Category Archives: Outlawry

Heidi Fleiss – 1993

“I am going to prison, and for what? Sex. That’s it” THE CRIME: Heidi Lynne Fleiss seemed like so many other Jewish American Princesses but, unbeknown to many, she was the teenage lover of crooked financier Bernie Cornfeld (search the relalted post), almost 40 years her senior, and developed a taste for older men. Her… Read More »

Fredericka Mandelbaum – 1878

She was scheming and dishonest as the day is long” THE CRIME: Born on 27 February 1818 (some sources say 1827) as Friederike Henriette Auguste Wiesener in Hanover, Prussia, she married Wolf Israel Mandelbaum and they moved to New York in 1850. They bought a dry goods store at 79 Clinton Street. In the following… Read More »

Johnny Torrio – 1924

“This is for Deanie O’Banion, you dago bastard” THE CRIME: Born in Osara, Italy, Torrio arrived in New York in 1884, aged two. He joined the James Street Gang but, since he was just 1.76 m (5 ft 6 in) tall, this was as much for protection as for villainy. He became a bouncer at… Read More »

Billy Hayes – 1970

“I’ve always loved Turkey” THE CRIME: Billy Hayes was born on 3 April 1947 in New York and, like many of his generation, he avoided the draft and took illegal drugs. He confessed to have illegally carried drugs between countries in Europe. As a 23-year-old, Roman Catholic student, he visited Istanbul where he smoked hashish… Read More »

Richardson Brothers – 1966

“I started clubs where drinking was 24 hours. They were a bit illegal” THE CRIME: The Richardson brothers — Charlie (born 18 January 1934) and Eddie (born 1936) — ran criminal activities in south London. They began the Peckford Scrap Metal Company in 1956 in Addington Square, but that was really a front for their… Read More »

Sam Giancana – 1957-1966

“I wasn’t crazy. I was telling the truth” THE CRIME: Sam Giancana was a vicious thug but a brave one nonetheless. He was a bagman for Al Capone (search the article) and if any job was deemed dangerous, it was handed to “Momo” Giancana. He was a prime suspect in three murders before he turned… Read More »

Frank Costello – 1952

“The Prime Minister of the Underworld” THE CRIME: Born as Francesco Castiglia in Lauropoli, near Cosenza in Calabria, southern Italy on 26 January 1891, Costello arrived in New York in 1895. On 25 April 1908 he was arrested on charges of assault and robbery. On 16 October 1912 he was again in court on the… Read More »

Messina Brothers – 1945

“We Messinas are more powerful than the British Government” THE CRIME: The five Messina brothers — Salvatore (born 20 August 1898), Alfredo (born 6 February 1901), Eugenio (born 1908), Carmelo (born 1915) and Attilio (born 1910) — came from a criminal background. Their Sicilian father, Giuseppe De Bono, was a white slaver in the early… Read More »

Bugsy Siegel – 1940

“We only kill each other” THE CRIME: Benjamin — no one called him “Bugsy” to his face if they had sense — Siegel was born on 28 February 1906 in the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, New York. He started his first protection racket before he was a teenager, charging local stallholders $5. He met and… Read More »

Diamond Jim Colosimo – 1920

“Stick to the girls and gambling” THE CRIME: Born in Calabria, Italy, Colosimo moved to America in 1895, arriving at the Levee district in Chicago. He quickly became the aide for corrupt politicians “Bathhouse” John Coughlin and Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna, who made him manager of a poolroom and then a saloon. His job included… Read More »