The Facts


For any organisation to succeed there has to be clear leadership and Murder Incorporated was no exception to the rule.

Louis Buchalter was the commander of Murder Incorporated that elite squad of hitmen providing exclusive services to the Mafia in the 1930’s and he only ever received the utmost respect from his Peers.

He was born in 1897 into a large Jewish family, and even though he stood only five foot seven inches tall, was slimly built and appeared totally innocuous, this was one highly violent individual who confessed to a love of ‘hurting people’.

He was better known as ‘Lepke’ a nickname given by his mother which was supposed tO represent a Yiddish term of endearment but in reality he was a character that inspired terror not only amongst his enemies but also his own colleagues.

Lepke rose through the ranks to become the leading union racketeer in America yet he also found time to control day activities of Murder Incorporated and assisted by his very good friend Jacob ‘Burrell’ Shapiro. he wreaked such havoc during the 1920’s and 1930’s so that by 1939 he had reached the pinnacle as Public Enemy Number One in the United States.

Tricked into surrender by the FBI in 1939, he was shuttled between State of New York and Federal Authorities who both wanted a piece of him but eventually New York State grabbed its prize.

Buchalter made his final journey to Sing Sing Prison with Louis (no relation) Capone and Emanuel Wendy’ Weiss (two executives of Murder Incorporated) to face the execution in the electric chair on 4th March 1944.

‘Lepke’ Buchalter was the first and last Organised Crime boss to be put to death in the United States.