Chick Tricker

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Frank "Chick" Tricker was an early New York gangster who, as a member of the Eastman Gang, served as one of its last leaders alongside Jack Sirocco. A longtime member of the Eastmans, Tricker had made a name for himself as a well known Bowery and Park Row saloonkeeper who first came to prominence in a brawl against "Eat 'Em Up" Jack McManus, a former prizefighter and Bowery bouncer at McGurk's Suicide Hall. After insulting several dance hall girls as the Paul Kelly's club New Brighton, McManus confronted Tricker at Third Avenue and Jones Street and shot him in the leg. While recuperating in a local hospital, McManus was ambushed and knocked unconscious by Sardinia Frank only a day later.[1]

Tricker eventually survived the gang wars of the last decade and had become a prominent member under Eastman leader "Big" Jack Zelig, who was awarded control of one of the three factions of the Eastman gang. By 1910, Tricker had headed his faction based from the old Stag Cafe on West Twenty-eighth Street near Broadway, renaming it the Maryland Cafe. The club had a long history of violence connected to it as, only the previous year, three men had been killed in a dispute over a woman.

During the so-called "Ida the Goose War", several members of his gang were killed in a confrontation with the Gopher Gang when Ida the Goose was abducted (or ran off with) a member of Tricker's gang. Leaving the gangs to settle the matter themselves, the Gophers eventually took her back to Hell's Kitchen after a brief gunfight in the Maryland Cafe leaving six members dead [1].

Following a failed armed robbery in 1911, Tricker and Sirocco left behind Zelig who had been injured during the hold up and arrested. Instead of bailing him out however, the two decided to assume control of the Eastmans. Zelig was eventually released in part to his political connections in Tammany Hall. A later attempt to murder Zelig failed when, after being informed by Ike the Plug, Zelig lured Eastman member and assassin Jules Morell into his club where was killed [2].

By 1912, Tricker and Sirocco were using Little Rock's pool room, at 396 Broome Street, as their headquarters.[2]

In 1914, he was one of several gangsters arrested for the murder of gambler Herman "Beansie" Rosenthal.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pietrusza, David. Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-7867-1250-3
  • Downey, Patrick, "Gangster City: The History of the New York Underworld 1900-1935" Barricade Books, 2004
  • Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. ISBN 1-56025-275-8

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eat-'Em-Up M'Manus Killed in Gang Feud". New York Times. 27 May 1905. p. 16. 
  2. ^ "Police Maim Boys Seeking a Culprit". New York Times. 15 February 1912. p. 1.