Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sam “Red” Levine

Samuel "Red" Levine (December 27, 1902 – April 7, 1972) was an American mobster, described as head of Lucky Luciano's hit squad of Jewish gangsters. He was an observant Jew and refrained from killing on the Sabbath if possible. Levine was a member of Murder Inc, and is credited with being the trigger man in the 1931 murder of Joe "The Boss" Masseria, the old-school mobster who helped found America's Cosa Nostra.
He was one of the hitmen along with Joe Adonis, Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel sent by Meyer Lansky to assassinate the Sicilian Mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano. They managed to enter by posing as government agents. Once inside Maranzano's office on the 9th floor of The Helmsley Building, they disarmed the guards and shot and stabbed Maranzano to death.

Murder Inc. was believed to be responsible for between 400 and 1,000 contract killings, until the group was exposed in the early 1940s by former group member Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. In the trials that followed, many members were convicted and executed, and Abe Reles himself died after suspiciously falling from a window while under police protection.
Levine had a longstanding rivalry with fellow Murder Inc. hitman, Charles "The Bug" Workman. He was irritated that Workman took most of the murder contracts that would have otherwise gone to him. Levine once complained that "any time I've got a contract Charlie is around to do the killing."

There is no mention of him when most of Murder Inc. and their surrounding factions were rounded up and successfully prosecuted. He simply faded away into the background and was not heard from again.