A Jewish youth is killed by a mob

A Jewish youth is killed by a mob

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Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting student from Australia, is stabbed to death by an angry mob in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. The crowd, consisting of young Black men, had been intent on seeking revenge against Jewish people for the death of seven-year-old Gavin Cato, who had been struck by a car driven by a Hasidic Jew three hours earlier. Following Rosenbaum’s murder, rioting continued against Jews for four days in Crown Heights, while many complained that the response by police and Mayor David Dinkins was inadequate.

In October, 16-year-old Lemrick Nelson was charged with the murder of Rosenbaum but was acquitted after a racially charged trial the following year. But the case did not end there. Due in part to lobbying by the victim’s brother, Norman Rosenbaum, the federal government charged Nelson with violating Rosenbaum’s civil rights in 1994. In the meantime, a state report criticized Mayor Dinkins and the police for their lack of action during the riots—a claim that helped Rudolph Giuliani defeat Dinkins in the next mayoral election.

In 1996, a videotape of the Crown Heights incident came to light, showing Charles Price inciting a mob to assault Jewish people in retaliation for Cato’s death. He shouted, “Kill the Jews!” and, “An eye for an eye!” In February 1997, a jury convicted both Nelson and Price for their roles in Rosenbaum’s murder. Nelson was sentenced to 19 years in prison, while Price received 21 years, despite his claim that he had been exercising his right to freedom of speech.

Later, Mayor Giuliani apologized and blamed his predecessor for the city’s lack of action and offered a $1.1 million settlement from the City of New York to Jewish people who claimed they were unprotected during the riots. Norman Rosenbaum continued to push Attorney General Janet Reno to reopen the case and go after the others in the mob, but no further arrests were made.

The driver of the car that killed Gavin Cato was cleared of any wrongdoing, and he returned to Israel.


Farhud (Arabic: الفرهود ‎) was the pogrom or "violent dispossession" carried out against the Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1–2, 1941, immediately following the British victory in the Anglo-Iraqi War. The riots occurred in a power vacuum following the collapse of the pro-Nazi government of Rashid Ali while the city was in a state of instability. [3] [4] [5] The violence came immediately after the rapid defeat of Rashid Ali by British forces, whose earlier coup had generated a short period of national euphoria, and was fueled by allegations that Iraqi Jews had aided the British. [6] Over 180 Jews were killed [7] and 1,000 injured, and up to 300–400 non-Jewish rioters were killed in the attempt to quell the violence. [8] Looting of Jewish property took place and 900 Jewish homes were destroyed. [1]

The Farhud took place during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It has been referred to as a pogrom which was part of the Holocaust, although such comparison has been disputed. [9] [10] The event spurred the migration of Iraqi Jews out of the country, although a direct connection to the 1951–2 Jewish exodus from Iraq is also disputed, [note 1] [12] [13] as many Jews who left Iraq immediately following the Farhud returned to the country and permanent emigration did not accelerate significantly until 1950–51. [11] [14] According to Hayyim Cohen, the Farhud "was the only [such event] known to the Jews of Iraq, at least during their last hundred years of life there". [15] [16] Historian Edy Cohen writes that up until the Farhud, Jews had enjoyed relatively favorable conditions and coexistence with Muslims in Iraq. [17] [18]


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 Jewish 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 were resolute in their condemnation of Jewish mobsters. [ citation needed ]

19th century to early 20th century Edit

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 with 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 as prepubescents 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 wave 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] [ page needed ]

Prohibition Edit

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 ] 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] [ page needed ]

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] [ page needed ] would see the rise of Jewish-American organized crime to its height. Other Jewish mobsters, including Dutch Schultz of New York, [22] [ page needed ] 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] [ page needed ]

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 based on evidence provided to United States Attorney Thomas E. Dewey by Lansky. [24] Following Gordon's imprisonment, his operations were assumed by Nig Rosen and Max "Boo Hoo" Hoff.

During prohibition Moe Dalitz established the Cleveland Syndicate with fellow Jewish gangsters Louis Rothkopf, Maurice Klein, Sam Tucker, Charles Polizzi, and Irish gangster Blackjack McGinty. Charles Polizzi was born Leo Berkowitz to Jewish biological parents who died when he was an infant. Charles was adopted by the Polizzi family and his adoptive brother, Alfred Polizzi, was the head of the Italian Mayfield Road Mob. The Syndicate was heavily involved with bootlegging on Lake Erie and developed what was known as the Little Jewish Navy. [25] The Syndicate operated casinos in Youngstown, Northern Kentucky, and Florida. The Syndicate attended the Atlantic City Conference representing Cleveland. The Syndicate ran numerous casino's in Newport, Kentucky including the original Flamingo, and Tropicana. [26] The Syndicate's reign, in Northern Kentucky, came to an end following a botched attempt to discredit George Ratterman, a candidate for sheriff and a federal crackdown during the Kennedy Administration.

The Cleveland Syndicate members were early investors in the Desert Inn, in Las Vegas, and owned it until it was purchased by Howard Hughes. Its members invested in horse tracks including River Downs, Fair Grounds Race Course, Thistledown Racecourse, Fairmount Park Racetrack, Aurora Downs, and the Agua Caliente Racetrack. [27]

Under Lansky, Jewish mobsters became involved in syndicate gambling interests in Cuba, Miami, and Las Vegas. [28] [ page needed ] Buchalter would also lead the predominantly Jewish Murder, Inc. as the Luciano-Meyer syndicate's exclusive hitmen. [29] [ page needed ]

After World War II Edit

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] [ page needed ] [30] [31]

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. Shondor Birns was a Jewish crime boss, in Cleveland, who controlled numbers, prostitution, theft, and gambling rackets. Birns was active until 1975 when he was murdered by Irish gangster Danny Greene.

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, [32] [ page needed ] 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 Edit

In more recent years, Jewish-American organized crime has reappeared in the form of Orthodox Jewish, Israeli and Jewish-Russian mafia criminal groups. Many of the Russian mobsters active in New York, especially Brighton Beach, are actually Soviet Jews, including Marat Balagula, Boris Nayfeld, and Evsei Agron.

From the 1990s until 2013, members of the New York divorce coercion gang kidnapped and tortured Jewish men in troubled marriages in order to force them into granting religious divorces to their wives, in some cases extorting money from them. Described by prosecutors as a "criminal syndicate" that was "akin to the Bloods, the Crips, or the Mafia," the organization, which charged up to $100,000 for their 'services,' was shut down in the wake of a sting operation orchestrated by the FBI. [33] While some tried to draw a distinction between the actions of the "well-organized operation" described by prosecutors and traditional kidnapping cases coming before judges that involved murder, terrorism or child abduction, Judge Freda Wolfson said she didn't see any difference. [34] Epstein was sentenced in 2015 to 10 years in prison, [34] and Wolmark was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. [35] In another development, a 2016 sting collared Aharon Goldberg and Shimen Liebowitz, two Satmar Hasidic Jews who were part of what The Forward described as the "Orthodox divorce underworld." [36] The pair had colluded with a third man to perform a contract killing on an estranged husband. [37]

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. [38] 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. [ citation needed ]

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 an MK for Likud. [39]

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. [40] [ page needed ]

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. [41]

Country Riot Notes References
Brazil 1823 Anti-Portuguese riots in Rio de Janeiro [13]
1831 Anti-Portuguese riots in Salvador
Canada 1784 Shelburne riots in Nova Scotia These riots took place in July 1784 by landless white Loyalist veterans of the American War of Independence against Black Loyalists and government officials in the Nova Scotian town of Shelburne, and the nearby village of Birchtown.

They are considered the first race riots in Canada, and are one of the earliest recorded race riots in North America.

In the Cañete region, Chinese immigrants were massacred by Afro-Peruvian peasants, led by women during the War of the Pacific. Following the war, Chinese were further targeted and murdered by native Peruvians. In the central Sierra, armed indigenous peasants sacked and occupied the haciendas of landed elite Criollo 'collaborationists', a majority of whom were of ethnic-Chinese descent. In Lima, Indigenous and mestizo Peruvians murdered Chinese shopkeepers. In response, Chinese coolies revolted, some even joining the Chilean Army. It was not until 1890s that anti-Chinese pogroms ended in Peru.


You don't know a thing about Eastern Europe, do you? Fueled by centuries of religious, national and ethnic tensions, outbreaks of violence are always brutish. In the particular case of WW2, Nazis had collaborators in every corner of occupied USSR, including, surprise-surprise, Russia itself. Those collaborators are known as Vlasovtsy, named after a turncoat who led them - General Vlasov. And guess what, today Russia is flying the same very flag, under which that Vlasovtsy committed their atrocities.

So, maybe you want to add a bit of nuance to the picture and, maybe, stop putting 'fascists' label on things you don't understand.

Hannes, I go to Ukraine at least yearly. My wife is Ukrainian. We all know about the collaborators from WWII. It happened in ever country. Yes, Poles, Belorussians, as well as the Baltic countries, and even some Russians had collaborators too. The Finns were allied with Germany. Did they really pick up NAZI ideology? No. It was over Communism and Stalin. You guys completely ignore what the Holodomor did to Ukraine. My wife's grandmother told of people eating sawdust, boiling leaves off of trees, even eating the dead. Estimates put the death toll at 2.4 - 7.5 million dead from an artificial famine created by Stalin. This only happened 6 or 7 years before the start of WWII. OK, let's suppose that 10% of your country men have just been killed by your government. Are you going to be thankful to any liberator that comes along? I think I would. At this time, Jews had pioneered the Great Soviet Experiment. Lenin, Trotsky, etc. Central Europeans had long harbored antisemitism. It was wrong what happened. The holocaust is the most shameful genocide of the 20th century due to the mechanization of death, but not by much. The Japanese killed an estimated 6 million Chinese, Stalin is estimated to kill over 20 million Soviets during his rule, not including the War dead. Pol Pot 2 million.

Racism and antisemitism was and is strong in Eastern Europe. It pisses me off when I understand what people are saying, but I also understand a little of how this happened. There are NO minorities in Eastern Europe to speak of. That is the whitest place I have ever seen. While in Ukraine last time, I saw 2 black people. One was from Atlanta there to play basketball for a semi-pro team. Some, Poles, Belorussians, Latvians, Estonians, Russians and Lithuanians participated in pogroms working closely with the Einsatzgruppen under Reinhard Heydrich. The Lviv pogrom is the most famous, and isolated to extreme Western Ukraine only. The NAZIs used this hate, and encouraged action. They used the Jewish link with communism. Does this legitimize the evil done by the collaborators? Definitely not. Do you really think ALL Ukrainians are NAZIs? Seriously, all 46,000,000?


Frank Abbandando was a ruthless New York career hitman believed to have been responsible for as many as 30 murders. Abbandando killed most of his victims by stabbing them in the chest with an ice pick, although he was sometimes partial to a meat cleaver as well. Rounding off his nice-guy portfolio, &ldquoThe Dasher&rdquo was also an alleged sexual predator and rapist.

Like Abe &ldquoKid Twist&rdquo Reles, Abbandando was an early core member of the Murder, Inc. hit squad and took part in one of the gang&rsquos most notorious crimes: the murder of the Shapiro brothers – one of whom was buried alive.

Abbandando was arrested in May 1940. Throughout the trial he was confident that his associates would fix the case in his favor. At one point, he even whispered a threat into the presiding judge&rsquos ear. But to Abbandando&rsquos surprise, aided by the testimony of associate-turned-stool-pigeon Abe Reles, he was sentenced to death by electric chair and executed in February 1942.

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Schultz's chief henchman Abe Landau, his accountant Otto Berman, and his bodyguard Bernard “Lulu” Rosencrantz were also murdered in the same attack.

Dutch Schultz had made his fortune selling beer during the Prohibition, for which pains he was indicted for tax evasion by his nemesis, the prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey. Schultz requested the blessing of the so-called Commission (an informal ruling committee of the heads of each mob family) to kill Dewey, but the Commission balked, suspecting that assassinating a prosecutor would attract too much attention to the mafia. Dutch stormed out of the meeting, accusing them of trying to “feed him to the law”, and reiterated his intention to do away with Dewey – which led the Commission to decide to kill Schultz instead.

Not a headline name, Flegeinhemer

Dutch Schultz was born as Arthur Flegenheimer on August 6, 1902, to Herman and Emma (Neu) Flegenheimer, who hailed from Gemany. Still a child when his father reportedly abandoned the family, Schultz grew up with his mother and sister in a low-end apartment in the Bronx. His mother took in people’s laundry to make ends meet.

By eighth grade, Dutch had dropped out of school and was doing small jobs to support the family. However, by his teens, he had joined a burglar gang. At 18, he was caught breaking into an apartment and was sent to Welfare Island. Due to bad behavior was transferred to a work farm in Westhampton – from which he escaped.

In his first, and his only, arrest, Arthur used the alias Charles Harmon. After a year in prison, he emerged as Dutch Schultz.

By 1928, Schultz was selling around $2 million a year in beer to speakeasies in the Bronx and upper Manhattan. He lived the thrill of gangster life, had charisma, a legion of followers and an apartment on 5th Avenue. In little time, he had become a household name, for which he thanked his alias – often joking that "Flegenheimer" was too long for newspaper headlines.

Dutch Schultz' headstone. He was buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester County, New York, U.S.A. WikiCommons

'Nothing personal'

Schultz’ Jewish mob had a reputation as the only ones who could compete with the Italians. His accountant, Berman, is known for coining the phrase “nothing personal, just business.”

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Dutch Schultz was born Arthur Simon Flegenheimer in New York in 1901, the son of German Jewish immigrants. He is said to have taken his nickname from the Schultz trucking company, his employer before he went into business on his own. Flegenheimer felt he needed a working name that “was short enough to fit in the headlines,” as he himself put it. His hauling work led naturally into bootlegging, and after he became an independent beer merchant, he expanded his business from the Bronx into Manhattan.

When Prohibition ended, Schultz moved into numbers, betting derived from the results of horse races. He was fortunate to have an accountant who knew how to rig the contests so that his boss would have better-than-average odds. From this he expanded into the protection racket with New York restaurant owners. His business success earned him the attention of special state prosecutor (and later New York governor) Thomas E. Dewey, who had Schultz indicted for tax evasion. Although was acquitted, he knew it was only a matter of time before the authorities would pursue further charges against him. Schultz’s only time behind bars had been at age 17, after he was caught breaking into an apartment, and he wasn’t about to be incarcerated again. So he came up with the idea of murdering Dewey, and asked The Commission, whose Italian crime bosses allowed Jews something of an auxiliary membership, for permission to carry it out. When permission was denied (by a unanimous vote), he accused his colleagues of being out to take over his business and vowed to go ahead with Dewey’s killing on his own.

It was at this point that his colleagues on The Commission decided that Dutch Schultz was too dangerous to remain alive, and a team of hit men, working for Louis “Lucky” Buchalter’s Murder Inc., was given the order to carry out his killing. (Ironically, once Schultz was gone, Dewey went after The Commission’s head, Charles “Lucky” Luciano. In June 1936, he was convicted on 62 counts related to prostitution, and sentenced to 30-50 years in state prison.)

When the killers entered the Chop House, which doubled as Schultz's office, they found three of his colleagues at his table, but had to track him to the men's room, where they shot him while he was urinating. Badly injured, Shultz staggered back to his table and collapsed. Medics took him to a hospital, where he died the following evening after surgery – though not before asking for and receiving last rites from a priest. Schultz, it turned out, had become a believing Catholic during his trial. He was given a Catholic funeral, but his mother arranged for him to be buried in a tallit. His three colleagues also died. Although Schultz told police he did not know who shot him, Charles “Bugs” Workman was eventually convicted of the crime.

Dutch Schultz, born Arthur Simon Flegenheimer, converted to Catholicism but was buried in a tallit at his mother's request.. Wikimedia Commons />Dutch Schultz's mug shot. Wikipedia

Did the Mob kill JFK? New evidence suggests they did.

'He's been shot. He's been shot. Lee Oswald has been shot. There is a man with a gun. Absolute panic, absolute panic here in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters. Detectives have their guns drawn. '

24th November 1963. NBC reporter Tom Pettit described the scene unfolding in front of his eyes, as millions of people across America heard his words live on television. Under two hours later, Oswald would be pronounced dead by doctors at the Parkland Memorial Hospital, the same hospital where JFK had been pronounced dead just two days prior.

Whilst the identity of JFK’s killer has been the subject of much debate, the man who killed Oswald was captured quite clearly on camera. His name was Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner who stepped out from a crowd of reporters under Dallas Police HQ and fired a single round from his .38 Colt Cobra revolver and mortally wounded Oswald.

His motive? Ruby told investigators that he’d been in mourning since the President’s assassination, a man who he apparently greatly loved. His grief 'reached the point of insanity', whereby he felt compelled to spontaneously kill Oswald when the moment just so happened to present itself.

What if JFK was never shot?

The 1964 Warren Commission, the official investigation into JFK’s assassination, looked into Ruby’s whereabouts when Kennedy himself was killed. They concluded he was five blocks away and that Oswald was the only person responsible for Kennedy’s assassination. There was no wider conspiracy.

Fifteen years later, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that a conspiracy had been involved in the President’s murder but couldn’t be any more specific than that. The conspiracy theory floodgates had been opened. Flash forward to 2018 and they still haven’t been shut.

Fuel was poured on the fire last year when the U.S Government began releasing previously classified files on the assassination of JFK. Since the first release in mid-2017, around 55,000 documents have been made available for public consumption, the last batch being released in April 2018. It will take many years for experts and historians to reveal all the secrets hidden within these documents. However, in the short time, they have been in the public forum some big revelations have already been discovered.

Read more about: Politics

Why were so many American political figures assassinated in the 1960s?

Document 32149267 seems to directly contradict the findings of the Warren Commission with regards to Jack Ruby. The document places Ruby at the scene of JFK’s assassination and not five blocks away, it states:

“Recently…a Group Manager in the Dallas Intelligence Division, received information from a confidential informant that might be helpful in the investigation of the Kennedy assassination. The informant stated that on the morning of the assassination, Ruby contacted him and asked if he would ‘like to watch the fireworks.’ He was with Jack Ruby and standing at the corner of the Postal Annex Building facing the Texas School Book Depository Building, at the time of the shooting.”

The informant is named as Bob Vanderslice who relayed this information to his FBI handlers in 1977. It doesn’t state why it took 14 years for this information to come to light but the file goes on to say that as soon as the shooting had occurred, Ruby turned and headed for the Dallas Morning News Building without saying a single word to Vanderslice.

If the informant is to be believed, Ruby was among the crowds who saw JFK get shot and he seemed to have prior knowledge of what was about to happen with his 'fireworks' comment.

For a long time conspiracy theorists have tried to tie Ruby in with the assassination of JFK via his association with organised crime. They believe the mafia are the ones behind the wider conspiracy mentioned by the House Select Committee.

After Fidel Castro’s communist revolution of Cuba, the mob lost some big financial interests in the country. Unhappy that Kennedy had failed to topple Castro, via his botched Bay of Pigs invasion, and goaded by the fact Kennedy’s younger brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy was making it a personal crusade to tackle organised crime, the mob decided to change the man at the top.

Read more about: Battles

Castro vs Batista: the rebellion which changed the world

Oswald was to be the fall guy and Ruby the man to silence him. Why would Ruby carry out such a deed? Theorists believe Ruby, who was known to have mafia connections, got into debt with the mob and had to kill Oswald to repay that debt. Certainly, when Ruby was interviewed in 1964 as part of the Warren Commission, he repeatedly spoke about being in danger. He stated that he wished to tell the truth but couldn’t do so until he was in a safe location. Since the Commission had no police powers they were unable to offer him that protection.

Ruby died of a pulmonary embolism in January 1967 and took whatever truth he held with him to the grave. Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the House Select Committee at the time G. Robert Blakey, later concluded that, 'The most plausible explanation for the murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby was that Ruby had stalked him on behalf of organized crime, trying to reach him on at least three occasions in the forty-eight hours before he silenced him forever.'

Read more about: American History

Debunking the moon landing hoax

The release of this new document certainly seems to fan the flames of this conspiracy theory, although as with most theories associated with the JFK assassination, the concrete evidence it requires remains elusive.

It might be contained within the final set of classified documents that have yet to be released. In April 2018, President Trump ordered those files be kept from the public until October 26th, 2021, due to 'identifiable national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns.'

The Exonerating Evidence

For the grand jury, Hugh Dorsey painted Leo Frank as a sexual pervert who was both homosexual and who preyed on young girls. What he did not tell the grand jury was that a janitor at the factory, Jim Conley, had been arrested two days after Frank when he was seen washing blood off his shirt. Conley then admitted writing two notes that had been found by Mary Phagan&rsquos body. The police assumed that, as author of these notes, Conley was the murderer, but Conley claimed, after apparent coaching from Dorsey, that Leo Frank had confessed to murdering Mary in the lathe room and then paid Conley to pen the notes and help him move Mary&rsquos body to the basement.

Even after Frank&rsquos housekeeper placed him at home, having lunch at the time of the murder and despite gross inconsistencies in Conley&rsquos story, both the grand and trial jury chose to believe Conley. This was perhaps the first instance of a Southern black man&rsquos testimony being used to convict a white man. In August of 1913, the jury found Frank guilty in less than four hours. Crowds outside the courthouse shouted, &ldquoHang the Jew.&rdquo

Historian Leonard Dinnerstein reports that one juror had been overheard to say before his selection for the jury, &ldquoI am glad they indicted the God damn Jew. They ought to take him out and lynch him. And if I get on that jury, I&rsquoll hang that Jew for sure.&rdquo

Facing intimidation and mob rule, the trial judge sentenced Frank to death. He barred Frank from the courtroom on the grounds that, had he been acquitted, Frank might have been lynched by the crowd outside.

A Jewish youth is killed by a mob - HISTORY

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Louis "Lepke" Buchalter flashes a smile as he's dragged, handcuffed, into a police van.

New York City. 1939. Wikimedia Commons

The burnt body of Irving Feinstein.

Feinstein was set on fire by Murder Inc. killers Harry Strauss and Martin Goldstein and left exposed in a lot.

New York City. October 5, 1938. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Nine of the most important men in Murder Inc. stand side-by-side in a police line-up.

While this photo was being taken, mobster Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro was snarling at the police, "You can't do nuttin' to us."

New York City. 1942. Los Angeles Public Library

The dead body of Joseph Rosen, a candy shop owner who was killed in his own store.

Rosen's death would ultimately lead to the downfall of Murder Inc. Their leader, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter would be convicted for this murder and sentenced to death.

Brooklyn. September 13, 1936. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover (left) drags Buchalter (center) to the courthouse, the pair handcuffed together.

New York City. Circa 1939-1940. Wikimedia Commons

The dead body of Walter Sage.

Sage was a New York racketeer who ran afoul of the mob. He was hacked to death with an ice pick, tied up to a slot machine, and left out in public as a warning.

New York City. 1937. Bettmann/Getty Images

Infamous Jewish-American gangster Dutch Schultz sits outside the courtroom, waiting for the verdict in his tax evasion trial.

Schultz upset Murder Inc. and the rest of the New York underworld by attempting to order a hit on his prosecutor. They were afraid that his actions would turn the police against organized crime figures and thus had Schultz killed not long after this photo was taken.

Malone, New York. 1935. Library of Congress

The crime scene after Dutch Schultz was shot by a Murder Inc. hitman.

Newark, New Jersey. 1935. Bettmann/Getty Images

Dutch Schultz lies dying in his hospital bed.

Though Schultz looks relaxed, he would be dead within a matter of hours.

Newark, New Jersey. 1935. Library of Congress

Members of Murder Inc. enjoy a cake while celebrating a wedding.

New York City. Circa 1940. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

The body of George Rudnick lies in the back of a car.

Rudnick was accused of being a police informant. Whether he was or not, the accusation won him a visit from Harry Maione and Frank Abbandando of Murder Inc.

New York City. May 25, 1937. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

George Rudnick's body is pulled out of the car.

Rudnick's death was particularly brutal. He was hacked apart with meat cleavers and ice picks.

New York City. May 25, 1937. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Mugshot of notorious Jewish-American gangster and Murder Inc. co-founder Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel.

New York City. April 12, 1928. Wikimedia Commons

Killer Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll steps out of the courtroom, on trial for homicide.

New York City. 1931. Wikimedia Commons

Harry Millman, a former big shot mobster in Detroit, lies dead on the ground after a visit from Murder Inc.

Chicago. 1937. Bettmann/Getty Images

Louis Capone and Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss, two killers-for-hire, share a carefree laugh.

New York City. December 3, 1941. Wikimedia Commons

Jewish-American gangster and Murder Inc. co-founder Meyer Lansky sits down at a gathering with notorious Mafioso Charles "Lucky" Luciano.

New York City. Circa 1930-1940. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Candy store owner Joseph Rosen lies dead on his store's cold floors.

Brooklyn. September 13, 1936. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Abraham "Kid Twist" Reles, the assassin-turned-informant who would ultimately bring down Murder Inc.

New York City. Circa 1930-1940. Wikimedia Commons

Abraham Reles (left) poses for a mugshot.

New York City. Circa 1930-1941. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Abraham Reles (center) talks to prosecutors, telling them everything they want to know about Buchalter.

New York City. Circa 1940-1941. Los Angeles Public Library

"Bugsy" Siegel hears the news that he's been acquitted of murder. He is one of the few members of Murder Inc. who will not be convicted for his crimes.

New York City. December 13, 1940. Los Angeles Public Library

Buchalter stands in court, waiting to hear his sentence.

Brooklyn. December 2, 1941. Wikimedia Commons

Buchalter, Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss, Phillip "Little Farvel" Cohen, and Louis Capone during their trial.

Brooklyn. August 1941. Library of Congress

Buchalter is informed that he will get the death sentence.

The man with the gun next to him is a police officer, there to make sure he doesn't try to run.

New York City. July 20, 1943. Library of Congress

The mugshot of Abraham "Pretty "Levine, a contract killer for Murder Inc.

New York City. August 14, 1935. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Mugshot of mobster John Locascio.

New York City. September 24, 1935. Burton B. Turkus Papers/Lloyd Sealy Library Special Collections/John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

The ruined house of Virginia Hill, "Bugsy" Siegel's mistress, after a mob assassin broke in looking for Siegel.

Though Lepke was executed thanks to Reles' testimony, the other two big figures in the organization — Albert Anastasia and Bugsy Siegel — managed to avoid the electric chair. Their times would come, though, when they were eventually killed by mob assassins much like the ones they'd employed.

Beverly Hills, California. 1947. Los Angeles Public Library

"Bugsy" Siegel lies dead, shot through the window by an assassin with an M1 carbine.

Beverly Hills, California. 1947. Bettmann/Getty Images

The body of "Bugsy" Siegel sits in the morgue.

Beverly Hills, California. June 25, 1947. Los Angeles Public Library

"Bugsy" Siegel's body lies in the morgue — the very place he and his men had sent some 1,000 people.

Beverly Hills, California. June 25, 1947. Los Angeles Public Library

Albert Anastasia lies dead in a Manhattan barbershop.

With Anastasia's death, the last traces of Murder Inc.'s upper echelon were wiped off the face of the Earth.

1957. George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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In the New York City of the 1930s, murder was big business. And the best killers in the industry were Murder Inc., a ring of murderers-for-hire working as mob enforcers who, in less than 10 years, killed an estimated 1,000 people.

Murder Inc. was formed by notorious Jewish-American gangsters Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, and run by Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, a New York racketeer who figured out that he could make even more money contracting out killers to Sicilian mobsters. He set up shop inside of Rosie Gold’s Candy Store, a Brooklyn shop that catered to children through the front door and killers through the back.

A killer working for Lepke could count on $1,000 to $5,000 per job (as much as $70,000 today), depending on the target. Some made a small fortune off it. The hit squad's most prolific killer, Harry Strauss, signed on for at least 100 jobs on his own, making enough to live comfortably for the rest of his life and single-handedly putting a minor dent in the population of New York City.

From Strauss on down, these killers were brutal. They didn’t just shoot their targets — they aimed to leave a message. They hacked up the bodies of their victims with meat cleavers and ice picks. One man was set on fire and left in a lot. Another was strapped to a slot machine and left in public view.

Murder Inc.'s reign of terror ran on like this throughout New York City until 1940. By then, they were so bold that they’d pull off their killings in broad daylight, sure that no one would even try to stop them.

Things came to an end, however, when one of their contract killers ratted them out to the police. Abraham “Kid Twist” Reles, a former Murder Inc. assassin, found himself in a police interrogation box, charged with multiple murders and realized the only way out was to tell the officers everything that they wanted to know about Lepke and his organization.

Working off of Reles’ tip, New York police arrested Lepke and some of his most prolific killers. The mob hitmen who’d terrorized the city were taken off the streets, most to face the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison in upstate New York.

After 10 years of tyranny and 1,000 body bags, Murder Inc. had come to an end.

But they didn’t go down without one last job. On November 12, 1941, the first day of the trial, Reles' dead body was found outside his hotel room, crushed from a six-story fall out his hotel window. It was one last message from Murder Inc. — any canary who wanted to sing had better learn to fly.

After this look at "Lepke" and Murder Inc., check out these brutal photos of the Sicilian Mafia by Letizia Battaglia. Then, see inside the violent, flamoyant world of the 1980s Mafia.

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