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PREHISTORIC  |  HISTORICAL  |  CRIME  |  ENTERPRISE  |  ARTS AND CULTURE

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CRIME




No. 53

Illustration: Wendy Plovmand

39 William Poole, a.k.a. notorious Bowery Boys gang leader Bill the Butcher (a.k.a. Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York), was at the Stanwix Hall saloon on February 24, 1855, when Tammany Hall enforcer John Morrissey had him shot. Poole died on March 8 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Green-Wood Cemetery. A headstone was added in 2003 with his famous departing words: "Good-bye, boys, I die a true American." 579 Broadway between W Houston and Prince Sts

40 Bowery prostitute Carrie Brown, nicknamed "Shakespeare" for her habit of quoting the Bard, was murdered in room 31 of the East River Hotel on April 24, 1891—leading some to believe Jack the Ripper had come to New York City. Southeast corner of Water St at Catherine St

41 On September 13, 1899, Henry Bliss was fatally run over by a taxi—the first American pedestrian killed by a car. Central Park West at 74th St

42 The old Moorish-style Madison Square Garden was designed by famed architect and bon vivant Stanford White. It was there on the night of June 25, 1906, that he was gunned down by wealthy socialite Harry Thaw. The motive? White had ravished Thaw's bride, chorine Evelyn Nesbit. 51 Madison Ave between 26th and 27th Sts

43 Giuseppe Masseria, alias Joe the Boss, met Lucky Luciano for a late lunch at Coney Island Italian restaurant Nuova Villa Tammaro, on April 15, 1931. When Luciano went to the restroom, four gunmen came in and shot Masseria to death. 2715 W 15th St between Hart Pl and Neptune Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn

44 The bucolic corner of 72nd and CPW is...a violent, bloody terror zone! The Majestic apartments were home to Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello (the latter was shot and wounded in the lobby in 1957), and Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the man convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby, was a carpenter in the building at the time the child disappeared in 1932. Central Park West and 72nd Street

45 At the Bronx Terminal Market on December 21, 1935, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia announced the prohibition of the sale, display and possession of...artichokes. Apparently, mobster Ciro Terranova (a.k.a. the Artichoke King) had been importing the vegetable from California and hugely inflating prices. (The ban was repealed the next year.) Harlem River between 149th and 152nd Sts

46 In 1941, Abe Reles, a hit man for the notorious Murder, Inc., gang, turned informant. He was under heavy police protection in his room at the Half Moon Hotel when he jumped, fell or was pushed out of a sixth-floor window. Local wags dubbed him "the canary who could sing but could not fly." 29th St at the Boardwalk, Coney Island, Brooklyn

47 Okay, enough mobsters. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, avowed Communists, lived with their two sons on the 11th floor of the Knickerbocker Village apartment complex. It was there on June 16, 1950, that Julius was arrested on charges of espionage and conspiracy—accused of shuttling nuclear secrets to the Soviets. Ethel was arrested on the same charges on August 11. They were executed three years later. 10 Monroe St at Catherine Slip

48 Martin Luther King Jr. was almost killed in New York in 1958. On tour for his book Stride Toward Freedom, he made a stop at this then-bookstore, where schizophrenic audience member Izola Ware Curry stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener. Doctors at Harlem Hospital said the blade had been lodged in his heart in such a way that if King had sneezed, he would have died. 230 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave)

49 You read about it in his obit; this is where it happened: Pulitzer Prize--winning writer Norman Mailer stabbed then-wife Adele Morales with a penknife at their Perry Street apartment on November 21, 1960. She survived, and Mailer escaped with just probation; the couple divorced two years later. 73 Perry St between Bleecker and W 4th Sts

50 On March 13, 1964, in an infamous crime, Queens bar manager Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered outside her home. The lack of response by the 30-odd neighbors who witnessed the attack sparked psychologists to call such groupthink "Genovese syndrome." 82-70 Austin St between Lefferts Blvd and Mowbray Dr, Kew Gardens, Queens

51 Around 1am on July 29, 1976, a postal worker named David Berkowitz fired five shots into a car parked on Buhre Avenue. One woman died. Son of Sam was born. Buhre Ave between Mayflower and Pilgrim Aves, Bronx

52 John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980, and while everybody knows the murder took place in front of Lennon's residence at the Dakota, few remember that the former Beatle's last hours were spent in midtown at legendary recording studio the Record Plant. 321 W 44th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves

53 In 1948, Fidel Castro and his bride, Mirta Diaz-Balart, stopped in NYC for a spell during a three-month honeymoon in the United States. Both were students at the time: Mirta of philosophy and Fidel—already a budding political radical—studying law. The young lovebirds stayed at the home of Mirta's brother Rafael, but the couple's relationship was doomed. Mirta's family adamantly supported Fulgencio Batista, the dictator whom Castro would overthrow in 1956. And Rafael himself had served in Batista's government; he would eventually help create the Rosa Blanca network, considered to be the first counterrevolutionary organization in exile. Some say the Diaz-Balart family's political beliefs were the reason for the couple's divorce in 1955, while Castro was in exile following his first coup attempt. Others say it was because he's Fidel Castro, for crissakes. 155 W 82nd St between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves

54 In High Bridge, on October 29, 1984, NYPD Officer Stephen Sullivan fatally shot 66-year-old Eleanor Bumpurs twice, once in the chest, sparking citywide debate about police racism. Bumpurs, who was mentally ill, cut an officer with a knife as she struggled against being evicted from her apartment. 1551 University Ave at 174th St, Bronx

55 In 1989, African-American teen Yusef Hawkins and a friend were attacked by white teenagers outside a house in Bensonhurst; Hawkins was shot twice in the chest and killed. A near-riot followed. 6801 20th Ave at 68th St, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

56 Exactly 79 years after the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, on March 25, 1990, 87 people died when they were unable to escape an arson-induced fire at the nightclub Happy Land. 1959 Southern Blvd at East Tremont Ave, Bronx

57 Tupac Shakur was shot five times as he entered the lobby of Quad Studios in 1994—only to die from more gunshot wounds in Las Vegas two years later. 723 Seventh Ave between 48th and 49th St

58 Rapping isn't the only dangerous game. On March 17, 1996, club kid Michael Alig (a regular at Limelight) murdered Andre "Angel" Melendez at this aprtment building, after an argument over money. Alig and an accomplice are still in prison, guilty of manslaughter. 560 W 43rd St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves

59 Amadou Bailo Diallo. 1999. Forty-one rounds. Dead. 1157 Wheeler Ave between Westchester and Watson Aves, Soundview, Bronx

60 Rebekah Johnson, a sometime member of the local Ganas commune, shot cofounder Jeff Gross outside the compound on May 29, 2006. Gross was hit in the neck, arm and chest, but survived the attack; Johnson was on the run for weeks before she was caught in Philly. 127 Corson Ave between Jersey St and Westervelt Ave, Staten Island



Online extras:

While celebrating his 43rd birthday at Umberto's Clam House (now located a few blocks away at 386 Broome Street) on April 7, 1972, well-known New York mobster "Crazy Joe" Gallo was shot in retaliation for the murder of mob boss Joe Colombo a few months earlier. 129 Mulberry St at Hester St

It was from this address that six-year-old Etan Patz departed for school on May 25, 1979 and was never seen again. He was the first missing child to have his portrait on a milk carton. 113 Prince St at West Broadway

Future crime boss Al Capone married a local Celtic beauty, Mary "Mae" Coughlin, at Brooklyn's St. Mary Star of the Sea on December 30, 1918—three weeks after the birth of their first child. 467 Court St at Luquer St, Cobble Hill

Famous for fixing the 1919 World Series, flamboyant mobster Arnold Rothstein (a.k.a. The Brain) was fatally shot at the Park Central Hotel in 1928. But he lives on—Rothstein is said to have been the inspiration for the character of Meyer Wolfsheim in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Park Central Hotel, 870 Seventh Ave between 55th and 56th Sts

On July 12, 1979, Bonanno Family don Carmine "The Cigar" Galante's ate his last meal: He was shot in the garden behind Joe and Mary's Italian-American Restaurant. 205 Knickerbocker Ave between Jefferson and Troutman Sts, Bushwick

Brooklyn crime boss Frankie Yale was killed when his bullett-ridden car crashed into a brownstone on July 1, 1928. Yale had been a mentor to Al Capone—who was the prime suspect in his murder—and was the first New York victim of a gangland hit using a Thompson machine gun. 923 44th St between 9th and 10th Aves, Borough Park

Reputed mafia elder Cologero Locicero, 64, also known as Charlie the Sidge, was shot and killed while sipping a strawberry malted at a corner luncheonette on April 19, 1968. 11th Avenue and 66th St, Borough Park

Seven months after killing a DEA agent, Costabile "Gus" Farace was found dead in the passenger seat of a 1982 Pontiac on November 17, 1989, after being shot 11 times. 1814 81st St at 18th Ave, Bensonhurst

The last victims of the Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, were Stacy Moskowitz (killed) and Robert Violante (wounded) who were shot in a car parked in front of Dyker Beach Park. Shore Pkwy between Bay 14th St and Louis Liotta Way, Bath Beach



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