Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mob Style: Gangsters Throughout The Years

Perfectly turned out; smart suit, neatly combed hair. Dutch Schultz outside the courtroom at his Syracuse trial.Schultz controlled the supply of illegal liquor in major areas of New York during the Prohibition era, and later moved into number rackets in Harlem and extortion of restaurant owners.

He was killed on the orders of the bosses of the Five Families over his plans to assassinate U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey.
The interior of Dutch Schultz' luxurious apartment at Fifth Ave. and 103rd St.
There were so many wheels within wheels in the life of Vito Genovese. After being indicted for murder, Genovese fled to Italy in 1934, where he became a pal of Benito Mussolini and started a huge black-market trade.

In 1944, he was recruited by the U.S. Army as an interpreter - until the army decided to crack down on the black market and found Vito at its center. He is pictured in a patrol wagon during his handover by the military to the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. This is as disheveled as Vito got.
1959: The year he was jailed on heroin distribution charges, Vito smiles after gaining his freedom on $150,000 bail.

Genovese died in custody in 1969, and his property was put up for auction. He lived in style. Vito's bedroom, with peach satin bed. 
The breezeway bar in the home of Vito Genovese.
Potential bidder Mona McMichael examines a pair of Vito Genovese lamp figurines dressed in 18th-century costumes.
Always dapper and so often smiling, Louis (Lepke) Buchalter laughs as his trial opens in Kings County Court, Brooklyn. He was charged with the murder of Joseph Rosen, a candystore owner whom Lepke had forced out of business who failed to heed warnings to keep his mouth shut.

Also on trial were his alleged accomplices, Philip Cohen, Emanuel Weiss and Louis Capone. More than half of a blue-ribbon panel of 213 jurors were excused.
Still stylish - and somewhat less amused - Buchalter is seen leaving Kings County Court after hearing that the jury had found him guilty of murder. The only major mob boss to be given the death penalty, he was electrocuted at Sing Sing in 1944.
Buchalter had been fingered in the murder by Abe (Kid Twist) Reles, (center in this police photo) - one of the most ruthless hit men working for Murder Inc.

Rele, in this early photo, was not just an assassin - he was a true psychopath, killing people for the most trivial perceived slights. When he was eventually arrested on incontrovertible evidence of multiple slayings, he turned state's witness and gave evidence against a host of major crime figures.

Rele the Rat met his death in 1941, 'falling' from a hotel window. Unsurprisingly, there were no witnesses.

The boater hat, originally associated with rowing events, was a favorite accessory for the FBI in pre-war years. Perhaps with a touch of irony, it became much loved by Frank Costello, too.

Here Costello, a suspect in a 1935 Jewel robbery, is seen being taken from Federal Building for Police headquarters by an equally stylish marshal. They look like old pals out for a stroll.

Frank Costello (l.) with his attorney, George Wolf, heads to another courtroom appearance in 1943.

1957: Vito Genovese tried to have Costello killed, tasking Vincente (The Chin) Gigante with the hit. But Gigante shouted out in the instant before he fired, and Costello turned his head slightly to see who was yelling. The bullet lodged in his skull above his ear, but the shout had been enough to save his life.

Here a police detective points out the bullet hole in Costello's hat. Costello survived until 1973, when he died of a heart attack.

Costello's home was an elegant two-story red brick center hall with terraces in front and rear at Barkers Point Road in Sands Point, Long Island.

A serial womanizer needs to keep up appearances ... Bootlegger, lover and society gangster Jack (Legs) Diamond.
Anthony Carafano, aka Little Augie Pisano, the 'pudgy Prohibition-era henchman of Al Capone and longtime buddy of Frank Costello' whose assassination also claimed the life of Alice Drake.

His taste for expensive suits that earned John Gotti the nickname of The Dapper Don. But even he turned to a more casual appearance that was aped on TV by mobsters in 'The Sopranos.'

He is seen here taking a stroll from his house in Howard Beach, Queens.
And all sense of high fashion was gone when federal agents escorted reputed Gambino family capo Nicholas (Little Nicky) Corozzo to court.


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