He was a brutal killer, and together with Louis "The Molding" Buhalter, head of Murder Inc. Albert Anastasia, how he lived his life, must have thought he was bulletproof: until he made too many trips to his hairdresser.
Albert Anastasia was born Umberto Anastasio on September 26, 1902 in Calabria, located in southern Italy. When he was 15, Albert and his brother Tony hopped onto an Italian ship and illegally made their way to the docks of Brooklyn, New York. It was said that Albert was so poor that he arrived in America without shoes. Albert lived with a relative in Brooklyn until he finally found work in Brooklyn docks as a loader with his brother Tony.
Albert Anastasia had a short-tempered temper, and this manifested itself in 1920, when he was arrested for the murder of a loader friend Joe Torino. Anastasia strangled and stabbed Turin, over those who had the right to unload ships with the most valuable cargo. Anastasia was convicted and sentenced to death. It was at this time that he changed his surname from Anastasio to Anastasia, he said, "so as not to spoil the name of his family." His brother, Cool Tony, who later ran Brooklyn docks, retained the surname Anastasio.
Anastasia spent eighteen months awaiting execution at Sing Sing Prison, when his lawyer somehow managed to get a new trial. In the second trial, several witnesses to Turin’s murder changed their testimony as to who the killer was, and four more witnesses disappeared from the face of the earth to never appear again. Having no evidence against Anastasia, the prosecutors had no choice but to close their case, and Anastasia became a free man. Anastasia would use this “witness removal” tactic several more times over the years to avoid being prosecuted for the murder.
After being released from prison, Anastasia joined the gang of Joe "Boss" Masseria, who was considered the best mafia in America. During this time, Anastasia became close to fellow gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Frank Costello, and it became clear that Anastasia was more a follower than a leader.
In 1930, Luciano devised a plan to get rid of his boss – Masseria – then get rid of Masseria's successor – Salvatore Maranzano. Luciano's ultimate goal was to unite all the criminal families in America: members of the Italian mafia, Irish gangsters such as Oweny Maddon, and Jewish gangsters such as Meyer Lansky, into one national criminal commission.
When Luciano told Anastasia about his plans, Anastasia was delighted. He told Luciano: “Charlie, I have been waiting for this day for at least eight years. You will be on top if I have to kill everyone for you. With you there, this is the only way we can Calm down and earn real money.
With the help of Anastasia, Luciano did what he intended to do. Anastasia, along with Bugsy Siegel, was one of four fighters who shot Masseria in a restaurant on Coney Island in 1931. With Masseria aside, Luciano formed the remaining mafia men into five separate criminal families. As a reward for his good work, Luciano made Anastasia the head of the Vincent Mangano family.
After the takeover of Luciano, things went smoothly with the National Crime Commission. The commission made money in bushels from the illicit trade in alcohol during the ban and from old crowd standards such as bookmaking, gambling, carjacking and drug trafficking. Of course, in order to keep cash, sometimes it was necessary to kill people. As a result of Anastasia’s loyalty, Luciano, along with Meyer Lansky, appointed Anastasia and Louis “Buccalter's Molding” responsible for what the press called “Incorporated Murder.
This group of assassins, numbering over 100, was also called the Brooklyn Boys. With the exception of Anastasia, part of Murder Inc. mostly Jewish killers, including Relay Abe Kid Twist, Ellie Tannenbaum, Harry Pittsburgh Phil Strauss and Gurra Shapiro. It was estimated that, under the leadership of Anastasia and Bukhalter, between 500 and 1,000 murders were committed throughout the country, and only a few were solved. While bodies accumulated throughout America, Anastasia allegedly performed honest work. The business card, which he always carried in his breast pocket, stated that he was the "sales representative" of Convertible Mattress Corporation in Brooklyn.
In the late 30s, Murder Inc. was dissolved when her main killers were arrested, tried and convicted of numerous killings. Because Reles and Tannenbaum agreed to testify in exchange for a lighter sentence, several Murder Inc. criminals were roasted in a Sing Sing Electric Chair, including the Buhalter, who was the only criminal authority ever executed by the government.
Anastasia avoided prosecution for some time until it was discovered that Reles was supposed to testify about the participation of Anastasia and Bugsy Siegel in Murder Inc. The rail was under round-the-clock police protection at the Coney Island Half Moon Hotel. Police were stationed to guard Relay, even when he was sleeping.
On the night of November 12, 1941, Reles was allegedly under police protection and was sleeping in his room when, for inexplicable reasons, he fell to death from his 6th floor window. The official statement said that Reles died trying to "escape." Years later, Luciano said that Frank Costello, in order to save the skin of Anastasia and Siegel, paid the police $ 50,000 to look the other way, while the people of Costello threw Relay out of the window. Other stories said that the police themselves threw Relay. In any case, according to the district attorney William O & # 39; Dwyer, "his case (against Anastasia and Siegel) came out of the window with Reles."
In 1936, Luciano was arrested, put on trial and convicted on trumped-up charges of prostitution and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Luciano claimed that it was created by Special Attorney Thomas E. Dewey, and there is evidence that Luciano may have been right. All the witnesses against Luciano were pimps and prostitutes who later said that they lied at the witness stand and were not thrown into Dewey prison.
In 1942, when Luciano languishes in prison, Anastasia, with the help of her brother Tony, developed a scheme for raising Luciano. It was in the middle of World War II, and the plan that Anastasia hatched was based on the old mafia "protection racket." Tony controlled the docks, and it was easy for his people to sabotage ships on New York's waterfront. And that’s exactly what they did.
After several ships were bombarded and burned (the most famous of them was the French luxury ship SS Normandie, which turned into a warship when it was burned and capsized in New York harbor), Anastasia offered help to the United States government to protect embankment from saboteurs (from myself, of course). The payback of the government took place when the war ended, Luciano had to be released from prison as payment for the protection of the coastline. And this is exactly what happened when, in 1946, Luciano was released from prison and sent back to Italy, where he controlled his criminal family until his death from a heart attack in 1962.
Anastasia successfully worked as an assistant to Vincent Mangano for 30 years, when in 1951 Anastasia suddenly became ambitious. Over the years, Mangano began to resent the proximity of Anastasia to Luciano and Frank Costello. Many times Anastasia went around her boss Mangano and, for one reason or another, went straight to Luciano or Costello. Several times Mangano physically attacked Anastasia, which was a reckless act, since Anastasia was younger and stronger, which led to Anastasia beating her own boss for self-defense.
Anastasia didn’t do very well in the Mangano family when Anastasia asked permission from Costello, now the big boss with Luciano in exile in Italy, to hit Mangano. On April 19, 1951, Mangano's brother Philip was riddled with bullets and fell into a swamp in Sheephead Bay. Later that day, Vincent Mangano disappeared and his body was never found. A few days later, making sure that Mangano was really dead, Costello appointed Anastasia the head of the former criminal family of Mangano, thereby making Anastasia a member of a five-member commission.
Costello had a personal reason why he wanted Anastasia to be on the commission. After escaping to Italy because he was wanted on charges of murder, Vito Genovese returned to the United States. Genovese was angry because he thought that he, and not Costello, should be the head of the commission. (Before fleeing to Italy, Genovese was the head of the Commission. Since Genovese from the country and Luciano was still in prison at that time, Luciano appointed Costello the main person in the Commission.) Genovese was known as the cruel man who killed first and asked questions later. With Anastasia on the side of Costello, Costello felt that he had as strong as Genovese, who can defend Costello's high rating.
What Costello did not expect was that Anastasia was a bloodthirsty killer maniac who could kill anyone, for any reason, real or imagined. Anastasia's madness appeared once when he watched TV. In the news, a 24-year-old Brooklyn salesman named Arnold Schuster basked in the spotlight as the man who was the main witness to the arrest of legendary bank robber Willie Sutton. Schuster rode the subway when he spotted Sutton. Schuster followed Sutton after Sutton left the subway and tracked him to the nearest garage. Sutton called the police, and Sutton was arrested.
Seeing that the press is treating Schuster as a hero, Anastasia became furious. “I can't stand the Vizgals,” Anastasia told one of her killers, Fredrick J. Tenuto. "Hit this guy!" And this was done by Tenuto, shooting Shuster on Brooklyn Street, not far from the place where Schuster lived.
Realizing that Tenuto was the only person who knew that Anastasia had ordered the assassination of Schuster, Anastasia took care of Tenuto himself, filling Tenuto with bullets before Tenuto could spill beans on Anastasia's order.
However, it was already known that Anastasia, now called the Mad Hatter, went overboard and violated one of the main rules of the Commission: "We only kill each other."
As for Genovese, Anastasia made a mistake number 1. From that moment, Genovese began to prepare the death of Anastasia.
In addition to Costello, one of Anastasia’s closest allies was the Jewish bandit Meyer Lansky. For some time, Lansky ignored Genovese’s requests to kill Anastasia. Lansky was fond of gambling on the island of Cuba. Like all good mafia bosses, Lansky cut the rest of the Commission members a piece of cake on what he raked in Cuba. However, Anastasia wanted more. He asked Lansky to give him a larger piece, and when Lansky refused, Anastasia began plotting to open her own gambling operation in Cuba.
It was a bad mistake on the part of Anastasia. Lansky agreed to the murder of his childhood friend Bugsy Siegel when it was discovered that Siegel was filming from a height at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The money was sacred to Lansky, and Anastasia threatened to take the money out of Lansky's pocket.
Make this No. 2 mistake for Anastasia.
Anastasia’s mistake No. 3 materialized when Genovese found out that Anastasia charged $ 50,000 for joining the Honored Society to introduce new members to this family. It was definitely a no-no in the mafia. Men waited for years, sometimes even decades, to "get their buttons." In addition, at that time, the rule was that each proposed participant had to be involved in at least one murder, even to be considered for induction. Genovese said that Anastasia devalued the entire mafia organization by taking cash payments from men who were not qualified to join La Cosa Nostra, as the crowd informer Joe Valachi later said that insiders called them a holy group.
On October 25, 1957, Anastasia's driver parked Anastasia's car in the underground garage of the Park Sheridan Hotel in downtown Manhattan. Instead of waiting for the boss to return in the garage, the driver decided to take a little walk out of the building. Anastasia walked a bit, and he ended up in chair number 4 in the hairdresser at the Park Sheridan Hotel. Next to Anastasia, in chair No. 5, sat his old friend Vincent “Jimmy Jerome” Squillante. Anastasia sat with her eyes closed, seemingly not caring for the world. He will be right soon.
Suddenly, two men entered the hairdresser. One had a 38-caliber pistol; another A.32 caliber pistol. One of the men told the owner of the hairdresser, Arthur Grasso: "Keep your mouth shut if you do not want your head to come off."
Then the two men started shooting. One bullet hit the back of Anastasia's head, and two shots hit him in the left hand. Another bullet hit him in the back, and another hit the right side of his thigh. Anastasia jumped to her feet, facing the mirror of the hairdresser. Seeing the traces of her two killers in the mirror, Anastasia leaned toward the mirror. The killers continued to shoot until their guns were empty, and Anastasia fell on his back, between two hairdressing chairs, completely dead.
Squillante did not know whether to cry or blind. Seeing the dead Anastasia on the floor, he did not cry out to anyone: “Let me out of here!” Then he left the stage right in the lobby of the Sheridan Park Hotel and disappeared.
According to manicurist Gene Weinberger, one shooter was a white man, about 40 years old, 5 feet 10 inches, with a built-in scope and a haircut of light pompadour. The second shooter was also a white man, about 45 years old, of slim build, about 5 feet 7 inches. Weinberger thought that the arrows looked Italian, but she said that they too could be Jews.
No one was officially charged with the murder of Anastasia, and about a dozen people over the years claimed to have been involved in the murder of Anastasia. The most likely scenario was that Mafia boss Joe Profaci was hit by other commissioner members. Profaci has contracted with his subordinate, unpredictable “crazy” Joe Gallo, from the Brooklyn Red Hook section.
Gallo was not shy about taking Anastasia’s loan. Soon after the strike, Gallo spoke with crime boss Sidney Slater. Gallo told Slater that he, Sonny Cameron, Ralph Mafrichi, Joe "Joe Jelly" Joely and Frank "Panchi" Illyano were included in Anastasia's hit team.
Buttons on his shirt, bursting with pride, Gallo told Slater: “You can call us five quintet of the hairdresser.”
The most eloquent comment about the murder of Anastasia was made by Anastasia’s brother “Cool Tony” Anastasio.
“Cool Tony,” said one of the mafia employees, “I ate from the same table as Albert, and I had one womb. But I know that he killed many people and deserved to die. ”