“Mother is the best bet and don’t let Satan draw you too fast”
Dutch Schultz was born on 6 August 1902 (his grave states he was born in 1901) at 1690 Second Avenue, off 89th Street, in the Bronx, as Arthur Flegenheimer. He began his crime career in 1919, aged 17, when he was convicted of burglary and spent 15 months in borstal. It was to be the only sentence he served. In 1928 he became a partner in a Bronx bar during Prohibition and later became a bootlegger, supplying booze to upper Manhattan and the Bronx. At one time he was a partner with Jack “Legs” Diamond, Edward “Fats” McCarthy, and Vincent and Peter Coll.
It was said he made between $12 million and $15 million annually on protection rackets and union racketeering. He did not spend his money on flashy clothes. Lucky Luciano said of him, “One of the cheapest guys I ever knew… a guy with a couple of million bucks and he dressed like a pig.” It was also said that he once kidnapped a rival called Joe Rock and hung him by his thumbs on a meat hook.
Then he covered Rock’s eyes with gauze that had been dipped in the discharge from a gonorrhoea infection. When the family paid the $35,000 ransom and Rock was returned to them, he was blind.
Schultz trusted no one and had very few, if any, friends. In June 1931 he was arrested after shooting two undercover New York policemen, thinking they were his enemies the Coll brothers. On 19 December 1931 he ordered the killing of Jack “Legs” Diamond, “another punk with his hands in my pockets”. In 1932 he had Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll murdered as he made a telephone call. On 25 January 1933 Schultz was indicted for evading $92,103.34 income tax. He went into hiding, finally surrendering on 28 November 1934.
Two trials failed to convict him. He was fatally shot by Charles “The Bug” Workman in the back room of the Palace Chop House, a saloon in Newark, New Jersey on 23 October and died in hospital at 8.35pm the next day. He was 33. His last words were “Mother is the best bet and don’t let Satan draw you too fast.”
Syracuse, New York, USA
Wednesday 25 January 1933
Charles Workman was paroled, aged 54, on 10 March 1964, after spending 22 years and nine months in jail.