Richie Fitzpatrick

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Richard "Richie" Fitzpatrick (1880 - November 1, 1904) was a top gunman in the Monk Eastman gang, as well as a former member of the Five Points Gang, during the late 1890s until his death in 1904. He is best known however for the method of eliminating an Eastman rival where he would meet with the person in question and, after being searched, would inform them that he would not follow Eastman's orders instead seeking to defect to the rival gang and as he excused himself to use the bathroom he would retrieve a planted gun and return surprising the person shooting the victim down. This would later inspire the famous scene in The Godfather Saga.

Joining the Five Points Gang under Paul Kelly in the late 1890s, Fitzpatrick defected to the Monk Eastman Gang along with "Kid Twist" Max Zwerbach during the Kelly-Eastman gang war in 1903 becoming a top lieutenant. After Monk Eastman's arrest in 1904, Fitzpatrick began fighting over leadership of the Eastman gang with Zwerbach, eventually splitting the gang into separate factions. On November 1, 1904 while attending a peace conference at a Sheriff Street saloon in the New York Chrystie Street neighborhood, Fitzpatrick was shot to death before the peace talks began. His killer was suspected of being Harris Dahl, aka Kid Dahl, friend of arch-rival Kid Twist. Several weeks later "Kid Twist" lieutenant Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis led an attack murdering the remainder of the Fitzpatrick faction.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Fried, Albert. The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980. ISBN 978-0-231-09683-6
  • O'Kane, James M. The Crooked Ladder. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1994. ISBN 978-0-7658-0994-0