The Mafia in America
Born in 1899 as Morris Barney Dalitz he started his career in Detroit with the all Jewish Purple Gang before moving to Cleveland, Ohio during the early 1920’s. On 5th October 1962 already in his early sixties he is eating supper with his wife and another couple in the dining room of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Los Angeles.
In 1962 the most feared man on the planet is … Charles ‘Sonny Liston … Heavyweight Champion of the World. On the night of 5th October 1962 Liston, and his fifteen strong entourage are in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. As they walk into the dining room, Liston spots Dalitz.
There seems to have been some bad blood between them over the proceeds of a Las Vegas fight.Liston is drunk, and weaves across to Dalitz – entourage in tow. He abuses Dalitz who just continues eating his soup unperturbed. Liston pulls back his arm. The entire room is frozen in shocked silence. There must have been two hundred diners present.
Barbary Coast extends along the water front in the city, around Pacific Street. A prominent ‘Area of Vice’ for over seventy Years. before being ‘cleaned up’ towards the end of the second decade of the 20th century. It will provide the inspiration for Vice Rackets that spread to the East Coast during the 1920’s.
In 1940, with his mind half gone, rotting from a venereal disease, Al Capone is released from Alcatraz Fortress Prison off San Francisco Coast.
Benjamin Siegel no one dare call him ‘Bugsy’ to his face did not ‘invent Las Vegas’ The Meadows’ in Spanish. The town had been established many years before. He did not bring gambling to Nevada. It had been legal in the Silver State since 1931. He did not even build the first Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. The El Rancho and Frontier Hotels had been around for a while. No Benjamin Siegel will bring something really special to Las Vegas.
26th December 1946 Planes are organised to bring over Hollywood stars, their many friends, other celebrities plus journalists to Las Vegas for the opening night party. ‘Ladies and gentlemen – here at the fabulous Flamingo Las Vegas – in association with Benjamin Siegel … Its … ShOwtimer
During the 1950’s many other hotels will open for business in Las Vegas including the Desert Inn, Dunes, Hacienda, Landmark, Riviera, Sahara, Sands and the Stardust. The town is flourishing beyond the dreams of Benjamin Siegel.
Ten years after his death. Las Vegas will be established as the entertainment and gambling centre of the United States. By the early 1960’s the entire world.
Las Vegas has changed beyond all recognition in the last fifteen years of the twentieth century. Mafia control has been replaced by large public corporations. The old Flamingo Hotel – the child of Benjamin Siegel is purchased by Hilton Hotels. torn down and replaced by a three thousand room monolith. Mega-resorts spring up during the last decade of the twentieth century. Twenty-six of the largest hotels in the world are now located within a two-mile radius of the centre of the Las Vegas Strip.
In 1926. Bugs Moran imports killers into Chicago primarily from St. Louis but to no avail. Any of these mercenaries not wiped out are delivered on a plate to friends’ in the Chicago Police by Al Capone.
Fred Burke. chief gunner of The Egan Rats’, a top bootlegging gang of the 1920’s in St. Louis. is believed to be lead triggerman in the St. Valentines Day Massacre of 1929.
In the early 1920’s New York City is much too hot for Alphonse Capone. The police want a chat about a couple of murders. Capone is packed off to Chicago. He is placed under the guidance of Johnny Torrio – an old time Mafia hood who commands much respect in the Windy City.
Capone is loaned out to ‘Big Jim Colosimo – Czar of the largest prostitution racket in the Mid-West. Capone gets to work. He wipes out Colosimo and those of his Organisation who hold up progress by concentrating on vice rather than selling bootleg liquor.
14th February 1929 – a garage at 2122 North Clark Street, Chicago. It is 10-30 am. Seven members and associates of the Moran Gang including the Gusenbergs are sitting around drinking coffee waiting for their boss George Moran. An illegal shipment of whisky from Canada will be unloaded after he arrives.
In 1928, Al Capone achieves something never done before or since. He will annexe a slice of America, a town called Cicero just outside of Chicago, Illinois. He will staff it with his elite guard. Nothing will move in Cicero without Al Capone allowing it to happen.
Even the Mayor of Cicero can be kicked down the stairs of the Town Hall by Capone, in the knowledge that the police will look the other way. The fire brigade and ambulance services are also on his payroll.
The most secure prison in the USA. John Gotti is held at the Marion Penitentiary in the State of Illinois. He Is held underground and ferried around In cage on wheels that run on tracks.
After serving nearly ten years. Gotti. the ‘Teflon Don’ is flown to the Federal Prison Hospital in Springfield. Missouri. He is suffering from cancer that has spread through his entire head. He will die there on 10th June 2002.
Opened in 1983. The Marion Penitentiary has been criticised by human rights organisations around the world.
May 1929, delegates arrive in Atlantic City to attend the Atlantic City Conference. a conclave of young Jewish/Italian Gangsters from across the United States. controlled by Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.
Delegates arriving from around the Country include Abe Axler and Eddie Fletcher who represent the all Jewish Purple Gang of Detroit, who import illegal liquor from Canada during Prohibition era of the 1920’s.
The Purple Gang are the most vicious of all bootlegging gangs. In 1931, headed by the Bernstein and Fleisher Boys, they wipe out their main rivals, ‘The Little Jewish Navy’. The slaughter is remembered as ‘The Collingwood Massacre’.
Reputed to have taken the name Purple Gang because as kids they were described as ‘off colour, kinda tainted, sort of purple’.
15th April 1933 The police find a body in Detroit filled with bullet holes. It is Max Greenberg. one of the two men who introduced Arnold Rothstein to the cash cow called Prohibition back in 1920. That very person who started the ball rolling thirteen years earlier will prove to be the final murder victim of the Era.
Moe Dalitz. Chief of the Mayfield Road Gang of Cleveland, Ohio makes the trip to Atlantic City in May 1929 to attend the Atlantic City conference, a cosy get together organised by Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.
With three pals Morris Kleinman. Lou Rothcopf and Sam Tucker, Dalitz controls organised crime across the entire state of Ohio. in alliance with the local Mafia Crime Family.
The second decade of the twentieth century had powerful organisations such as Temperance Women Against Alcohol are launching influential campaigns across America to eliminate liquor. Demonstrations are held in Washington DC. They are successful.
President Harding sitting in the Oval Office in the White House surrounded by his cabinet signs the Volstead Act. Prohibition is now the law.
There have been demonstrations in Washington DC and acrossthe country against the hated Volstead Act. Sitting in the Oval Office in the White House, in Washington DC, President Roosevelt signs the 21st amendment to the Constitution. Americans can now drink in public after a dry thirteen years.
In 1931. Dutch Schultz is at war. He is involved in a deadly struggle with former associate Legs Diamond over the right to distdbute beer in the Bronx.
Legs Diamond is arrested in Buffalo. on the Canadian Border with New York State whilst supervising a shipment of liquor smuggled in from Canada but is freed on bail. Schultz tracks him down and eliminates his former friend.
Having put three bullets into Diamonds head, the escaping killers discuss whether three bullets are enough, as it is suspected that Diamond’ is possibly not human.
New York City
The early years of the twentieth century brings mass immigration into the USA. Ellis Island – gateway to New York City is the clearing house for vast numbers arriving from Europe. A popular cartoon of the day shows Uncle Sam unable to cope. Ethnic minorities mainly Italians and Jews swarm into the City. They settle in areas that are to become ghettos such as – the Lower East Side. There are criminals amongst them.
Summer 1925 – war breaks out in New York City between the Italian/Jewish Alliance and the Irish who call themselves – ‘The White Hand’.
New York City – 1928 … Storm clouds are gathering over the Mafia. Two rival Sicilian Gangs are at war. Conflict breaks out – it will be called -The Castellamarese War – named after Castellamarese del Golfo – the town in Sicily where both leaders were born.
1928 thru’ 1929 – blood flows on the streets of New York City in the war to control the rackets that not only includes the distribution of bootleg alcohol but also extortion, narcotics and vice. Police are losing count as bodies continue to pile up.
Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano organise a get together is organised in Atlantic City down by the New Jersey Shoreline. Over a weekend in May 1929 young Jewish and Italian Gangsters from across the nation converge upon Atlantic City. Delegates arrive from around the country including Abe Axler and Eddie Fletcher who represent the all-Jewish Purple Gang of Detroit. Isadore Blumenfeld alias ‘Kid Cann’ is also here from Minnesota.
Moe Dalitz – chief of the Mayfield Road Gang of Cleveland, Ohio makes the trip. From Kansas City comes Solly Weissman – also known as – ‘Cutyerheadoff’ Weissman. Even the great Al Capone turns up as do many others. This event will forever be remembered as ‘The Atlantic City Conference’.
Al Capone is imprisoned for eleven and a half years, to be served first in Atlanta and then to be completed in a fortress they call Alcatraz located just off the San Francisco Coast. Capone is released in 1940 on compassionate grounds. He will spend his remaining years on his estate in Miami.
Meyer Lansky ends up back in Miami on 7th November 1972. He is arrested at the airport by the FBI but is taken straight to hospital suffering from breathing and heart problems. Lanksy will never make a full recovery but spends his last ten years in Miami Beach …