Murder, Inc. (or Murder Incorporated) was the name the press gave to organized crime groups in the 1930s through the 1940s that acted as the "enforcement arm" of the American Mafia, the early organized crime groups in New York and elsewhere. The groups were composed of largely Italian-American and Jewish gangsters from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, East New York, and Ocean Hill. Originally headed by Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, and later by Albert "The Mad Hatter" Anastasia, Murder, Inc. was believed to be responsible for between 400 and 1,000 contract killings, until the group was exposed in the early 1940s by a former group member Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. In the trials that followed, many members were convicted and executed, and Abe Reles himself died after falling out of a window. Thomas E. Dewey first came to prominence as a prosecutor of Murder, Inc. and other organized crime cases.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Methods
- 3 Founding and early activities
- 4 The trials
- 5 After the trials
- 6 Known members
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 References
The Bugs and Meyer Mob was the predecessor to Murder, Incorporated. The gang was founded by New York Jewish American mobsters Meyer Lansky and Benjamin Siegel in the early 1920s. After the Castellammarese War and the assassination of U.S. Mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano, Italian mafioso Charles "Lucky" Luciano created the Commission. Soon after, Siegel and Lansky disbanded the Bugs and Meyer gang and formed Murder, Incorporated.
Most of the killers were Italian and Jewish gangsters from the gangs of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, East New York, and Ocean Hill. In addition to carrying out crime in New York City and acting as enforcers for New York Jewish mobster Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, they accepted murder contracts from mob bosses all around the United States. In his biography The Valachi Papers, Mafia turncoat Joe Valachi insisted Murder, Inc. did not commit crimes for the Mafia, but this is contradicted by other sources, and Albert Anastasia was also head of a Mafia crime family.
Based in part out of Rosie "Midnight Rose" Gold's candy store at corner of Saratoga and Livonia Ave in Brooklyn, Murder Inc. hit men used a wide variety of weapons, including ice picks, to murder their victims. Though the group had a number of members, Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss was the most prolific killer, committing over 100 murders (some historians put the number as high as 500).
The killers were paid a regular salary as retainer as well as an average fee of $1,000 to $5,000 per killing. Their families also received monetary benefits. If the killers were caught, the mob would hire the best lawyers for their defense.
Founding and early activities
Murder, Inc. was established after the formation of the commission of the National Crime Syndicate, to which it ultimately answered. It was largely headed by mob boss Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and Mangano Family underboss Albert Anastasia, but also had members from Buchalter's labor-slugging gang (in partnership with Tommy "Three-Fingered Brown" Lucchese) as well as from another group of enforcers from Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York led by Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein and Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. Buchalter, in particular, and Joe Adonis occasionally, gave the outfit its orders from the board of directors of the syndicate. Albert "The Mad Hatter" Anastasia was the troupe's operating head, or "Lord High Executioner", assisted by Lepke's longtime associate Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro.
In 1932 Abe Wagner informed on the crime syndicate to the police. He fled to Saint Paul, Minnesota, and adopted a disguise to evade possible pursuit. Two killers, George Young and Joseph Schafer, found and shot him but were later apprehended. Bugsy Siegel failed to get them released.
In the 1930s Buchalter used Murder, Inc. to murder witnesses and suspected informants when he was investigated by crusading prosecutor Thomas Dewey. In one case on May 11, 1937, four killers hacked loan shark George Rudnick to pieces on the mere suspicion he was an informant. On October 1, 1937, they shot and seriously wounded Buchalter's ex-associate Max Rubin. Rubin had disobeyed Buchalter's orders to leave town and "disappear" in order to avoid being summoned as a witness against Buchalter. Three alleged victims of Murder, Inc. in 1935 were Morris Kessler and brothers Louis and Joseph Amberg.
The murder of Dutch Schultz
Probably their most well known victim was Dutch Schultz, who had openly defied the syndicate. In October 1935, Schultz insisted on putting a hit on Dewey, who was leading an all-out effort to put the mob out of business. The syndicate board overruled Schultz. They feared that Dewey's murder would incite public outrage and result in an even greater campaign to shut down the rackets. Schultz vowed that he would ignore the board's decision and kill Dewey himself.
The board decided they needed to act immediately to kill Schultz before he killed Dewey. Therefore, in an ironic twist Buchalter actually saved Dewey's life, which allowed Dewey to continue his efforts to bring down Buchalter. This led Shapiro to suggest years later that Schultz should have been allowed to kill Dewey, although at the time he supported the syndicate's decision to overrule Schultz.
Hitmen Mendy Weiss and Charles Workman were given the assignment to kill Schultz. On October 24, 1935, they tracked down Schultz and his associates Otto Berman, Abe Landau, and Lulu Rosenkrantz and shot them at the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey. Berman, Landau, and Rosenkrantz died almost immediately, while Schultz clung to life until the following day. As the thorough Workman stayed behind to make sure they had completed their assignment and finished off Schultz in the men's room of the restaurant, Weiss escaped the scene with their Murder, Inc. getaway driver Seymour Schechter.
Furious at being abandoned by his confederates, Workman had to make his way back to Brooklyn by foot. A day or two later Workman filed a 'grievance' with the board against Weiss and Schechter. Although he had simply followed Weiss' frantic orders to drive away without waiting for Workman, the unfortunate Schechter ended up bearing the punishment, becoming a Murder, Inc. victim himself a short time later. In 1944 Weiss ended up in the electric chair for another murder. Workman was eventually tried by the State of New Jersey for the Schultz murder and served 23 years in prison.
Detective Osnato talked with Maffetore, even though he had worked with Rudolph previously and did not put much credibility in his story since Rudolph was paid for information in other cases that turned out to be false.
Eventually, Maffetore decided to cooperate, stating that he was not involved in the Alpert murder, but was the driver in six gangland murders. Maffetore then convinced Abraham Levine to talk. Reles was next to cooperate with the District Attorney's office. After Reles agreed to cooperate, numerous first-degree murder indictments were issued in Brooklyn, (The) Bronx, and in upstate Sullivan County (Catskills). Additional members of the "Combination" then were added to the list of cooperating witnesses, including Albert Tannenbaum, Seymour Magoon, and Sholem Bernstein. Ironically, Harry Rudolph's testimony was never used in any of the trials, as he died of natural causes in the infirmary at Rikers Island in June 1940. Abe Reles fell to his death from a room at the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island on November 12, 1941, even though he was under police guard. The official verdict was accidental death by defenestration, but the angle of his trajectory suggests that he was pushed.
Harry Maione and Frank Abbandando
Harry Maione and Frank Abbandando were the first members of the Brooklyn "Combination" to be put on trial for murder. In May 1940, the trial started for the May 25, 1937 ice-pick murder of George "Whitey" Rudnick in a Brooklyn parking garage. Harry Strauss was also indicted for the murder, and, after initially agreeing to cooperate with the District Attorney's office, he was severed from the trial. On May 15, 1940, Abe Reles testified that Rudnick was marked for death after Strauss claimed he had obtained information that Rudnick was a "stool pigeon for the police." Reles also testified that he waited outside the garage while Maione, Abbandando and Strauss were inside with Rudnick. After Rudnick was believed to have been murdered, Abbandando called for Reles and summoned Angelo "Julie" Catalano to the garage to assist with moving the body. Since Rudnick was still alive, Strauss resumed his assault with an ice pick, and Maione used a meat cleaver to complete the murder. The next day, Catalano, who drove the automobile with Rudnick's body, corroborated Reles' account of the murder. "Dukey" Maffetore and Abe "Pretty" Levine testified that they stole the automobile that was used to dispose of the body. Maione and 14 witnesses testified that he was at his grandmother's wake when Rudnick was murdered. The funeral home undertaker and embalmer testified that Maione was not at the wake. Also, one of Maione's chief witnesses admitted that he committed perjury as ordered by Maione's brother, whom he feared. On May 23, 1940, Maione and Abbandando were convicted of first-degree murder, which meant a mandatory sentence of death in the electric chair. New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, overturned the conviction on a 4–3 vote in December 1940. The second trial started on March 10, 1941. At one point during the trial, Maione lost his temper and threw a glass of water at Reles. Maione and Abbandando were convicted of first-degree murder for a second time on April 3, 1941. Maione and Abbandando were formally sentenced to death for a second time on April 14, 1941. The Court of Appeals upheld the second conviction on January 8, 1942. Maione and Abbandando were executed at Sing Sing prison on February 19, 1942.
Harry Strauss and Martin Goldstein
Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss and Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein were put on trial for the September 4, 1939, strangulation murder of bookmaker Irving "Puggy" Feinstein, whose body was set on fire and left in a vacant lot after Feinstein had been strangled. The trial started in September 1940 with Strauss feigning insanity. Abe Reles, the chief prosecution witness, testified that Feinstein was murdered on orders of Albert Anastasia, since he supposedly "crossed" Vincent Mangano. Reles testified that he, Goldstein and Strauss murdered Feinstein in his house. Reles's mother-in-law also testified that Reles and Strauss had asked her for an ice pick and clothesline earlier in the day and, while at the house, heard loud music masking a commotion in the living room. She also testified hearing Strauss say that he had been bitten. Goldstein's former bodyguard/driver Seymour Magoon corroborated the story, as he testified that on the night of the murder, Goldstein told him that he along with Reles and Strauss had murdered Puggy Feinstein and that shortly after the crime was committed, Goldstein and "Duke" Maffetore burned the body. Goldstein's attorney decided not to put up a defense. Strauss's attorney claimed his client was insane. Strauss was briefly allowed on the witness stand but refused to take his oath and was "babbling incoherently" as he was led back to the defense table. Strauss then began chewing on a leather strap of a briefcase. On September 19, 1940, Strauss and Goldstein were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair a week later. On April 24, 1941, Strauss and Goldstein's convictions were affirmed by New York's Court of Appeals on a 4–3 decision. Strauss and Goldstein were executed in the electric chair on June 12, 1941.
Charles Workman was indicted in New Jersey on March 27, 1940, for the October 23, 1935, murder of Dutch Schultz and three members of his gang. Workman was extradited to New Jersey in April 1941. The trial, which opened in June 1941, featured testimony from Abe Reles and Albert Tannenbaum as the primary underworld witnesses against Workman. The trial opened with two state witnesses, the restaurant bartender and a woman who was outside the restaurant, failing to identify Workman. The next day, Reles and Tannenbaum provided their testimony implicating Workman. Next, a female friend of slain gangster Danny Fields, who was described as a "collector for the payroll" of Lepke, testified that Workman showed up at her apartment the day after Schultz's murder and asked Fields to burn his clothes. The woman, who used a pseudonym on the witness stand, testified that Workman openly talked about the Schultz killing and how he was left behind in the restaurant. Workman's defense opened with testimony from Marty Krompier, a close associate of Dutch Schultz who was shot in Manhattan the same night Schultz was murdered in New Jersey. Krompier testified that Tannenbaum told him that he did not shoot him as he was in New Jersey and killed Schultz. Workman, in the middle of his defense, changed his plea from 'not guilty' to 'no contest' after one of his chief witnesses, a Manhattan funeral director who testified that Workman was employed by him during the time of the Schultz murder and who was the brother-in-law of the late Lepke associate Danny Fields, recanted his testimony providing Workman with an alibi. The same day Workman changed his plea, he was sentenced to life in prison. Workman was paroled on March 10, 1964, after serving 23 years in prison.
Irving "Knadles" Nitzberg, who was "imported" by the Brooklyn "Combination" from The Bronx, was put on trial for the January 9, 1939, murder of Albert "Plug" Shuman in Brooklyn based on the testimony of three accomplices, Abe Reles, Albert Tannenbaum and Seymour Magoon. Reles testified that Shuman was killed since he cooperated with the authorities who were conducting an inquiry of Lepke's involvement in labor racketeering. Reles also testified that he helped plan the murder of Shuman with Lepke, who was a fugitive at the time, and Mendy Weiss and that Lepke received approval from Albert Anastasia to use a person who lived outside Brooklyn to help with completing the assignment. Seymour Magoon testified that he stole the car used in the murder on Reles's orders. Albert Tannenbaum testified that he was the driver that picked up Nitzberg and Shuman under the pretense of performing a robbery. Nitzberg, who was in the back seat, shot Shuman twice in the back of the head when Tannenbaum gave a predetermined signal. Tannenbaum and Nitzberg then exited the murder car to join Reles and another gangster in the getaway car and departed from the crime scene. Nitzberg was convicted of first-degree murder on May 23, 1941, and sentenced to death in the electric chair. However, on December 10, 1941, the conviction was overturned on a 4–3 vote by New York's Court of Appeals, which questioned the use of testimony of non-accomplice witnesses who were promised leniency to support the testimony of Reles, Tannenbaum and Magoon. Nitzberg was tried a second time in 1942 with the now-deceased Reles's testimony read to the jury. Nitzberg was convicted for a second time on March 12, 1942. The conviction was overturned again by the Court of Appeals on a 4–3 vote, but, this time, the court also dismissed the indictment as faulty since the only testimony presented to the Grand Jury was from accomplices without corroboration.
Louis Buchalter, Emanuel Weiss, Louis Capone, Harry Strauss, James Ferraco and Philip Cohen
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss, Louis Capone, Harry Strauss, James "Dizzy" Ferraco and Philip "Little Farvel" Cohen were indicted for the murder of candy-store owner Joe Rosen. Rosen was murdered in Brooklyn on September 13, 1936. Cohen had his murder indictment dropped prior to the start of the trial after his conviction on a federal narcotics charge and received a 10-year sentence. James Ferraco had vanished without a trace and was assumedly killed in 1940 or 1941 and Harry Strauss had already been executed for the murder of Irving Feinstein. Jury selection for the trial began in August 1941. However, securing a jury for Lepke proved difficult. After enough jurors were finally selected, the trial actually started in October 1941. The trial featured the testimony of Rosen's wife and son, a teacher, and underworld turncoat Sholem "Sol" Bernstein, who was marked for death after refusing to carry out a murder contract on Irving "Big Gangi" Cohen, who fled to California after the murder of Walter Sage in 1937. Lepke, Weiss and Capone were convicted on November 30, 1941. The Court of Appeals upheld the murder convictions of Lepke, Weiss and Capone in October 1942 on a 4–3 vote. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Lepke's appeal in February 1943. In March 1943, the Supreme Court reversed its earlier decision and granted a review to Lepke, Weiss and Capone. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction in June 1943. Before Lepke could be executed, New York State needed the federal government to turn Lepke over, as he was currently serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison. Lepke continued to appeal his death sentence vigorously in New York and transfer from federal custody. Lepke, Weiss and Capone were executed in Sing-Sing prison on March 4, 1944.
Vito "Socko" Gurino was sought for questioning in the Brooklyn murder investigation as the member assigned to eliminate witnesses against the "Combination". First, Gurino attempted to silence a small-time gangster and eyewitness to the George Rudnick murder. Police picked up Angelo "Julie" Catalano on the streets of Brooklyn, shortly after being bailed out by the syndicate, as Gurino tried to convince him to "hide out" on Long Island. Several days later, Gurino used a contact, corrupt Queens County Deputy Sherriff William Cassele, to enter the county's civil prison on the night of March 29, 1940. Cassele then forced Joseph "Joe the Baker" Liberto, who was being held as a material witness in the George Rudnick murder, to meet with Gurino. According to Liberto, he was pushed up against a wall in his cell and threatened with death if he cooperated with the District Attorney. Liberto was taken into custody shortly after an acquaintance drove him to a farmhouse on Long Island. Liberto quickly exited through a window convinced he was going to be killed. Gurino, who was hiding out in New Jersey for much of 1940, was arrested on September 12, 1940, at the Church of the Guardian Angel in Manhattan, screaming hysterically in fear for his life. Shortly after being arrested, Gurino confessed to three syndicate murders and implicated himself in four others. In March 1942, Gurino pled guilty to three murders. In April 1942, Gurino was sentenced to 80 years to life in prison. He died of a heart ailment on April 22, 1957 at Dannemora Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
Jacob Drucker and Irving Cohen
Jacob "Jack" Drucker and Irving "Big Gangi" Cohen were put on trial separately for the murder of racketeer Walter Sage in the Catskills. Sage was killed with an ice pick and had the frame of a slot machine tied to his body, which was found in Swan Lake on July 31, 1937. After the Sage murder, believing he was also going to be killed, Cohen fled to California and managed to secure small roles in films. According to the chief prosecution witness, Abraham "Pretty" Levine, Sage was riding in a car with Cohen and Drucker when he was stabbed 32 times with an icepick as Levine and Harry Strauss were following in another car. During the assault and struggle, Drucker stabbed Cohen once in the arm as Sage had grabbed the steering wheel and wrecked the car. Levine also testified that he observed Drucker wiping the icepick clean before helping dispose of the body. Cohen testified in his own defense, stating that Levine had stabbed him with an icepick as he was walking home from a casino. Cohen stated that he was assaulted by Levine and another man on Drucker's orders since he refused to pay 25% profit on a game of chance that he operated. Cohen was acquitted on June 21, 1940. Drucker, who was a suspect in four murders in the Catskills, was a fugitive for over three years, until the FBI located him in Delaware. Drucker was convicted of second-degree murder on May 5, 1944, and received a sentence of 25 years to life. Drucker died in Attica prison in January 1962.
Jack "the Dandy" Parisi was acquitted of two murders, Teamsters official Morris Diamond in Brooklyn and music-publishing executive Irving Penn in the Bronx. Penn was killed by mistaken identity, as the intended target, Philip Orlofsky, a Cutters Union official, left his home early to get a shave the day his killers waited for him. Parisi was a fugitive for 10 years, until he was captured in Pennsylvania in 1949. Albert Tannenbaum was brought in from Atlanta, where he was reportedly living, to testify for the prosecution. One accomplice in the Penn murder, Jacob "Kuppy" Migden, who provided the erroneous identification of Penn and who was also a fugitive for several years, pled guilty to attempted first-degree assault in the middle of his murder trial and was sentenced to a term of 5–10 years. Each of Parisi's murder trials ended with an acquittal, as the judges directed a verdict of not-guilty due to the lack of corroborating evidence, since the chief witnesses for the prosecution were accomplices.
Max "the Jerk" Golob was indicted with Frank Abbandando for first-degree murder in the slaying of gangster John "Spider" Murtha on March 3, 1935. With little evidence other than the eyewitness testimony of Murtha's female companion, Golob was permitted to plead guilty to second-degree assault and received a maximum term of five years.
Sidney "Fats" Brown was the subject of a sealed first-degree murder indictment in Sullivan County, New York. The indictment was dismissed after the death of Abe Reles, the sole witness. Brown was never arrested, and the identity of the murder victim was never revealed.
After the trials
With many of its members executed or imprisoned, Murder, Inc. vanished within a few years.
- Duke Maffetore and Pretty Levine received suspended sentences after pleading guilty to petty larceny in the theft of an automobile used in a gangland murder.
- NYPD Lieutenant John Osnato, who convinced Duke Maffetore to cooperate with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, retired in June 1944 after 28 years on the police force. He died of a heart ailment at age 55 on November 25, 1945.
- Philip Cohen was murdered in 1949, several months after being released from federal prison. Cohen had served seven years of a 10-year sentence for narcotics trafficking.
- In October 1950, 37-year-old Anthony Maffetore was arrested for grand larceny as a member of a nationwide auto-theft ring. He disappeared on March 7, 1951, missing a scheduled appearance in Queens County Court, and was presumed murdered.
- Albert Anastasia, dubbed in the media as the "Lord High Executioner of Murder Inc.", was shot and killed in a barber shop at the Park Sheraton Hotel on October 25, 1957, in Manhattan. Shortly after Anastasia's murder, East Coast organized criminals held a meeting in Apalachin, New York, to distribute Anastasia's rackets, according to law enforcement.
- Louis "Lepke" Buchalter – original head of Murder, Inc.
- Albert "The Lord High Executioner" Anastasia – Succeeded Buchalter until he became boss of the Gambino crime family
- Charles "Lucky" Luciano
- Aniello Dellacroce
- Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel – hitman and head of Murder, Inc.
- Abe "Kid Twist" Reles
- Philip Kovolick – Buchalter's top labor racketeer and narcotics dealer
- Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein
- Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss
- Louis Capone
- Allie "Tick Tock" Tannenbaum
- Seymour Magoon
- Harry Maione
- Mendy Weiss
- Hyman "Curly" Holtz
- Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro
- Frank "The Dasher" Abbandando
- Louis Cohen
- Frankie Carbo
- Louis "Shadow" Kravitz
- Philip "Little Farvel" Kovolick
- Samuel "Red" Levine
- Joe Adonis
In popular culture
- In the 1943 Merrie Melodies cartoon infamous for its darky iconography, Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs, the Queen orders Murder Inc. to "blackout So White" (a pun on "Snow White"). When Murder Inc. arrives, their van reads: "We rub out anybody $1.00. Midgets—½ price. Japs—FREE."
- In 1951, Burton B. Turkus, an assistant Brooklyn District Attorney, and Sid Feder, an Associated Press reporter, released one of the most definitive accounts of Murder, Inc. entitled Murder, Inc.: The Story of the Syndicate, published by Plenum and Da Capo Press, and reprinted again in 2012 by Tenacity Media Books, an imprint of investigative reporter Peter Lance, with a new forward.
- In 1960, Twentieth Century Fox released the movie Murder, Inc., written for the screen by Irve Tunick and Mel Barr from the book by Burton Turkus and Sid Feder, Murder, Inc. The movie starred Stuart Whitman, Henry Morgan and Peter Falk and was directed by Stuart Rosenberg.
- In the television series The West Wing, Jules Ziegler (played by Jerry Adler), the father of Toby Ziegler, was stated to be a member of Murder, Inc decades after its dissolution. The show possibly erroneously dates activities of Murder, Inc. into the 1950s (December 24, 1954). Although given Toby Ziegler also asked for the date of death of a founder of the organization the story could be playing this as Toby being uninterested in keeping track of the details of a father he is clearly unhappy to see. The character also could know and chooses to use the more impactful organization to describe his father. Also, given the fact this show does not exist in the same world as our own (e.g. the story's Presidential elections are in different years from our own), this could be an accurate statement within the world's storyline.
- An analogy of Murder, Inc., "Homicide International Trust" appears in several episodes of MacGyver, usually through the character Murdoc.
- The 1951 police procedural, The Enforcer, starring Humphrey Bogart, is loosely based on the prosecution of a Murder, Inc. kingpin.
- Bruce Springsteen's 1995 Greatest Hits compilation includes a track named "Murder Incorporated".
- Carl Sifakis, The Mafia Encyclopedia. Checkmark Books, 2005. Page 13 Cite error: Invalid
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- Wendy Ruderman, The Ice Pick Seems Antiquated, but It Still Shows Up on the Police Blotter, The New York Times, August 31, 2012
- Stolberg, Mary M. (1995). Fighting Organized Crime: Politics, Justice and the Legacy of Thomas E. Dewey. Boston: Northeastern University Press. pp. 55–64. ISBN 1-55553-245-4.
- Murder, Inc.: The Story Of The Syndicate by Burton B. Turkus, Sid Feder
- Brooklyn Gang Solved by Confessions of Pair, O'Dwyer Says 15 SEIZED IN ROUND-UP Penn Case Mistake Laid to Thugs Who Specialized in 'Rubbing Out' Witnesses], The New York Times, March 18, 1940, p.1
- What Makes a Successful Detective; John Osnato, who cracked big cases, used his own formula: stool pigeons and common sense,The New York Times, September 10, 1944, Sunday Magazine, p.SM18
- RELES IS TELLING STORY OF MURDERS DONE BY HIS GANG; Leader, in a Surprise Move to Win Leniency, Gives O'Dwyer Facts on Paid Killers ALSO NAMING 'EMPLOYERS' Two More Slayings Are Solved as Drive on Syndicate Takes On Add\
- Murder for $1 Profit Is Charged as Evidence Piles Up Against Gang; Fifteen Killings Checked With Probability That Twice as Many May Be Traced Hollywood 'Bit Man' Held,The New York Times, March 19, 1940, p.25
- 57 MURDERS LAID TO BROOKLYN RING; O'Dwyer Asserts Crimes Are 'Solved,' but Time and Death Bar Many Prosecutions 10-YEAR PERIOD COVERED Slaying of Vannie Higgins Is Added to List – Blue Ribbon Jury Plea Is Granted, The New York Times, June 4, 1940
- ABE RELES KILLED TRYING TO ESCAPE; Sheet Rope Fails After He Lowers Himself From 6th to 5th Floor of Hotel MOTIVE PUZZLES POLICE Informer Against Murder Ring Lived in Dread of Bullets of Former Confederates, The New York Times, November 13, 1941. p.29
- GUARDS DEMOTED IN RELES ESCAPE; Five to Get Departmental Trials on Laxity Charge – Mayor Orders Inquiry, The New York Times, November 14, 1941. p.1
- ANOTHER MURDER LAID TO 3 IN RING; Brooklyn Gangsters Indicted as Killers of Stool Pigeon in Garage in 1937 POLICE GUARD O'DWYER Meanwhile, Jury in Bronx Is Due to Return True Bill in Penn Slaying, The New York Times, March 30, 1940 p.15
- MURDER RING TRIAL DUE TO START TODAY; Jury to Be Picked From Special Blue-Ribbon Panel of 150, The New York Times, May 8, 1940 p.20
- MURDER RING TRIAL GETS DEATH PROOF; State Witnesses Establish the Corpus Delicti and Tell of 63 Wounds on Body EX-DEPUTY SHERIFF HELD Accused of Allowing Thug to Threaten Prisoner – Machine Used to Dig for Bodies, The New York Times, May 14, 1940, p.18
- STRAUSS TO BARE MURDERS OF RING; 'Cruelest Killer' of the Gang Agrees to Talk – Gets Severance of Trial, The New York Times, May 9, 1940 p.1
- RELES CONFESSES TO SIX MURDERS; Crime Ring Informer Gives 4-Hour Story of Killings to Brooklyn Jury COURT ROOM IS STUNNED Calm Recital of Strangling, Shooting and Stabbing Amazes Hearers, The New York Times, May 16, 1940 p.23
- WITNESS UPHOLDS RELES TESTIMONY; Catalano Testifies Against Two Accused in Killing of Rudnick, Gang Informer NAMES THEM AS SLAYERS Gives Graphic Description of Ice Pick Attack in Garage and Disposition of Body, The New York Times, May 17, 1940 p.17
- INFORMERS LINK 2 TO GARAGE MURDER; Maffetore and Levene Say They Stole Car in Which Body Was Found ONE SAW TWO KILLINGS Detectives Guard Courtroom to Prevent Vengeance by Brooklyn Gangland, The New York Times, May 15, 1940 p.20
- MAIONE GIVES ALIBI IN RUDNICK SLAYING; 14 Witnesses Put the Alleged Murder Ring Leader at His Grandmother's Wake HE IS CALM ON THE STAND Firmly and Politely Denies All Charges – Contradicts Reles and Others, The New York Times, May 21, 1940 p.29
- UNDERTAKER HITS MURDER RING ALIBI; He and Embalmer Say They Did Not See Maione at His Grandmother's Wake 'DASHER' ALSO ON STAND Like Co-Defendant, He Says He Had No Part in Slaying – Both Sides Rest, The New York Times, May 22, 1940 p.21
- MAIONE WITNESS ADMITS PERJURY; Asserts He Lied When He Said He Saw the Defendant in Murder Ring at Wake SHARP BLOW TO DEFENSE Counsel, Summing Up, Assails Reles – Brooklyn Case Goes to the Jury Today, The New York Times, May 23, 1940 p.23
- TWO IN MURDER RING QUICKLY CONVICTED; Maione and Abbandando Are Found Guilty by Kings Jury, Must Go to the Chair LEPKE INDICTED IN 2 CASES Racketeer Accused in O'Dwyer Inquiry of Slayings by the Brooklyn 'Syndicate', The New York Times, May 24, 1940 p.21
- 2 IN MURDER RING TO GET NEW TRIAL; Court of Appeals Reverses the Lower Tribunal in Maione and Abbandando Case FINDS JUDGE MADE ERROR Four-to-Three Decision Holds He Accepted Undisputed Testimony From Reles,The New York Times, January 1, 1941, p.46
- FIVE BACK FROM SING SING; Maione and Others Convicted as Slayers to Get New Trials,The New York Times, January 14, 1941, p.42
- MURDER RING TRIAL BEGINS; Maione and Abbandano Again Face Jury in Killing, The New York Times, March 11, 1941 p.25
- RELES REPEATS TALE OF RUDNICK SLAYING; Testifies Against Maione and Abbandando at New Trial, The New York Times, March 15, 1941 p.32
- MAIONE IN TANTRUM AT MURDER TRIAL; Brooklyn Florist and Gang Leader Hurls Water Glass at Reles on Stand SCREAMS OATHS IN RAGE Courtroom Thrown Into Uproar When Defendant Objects to Ex-Partner's Testimony, The New York Times, March 20, 1941 p.44
- 2 IN MURDER TRIAL ARE FOUND GUILTY; Abbandando and Malone Are Convicted at 2d Trial for Icepick Killing JURY OUT FOR 3 HOURS Both Men Stoical as Verdict Is Returned – Sentence to Death Mandatory, The New York Times, April 4, 1941 p.44
- 2 OF MURDER RING TO DIE; Court Sets Week of May 18 for Maione and Abbandando, The New York Times, April 15, 1941, p.25
- HIGH STATE COURT DOOMS 3; Convictions of Maione, Abbandando and Cvek Are Affirmed, The New York Times, January 9, 1942, p.23
- 2 IN MURDER RING ARE PUT TO DEATH; Maione and Abbandando Bring to Four the Number to Die for Syndicate Slayings 3 OTHERS FACE SAME FATE Executions Carried Out on Standard Time as Prison Has Not Changed Clocks, The New York Times, February 20, 1942, p.36
- CARS KILLERS USED ARE FOUND JUNKED; Oscar the Poet Sends Police to Yard Where They Uncover Parts of 30 'Hot' Autos HIS BAIL SET AT $50,000 But He Is Jailed for His Safety – Maione Offers to 'Sing,' but O'Dwyer Won't Listen, The New York Times, April 4, 1940, p.19
- Strauss's Sanity to Be Tested, The New York Times, June 12, 1940 p.20
- PRISONER FIGHTS TO RETAIN BEARD; Strauss, Gang Gunman, Holds to Be Shaved Would Violate Constitutional Rights COURT RESERVES DECISION Ponders on Procedure if the Ex-Convict Were a Nudist or Needed a Bath, The New York Times, August 2, 1940 p.25
- PITTSBURGH PHIL FAILS TO GET WRIT; Court Dismisses Habeas Corpus Plea of Murder Ring Suspect Involving Psychiatrist CASE OF BEARD PENDING Prisoner Awaits Ruling on Prosecutor's Request That He Be Ordered to Shave,The New York Times, August 3, 1940 p.12
- COURT RULES THUG MUST SHAVE BEARD; Refuses to Allow Strauss to Wear His Disguise at Murder Ring Trial, The New York Times, September 5, 1940 p.25
- MURDER RING TRIAL OPENS IN BROOKLYN; 3 Jurors Chosen and Locked Up for Night – Strauss Stares, Mutters Continually, The New York Times, September 10, 1940 p.25
- RELES CONFESSES 5 MORE KILLINGS; Increases Number to Eleven as He Appears at the Trial of Strauss and Goldstein TURNS ON 2 OLD FRIENDS Tells of Getting Orders From 'Boss,' Waterfront Leader, to 'Take' Feinstein, The New York Times, September 17, 1940 p.23
- GANGSTER IN COURT PLEADS FOR LIFE; Goldstein Interrupts Murder Trial With Dramatic Appeal to His Ex-Bodyguard CRIES 'YOU'RE BURNING ME!' Magoon, State Witness, Turns Away and Corroborates Reles Story of Slaying, The New York Times, September 18, 1940, p.21
- MURDER RING TRIAL HEARS NO DEFENSE; Goldstein's Counsel Pleads With Jury to Spare Client He Terms 'a Poor Bum' STRAUSS STARES VACANTLY Two Psychiatrists Testify He Could Not Tell Date – Opinion on Sanity Forbidden, The New York Times, September 19, 1940 p.22
- TWO IN MURDER RING QUICKLY CONVICTED; Strauss and Goldstein to Die in the Chair – Judge Praises O'Dwyer Drive on Crime, The New York Times, September 20, 1940 p.1
- TWO IN MURDER RING SENTENCED TO DIE; Goldstein Launches a Tirade at Judge, but Strauss Stares Vacantly CALLS ACCUSERS 'RATS' Leaders of Gang, Linked to 83 Slayings, Hear Week of Nov. 4 Set for Doom, The New York Times, September 27, 1940 p.22
- TWO IN MURDER RING FAIL IN THEIR APPEAL; Conviction of Strauss and Goldstein Upheld at Albany, The New York Times, April 25, 1941 p.22
- 2 IN MURDER RING ARE PUT TO DEATH; Pittsburgh Phil Strauss and Buggsy Goldstein Go to Chair for Brooklyn Slaying 83 KILLINGS LAID TO GANG Strauss Was Termed the 'Most Vicious' of Mob, The New York Times, June 13, 1942 p.15
- SCHULTZ'S MURDER LAID TO LEPKE AIDE; Workman, Witness in Brooklyn Syndicate Slayings, Indicted in Essex County EXTRADITION TO BE SOUGHT O'Dwyer to Cooperate in Action by Jersey Prosecutor, Who Reopened the Case, The New York Times, March 28, 1941 p.46
- WORKMAN GOES TO JERSEY; He Is Extradited to Answer Dutch Schultz Murder Charge, The New York Times, April 26, 1941 p.32
- 'THE BUG' TO BE TRIED FOR SCHULTZ KILLING; Murder Ring Witness Will Be Extradited to New Jersey, The New York Times, March 31, 1941 p.17
- SCHULTZ SLAYING LAID TO WORKMAN; Tannenbaum and Reles Testify Newark Defendant Bragged of Killing 'Dutchman' ROW WITH WEISS IS TOLD He Also Claimed 'Credit' for Fatal Shooting and Lepke Sought to End Dispute, The New York Times, June 7, 1941 p.19
- TESTIFY IN SCHULTZ CASE; Two State Witnesses Fail to Identify Workman as Killer, ‘‘The New York Times, June 6, 1941 p.23
- WORKMAN KILLER, WOMAN TESTIFIES; He Called at Her Apartment and Told How Schultz Met His Death, She Adds, The New York Times, June 8, 1941 p.45
- SCHULTZ AIDE SHOT HERE HOUR LATER; Krompier, Lieutenant of the Gangster, Critically Wounded in Broadway Barber Shop. COMPANION ALSO INJURED Assailant Opens Door Just as Pair Prepare to Leave and Fires Into Room, The New York Times, October 24, 1935 p.1
- TANNENBAUM NAMED AS SCHULTZ'S SLAYER; Admitted the Killing in 1938, Says Witness for Workman, The New York Times, June 10, 1941 p.24
- LIFE FOR WORKMAN AS SCHULTZ KILLER; Gangster Sentenced After He Ends Trial by Changing Plea to No Defense WORKMAN JAILED AS SCHULTZ KILLER, The New York Times, June 11, 1941 p.1
- Workman Goes to Prison,The New York Times, June 13, 1941 p.15
- SCHULTZ'S KILLER FREED IN TRENTON; Charles Workman Served 23 Years of Term, The New York Times, March 11, 1964 p.40
- GANG KILLER TELLS WHY HE 'REFORMED'; Became Disgusted With Way of Life That Required 11 Murders, Reles Says BELIEVES IN GOD, HE ADDS Waxes Philosophical After He Details One Slaying to Jury in Brooklyn, The New York Times, May 17, 1941, p.32
- POLITE MURDERER EXPLAINS SILENCE; Magoon Didn't Tell What He Knew of Gangster Leaders Out of Sheer Courtesy OR SO HE INFORMS COURT Hired Slayer of the Brooklyn Ring Says He Stole Car at Request of Reles,The New York Times, March 6, 1942, p.38
- GANG KILLER TELLS OF RING'S SYSTEM; Tannenbaum Holds Nitzberg, on Trial for Murder, Shot Shuman on His Signal TESTIFIES FOR THE STATE Witness, the Death-Car Driver, Says He Asked Boss 'Why Did We Kill Him?', The New York Times, May 20, 1941, p.46
- BROOKLYN KILLING JUST ANOTHER JOB; ' Who Was the Guy and Why Did We Kill Him?' Tannenbaum Asked Boss, Lepke Aide HIS INTEREST ENDED THERE Death-Car Driver Testifies for the State as Nitzberg Is Retried for Shuman Death, "The New York Times, March 10, 1942, p.21
- NITZBERG HELD GUILTY AFTER 18 MINUTES; Slayer in Brooklyn Murder Syndicate Faces Death, The New York Times, May 24, 1941 p.34
- Nitzberg Sentenced to Chair, The New York Times, June 3, 1941 p.12
- MURDER RING VERDICT REVERSED IN ALBANY; Appeals Court, in 4–3 Decision, Grants New Trial to Nitzberg,The New York Times, December 11, 1941, p.25
- ROBBER WINS FREEDOM; Aided in Obtaining Conviction of a Brooklyn Slayer, “ The New York Times, December 8, 1942, p.29
- Reles's Story Echoes Hollowly When Read By the Prosecutor at 2d Trial of Nitzberg, The New York Times, March 5, 1941, p.16
- NITZBERG CONVICTED IN SHUMAN MURDER; Brooklyn Ring Member Found Guilty for Second Time, The New York Times, March 13, 1942, p.10
- TWICE CONDEMNED, RELES AIDE FREED; Appeals Court, 4 to 3, Saves Nitzberg From Chair, Finds Indictment Faulty,The New York Times, January 22, 1943, p.8
- FREED FROM DEATH HOUSE; Man, Twice Convicted of Murder, Quits Sing Sing at Last, The New York Times, January 28, 1943, p.9
- LEPKE TRIAL OPENS; JURY-PICKING LAGS; Blue-Ribbon Talesmen Prove Reluctant to Serve in Brooklyn Murder Case, The New York Times, August 5, 1941, p.40
- GUILTY IN NARCOTICS CASE; Cohen and 3 Others Convicted by Federal Court Jury, The New York Times, January 31, 1941, p.36
- LEPKE JURY FILLED AFTER FIVE WEEKS; Prolonged Sessions in Racket Murder Case Seen as Record, The New York Times, October 14, 1941. p.34
- SON OF SLAIN WITNESS HEARD AT LEPKE TRIAL; Teacher Says Father Trembled After Talk With Racketeer, The New York Times, October 23, 1941. p.10
- MURDER RING AIDE INVOLVES 'BOSSES'; Bernstein, Who Fled After He Balked at 'Job,' Implicates Weiss and Capone, The New York Times, October 25, 1941. p.19
- RAT' TELLS OF JOB IN MURDER RING; Self-Described Figure Says He Talks Because Brooklyn 'Combination' Sought Him, The New York Times, October 28, 1941. p.25
- LEPKE CONVICTED WITH TWO AIDES; ALL FACE DEATH; Former Gang Chief, Weiss and Capone Found Guilty After Jury Ponders 4½ Hours, The New York Times, November 30, 1941. p.1
- LEPKE AND 2 AIDES SENTENCED TO DIE; Gang Leader White-Faced and Shaken as He Hears Doom Pronounced by Court THEIR FAMILIES BARRED Nominal Execution Date of Jan. 4 Set, but Long Delay Because of Appeals Looms,The New York Times, December 3, 1941. p.52
- LEPKE CONVICTION UPHELD IN ALBANY; Court of Appeals Votes, 4 to 3, to Sustain Jury's Verdict of a Death Sentence, The New York Times, October 31, 1942. p.17
- HIGH COURT RULES LEPKE MUST DIE; Rejects Petition for Review of Racket Chief's Conviction for Brooklyn Murder, The New York Times, February 16, 1943. p.11
- LEPKE'S LAST HOPE REVIVED BY COURT; Supreme Bench, Reversing its Feb. 15 Ruling, Gives Review to 3 in Murder Case, The New York Times, March 16, 1943. p.21
- HIGH COURT SEALS LEPKE TRIO DEATHS; Tribunal in Washington Says Brooklyn Gang Defendants Had a Fair Trial, The New York Times, June 2, 1943. p.27
- STATE WINS FIGHT TO SENTENCE LEPKE; U.S. to Produce Slayer Before Appeals Court Tuesday for Death Penalty Decree REVERSES ITS REFUSAL Gangster's Two Colleagues, Now in Sing Sing, Will Appear With Him, The New York Times, July 17, 1943. p.15
- Lepke Is Turned Over to State by the U.S.; Taken to Sing Sing and Put in Death House,The New York Times, January 22, 1944 p.1
- LEPKE IS PUT TO DEATH, DENIES GUILT TO LAST; MAKES NO REVELATION; TWO AIDES ALSO DIE,The New York Times, March 5, 1944
- GANG PRISON CALL TO BE INVESTIGATED; Queens Prosecutor Asserts if Crime Is Revealed He Will Take Definite Action NEW WARDEN APPOINTED Action Follows Report Gunman, Now Missing, Threatened Murder Ring Witness, The New York Times, April 24, 1940. p.24
- MURDER RING PLOT TO KILL A WITNESS FOILED BY POLICE; O'Dwyer Says Gang Got Man Out of Jail Against His Wish in Order to Slay Him ALMOST 'TAKEN FOR RIDE' Picked Up by Detectives as He Argued Against 'Trip' , The New York Times, March 29, 1940. p.1
- Murder Ring Fugitive Seeks Haven in Church; 'Trigger Man' Hysterical in Fear of Killers; GUNMAN SEEKS REFUGE IN CHURCH, The New York Times, September 12, 1940. p.1
- GURINO CONFESSES TO THREE MURDERS; Ring's 'Toughest Trigger Man' Implicates Himself in Four Others, O'Dwyer Says KILLED TWO IN APARTMENT Gained Access When Confederate, Now in Death House, Wore Woman's Clothes as Ruse, , The New York Times, September 13, 1940
- GURINO PLEADS GUILTY ON 3 MURDER COUNTS; Trigger Man of Brooklyn Ring Admits 2d-Degree Charges, The New York Times, March 24, 1942. p.1
- 80-YEAR SENTENCES FOR MURDER RING 'ACE'; Gurino, Trigger Man, Gets Three Consecutive Terms, The New York Times, April 4, 1942,
- FIVE ARE INDICTED IN MURDER FOR HIRE; Big Gangi Named in Sealed Bills Involving 2 Slayings in Sullivan County O'DWYER DENIES FRICTION Amen Also Scouts Talk of Clash – Woman Accused of 'Fixes' for Brooklyn Gang, The New York Times, March 21, 1940, p.29
- NEW MURDER HUNT STARTED UP-STATE; Jack Drucker of Monticello Is Sought in Gang Killings Originating in City QUERIED IN OTHER CRIMES Reported Having Been in Miami Recently – County Aroused by the Revelations, The New York Times, March 23, 1940, p.3
- COHEN BROUGHT HERE AS CONTRACT SLAYER; Questioned 5 Hours by O'Dwyer, Then Sent to Monticello The New York Times, April 11, 1940, p.17
- MURDER ACCUSATION MAKES COHEN WEEP; Breakdown Necessitates Recess at Monticello Trial, The New York Times, June 8, 1940, p.25
- GANG SLAYING DENIED BY COHEN, 'BIT' ACTOR; Testimony Ends in Up-State Case Linked to Brooklyn Ring, The New York Times, June 21, 1940, p.15
- BIG GANGI COHEN CLEARED OF MURDER; Slaying Was One of 57 Laid to Syndicate in Brooklyn,The New York Times, June 22, 1940, p.34
- FUGITIVE DRUCKER SEIZED AS SLAYER; Brooklyn Gang Figure, Sought in Up-State Killing, Found by FBI in Delaware, The New York Times, December 28, 1943, p.19
- FBI GIVES UP DRUCKER; Extradition Move to Start Now Against Alleged Slayer, The New York Times, December 30, 1943, p.19
- DRUCKER GUILTY OF ICE-PICK MURDER; Brooklyn Ring's Finger-Man Is Convicted in Second Degree,The New York Times, May 6, 1944, p.30
- DRUCKER GETS 25 YEARS; Murder, Inc., Alleged Trigger Man Sentenced at Monticello, The New York Times, May 12, 1944, p.21
- Murder Inc. Figure Dies, NY Times, January 24, 1962. p.21
- PENN JURY HEARS INTENDED VICTIM; Orlofsky Says Killers Missed Him When He Left Home an Hour Early to Get Shaved, The New York Times, February 17, 1943, p.23
- 10-YEAR FUGITIVE CAUGHT; Parisi, Murder, Inc., Gunman, Surprised in Sleep,The New York Times, October 15, 1949, p.30
- MURDER WITNESS BACK; Accuser of Lepke Will Testify Against Another Suspect,The New York Times, March 30, 1950, p.22
- LEPKE AIDE ADMITS HIS GUILT IN KILLING; Halts Trial in the Mistaken Identity Penn Murder to Plead to Assault Charge,The New York Times, February 18, 1943, p.24
- GETS 5 YEARS IN SLAYING; Migden Had Pleaded Guilty to Assault Attempt on Penn, The New York Times, March 6, 1943, p.15
- PARISI IS ACQUITTED, FACES NEW CHARGE,The New York Times, April 14, 1950, p.24
- PARISI IS ARRAIGNED FOR BRONX MURDER, The New York Times, April 15, 1950, p.8
- FREED IN MISTAKE-MURDER; Suspect Recently Won Freedom on Second Slaying Charge, The New York Times, June 15, 1950, p.4
- 2 LEPKE MEN SEIZED IN MURDER INQUIRY; Held as Vagrants, but One Is Wanted in Up-State Killing – Maxie the Jerk Jailed, The New York Times, March 25, 1940, p.1
- AVOIDS TRIAL FOR MURDER; Max Golob, Member of Brooklyn Ring, Allowed Lesser Plea, The New York Times, February 5, 1942, p.14
- Murder, Inc., Indictment Dropped, The New York Times, February 7, 1942, p.9
- 2 FREED IN MURDER RING; Minor Members of Gang Let Off With Suspended Sentences, The New York Times, April 21, 1942, p.25
- JOHN OSNATO DIES; ACE DETECTIVE, 55; Key Figure in Solving Murder, Inc., and Rubel Ice Robbery Once Arrested Capone Broke Down "Stool Pigeon" Pounded East Side Beat, The New York Times, November 26, 1945
- LEPKE AIDE SLAIN; GANG WAR IS SEEN; Body of Philip Cohen Is Found on Valley Stream Road, 4 Bullets in His Head, The New York Times, September 17, 1949. p.30
- AUTO RECOVERIES TIED TO GANG WAR; Theory of a Reprisal Against Informer Held Strengthened in Case of Maffetore Belated Reprisal Seen, The New York Times, March 25, 1951, p.57
- ANASTASIA SLAIN IN A HOTEL HERE; LED MURDER, INC., The New York Times, October 15, 1957, P.1
- 65 Hoodlums Seized in a Raid And Run Out of Upstate Village; GANGSTER PARLEY IS RAIDED UPSTATE Meeting a Mystery, The New York Times, November 15, 1957, p.1
- Hoodlum 'Convention' Viewed As Splitting Anastasia Rackets; GANG 'CONVENTION' TIED TO ANASTASIA,The New York Times, November 16, 1957, p.1
- MEETING OF THUGS TIED TO ANASTASIA; But Top City Investigators Report No Definite Clue Has Been Uncovered Investigation Continues, ", The New York Times, November 19, 1957, p.24
- APALACHIN STORY STILL UNRESOLVED MYSTERY; But the Strange Underworld Parley Has Started Investigative Furor,The New York Times, December 22, 1957, p.98
- Demeo, Albert (September 2003). For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of a Mob Life (Reprint ed.). Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0767906890. Retrieved September 5, 2015.