Saturday, September 9, 2023

Murder, Incorporated

Murder, Inc. (Murder Incorporated) was the name the news media gave to organized crime groups in the 1930s and '40s that acted as the enforcement arm of the mob, and other crime groups in New York and elsewhere. The groups were largely composed of Italian-American and Jewish gangsters Murder, Inc. had a number of efficient killers, including Harry Strauss. The hit men were paid a regular salary as retainer as well as an average fee of $1,000 to $5,000 per killing. Murder, Inc. was believed to be responsible for between 400 and 1,000 contract murders.
Lepke Buchalter started the murder for hire group in 1933 with the mission to kill anyone for a price, as long as the contract was approved by the National Crime Syndicate. Lepke would get orders from the syndicate, and then pick the best hitman for the job, send off the contract, and wait for the task to be carried out. Murder Inc's most high profile hit was on Dutch Schultz. Buchalter died in the electric chair at Sing Sing on March 4, 1944.

Emanuel “Mendy” Weiss was one of Buchalter’s most trusted associates, and he became second-in-command. In 1935 Charles Workman and Weiss handled the hit on Dutch Schultz. Weiss was later executed for the murder of Joseph Rosen.

Frank 'Dasher' Abbandando was a violent sexual predator and a psychopathic killer. He used ice picks in most of the more than 30 murders he committed. Abbandando was executed in the electric chair in 1942.

The Lord High Executioner, Albert Anastasia was joint in command with Lepke during Murder Inc’s ten year spell. Anastasia was gunned down in a barber’s chair in late 1957 on orders from Vito Genovese.
Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, was one of the organization’s most dreaded gunmen and was an ice pick prodigy, allegedly so skilfull he could make it seem, by stabbing his prey in the ear, as if they had died due to a brain hemorrhage. He brought down the operation as a government witness. Just before he was to be the star witness in the trial of Albert Anastasia in November, 1941 he fell from the window of his room to his death while under police protection.