Edward Coleman (gangster)

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Edward Coleman
Born Unknown
Died January 12, 1839(1839-01-12)
New York City, New York
Criminal penalty Death by hanging
Criminal status Deceased
Conviction(s) Murder

Edward Coleman (died January 12, 1839) was the founder of the Forty Thieves, the first Irish gang with an established leader. He became one of New York City's most notorious villains, for the murder of his wife and popular Five Points character known as "The Pretty Hot Corn Girl".

An early New York gangster, Coleman was the original leader of the Forty Thieves, helping form the gang in 1826.[1] Coleman continued to control the Five Points with the gang for over fifteen years before courting and eventually marrying a "Hot Corn Girl" in 1838. As her husband, Coleman was entitled to her earnings, however when she did not earn as much as expected, Coleman beat her so severely she later died from her wounds. Coleman was quickly arrested and convicted of murder in early January, 1839, and on January 12, 1839, Coleman became the first man to be hanged at the newly constructed Tombs Prison.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ellis, Edward Robb. The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0-7867-1436-0.


  • Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. ISBN 1-56025-275-8
  • Sifakis, Carl. Encyclopedia of American Crime, Facts On File, Inc.: New York, 1982.