Because it was a hard world. These were hard men who were tough guys, and to be able to put fear into them, you had to be tougher than them. To lock down his power, Ryan made common cause with the mob. The gangsters assumed formal leadership roles in the union, all the while using their strongarm — and firearm — tactics to keep the dockworkers in line.
Things started to go south for the dock mobsters in the years following World War II. To teach everybody a lesson, Dunn and two associates, including Sheridan, plugged him. Surprisingly, the gangsters were arrested, charged and convicted of first-degree murder. In July , Dunn and Sheridan breathed their last breaths in the chair of the death house at Sing Sing.
The mobster started to make himself scarce in New York. Nevertheless, McGrath continued to pull the strings of his dock operation from his luxury apartment in Florida. He also golfed a lot. The final decline of the Irish dock mob came with the decline of the docks themselves. He essentially retired from the business, though not entirely. Eddie McGrath died in Florida of natural causes at the age of 88, far from the docks that had made him rich and powerful.
Read Next. This story has been shared 33, times. This story has been shared 14, times. This story has been shared 12, times. View author archive Get author RSS feed. Name required. Email required. Comment required. Enlarge Image. The docks on Manhattan's West Side Shutterstock. More On: organized crime. Share Selection. Now On Now on Page Six. Video length 44 seconds Police officers react to noise complaint by joining the party. Now On Now on Decider. Davis soon learned that the former Arthur Flegenheimer had big plans. Dutch Schultz was a man of vision, the lawyer wrote.
I remember a time when he was reading about the Russian revolution and his eyes glistened as he told me how the Bolsheviks had taken over the gold from a government bank. Schultz loved power, but he loved money even more. Hitman Bo Weinberg was one man who learned the hard way. Weinberg had been a loyal killer for Schultz. He had even served time for contempt of court after he refused to testify when the Dutchman was first indicted for tax evasion.
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Yet when Schultz heard that Weinberg had tried to horn in on his territory, he had no qualms about eliminating Bo — doing the job himself, according to some accounts. Dewey was behind the tax indictment, so Dutch decided to lay low until the aggressive young prosecutor returned to private life. Once Dewey was out of the picture, Schultz managed to beat the rap.
His first trial, held in Syracuse during the spring of , ended in a hung jury. For the second trial, which Davis helped get moved to the small northern town of Malone, New York, the gangster embarked on a public relations blitz. It will be apparent to all who have followed the evidence in this case that you have reached a verdict based not on the evidence but on some other reason, sputtered the judge, accurately enough; but Dutch Schultz was a free man again.
Schultz left the courtroom in Malone that summer to find that his criminal empire was crumbling. He had never been popular among the mob leaders of New York — they found him too cold, too violent, and too unpredictable — and his fellow gangsters had moved in to divide his territory among them. Policy was the only major line of business that remained truly his. Schultz smarted, but he knew he was not powerful enough to take back what he had lost. Instead, he set out to try to rebuild his empire, using the numbers as a cornerstone.
Then Schulz learned that Dewey had set his sights on the numbers racket, a shift in strategy that Schultz perceived as a direct threat to him. Schultz also suspected that Dewey had it in for him personally. He was right. As Dewey wrote in his autobiography, I regarded it as a matter of primary importance to get Dutch Schultz. Schultz worried about Dewey for several days. Finally his paranoia and ruthlessness drove him to a deadly resolution.
He would have Dewey killed. Members were divided over the plan. Mobsters often killed each other, but going after Dewey would be an act of unprecedented audacity that would bring the wrath of the authorities down on the mobs. In the end, the group delayed the decision, but began to lay the groundwork by appointing Albert Anastasia to outline a scheme for a potential execution. Dewey knew his investigations might lead to personal repercussions, and he reluctantly accepted the services of at least one police bodyguard. Dewey did not back off, but he did take the news seriously, and he allowed the bodyguards to trail him closely.
As he put it, ordinary hoodlums would be scared off by the detective … [and] the top gangsters would be too smart to tangle with such a well-protected man. Anastasia moved carefully. Apparently neither Dewey nor his escort ever thought twice about the man and his supposed son. On four consecutive mornings the doting father tailed Dewey. While Dewey called his office from the drugstore, his security detail remained outside on the sidewalk.
The plot began to fall into place.
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The hitman would enter the drugstore before Dewey arrived. Once the unsuspecting prosecutor was in the phone booth, the murderer would shoot him, then kill the pharmacist to eliminate the only witness. By using a silencer, the killer would ensure that the bodyguards outside would hear nothing. Once finished, the shooter would calmly walk past the guards and around the corner to a waiting getaway car.
The plan appeared feasible, but Schultz made little headway with the syndicate leaders at an October meeting. Only garment-district racketeer Gurrah Shapiro sided with the Dutchman.
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We will all burn if Dewey is knocked off, said Lepke. The easier solution was the tried-and-true technique of witness intimidation. We are bombproof when all the right people are out of the way, argued Lepke. We get them out of the way now — then the investigation collapses, too.
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Many of the mobsters thought the Dutchman was a loose cannon. The murder of Bo Weinberg, well liked and respected among underworld members, had been a black mark against Dutch. In the end, the syndicate refused to authorize the Dewey hit. Schultz was enraged.
I still say he oughta be hit, he said. With those words, Dutch Schultz signed his own death warrant. Lepke quickly dispatched two of his best operatives, Emanuel Mendy Weiss and Charlie the Bug Workman, to take care of the problem. They did so with remarkable efficiency. Weiss stayed at the door to act as lookout, while Workman headed to the back, where an informer had told them they would find Schultz. He assumed the man was a bodyguard.
Workman fired, and his victim fell to the ground. Schultz was nowhere in sight. Methodically, Workman riddled the three gangsters with a hail of bullets as they futilely tried to shoot back. Still, Schultz was nowhere to be found and Workman began to worry until he realized that the man in the bathroom had been the Dutchman himself. Schultz did not die immediately. He lingered for 22 hours, drifting in and out of lucidity, as police questioners at the hospital urged him to name his killer. When asked, Who shot you?
Schultz answered first with a vague, The Boss himself, and then changed his answer to No one. The Dutchman continued to babble incoherently for several hours. On October 25, Schultz murmured, French-Canadian bean soup. I want to pay.