Dutch SchultzThe Dutchman was not Dutch, nor was he particularly charismatic. Born Arthur Flegenheimer, Schultz was the product of German Jewish parents. At 17, Flegenheimer was arrested and convicted of burglary. He was sent to Blackwell's Island for one year. When he was released the next year, he returned to his old neighborhood and demanded to be called "Dutch Schultz," the nickname of a notorious young gangster from the late 1800's.
As a street tough, Schultz was vicious and impulsive. He could go from 0 to psycho in three seconds flat. But this quick temper and seemingly wild behavior did not extend to his finances. Dutch paid his men paltry sums, and asking for a raise could quickly send him into a violent fit.
By 1928, Dutch owned the Bronx lock, stock, and keg. He owned the protection rackets, the numbers games, and the bootlegging therein. His services were not optional. If you ran a speakeasy in the Bronx, you bought your booze from Dutch, or else.
The first real challenger to find out what else meant was Joe Rock, a night club owner. When he and his brother, John, decided to play hard ball with Schultz's crew, Schultz sent his underpaid gorilla's over for a chat. Joe Rock was beaten senseless, then hung from a meat-hook by his thumbs. Schultz then produced a gauze bandage that had been schmeared with gonorrhea puss. The bandage was tied around Joe Rock's eyes, and he was left dangling in a warehouse. Shortly after the incident, Rock went blind.
Schultz's next instance of germ warfare came during a meeting amongst the New York dons in 1930, while Schultz was down with a terrible case of the flu. During the meeting Joe Adonis, another local gangster, was holding up the proceedings by primping himself in front of a mirror. After he'd spent considerable time dilly-dallying, Schultz is said to have leapt on Adonis, placed him in a headlock, and coughed all over his face. Adonis came down with the flu soon after.
What is it Good For?The Dutchman did not play well with others. He controlled Harlem and the Bronx by himself, and didn't share a dime of the profits with anyone else. This irritated the fledgeling Syndicate, but Schultz's power was not easily revoked. So Lucky and the Syndicate bided its time.
Anyone who tried to muscle in on Schultz's territory was quickly dealt with. The many turf wars that broke out between 1929 and 1933 usually ended with Schultz and his cronies holding empty revolvers. When Jack "Legs" Diamond was thought to be hijacking Schultz's whiskey trucks, he was pumped so full of lead that the press dubbed Legs "the Clay Pigeon of the Underworld." When asked about the murder, Schultz told reporters that "Diamond was just another punk with his hands in my pockets."
The only gang to really make headway against Schultz was Vincent Coll and his small band of Irish psychopaths. Coll's gang favored driveby shootings, and while attempting to kill Schultz man Joey Rao, Coll and his men accidently killed a five-year-old boy. Rao escaped unharmed.
Coll continued to attack Schultz's men for two years. It's tough to tell how many murders actually occurred because of this conflict: the Castellmarese wars were going on at the same time, and New York was awash with gangster blood. Coll was eventually gunned down in a phone booth by Schultz's men.
Eventually, Schultz became wanted by the IRS and had to cook the betting books in order to stay afloat. To do this, he hired Otto "Abbadabba" Berman, an accountant gone bad. Together, they manipulated the betting game to increase the odds in favor of the bookies. After Berman took over the books, Schultz's bookies almost never paid out. In 1933, Schultz is thought to have pulled in between 12 and 14 million dollars.
Despite Otto's wizardry with the numbers, Schultz refused to pay him well. Abbadabba had to threaten to quit before Schultz finally raised his salary to $10,000 a week.
But all this book juggling didn't keep the DA off of Schultz's ass. In 1933, the state of New York indicted Schultz for tax evasion to the order of $92,103.34. The Dutchman remained on the loose thanks to many bribes and favors, but in November of 1934, he finally turned himself into the authorities.
The first trial was held in Syracuse. Schultz's lawyers made no secret of Dutch's illegal activities, even placing him on the stand and asking him to describe his bootlegging operations and numbers rackets. But the lynch pin of the case was not his criminal activities: it was the fact that Dutch made all his money illegally, and illegally gotten goods cannot be taxed. The jury came out hung, seven to five.
The following trial was moved to Malone, New York. Dutch moved into town a month before the trial and coated the place in green. He bought every round for nights on end at the local bar and made friends with the town's mayor and Sheriff. When the trial opened, his lawyers immediately referenced Dutch's attempts to pay off the government with $100,000. The government had refused, and that was simply because they wanted to harass poor Dutch.
The jury found him not guilty. The judge was flabbergasted.
More!Upon his return to polite society, Schultz began infiltrating the New York restaurant workers unions. By having his cronies run for elected union offices, stuffing ballot boxes, and roughing up union delegates already in positions of power, Schultz's men quickly gripped the city's eateries in an iron grasp. Gorillas cajoled restaurant owners into signing contracts stating that they would pay the racketeers protection money of their own free will. It's rumored that even Jack Dempsey, legendary boxer and restaurant owner, signed one of these contracts.
In addition to annual dues, restaurants were forced to pay extortionist association fees. Anyone who refused was hit with a strike from the waiters union. The genesis of this racket was provided by Jules Martin, a sometime gangster and full time greasy spoon owner. Schultz and Martin remained in business together until 1935. That year, Schultz called Martin into his hotel room and accused him of stealing $70,000 from the restaurant association's bank account. After a few slaps to the face, Martin admitted to having taken $20,000. Schultz immediately drew his gun, stuffed the barrel into Martin's mouth and pulled the trigger. Afterwards, the body was removed from the hotel, taken to a snow drift and stabbed 12 times. Schultz is reported to have cut the man's heart out.
Cheap bastardFor all his income, Schultz did no favors for the Jewish stereotype. Said Lucky Luciano of the Dutchman, "Schultz was one of the cheapest guys I ever knew, practically a miser." Luciano was a flashy gangster, who dressed to the nines, while Schultz always wore cheap suits. Schultz himself once said, "Personally, I think only queers wear silk shirts... I never bought one in my life. A guy's a sucker who spends $15 or $20 on a shirt. Hell, a guy can get a good one for one or two bucks!"
District attorney for New York, Thomas Dewey, had a personal vendetta against Schultz, especially because due to his escaping conviction in the Malon trial. Dewey built an excellent case and backed the Dutchman up against a jail term. Schultz went to Murder Inc. Albert Anastasia handled the job personally, scoping out Dewey's apartment and preparing a plan. But before he returned to the Dutchman, he went to see Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. They decided that killing Dewey would bring too much heat on the fledgeling Syndicate.
Schultz was pissed. He'd off Dewey himself, he raged. It was the evening of October 22, 1935.
On October 23, Schultz, Abbadabba, and some compatriots were dining at the Palace Chop House in Newark New Jersey. Outside, a car carrying Charlie "The Bug" Workman, Emmanuel "Mendy" Weiss, and the enigmatic "Piggy," pulled to a stop and sat idling. Workman entered the Chop House and casually strolled into the men's room. There, he found Schultz pissing into a urinal. Workman fired only two rounds, one of which caught Schultz in the side, dropping him. Workman then opened fire on the three Schultz henchmen in the restaurant proper. While this was happening, other members of Murder, Inc. were running all over Manhattan removing Schultz's boys from this mortal coil.
Commence Babbling!Schultz was taken to Newark Hospital and held onto life for another day. Towards the end, he asked for a a Catholic priest. He is said to have been baptized before his death, claiming to desire his death to be the death of a Catholic. As time passed, Schultz became incoherent and began blabbering crazily. Police assigned a stenographer to write down everything he said right up until he died at 8:35 PM on October 24, 1935.
Before he died, Schultz uttered some very strange monologues. Some choice quotes from his final hours follow:
George don't make no full moves. What have you done with him? Oh mama, mama, mama. Oh stop it, stop it; oh, oh, oh. Sure, sure mama. Now listen Phil, fun is fun. Please oh papa. What happened to the sixteen? Oh, oh, he done it, please.