Joe Bruno’s New Book – “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps – Volume 3 – New York City” is Now Available on Amazon Kindle


Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps – Volume 3 – New York City


By Joe Bruno

          PUBLISHED BY:


                                                Joseph Bruno Literary Service




Marc A. Maturo




 Nitro Covers



                                      Copyright 2012 Joseph Bruno Literary Services





I’ve written three volumes on “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps – New York City,” and there seems to be no end in sight.

I originally planned to write two volumes on New York City subjects, then get on to the rest of the country. However, after finishing three volumes just on the miscreants, disasters, riots, and assorted murders which took place in the five boroughs of New York City, I realize I have a long way to go to give a full account of the truly horrible people who have lived, died, and desecrated the Big Apple, starting in the early 1800’s, and continuing up until the present time.

Although this book is presented in alphabetical order, I will give you the introduction in chronological order.

The first order of business was a nasty business indeed. It was called the Old Brewery, which was built as Coulthard’s Brewery in the late 1700’s, in what later became the treacherous Five Points section of Lower Manhattan. In 1837, Coulthard’s Brewery went out of business and the building was converted into 100 squalid tenement apartments, which housed over 1000 men, women, and children, the vast majority of whom would never see the light of day for many years. The Old Brewery was undoubtedly the most decadent building ever built. Besides the debauchery, including incest, which took place in the Old Brewery on a daily basis, more than a murder a day was committed on the premises.

When the Old Brewery was razed in 1853, the bones of hundreds, maybe even thousands of people were found by workers, either hidden in the walls, under the floorboards, or buried in the basement.

In the 1850’s, Sadie “The Goat” Farrell was a common thief in the Fourth Ward near the East River, who had her ear bitten off by the infamous Amazon Gallus Mag in the Hole-In-The-Wall bar on Dover Street (now the Bridge Café). However, Sadie gained her fame and fortune as the leader of a gang of “river pirates,” who terrorized the East and North (now the Hudson) Rivers all the way to upstate New York. When the police finally put a stop to her pirating ways, Sadie wandered back to the Fourth Ward, where she made up with Mag, and had her severed ear returned to her.

Then we have Satan’s Circus, the area between 24th and 40th Streets, and between Fifth and Seventh Avenues, which was teeming with houses of prostitution and illegal gambling. The “Main Street” of Satan’s Circus was Broadway between 23rd and 42nd Streets, which was then known as “The Line.” Satan’s Circus later became part of a larger tract of decadence known as “The Tenderloin.”

Satan’s Circus began thriving right after the Civil War, and continued to prosper until the beginning of the 20th century. Satan’s Circus was allowed to exist due to corrupt New York City police officers, who took payments to look the other way, and sometimes even became partners in the sex and gambling dens themselves.  In 1895, the Ladies Temperance Movement, under stalwart leaders like Carrie Nation, put pressure on New York City Mayor Strong to put an end to Satan’s Circus. Strong, in turn, appointed Teddy Roosevelt as New York City police commissioner. Under Roosevelt’s leadership, the brass in the New York City police department gradually weeded out the cops who allowed Satan’s Circus to exist.

By 1910, Satan’s Circus was just a sad memory of what can happen when police officers fill their pockets with ill-gotten cash.

Then we have the McFarland/Richardson Murder Case.

Abby Sage, a famous New York City stage actress, was married to a Daniel McFarland, an especially cruel man who was a failure as a husband, and as a businessman. In 1867, Sage met Albert Deane Richardson, an upstanding individual, and one of the most notable journalists of his time. The two fell in love, and Sage divorced McFarland, with the intention of marrying Richardson. However, Richardson, an habitual drunk, wanted his revenge. After first wounding Richardson in the leg while Richardson and Sage were exiting a theater, McFarland, while Sage was out of town, shot Richardson three times in the chest in Richardson’s Park Row office of the New York Tribune. Sage rushed to Richardson’s side, and they were married on his deathbed.

The resulting McFarland murder trial captivated and split New York City. The main thrust of the trial, was did a man (McFarland) have a right to kill another man (Richardson) because of a failed marriage?

You’ll be as shocked as to the outcome as I was.

The Brooklyn Theater Fire of 1876, was the third worst fire in United States history. Because of the terrible condition of the dead bodies, an accurate account of how many people actually perished in the fire could not be determined. Due to the forensic evidence available at that time, it was estimated by the coroner that anywhere from 275-400 people had perished. But that was just an educated guess. 103 unidentified bodies, and parts of bodies, were buried in a common grave in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The Great Rocking Chair Scandal of 1901was the result of an entrepreneur conning the Parks Department of the City of New York into allowing him to put his own brand-new, green rocking chairs in the city’s parks, instead of the usual hard wooden benches. This was all fine and dandy until the general public discovered that it would cost five cents a day to sit in those new chairs. This outrage transpired during a raging summer heat wave in New York City that killed hundreds, and the resulting riots graphically displayed the fact that you can’t charge the general public for something that was previously free.

The General Slocum paddleboat fire was one of the most devastating incidents ever to take place in America. The boat, filled with more than a thirteen hundred German/Americans, mostly women and children on their way to their yearly German-oriented picnic, caught fire in New York Harbor on June 15, 1904. When the boat was finally extinguished, 1,031 people had perished in the tragedy.

 Amazingly, because of the oncoming war with Germany, and because the vast majority of the General Slocum victims were Germans, the memory of the General Slocum Fire was soon eradicated from the public’s consciousness. It was replaced by the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911, in which there were approximately one-tenth of the deaths (146 deaths) as did the General Slocum fire.

            “Typhoid” Mary Mallon was an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1884. After working menial jobs that paid little, Mallon became a cook of some note. Unfortunately, she was also a healthy carrier of the deadly typhoid virus. In several households where Mallon was employed as a cook, the inhabitants of these households suddenly became sick, and some even died. Finally, it was determined that Mallon was the cause of these infections, but since Mallon had never been sick herself, she refused to believe it was possible she could be a carrier of this deadly disease. But after Mallon was forced to undergo blood and feces analyses, it was determined without a doubt that she was in fact a carrier. As a result Mallon was segregated on a small island off the coast of Manhattan, with only a small dog as a companion. What happened next showed how deadly Typhoid Mary really was.

            “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps – Volume 3 – New York City” contains bios on several Mafioso, such as Carlo Gambino, his cousin Paul Castellano, Vito Genovese, and Carmine Galente. There is also a piece on the murder of Jewish mobster Harry “Big Greenie” Greenberg, who became the victim of the first mob hit in the state of California.  Plus, we have a feature on Evelyn Mittelman, who was called “The Kiss of Death,” because several of her boyfriends wound up quite dead.

            The Prohibition era is covered quite well here too. First there is the Cotton Club, a legendary mobster-run Harlem nightclub, where all the entertainers and workers were black, and all the customers — lily white. Then we have a nice ditty on Texas Guinan, a cowgirl, turned Hollywood actress, turned raunchy singer/entertainer/speakeasy owner, who greeted all her well-healed nightclub customers with a hearty “Hello Sucker!” Guinan was such a roaring success during Prohibition, she was known as “The Queen of the Nightclubs.”

            The one person featured in this book who has never been portrayed as one of the “bad guys” was special prosecutor, and later New York Governor and Presidential candidate, Thomas E. Dewey. However despite his credentials, Dewey was so ambitious, it was not beneath him to frame a mobster for something the mobster didn’t do, because Dewey couldn’t nail the mobster on a crime the mobster did commit. So in my book (which is this book), that makes Dewey just as bad as the bad guys he enjoyed putting in jail. After you finish reading my piece on Dewey, I think you’ll agree with my assessment.

            “Mobsters, Gangs, Crooks, and Other Creeps – Volume 3– New York City” was a labor  of love, which I thoroughly enjoyed writing,  as I did writing Volumes 1 & 2. And because I can’t seem to run out of New York City bad guys, Volume  4 will probably detail just New York City miscreants too. Future Volumes, and I figure there will be at least a dozen in all, will finally touch on other cities in our fine country of America.

Upstate New York. New Jersey. Boston. Philadelphia. Chicago. Detroit. Cleveland. Milwaukee. Kansas City. California, and Las Vegas. Just wait. Your time is coming too. Then on to Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the world.


If I live that long.

            Now fire up your Kindle, or whatever device you desire, and start reading about some of the worst people God has ever created.


Joe Bruno












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