When Arlyne was 16, Irving Weiss moved his family out of Knickerbocker Village and into the tony Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills. Part of the reason for the move was that Irving Weiss was tired of his wife complaining about Arlyne’s late night trysts with men like Tony Mirra, and they figured Forrest Hills was not the sort of place when a young girl would likely come face to face with a gangster.
Yet, both Irving and his wife, Billie, underestimated Arlyne’s adventurous nature. Nearby Queens Boulevard was teeming with mobbed-up nightclubs, and Arlyne found the perfect partner for her night and sometimes daytime excursions to Queens Boulevard – a high school truant floosy named Sophie.
The teenagers’ favorite hangout was a Queens Boulevard dive inaptly named the Carlton Terrace. The Clinton Street Boys, who Arlyne had become acquainted with at The Blum and Oxford Funeral Parlor, used the Carlton Terrace as their hangout, where men were often seen in the company of women who were not their wives. For this reason alone, Arlyne and Sophie fit right into the ribald crowd. Both teenagers had numerous affairs with men more than twice their age; sometimes in the seedy restrooms in the back.
Obviously, the words “class” and “Arlyne Weiss” should never be used in the same sentence.
Soon, Arlyne became arm-candy for several gangsters, who took her to the race track and to the big fights at Madison Square Garden.
Retired FBI agent, Oliver Hale, who later became Arlyne’s FBI handler after she turned rat, said on the Bio Channel’s Mob Ladies, “I think Arlyne absolutely loved her lifestyle with the mob. It excited her. She was not someone who would go to work every day behind a desk. That was not Arlyne.”
After striking up an acquaintance with middleweight champion Rocky Graziano at the Capri Beach Club in Atlantic Beach, Long Island, Arlyne became enamored with featherweight contender Al Pennino. Arlyne had numerous trysts with Pennino, usually at the Hotel America down the street from Stillman’s Gym where Al trained.
Al got his big break when he was signed to fight future featherweight champion Sandy Sadler at the St. Nick’s Arena in Manhattan. Sadler, exceedingly tall for a featherweight, was known to be a brutal and sometimes dirty fighter, with the punch of a mule. Sadler was also not opposed to raking the laces of his gloves across an opponent’s eyes, and then counter with savage left hooks and right crosses to his blinded opponent.
It’s common knowledge in the fight game, when a fighter is in training for a fight, he must avoid having sex for as long as six weeks leading up to the night of the fight.
“It kills the legs,” is the old boxing maxim.
However, Arlyne was sex crazed, and Pennino was so captivated by the sex-hungry teenager, they spent their nights at the Hotel Americana right up until the night before his fight with Sadler.
When he got into the ring with Sadler, Pennino had nothing. Referee Al Donavan stopped the massacre at 1:06 of the 4th round. Pennino, once a promising fighter, was so devastated and irreparably damaged in the Sadler fight, his career went into a kamikaze nosedive. Pennino won only three fights after being wiped out by Sadler, and he ended his career in mid-1951with seventeen straight losses.
Whereas Arlyne basked in the glow of being in the company a word-class fighter, when Pennino became nothing more than an inept stumblebum, she ditched Pennino to look for bigger and better things.
Enter rich clothing manufacturer Nat Nelson.
Nelson, then 48-years-old to Arlyne’s 17-years-old, was a friend of Irving Weiss. Nelson was a confirmed bachelor, who wore his hair in such a flattened style, his friends called him “Flattop,” after a mob character in the Dick Tracy comics.
Irving Weiss saw the attention Nelson was giving his teenage daughter, and he forbid Arlyne to see the man almost three times her age. But Nelson treated Arlyne like a Jewish princess, and he showered her with fine clothes and sparkling jewelry. Finally, to show how much he really cared, Nelson asked Arlyne to marry him. Arlyne stalled Nelson, but she still continued to see him.
Nelson took Arlyne to the fanciest Italian restaurants in town, most notably the Grotta Azzurra at 177 Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy (Grotta Azzurra was founded in 1908 and was still going strong in 2014). At these dinner get-togethers, Nelson would invite the aforementioned Jimmy Doyle (James Plumeri) to join him and Arlyne for a little veal saltimbocca washed down by an aged Chianti. Because Nelson used Doyle’s trucking company to transports his goods, Nelson and Doyle had a partnership of sorts. Doyle provided the services, and if he wanted to stay out of the hospital, Nelson paid handsomely for Doyle’s troubles.
However, it became obvious to Arlyne that Nelson, because of his loud and braggadocio behavior, was starting to wear thin on Doyle. On several occasions, when Nelson started popping off at the mouth about how tight he was with “the boys,” Doyle would either turn his back on Nelson, or exit the scene completely. It was obvious to Arlyne that Nelson was on Doyle’s shit list, but it never occurred to her why, or that it could become a problem.
The fact was, Nelson was not very prompt in paying Doyle what Doyle thought he owned him, both for Doyle’s trucking services and for Nelson’s shylocking debts. In Doyle’s line of work, bad payers had to be dealt with severely, or other customers would get the idea Doyle was a jerkoff and that they didn’t have to pay Doyle either.
In February 1952, Arlyne and Grandma Ida set out on a shopping spree in midtown Manhattan. Of course, Arlyne had no money of her own, so she told the cab driver to stop in front of Nelson’s apartment building on 55th Street. Figuring she’d touch Nelson for a few hundred bucks to go shopping, Arlyne took the elevator to the fifth floor. Nelson’s door was unlocked, so Arlyne, never the shy one, pushed the door open.
“There was Jimmy, just in the middle of shooting him (Nelson),” Arlyne said. “He shot him right between the eyes at close range. I was scared for my life.”
Doyle could have shot Arlyne between the eyes too, and there would have been no witnesses. Instead, Doyle shot Arlyne the evil eye. Then Doyle rushed out of the apartment and into the elevator.
Arlyne collected herself for a few moments. Then she slipped out of Nathan’s apartment, took the elevator to the ground floor, exited the building, and rushed to the cab, where Grandma Ida was expecting to see a roll of green to fund their shopping excursion.
Instead, Arlyne jumped into the back seat, and said to Ida, “We’re getting the hell outta here! I’m taking you home!”
A few days later, Arlyne got the phone call she was dreading. It was from Jimmy Doyle. Doyle told Arlyne he had to see her right away.
“Why do ya want to see me?” she asked Doyle.
“You know why I want to see you,” Doyle said.
Doyle ordered Arlyne to meet him in the lobby of the Hotel Forest, near Times Square in the heart of the Theater District. Arlyne figured this was a crowded area, and she would be seen in the lobby. That meant if she disappeared, or found dead in the streets, Doyle would be the prime suspect. Figuring Doyle had sex and not murder on his mind, Arlyne dressed in her most provocative outfit, and she covered her shoulders with a snazzy platina fox stole, a pale white-marked bluish-gray creation that was rage of the early 1950’s. Arlyne figured if she was getting whacked, she was “going out in style.”
Arlyne sashayed into the lobby of the Hotel Forrest, and she was met by Doyle who wasn’t smiling. Without saying a word, Doyle went to the front desk and got a key to a room. Arlyne made sure the desk clerk saw her, and then she followed Doyle into the elevator.
When they got to the room, Doyle had barely put on the lights when he told Arlyne how it was going to be. Arlyne was going to sexually satisfy Doyle now and whenever Doyle wanted to be serviced. If she was a good girl and did things right, Arlyne would have the privilege of not getting whacked.
Arlyne did what she was told and what she knew how to do as good as any woman. When Doyle was finished doing what he wanted to do for as long as he wanted to do it, he dismissed Arlyne with, “Now get the fuck outta here. I’ll call ya when I need ya.”
Their liaisons went on for a while, and then Arlyne got to thinking. Doyle was a dead end as far as a relationship was concerned, so why not spill the beans to her mother, who would certainly tell her father, a man still highly respected in mob circles. After telling her shrink her plans and being encouraged by her shrink to do so, Arlyne told her mother, Billie, about the bullet hole in Nelson’s forehead and who put it there. She also told mom that she was spending way too much time on her knees and on her back in the company of Jimmy Doyle. Billie told Irving Weiss, and Irving Weiss knew what he had to do.
Irving requested a sitdown with Doyle, and he was granted such a request. At this meeting, Irving told Doyle that Arlyne was getting bedsores being in Doyle’s company, and that was no way to treat a pal’s daughter. Irving also assured Doyle that Arlyne had absolutely no memory of what had happened to Nelson, and even if she did remember what happened to Nelson, she would never squeal on an associate of her father.
Doyle, probably tiring of Arlyne anyway, agreed to stop trysting with her, with the implied promise that Arlyne would forget about Nelson’s untimely demise.
Although Arlyne said in Mob Girl that she was unaware of Irving Weiss’s meeting with Doyle, she would have to be a moron to think Doyle would stop bothering her out of the goodness of his heart.
The next thing Arlyne knew, she was off to sunny Florida with her mom, promising Billie her days of flirting with gangsters was a thing of the past. That promise lasted about a month, and soon, back in New York City, Arlyne was cruising the Carlton Terrace looking for a little action.
After sleeping around with gangsters after gangster, in the next five years, Arlyne got pregnant eight times. Because each hood she claimed was the father didn’t believe her because of her “reputation,” Arlyne had an abortion each time; paid for by her mother with her father’s money, unbeknownst to her father.
In the doctor’s waiting room while awaiting her eighth abortion, Arlyne met Norman Brinkman, who was waiting for a young girl whom he had gotten pregnant to get an abortion too (You can’t make up stuff like this). One word led to another, and Arlyne, minutes away from her abortion, put the moves on Brinkman, who was a mousy little creep advancing on his fourth decade in life. Brinkman impressed Arlyne with the fact he was in the “fur business” with people who were friends of her father. They exchanged phone numbers, and after Arlyne recuperated from her “operation,” the two met for a quiet date.
Playing the part of an honest man, Brinkman told Arlyne he was married, but he said he was on the precipice of a divorce. This perked Arlyne’s interest, since Brinkman seemed like a nice enough fellow (after all he accompanied the girl he had gotten pregnant to the abortionist’s office), and also because something very traumatic had just happened in the Weiss household that pissed off Arlyne to no end.
Arlyne’s sister, Barbara, had announced she was getting married, which meant Barbara was getting all the attention from Arlyne’s parents. This was something Arlyne could not endure, so she hoodwinked Brinkman, still married, into a proposal of marriage, which Arlyne eagerly accepted.
This did not go over too good with Irving and Billie Weiss.
First of all, Brinkman was more than a decade-and-a-half Arlyne’s senior. And second, Irving Weiss, a sharpshooter if there ever was one, thought maybe Brinkman was interested in Arlyne because of Irving Weiss’s substantial bank account.
But Arlyne would have none of that. As soon as the ink was dry on Brinkman’s divorce papers, Arlyne and Brinkman sped off to Greenwich, Connecticut for a “quickie marriage” before a justice of the peace – take that Barbara Weiss.
Brinkman, realizing Irving Weiss did not like him too much, became the “husband from hell.” He mistreated Arlyne in their snazzy Upper East Side apartment; constantly criticizing her cooking and her household-management skills.
That Arlyne could take.
But one Friday night, after only being married a few weeks, Brinkman went out for some air, and he didn’t return home until Sunday afternoon – no explanation, no nothing. Brinkman repeated this routine almost every Friday night.
Arlyne, having been around the block few times herself, knew what this meant – Norman Brinkman was a lying, two-timing, cheating bastard husband.
Arlyne hired a private detective, who found out, to Arlyne’s dismay, Brinkman had a girlfriend, who was quite pregnant. Then a poor young thing, named Frances, knocked on Arlyne’s apartment door. Frances turned out to be the same girl who was getting an abortion when Arlyne met Brinkman in the abortionist’s office. And guess what? Frances was pregnant again with Brinkman’s child.
At that point, Arlyne had had enough of Brinkman. She said, “This son-of-a-bitch has got to go!”
Arlyne knew that Brinkman had been pilfering furs from his distributors; a scheme Brinkman foolishly had shared the details with his lovely new wife. So for the first time, Arlyne became a cheese-eating rat (and as we shall see, this became a recurring theme). Arlyne called the cops, and she told them the details of Brinkman’s criminal offenses.
Brinkman was arrested and charged with grand larceny. Knowing his wife had given the prosecutors irrefutable evidence, Brinkman cut himself a deal, which netted him less than a year in Sing Sing Prison. This was fine and dandy with Arlyne, except for one little thing – she was now pregnant again, and Brinkman knew she was pregnant.
Still, Arlyne, knowing her father would never let a grandchild of his go without, wanted a divorce, and she wanted it badly. Arlyne wrote a letter to Brinkman, who was stewing in Sing Sing, politely asking for a divorce.
According to Mob Girl, Brinkman wrote back saying, “As long as I’m rotting, you’re going to rot too!”
Arlyne Brinkman soon gave birth to Leslie Rebecca Brinkman. But Arlyne still had to deal with her rat-bastard of a husband, who had put his girlfriend on the prison list of allowed visitors as “his wife.”
After Brinkman was released on parole, instead of going back to his wife, Brinkman shacked up with his girlfriend, a delightful young thing named Chickie. Knowing this was the perfect scenario for her to get her divorce; Arlyne dialed the phone number of her favorite private detective to put in motion a plan for her to rid her of Brinkman for good.
The deal was to have someone, in concert with the private detective, get inside Chickie’s apartment, to verify she was playing house with Brinkman while he was still married to Arlyne. Since Arlyne’s parents did not want to get intimately involved, they sent their maid, Sadie, to join the private detective in gathering the evidence needed.
The private detective, with Sadie in tow, knocked on the door of Chickie’s apartment. Brinkman, thinking with his wrong head, opened the door clad only in his underwear. While the private detective spun Brinkman to the side, Sadie busted inside the apartment, and as were her instructions, she headed towards the bedroom.
But before she got there, Chickie, holding a newborn baby in her arms, confronted Sadie and screamed, ‘Get the hell out of my apartment!”
Sadie smiled. The private detective smiled. And they exited the apartment in a much better mood than they were in before they had entered.
Soon afterwards, Irving Weiss stepped into the scene. He ordered Brinkman to a meeting, where Irving laid down the law. It was to be this way. Brinkman would agree to an uncontested divorce, and Brinkman would give up all claims to his baby daughter. In return, Irving Weiss would assume all responsibilities in supporting both Arlyne and the baby. Brinkman would be totally out of the picture, and he wouldn’t have to pay a cent either in alimony, or in child support.
To a creep like Brinkman this deal sounded too good to be true. So he took it.
When Arlyne stood in front of the judge to cement the divorce decree, the judge asked Arlyne if she wanted to accept one dollar in the settlement, so that she could, in the future, go back into court to receive proper remunerations from Brinkman.
“No, I don’t want a dollar; I don’t want a single dime,” Arlyne told the judge. “I just want to be rid of him.”
Arlyne saw Brinkman just one more time, and that was just a week after their divorce became final. Arlyne was proudly pushing her baby, Leslie, in a stroller, when Brinkman appeared out of nowhere and confronted Arlyne.
Arlyne said, not too nicely, “What do you want?”
Brinkman smiled. “I just want to see what my daughter looks like.”
After peeking at this daughter’s face, Brinkman then told Arlyne he was moving to California, and out of her and her daughter’s life for good. That’s said; Brinkman spun on his heels, and he exited stage right, never to be seen by Arlyne again.
That night, Arlyne went home and removed any photos from photo albums that even hinted Brinkman had ever existed. And when Leslie became old enough to inquire as to whom her father was, Arlyne simply told her daughter her father was dead. And to Arlyne, Brinkman was dead, very dead indeed.