during the 1990s. He was convicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges for his involvement in arranging the sale of a Russian submarine to a group of Colombian drug dealers in 1999.
Martin Goldstein No image
available
1905–1941 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Involved in the 1939 murder of Irving Feinstein and later executed with other members of Murder, Inc. in 1941. [4][5]
Martin Krugman No image
available
1919–1979 1970s Bookmaker and associate of the Lucchese crime family during the 1970s. Disappeared and presumably killed following the Lufthansa heist in 1978.
Max "Big Maxie" Greenberg No image
available
1883–1933
Detroit mobster and a member of Egan's Rats. [1][5][10][14]
Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach Kid Twist.JPG d. 1908 1890s–1900s New York gangster and head of the Eastman Gang after the arrest of Monk Eastman in 1904. Engaging in a feud with the Five Points Gang, he and his bodyguard were gunned down by Louie the Lump at Coney Island in 1908. [1]
Max Mermelstein No image
available
1942–2008 1970s–1980s A drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the late 1970s and early 1980s, who later became a key informant against the organization.
Maxie Eisen No image
available

1910s–1920s Chicago labor racketeer allied with Dion O'Banion and the North Side Gang, and later with the Joe SaltisFrank McErlane Gang during the 1920s. [6][7][8][12]
Mendel Epstein No image
available
b. 1940s 1980s
–2013
New York gangster who until his arrest in 2013 led a divorce-gang that kidnapped, tortured and extorted Jewish men into religiously divorcing their wives. [17]
Meyer Lansky Meyer Lansky NYWTS 1 retouched.jpg 1902–1983 1910s–1970s One of the major underworld figures of the 20th century. He was involved in the formation of the National Crime Syndicate and helped organize syndicate gambling operations in Cuba and Las Vegas. [1][2][5][6][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
Mickey Cohen Mickey Cohen.jpg 1914–1976 1923–1961 Major underworld figure in Los Angeles during the 1930s and 1940s. Later helped Bugsy Siegel set up The Flamingo in Las Vegas and ran its sports book operation. [1][2][6][9][10][11][12][14]
Moe Dalitz No image
available
1899–1989 1920s–1960s Leader of the Mayfield Road Gang during Prohibition. He was later involved in the development of syndicate gaming in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [1][2][6][7][8][9][10][11]
Moe Sedway   1894–1952 1920s–1950s Lieutenant of New York mobster Meyer Lansky. Later involved in running syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [2]
Monk Eastman Monk Eastman mugshot 1903.jpg 1873–1920 1898–1920 Founder of the Eastman Gang, one of the last of New York's major street gangs, and dominated the city's underworld around the start of the 20th century. [1][4][9][10]
Monya Elson No image
available
b. 1951 1970s–1990s Russian-born mobster who feuded with Boris Nayfeld over control of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn during the 1990s. One of Ukrainian mobster Semion Mogilevich's closest associates, he at one time controlled a criminal empire stretching from Russia to New York and Los Angeles. [15][16]
Morris Rudensky No image
available
1898–1988 1920s Prominent cat burglar and safe-cracker.
Moses Annenberg No image
available
1877–1942 1904–1936 Newspaperman and organized crime figure. Hired and directed criminal gangs on behalf of the Hearst Corporation during Chicago's "circulation wars" of 1910–1911, and later became owner of the National Racing Wire during the 1920s and 1930s. Later used his wealth to purchase The Philadelphia Inquirer and found the Annenberg Foundation. Jailed for tax evasion in 1939. [1][2][6][7][8][9]
Nat Evans
(Nathaniel Isaac Evensky)
No image
available
1876–1935 1900s–1940s Gambler and associate of Arnold Rothstein; implicated in the 1919 "Black Sox Scandal" as "Rachie Brown". [18]
Otto "Abbadabba" Berman No image
available
1889–1935 1920s–1930s Mob accountant and financial advisor for New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [1][2][5][6][9][10]
Philip "Pinchy" Paul No image
available
d. 1914 1900s–1910s New York labor racketeer who headed a coalition of independent gangs against Joseph Rosenzweig and Benjamin Fein during the first labor sluggers war.
Philip Kovolick No image
available
1908–1971 1920s–1970s New York mobster associated with labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s. He was a member of Murder, Inc. until his conviction on narcotics charges in 1941.
Phillip Kastel No image
available
1893–1962 1900s–1950s New York gambler associated with Arnold Rothstein and Frank Costello. He later ran gambling operations for the Genovese crime family in New Orleans. [2]
Samuel "Nails" Morton No image
available
1894–1923 1910s–1920s A former World War I war hero, Weiss was among Dion O'Bannion's top enforcers in the North Side Gang during the early 1920s. [1][6][7][9]
Samuel "Red" Levine   1903–1972 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Involved in the 1931 murders of Abraham "Bo" Weinberg, Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. [1][10]
Samuel Weiss No image
available
1904–? 1920s–1930s Hired gunman associated with New York labor racketeer Jacob Orgen during the third Labor Slugger War. Investigated for extortion by District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey during the late 1930s.
Seymour Magoon No image
available
d. 1940 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Later became a state witness and corroborated Reles' testimony. [5][10]
Stanley Diamond No image
available
1922–1991 1960s–1970s Associate member of the Lucchese crime family associated with Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke during the 1970s. [14]
Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis No image
available
d. 1908 1900s A former circus strongman and bodyguard of New York gang leader Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach. He and Zwerbach were gunned down by Louie the Lump at Coney Island in 1908. [1]
Waxey Gordon   1889–1952 1900s–1950s New York mobster who oversaw bootlegging operations for Arnold Rothstein during Prohibition. He was eventually imprisoned for tax evasion in 1933 and, again in 1951, for selling heroin. [1][2][5][6][7][9][10]
Whitey Krakow No image
available
d. 1941 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. He was a suspect in the 1939 gangland slaying of Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg.
William Lipshitz No image
available

1910s–1920s Newsboy turned gangster, he murdered labor racketeer Benjamin Levinsky on behalf of Nathan Kaplan in 1922. [21]
William Morris Bioff No image
available
1900–1955 1920s–1930s Chicago labor racketeer who extorted millions of dollars from Hollywood studios on behalf of the Chicago Outfit during the 1930s. [1][2][6][9]