Sunday, November 27, 2011



One of the most prolific killers in the history of the Gambino crime family had to have been Roy DeMeo (1942-1983).  The FBI suspected Roy and his crew of at least 70 murders, but according to other several associates Roy DeMeo was responsible for hundreds of murders in his life time.

If you were invited to go for drinks at the Gemini Lounge where the DeMeo crew hung out, it may have been for your last cocktail.

Victims of the crew would be lured through a side door into an apartment in the back of the lounge that was dubbed "the Horror Hotel."

By the time the unfortunate guest realized they were standing on a sheet of plastic, it was too late.  Roy would come up behind them dressed only in his underpants and shoot them in the back of the head with a silenced pistol.  Then he would quickly wrap a towel around the victim's head like a turban to soak up the blood.

Immediately one of Roy's crew would come forth and stab the victim in the heart to stop it from pumping blood.  Then the body would be carried into the bathroom to bleed out in the tub.

Sometimes while they were waiting for the body to bleed out, the crew would order out for a pizza because dismembering a human like a pig in a butcher shop obviously works up a hearty appetite.

The bodies were cut up into manageable pieces that were wrapped up and disposed of in random garbage dumpsters around Brooklyn.

This factory like method of ridding the world of the Mafia's enemies was most preferred by DeMeo's bosses until they realized that their boy Roy was going off his nut and killing for the pure pleasure.

When it became clear to his superiors that Roy was an unpredictable psychopath whose reputation and blood soaked activities were drawing a lot of attention, it was decided that he had to go.

While it is unclear which of his "friends" actually did the deed (Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski claimed to have killed DeMeo himself while associates have attributed the killing to Roy's boss Anthony Gaggi), DeMeo was found dead in the trunk of his own car with multiple bullet wounds in his head and one in his hand.

According to DeMeo's son, Albert, Roy knew that his number was up and had left his wallet and jewelry at home before he went missing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The above picture is, of course, of actor Daniel Day-Lewis in a loosely fact based portrayal of the real Bill The Butcher.  I could not find a picture of the actual William Poole (1821-1855),  Bowery Boy, butcher, bare-knuckle boxer, and brutal leader of the "Know-nothing" political movement.

So far, Bill the Butcher would win the toughest THUG OF THE DAY title.  After being shot in the leg, the heart and the abdomen at close range, Bill screamed at his assailant, ex-cop Lewis Baker, that he would tear his heart from his living flesh.  Then he went on to live for fourteen days after the shooting, much to the astonishment of his physicians, dying with the famous parting words:  "Good-bye boys; I die a true American."

The "true American" Nativist and his gang was known for starting violent riots and stealing ballot boxes to further their political agenda against Irish -Catholic immigrants known as the Tammanyites. 

At more than 6 feet tall and over 200 pounds, The Butcher was an intimidating boxer and street thug.  According to a New York Times report of October 23, 1851:

A Brutal Outrage in Broadway. We learn that at an early hour yesterday morning, two noted pugilists entered Florence's Hotel, corner of Broadway and Howard street, and without any provocation seized the bar-keeper and beat his face to a jelly. It appears that Thomas Hyer, William Poole, and several others entered the above hotel, and while one of the party held Charles Owens (the bar-keeper) by the hair of his head, another of the gang beat him in the face to such an extent that his left eye was completely ruined and the flesh of his cheek mangled in the most shocking manner. After thus accomplishing the heartless act, all of them made an effort to find Mr. John Florence, the proprietor of the hotel, with a view of serving him in the same manner, but not succeeding in their latter design, they found the hat of Mr. Florence and wantonly cut it into strips, and trampled it under their feet. The desperadoes then left the house, and in the meantime Mr. Owens was placed under medical attendance, and in the course of a short time he proceeded to the Jefferson Market Police, in company with Mr. Florence, where they made their affidavits respecting the inhuman outrage, upon which Justice Blakeley issued his warrants for Hyer, Poole, and such of the others who were concerned in the affair, and the same were placed in the hands of officer Baldwin for service. Since the above was written we have been reliably informed that the affray originated from the fact of the barkeeper having refused them drinks, after they had been furnished with them twice in succession.
In other words, you didn't want to deny the Butcher his third pint of stout!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


If you were a target of Richard Kuklinski and he happened to take you out with a bullet or a squirt of cyanide to the face or even a bomb attached to a remote controlled toy car, you were one of the lucky ones.  You were just another casualty in an activity that he came to think of as sport.

He said:
"By now you know what I liked most was the hunt, the challenge of what the thing was. The killing for me was secondary. I got no rise as such out of it… for the most part. But the figuring it out, the challenge -- the stalking and doing it right, successfully -- that excited me a lot. The greater the odds against me, the more juice I got out of it."

Some of Richard's unlucky victims were done away with in a more painful fashion by way of icepick, arrow, or chainsaw.  If he really had it in for you, or if he was ordered to make you suffer by one of the psychotic mob bosses he worked for, the Iceman would feed you to the rats.

Yes, Kuklinski would actually drag some of his victims out into the woods and tie them to a tree near a cave that he knew rats lived in.  Then he would sit back with a video camera and wait for the creatures to come out and devour the victims alive.

He was a remorseless serial killer who turned his sick hobby into a profitable business by going to work for the Gambino family and the other Five Families of the New York mafia as a freelance hitman.

Kuklinski, aka The Polack, aka Big Guy, aka The Iceman, was 6'5" tall and weighed around 300 pounds.  He was tagged with the nickname, "Iceman," because he would sometimes store his victims in a freezer chest for long periods of time and then thaw them out long afterward and dispose of the body to confuse the forensic police as to the time of death.

Richard did most of his killing in NYC and lived a dual life as a husband and father in Dumont, NJ until his arrest and incarceration in 1986.  He claimed to have killed over 250 men from as far back as 1948, committing his first murder when he was just 14 years old.

As a non-Italian outsider, the Iceman was able to kill for all five of the New York mafia families; but he did most of his work for the Gambino family under capo Roy Demeo, a demented psycho thug in his own right.

Kuklinski died in prison at the age of 70, just weeks before he was to testify against former Gambino family underboss, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano in the collaborated murder of NYPD detective Peter Calabro.

Kuklinski believed that he was being poisoned and his death was investigated, but coroners concluded that he died of natural causes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Today I am starting a section of my blog called THUG OF THE DAY where I will give a brief bio of famous (or infamous) thugs throughout history.  I am not creating this rogue's gallery to glorify these bad boys (and girls), but merely to inform.

We start off with a notorious thug from Cleveland, Ohio by the name of Danny Greene (1933-1977) who was affectionately referred to as "The Irishman."

Greene was bred from a working class family and worked himself as a longshoreman in the 1960's before rising up the union ranks to become president of his local.  He had his office painted green, wore lots of green clothes and thought of himself as a Celtic warrior.

He was viewed by some as a local hero who fought for the rights or the working man.  But in truth, Greene was an embezzler who intimidated workers into doing his bidding with violence and threats.  He forced new members to turn their paychecks over to him for an initial period of time and told them the funds were going to build a new union hall, when the money in fact went into his own personal bank account.

Greene was ejected from the union and was convicted of embezzlement and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

 After a friendly meeting, Jimmy Hoffa once told an associate, "Stay away from (Greene).  There's something wrong with him."

After being exiled from the dockworker's union, Greene went to work as a professional thug.  Mobster Alex "Shondor" Birns took Danny on as an enforcer for his numbers racket.

The mobsters that brought Greene into their organization would later regret doing so.  Danny was as smooth and conspicuous a criminal as a bull in a china shop.

In 1968 he nearly cut his criminal career short with a botched assassination attempt on a black numbers runner who was holding out on his boss Birns.  The Cleveland boys were famous for blowing each other up with bombs just like they did in Chicago.

Danny detonated the car bomb he was setting as he was getting out of the numbers runner's car.  The explosion threw him 20 feet and permanently damaged the hearing in his right ear.

Several attempts were made on Danny's life over the years.  Most probably from a $75,000 loan he took from the Gambino family through Shondor Birns, and refused to pay back.  The money was actually nabbed by police during a narcotics bust in which the courier was arrested.

Danny felt that since he never received the cash, he wasn't obliged to pay it back.  The Gambinos believed otherwise.

In a famous television interview, Greene demonstrated his brazen disregard for the men who put a target on his back by saying:

"The luck of the Irish is with me and I have a message for those yellow maggots (the Cleveland mafia). That includes the payers and the doers.  The doers are the people who carried out the bombing.  They have to be eliminated because the people who paid them can afford to have them remain alive.  And the payers are going to feel heat from the FBI and the local authorities. And let me clear something else up...I didn't run away from the explosion.  Someone said they saw me running away.  I walked away."
In another interview Danny Greene said,

"I have no axe to grind, but if these maggots in this so-called mafia want to come after me, I'm over here by the Celtic club.  I'm not hard to find." 
 Unfortunately for Greene his bold challenge was met, though not outside the Celtic Club.  On October 6, 1977 Danny left a dental appointment and got in his car.  The vehicle parked next to him was wired with the bomb that went off and took his life instantly.