Murder Incorporated

Monday, June 12, 2006

An Overview

Murder, Incorporated was run by two of the toughest individuals to come out New York City. Ever. Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, the nations leading labor racketeer andAlbert Anasrassia, a member of the National Crime Syndicate ran a group of mainly Jewish killers out of the back room of the Brownsville candy store, Midnight Rose's.

Murder, Inc. was the enforcement arm of the Syndicate. They only killed when "contracted" to do so. Contracts had to be approved unanimously by the Commission, along with some members who claimed to have no vote (Meyer Lansky wanted no connection to the actual voting, but no one ever made a move without his approval). The set up: contracts were issued from various cities throughout the nation. If a contract needed to be completed in Baltimore, they'd hire someone from Cleveland or Los Angeles, bring them in for a week to study the "bum's" routine, and then off them in various ways - car accidents, strangulation, or as simple as gunning them down on a quiet street. One thing was certain, if a contract was issued, it was definitely carried out.

No one outside the organization was ever rubbed out, their motto being "we only kill our own," which was generally true. Most of the contracts were carried out with such detail that there was no way to trace a hit. People ended up dead or missing, some of which have remain unsolved to this day. No one knows who actually killed Bugsy Siegel, but some how everyone, including the general public, knows who ordered it done and why. As for taking care of their own, the Syndicate's most famous killing was of Dutch Schultz when they were taking care of Thomas Dewet, DA that was bringing down all the crime lords in New York. Dewey was going after Schultz with reckless abandon for tax evasion and anything else he could get on the wildly tempered Dutchman. Schultz in turn, presented a contract for Dewey to the Syndicate. The contract was denied based on the fact that if they should rub Dewey out, when there was already too much press on what was going on in the underworld, they would be making a martyr out of Dewey rather than just a DA. Kill Dewey and there would be no hiding from the justice system and every judge and politician in the state would run. Schultz would not hear their arguments, he stormed out and swore he'd take Dewey out himself.

Instead, he doomed himself. Murder, Inc. was called in. Mendy Weiss and Charlie "The Bug" Workman, two of Murder, Inc.'s most notorious killers, were given the job. On October 23, 1935, the two walked into the Palace Chop House and Tavern in Newark, NJ and shot three of the Dutchman's men and shot him in the stomach while he was in the bathroom. Abbadabba Berman, Lulu Rosenkrantz and Abe Landau died on the spot while Dutch Schultz lingered for 24 hours in the hospital blubbering nonsensically. He died without ever revealing his killers.
His death wouldn't go unsolved though. Bug Workman would eventually be tried during the "Kid Twist" Reles trial and was sent to jail by A.D.A. Burton Turkis. The Bug did 23 years for the murder.

For about ten years, Murder, Inc. was reportedly responsible for anywhere between 500 to 700 murders nationwide, from Connecticut to California. Below, you will find a number of Jewish and Italian members of Murder, Inc. Some were convicted, some were executed themselves, but they were probably the toughest guys to walk around the streets of New York City, and didn't need a license to kill, just a contract.


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