Sunday, August 20, 2023

Dutch Schultz

Dutch Schultz (Arthur Flegenheimer) was a New York City Jewish gangster who made his fortune in organized crime-related activities such as bootlegging, loan sharking and the numbers racket.

Along with other rackets, Schultz began extorting New York restaurant owners and workers. Those gangsters who skimmed the take did not last long. "Dutch Schultz was ugly; he had been drinking and suddenly he had his gun out. "Schultz wore his pistol under his vest, tucked inside his pants, right against his belly. One jerk at his vest and he had it in his hand.
All in the same quick motion he swung it up, stuck it in Jules Martin's mouth and pulled the trigger. It was as simple and undramatic as that—just one quick motion of the hand. Dutch Schultz did that murder just as casually as if he were picking his teeth.” When Davis later read a newspaper story about Martin's murder, he found out the body was found in a snow bank with a dozen stab wounds. When Davis asked Schultz, the boss dead-panned, "I cut his heart out."
At the time of the Martin killing, Schultz was fighting a tax evasion case: U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey had set his sights on Schultz. Schultz was convicted of the charges, but they were overturned.
Schultz went before the Mafia Commission and asked permission to kill Dewey. All were against it because the full weight of the law would come down on them. Schultz was furious at the outcome of the vote; he accused the Commission of trying to steal his rackets and "feed him to the law." After Schultz left in a seething rage, the Commission decided to kill him. Albert Anastasia sent Jewish mobster Louis Buchalter to kill Schultz.

Bonanno boss Joseph Bonanno thought the idea was "insane."

Dutch Schultz at the courthouse in 1935.
Buchalter died in the electric chair at Sing Sing on March 4, 1944.
At 10:15 p.m. on October 23, 1935, Schultz was shot multiple times at the Palace Chophouse at 12 East Park Street in Newark, New Jersey. Doctors performed surgery but were unaware of the extent of damage done to his abdominal organs by a ricocheting bullet.

They were also unaware that the gunmen had intentionally used rust-coated bullets in an attempt to give Schultz a fatal bloodstream infection (septicemia) should he survive the gunshot. Schultz lingered for 22 hours before dying of peritonitis. Two bodyguards and Schultz's accountant were also killed.

Cops recorded the gangster's rambling last words as he died of peritonitis caused by a rust-coated bullet.
"Oh, mamma, mamma, please don't tear; don't rip..."
"Mother is the best bet and don't let Satan draw you too fast."
"I will be checked and double-checked and please pull for me."
"I can't come; express office was closed."
"Please crack down on the Chinaman's friends and Hitler's commander."
"These native children make this and sell you the joint."
"You can play jacks, and girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it."

"Who shot me? No one."
Bernard 'Lulu' Rosenkrantz was Schultz's chauffeur and bodyguard. He was shot at the Palace Chophouse moments after Schultz was shot. He died two days later in hospital. He produced a map before dying. Though estimated to be worth over $7m ($140m in 2020 dollars) when he died, no trace of Dutch Schultz's wealth was found. Its thought Schultz hid his treasure in a buried safe somewhere in the Catskill Mountain range. The story says he stashed away his fortune somewhere around Phoenicia, New York. When Schultz was gunned down in 1935, the location of his loot died with him.
Otto "Abbadabba" Berman was accountant and financial advisor to gangster Dutch Schultz. He is known for coining the phrase "Nothing personal, it is just business." He died in a hail of gunfire.

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