Father Arrested For Killing 2-Year Old Girl With Hammer Mobsters in America – Louis "Lepke" Buchalter – The Only Mob Boss To Be Executed by the Government

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Mobsters in America – Louis "Lepke" Buchalter – The Only Mob Boss To Be Executed by the Government

He was bad to the bone from birth. He cheated, armed himself and killed men with pleasure. Eventually, for his many crimes, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter became the toast of Sing Sing’s electric chair.

Louis Buchalter was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on February 12, 1897. His parents were Russian Jews, and his father owned a hardware store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. As a child, Buchalter lived without disturbances. He often walked across the Williamsburg bride with his father to accompany her to work. His mother affectionately called him “Lepkeleh”, which means “little Louis” in Yiddish. His childhood friends shortened it to Lepke, a name that stuck with him for the rest of his life.

The worst thing happened in Lepke’s life when he was 13 years old. His father died unexpectedly, and his mother was so distressed by her husband’s death that her health began to seriously deteriorate. Doctors told her she needed a change of climate to regain her health, so Lepke’s mother left for Arizona, leaving Lepke in the care of his older sister. Lepke, deeply hurt by the abandonment, was impossible for his sister to control. He soon dropped out of school and started hanging out on the streets of the Lower East Side, looking for trouble and mostly finding it. He interacted with older gangsters who taught him how to rob and steal, as well as old ladies for their valuables. In 1915, Lepke was caught robbing a store and sent to live with an uncle in Bridgeport, Connecticut. There he continued his thieving ways and was eventually sent to a foster care center in Cheshire.

A few months later, Lepke, now barely 16, was back on the streets of the Lower East Side. He began stealing carts, and one day he attempted to rob a cart that had already been robbed by another street tough named Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro. The two became fast friends and began a relationship that would last the rest of their natural lives. Lepke and Shapiro teamed up and threatened the downtown trolley owners. They tried to reach the last points, but in 1918 Lepke was caught robbing the center, and as a result he was sent to Sing Sing Prison with a five-year sentence.

The time spent in Lepke prison was equivalent to the education of a criminal college. When he was released in 1923 at the age of 25, he was now a hardened killer with the knowledge to make it big in a life of crime. He teamed up again with his old friend Shapiro, and they decided they could make a mint selling “protection” to bakeries all over New York. Other crooks called them the “Gorilla Boys,” and Lepke and Shapiro convinced such popular outfits as Gottfried’s, Levi’s, Fink’s and California Pies that they could prevent “crazy immigrants” from burning down their bakeries. Of course, the crazy immigrants were the “Gorilla Boys” themselves, and those who didn’t pay protection really burned down their bakeries.

The next step up “The Gorilla Boys” were as schlammers or leg breakers for the unions. Under their boss, Little Augie Orgen, Lepke and Shapiro made a handsome living keeping the garment district union members in line. Orgen was annoyed by competition from Dopey Benny Fain, who had operated in Orgen’s union territories. So Orgen sent Lepki and Shapiro to straighten Fein with bullets. The duo cornered Fein in a Bowery bar, but were only able to injure him while Shapiro put a bullet in his back. Orgen himself took care of Fein soon after, consolidating his position in the unions. But then Lepke and Shapiro had the bright idea to take care of their boss the same way Orgen did Fein. And so they did, filling Orgen with lead on a Lower East Side street while Orgen’s bodyguard, Jack “Legs” Diamond, stood nearby and didn’t do much of a job protecting his boss.

Orgen’s murder catapulted The Gorilla Boys to the big time. They became instant underground stars, meeting mob stalwarts such as Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Dutch Schultz, Tommy Luxet and Lucky Luciano. Their specialty was working on both ends of union deals; blackmailing owners into paying protection and charging high fees to union members while siphoning handsome cash for themselves from the union’s ever-growing pot of money. Industries such as a poultry business, a garment center, restaurants, and cleaning and drying businesses cost Lepkam and Shapiro, who now had more than 250 thugs working for them, $10 million a year just to stay in business. To show the government some legitimate income to justify their lavish lifestyles, Lepke and Shapiro, no longer known as the “Gorilla Boys” but instead as the “Gold Dust Twins,” purchased legitimate businesses such as Raleigh Manufacturing, Pioneer Coat Factory, and Greenberg and Shapiro.

Lepke, along with Luciano, Schultz, Lansky, Siegel, Costello, Anastasia and Lucchesi, formed a national crime syndicate that controlled all illegal activity in the Northeast and into the Midwest. Of course, for such an operation to continue to flourish and grow, sometimes dissidents both within and outside the group must be “straightened out” or, in other words, killed. The Syndicate put Lepki in charge of the assassination department, and his underboss was the murder-mad Anastasia. They expertly ran what the press called “Murder Incorporated.” Lepke used the likes of Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss, Happy Maione and Dasher Abbandando, among others, to travel wherever they were needed to straighten out whoever needed straightening out.

Lepke caused trouble on behalf of special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey, who had already jailed Luciano on trumped-up prostitution charges. Dewey went after Lepke for his bakery extortion rackets, but Dewey hit harder when he ordered the FBI to build a case implicating Lepke in a massive drug-trafficking operation. Believing that he was facing big time in the slammer, Lepke went for the paddle. Anastasia hid him in several Brooklyn hideouts, while his racket was handled by another syndicate member.

Lepke’s actions negatively affected the rest of his friends. J. Edgar Hoover, apparently ignoring the fact that Hitler and Mussolini were wreaking havoc around the world, said Lepke was “the most dangerous man on earth.” As a result, a $50,000 reward was offered for Lepke’s head. New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia turned up the heat when he ordered his police commissioner, Lewis J. For Valentine to start a “war on stupids”. Things got so bad, a message was sent to Luciano, who was cooling his heels in a can, for some sage advice on how to handle the Lepke case. Luciano decided that for the common good, after nearly four years on the run, Lepka should turn around and watch the music.

The trick was to convince a man who was facing 30 years in prison to surrender and take the medicine as a man. Luciano, ever the sly fox, hatched a plan in which Moo “Dimples” Wolensky, a man Lepke trusted, convinced Lepke that Hoover had a deal, that he would only be tried on a drug charge and receive five years in prison. , not more than. And if Lepke surrendered directly to Hoover, Dewey would be completely out of sight. Lepke was hesitant, and when he asked Anastasia for advice, Anastasia, clearly not involved in the deal, told Lepke, “This deal sounds nasty. Until they can get you, they can’t hurt you.”

On August 5, 1940, gossip columnist and radio host Walter Winchell received a phone call at his nightly Stork Club at 3 East Fifty-Third Street. A gruff voice on the other end said, “Don’t ask who I am, but Lepke wants to come in. Contact Hoover and tell him that Lepke wants a guarantee that he won’t be harmed if he surrenders to Hoover.”

The very next day, Winchell went on the radio. He said in his usual staccato delivery, as if a machine gun were firing from his mouth: “Your reporter is reliably informed that the fugitive Lepke may be on the verge of surrendering this week. If Lepke can find someone he can trust, I am told that he will come in. I have the G-man’s authority that Lepke is guaranteed safe delivery.”

On August 24, 1940, Winchell received a telephone call asking him to go to a drug store on Eighth Avenue and Nineteenth Street and sit in a phone booth in the back. At 9 p.m., a customer casually approached Winchell and told him to call Hoover and have Hoover be at Fifth Avenue and Twenty Ninth Street at 10:20 p.m. Winchell himself was told to drive immediately to Madison Avenue and Twenty Third Street. Winchell did as he was told, and at 10:15 a.m. Lepke, disguised with a mustache, got into Winchell’s car. A few minutes later, the two men got out of Winchell’s car and went to a black limousine. Hoover was alone in the back seat.

Winchell opened the back door of the limousine and said, “Mr. Hoover, this is Lepke.”

Hoover said to Lepke, “How are you?”

Lepke said to Hoover, “Nice to meet you. Let’s go.”

Almost immediately, Lepke realized that he had been tricked. A few days later, Hoover told Lepka that there was no conditional agreement for his surrender. Lepke was tried on drug charges and sentenced to 14 years. But then the roof fell in for Lepke when, after his first trial, Hoover handed Lepke over to Dewey to stand trial for the murder of innocent Shmo Joe Rosen, whom Lepke had ordered killed in 1936. Rosen was murdered because he threatened to go to Dewey and tell him that Lepke had stolen Rosen’s trucking business. As a result, Lepke’s boys threw 17 bullets in Rozena. At Lepke’s murder trial, rat stingers, including Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, testified that Rosen was killed on Lepke’s orders. After a short jury deliberation, Lepke was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Lepke lost appeal after appeal for four full years and was scheduled to be executed on March 2, 1944. Then suddenly, on the day he was to be executed, Lepke dropped a bombshell when he requested a meeting with the New York City District. Attorney Frank Hogan. Lepke told Hogan that he had information about political corruption that went all the way back to US President Franklin Roosevelt. Lepke got a 48-hour reprieve, and Hogan went to Dewey, who was now the governor of New York and the only one who could stop Lepke’s execution. Hoover told Dewey Lepke’s story. Dewey, who later ran unsuccessfully for the presidency, cut off Lepke’s ear, sealing his fate.

On March 4, 1944, Louis “Lepka” Buchalter was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison, knowing he had been controlled by his best friends, and without emotion or remorse.

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