Hyman Holtz

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Hyman "Curly" Holtz (c. 1896 – 1939?), also known as Hyman "Little Hymie" Holtz, was a New York labor racketeer who began working as a labor slugger for Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen during the early 1920s.

However, as many of the younger members within the organization, Hyman grew disenchanted serving under Orgen, especially for his involvement in narcotics. Without consenting his lieutenants, Orgen accepted a $50,000 payoff to support a boss painter's association to settle the striking workers in the painting industry and, when Orgen refused a request to return the money, Hymen was one of the younger members soon left the organization with Buchalter and later aligning himself with Buchalter after his split from Orgen.

In 1927, upon taking control of the International Brotherhood of Painters Flatbush-based Local 102 from Jacob "The Bum" Wellner in Brooklyn, came into conflict with Arnold Rothstein, who had been hired by an employers association under the "John T. Nolan Agency", headed by Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen and Rothstein bodyguards Eddie and Jack "Legs" Diamond to break up union activities after workers went on strike.

A protégé of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, he is suspected to have been with Buchalter and Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro when Organ was gunned down in a drive by shooting on October 15, 1927.

A little more than a month later, he and associate Benjamin Weinstein were both injured in a drive by shooting while standing at the corner of Mount Eden and Townsend Avenues on November 19. Assigned a police guard of fifteen detectives, he was eventually moved from Fordham Hospital to Morrisania Court for his arraignment on charges for technical assault which was later dismissed, however he would be detained on a bench warrant regarding charges of robbery.

An associate of Meyer Lansky, he was in attendance at the Franconia Hotel Conference on November 11, 1931. One of his men, Louis Cohen, was killed in 1939 by members of Murder, Inc. after serving a 15-year prison sentence for the murder of "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan.

He would eventually become involved in Buchalter's drug trafficking operations, which shipments reportedly worth $10 million, running heroin and morphine into the United States from China with Yasha Katzenberg. His body was later found dumped in the East River, stabbed to death by members of Murder, Inc., on orders from Buchalter who suspected Holtz had been skimming from the narcotics operation.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cohen, Rich. Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. ISBN 0-684-83115-5
  • Messick, Hank. Lansky. London: Robert Hale & Company, 1973. ISBN 0-7091-3966-7
  • 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