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February 1843 or 1844
New York City, New York, United States
|Died||August 17, 1866
New York City, New York
|Cause of death||Hanging|
|Other names||Barney Friary|
|Known for||New York criminal and underworld figure who murdered Harry Lazarus in 1865.|
Bernard "Barney" Friery (February 1843 or 1844 – August 17, 1866) was a New York City criminal and independent gang leader during the 1850s and 1860s. Along with five or six others, he entered the East Houston Street saloon of Henry Lazarus on the morning of January 3, 1865. One of the men, California Jack, offered a wager of $100 challenging anyone in the bar to a fight with one of the gang members. When no one responded to their offer, California Jack offered $10 to any man who could take the owner Henry Lazarus's pistol away from him. Having no pistol on him, Lazarus declined their offer.
Friery then walked toward Lazarus offering to shake his hand and, when he refused, stabbed the saloon owner in the throat with a dirk, killing him instantly. Arrested soon after, he appeared before Judge Abraham D. Russell at the Court of General Sessions and convicted of first degree murder on February 17, 1865. Sentenced to death, he was executed by hanging on August 17, 1866 at the age of 22.