Archive for crook

International Best Selling author Joe Bruno has 11 of the top 20 ranked books on Amazon/United States in the category “Media and there Law.”

Posted in Cosa Nostra, crime, criminal, crooks, famous murders, famous trials, FBI, FBI, Gangs, gangsters, killers, mafia, mobs, Mobsters, murder, New York City, New York City murder, organized crime, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2017 by Joe Bruno's Blogs


“Crazy Joe Gallo- The Mob’s Greatest Hits – Volume 2” is ranked highest at #2.


“New York City’s Five Points: The Most Dangerous and Decadent Neighborhood Ever!” was released on and debuted at #28 in the category “Best Sellers in Law Enforcement Biographies & Memoirs.”

Posted in criminals, crooks, Gangs, gangsters, mobs, Mobsters, New York City, organized crime, police, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by Joe Bruno's Blogs


Product information:

“On March 24, 1914, Nancy Mucerino, the youngest of 12 children, was born at 104 Bayard Street, in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood, which the locals, in order to erase the lingering stench of times gone by, were starting to call Little Italy, or the Sixth Ward. Nancy’s eleven older brothers and sisters were born in the same building. The first child, a boy named Pasquale, took his first breath in 1896, the same year the building was built.

Nancy Mucerino was my mother, and Pasquale was my Uncle Patsy.

The term the “Five Points” was derived in the early part of the Nineteenth Century because its Ground Zero was a five-point intersection formed by Orange Street (now Baxter Street, Cross Street (First Park and now Mosco Street – Frank Mosco was my Little League coach), Anthony Street (Now Worth), Little Water Street (which no longer exists), and Mulberry Street.

In the early-1800s, the Five Points neighborhood bounded by Centre Street on the west, and the Bowery/Chatham Square on the east. Canal Street was the northern border and Park Row – the southern border. The boarders of the Sixth Ward have since lengthened on the north side, going as far as Houston Street.

Across the street from the front entrance of my tenement building and close enough to touch with three or four leaping bounds, was the ominous-looking city prison called the Tombs. The dark and dreary structure was the third incarnation of this monstrosity; the first two being located one block to the west on Centre Street. The Tombs played an integral part of the Five Points sordid history. Hundreds of dastardly individuals were hung at the Tombs, and hundreds of thousands more had the Tombs as their mailing address, some permanently.

In 1896, at the prodding of journalist Jacob Riis, the hideous Mulberry Bend was demolished by the city, and Columbus Park was built in its stead. Before then, the Five Points was predominantly Irish, and it is estimated that 10,000 – 15,000 people, mostly Irish, lived in horrendous squalor in the four square blocks that comprised “The Bend.” When The Bend’s buildings were razed, the Irish were displaced. Most moved north to Hell’s Kitchen, the area bounded by 42nd Street and 59th Streets, and 7th to 12th Avenues.

After the demolition of Mulberry Bend, the Five Points became the domain of Italian Immigrants sprinkled with a few hundred Chinese, who claimed parts of Mott, Pell, and Doyers Streets as their turf. In fact, over the first two decades of the Twentieth Century, the Five Points district evolved into two intertwining neighborhoods: Little Italy and Chinatown.

It wasn’t until the mid-1920s that the term “Five Points” started to fade from the vocabulary of the area’s residents. In fact, as a child growing up, when I spoke to my aunts and uncles, the term “Five Points” came up quite often and never in favorable terms.

Most remnants of the original Five Points have long been gone. But the names of its former inhabitants still flicker across the lips of many New Yorkers, never in a flattering context.

In this book, the history of the Five Points is detailed in alphabetical order; not in chronological order, which I found overlapped to such a degree to make it unwieldy.

So, fire up your Kindle and read about some of the most distasteful creatures ever to roam the face of the earth. They all inhabited my old Five Points neighborhood in times gone by.”


Cover Five Points

Johnny Keyes – The Mayor of Chinatown – is in the middle flanked by two of his fightersJohnny Keyes

Joe Bruno on the Mob – John Allen – The Wickedest Man in New York City

Posted in criminals, crooks, Gangs, gangsters, mobs, Mobsters, murder, New York City, New York City murder, police, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2011 by Joe Bruno's Blogs


He was a con artist, drunk, murderer and a pimp, who ran one of the most obscene dance halls in the history of New York. For the vastness of his transgressions, John Allen was dubbed “The Wickedest Man in New York City.”

John Allen, the youngest of eight sons, was born in 1823, in upstate New York. His father was a prominent Presbyterian minister and two of Allen’s brothers became Presbyterian ministers too, while a third became a Baptist minister. The rest of his brother absconded to New York City and became burglars, crooks and confidence men, who owned various bawdy bars in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Allen’s father sent him to the Union Theological Seminary, hoping young John would pick the righteous path, rather than the wicked road his brothers had chosen in New York City. Allen studied religion for a few months, then packed his bags and joined his evil siblings in downtown Manhattan. Allen’s brothers showed him the tricks of their trade, and in no time, Allen became proficient at the crimes his brothers taught him. One of his brothers became suspicious of Allen, when he realized the police in the area seemed to know what they were going to do, before they did it. His brothers accused Allen of being a stool-pigeon. He reluctantly admitted they were right, which induced his brothers to beat him to a pulp and cast him out into the street.

In 1855, Allen met and married a known criminal named Little Suzie. Little Suzy’s specialty was rolling drunks, after she seduced them with sex, then put knockout drops in their drinks. While Little Suzie plied her trade in the waterfront district of the 4th Ward, which included Cherry, Water, Dover and Catherine Streets, Allen got a job working for a waterfront crimp, who ran a boarding house for sailors. Allen’s job was to entice sailors into the crimp’s establishment, where they would get the sailor drunk, then drug his drink. When the mark was out cold, they robbed him, then carried him to an outgoing vessel, where he was shanghaied to faraway places.

One day, Allen was stupid enough to have a drink with his boss, and the next thing he knew, he was on a ship to South America, not to return to New York City for a full six months. Soon after he hit Lower Manhattan, Allen’s former boss was found beaten to death, courtesy of an iron belaying-pin, which was a device used on ships to secure lines of rigging. Allen was the obvious suspect, but since the cops had no evidence, and because the dead man was so intensely disliked by everyone, no charges were ever brought against Allen.

Allen reconnected with Little Suzie and they went to work for Hester Jane Haskins, called Jane the Grabber, who ran several houses of ill repute in the area surrounding Sixth Avenue and Thirtieth Street. The Allen family’s job was to travel all throughout the northeastern states, and bring back young girls, with the promise of getting them well-paying jobs. Of course, when these poor girls were introduced to Jane the Grabber, she immediately beat them and drugged them, and forced them to work in her brothels. This went fine for Allen and Little Suzy, until Jane the Grabber got greedy and started abducting women from prominent families, including the daughter of the Lieutenant-Governor of a new England state. Feeling the heat from the police was inevitable, they quit their jobs and headed back to the evil confines of the 4th Ward. Good timing for them, since Jane the Grabber was soon arrested and sent to prison for a very long time.

In 1858, the Allens opened John Allen’s Dance Hall at 304 Water Street, which became known as one of the most licentious establishments in New York City. Allen dressed his twenty or so “dance girls” in short skirts and red-topped boots, with sleigh-bells circling their ankles. All types of vice and sexual obscenities were performed in private rooms, and sometimes right out in the open, so much so, journalist Oliver Dyer wrote in Packard’s Monthly that John Allen was “The Wickedest Man in New York City.” Allen was so proud of his new moniker, he made up business cards, saying:

John Allen’s Dance Hall
304 Water Street
Wickedest Man in New York:

John Allen’s Dance Hall was so prosperous, in just ten years, Allen banked more than $100,000, making him the richest pimp in New York City.

Soon, Allen came up with a new angle to make even more cash. Falling back on his seminary experience, he decided to turn his dance hall into a semi-religious experience. In spite of what was going on inside his joint, Allen placed a Bible in every room, and on Saturday nights, he gave away copies of the New Testament as souvenirs to his guests. In time, he held religious sing-a-longs, where his scantily-clad girls would sing spiritual songs, while Allen read from passages of the Bible. Showing no shame, Allen placed on every bench and table in his dive the popular hymn book “The Little Wanderers Friend.”

Yet Allen’s intended windfall never materialized. His usual guests fled his premises and headed for other joints like The Haymarket, McGuirk’s Suicide Hall and Paresis Hall. So Allen decided to go with another gimmick and turn his business into a place for local clergymen to hold marathon prayer meetings. Men like the Reverend A.C. Arnold paid Allen $350 a month to hold such meetings, and Allen even thickened the crowd by paying “newly reformed sinners” 25 cents a head to take part in the festivities. Allen was so certain he would hit the religious jackpot, he closed down his dance hall completely, putting a sign on the outside door saying, “This Dance Hall is Closed. No gentlemen admitted unless accompanied by their wives.”

Yet Allen overlooked the power of the press. In an expose’ on Allen and his motives, the New York Times ran a series of stories exposing Allen in absolutely the worst light. Immediately, the duped Reverends stopped holding prayer meeting at Allen’s establishment, causing his cash flow to stop completely. Allen tried opening his bawdy dance hall again, but his previous customers chose to stay away. After a few months of losing money, Allen closed down his dance hall completely.

Allen disappeared from the public for a while, then resurfaced in late 1868, when he and Little Suzie were arraigned in the Tombs Police Court for stealing $15 from a sailor. The Allens were released on $500 bail, which they promptly jumped and fled to places unknown. “The Wickedest Man In New York City” died from causes unknown in West Perth, Fulton County, New York, in October 1870.

After Allen’s death, a New York Times reporter revealed for the first time Allen’s true intentions when he appeared to go all pious. Allen had confessed to him; “I duped them religious fellers because I thought I could make more money out of silly church folk than I could out of bad sailors.”

Joe Bruno on the Mob – Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein – The Man Who Could “Fix” Anything

Posted in criminals, crooks, Gangs, gangsters, labor unions, mafia, mobs, Mobsters, murder, New York City, New York City murder, organized crime, police, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2010 by Joe Bruno's Blogs

Arnold Rothstein was the most notorious gambler of his time, a bootlegger of great proportions and a master-fixer of everything imaginable. Rothstein was so adept at what he did, he reportedly fixed the 1919 World Series.

Rothstein was born on January, 18, 1882 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. His father, Abraham Rothstein, owned a dry goods store and a cotton processing plant. Rothstein’s father, a devout Jew, was also a mover and shaker in New York politics, and was called by his friends “Abe the Just.” Abe Rothstein was so popular with the New York Pols, in 1919 he was given a dinner in his honor, which was attended by New York Governor Al Smith and Judge Louis Brandeis.

Yet young Arnold wanted no part of his father’s life. At the age of 15, Arnold began sneaking away from his fancy Upper East Side home to mingle with the fast-moving crowd on the Lower East Side. Rothstein loved to gamble, and soon he was a fixture at downtown card and dice games. Having limited finds at that age, Rothstein would “borrow” money from his father in strange ways. Abe Rothstein would stash his money and jewelry in a drawer as the sabbath approached. Young Rothstein knowing his father’s habits, would take the money from the drawer, spend all day gambling, then replace the money before sundown. One time he even stole his father’s watch and pawned it. He won big while gambling, redeemed the watch, then replaced it without his father being any the wiser.

Rothstein later explain his passion for gambling. He said, “I always gambled. I can’t remember when I didn’t. Maybe I gambled just to show my father he couldn’t tell me what to do. When I gambled nothing else mattered. I could play for hours and not know how much time had passed.”

Successful gamblers sometimes make enemies and Rothstein was no exception. In 1911, several gamblers he had regularly taken to the cleaners, decided to teach Rothstein a lesson. As good as he was with dice and cards, Rothstein was just as good with a pool stick. So his “pals” imported pool shark Jack Conway from Philadelphia to show Rothstein he could be beaten. After Conway challenged him, Rothstein got to pick the pool parlor which they would play in. He picked John McGraw’s pool room, owned by the legendary former manager of the New York Giants. Every known New York gambler was in the pool room that night, mostly betting against the cocky Rothstein. After Rothstein lost the first match to 100 (probably on purpose), he and Conway engaged in a 40-hour marathon, in which Rothstein won every 2 out of 3 matches they played. During that 2-day period, Rothstein won thousands of dollars, and a reputation of being cool and collected under pressure.

Rothstein’s prowess at gambling caught the eye of local politician, and a mighty fine crook himself, Big Tim Sullivan. Sullivan hired Rothstein, now called “The Brian” by his associates, to manage his gambling concession at the Metropole Hotel on Forty-Third Street. This was the big break Rothstein had been waiting for. He then parlayed his stint at the Metropole into owning his own gambling joint on Broadway, in the ritzy Tenderloin section of Manhattan. Rothstein’s reputation attracted such known gamblers as Charles Gates (son of John W. “Bet a Million” Gates), Julius Fleischmann (the Yeast King), Joseph Seagram (Canadian Whiskey baron) Henry Sinclair of Sinclair Oil and Percival Hill, who owed the American Tobacco Company. Hill once lost $250,000 playing poker in one night to Rothstein.

In 1919, after Prohibition was enacted, Rothstein became a major bootlegger and he fell in with several young criminals, including Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, both of whom looked up to the classy Rothstein as their mentor. Rothstein made sure all the young turks made money, by cutting them into every whiskey deal he was involved in. In was during this period that Rothstein received his second nickname as “The Fixer.” Rothstein sucked up to Tammany boss Charley Murphy, and using Murphy’s clout, Rothstein fixed thousand of bootlegging criminal cases. Out of 6,902 liquor-related cases that made it to court, with Rothstein’s influence, 400 never made it to trial and an incredible 6,074 were dismissed totally.

In 1919, several Chicago White Sox ballplayers approached Rothstein, through former featherweight champion Abe Attell, about fixing that year’s baseball World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s not clear whether Rothstein actually bankrolled the fix, or turned them down completely. But what is clear is that Rothstein bet $60,000 on the Reds and pocketed a cool $270,000.

In 1928, the wear and tear of all his dealings and double-dealing had an effect on Rothstein. He started to lose more often than he won at cards. His downfall started when he got involved in a marathon poker game that began at the Park Central Hotel on September 8, and ended on September 12. Among the gamblers involved were Nate Raymond and Titanic Thomson. When the dust settled, Rothstein had lost $320,000 to Raymond and Thomson, which he refused to pay, because he claimed the game was fixed.

On November 4, 1928, Rothstein was eating at Lindy’s, when he received a phone call, requesting his presence at the Park Central Hotel to discuss the payment of his gambling debt. Before he left Lindy’s, he told the waitress, “I don’t pay off on fixed poker.” Because guns are not allowed at such meetings, he gave his gun to an associate.

Hour later, the Park Central doorman found Rothstein slumped over a banister in the hotel. “Please call a taxi,” Rothstein told the doorman. “I’ve been shot.”

Rothstein was taken to the Polyclinic Hospital with a bullet in his gut. When the police asked him who had shot him, Rothstein replied, “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”

Rothstein fell in and out of delirium for several days. One afternoon, his estranged wife came to see him. He told her, “I want to go home. All I do is sleep here. I can sleep at home.” He died a few hours later at the age of 46. No one was ever arrested for his murder.

Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein’s funeral was attended by every card-shark and gangster in town. Lucky Luciano said later about Rothstein, “He taught me how to dress. He taught me how not to wear loud things, how to have taste. If Arnold had lived longer, he could have made me real elegant.”

Joe Bruno on the Mob — Big Tim Sullivan

Posted in criminals, crooks, Gangs, gangsters, mobs, Mobsters, murder, New York City, New York City murder, organized crime, police, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by Joe Bruno's Blogs

“Big Tim” Sullivan was a Tammany Hall hack, who gave real meaning to the term “crooked politician.”

Sullivan was born in 1863 at 25 Baxter Street, one of the worse slums buildings in New York City. The squaller was so intense at 25 Baxter Street, in 1866 a New York Times article called it one of the “filthiest tenements in the city.”

Sullivan’s parents had just immigrated from County Kerry, Ireland, and with them being so poor, he was trust out in the streets at the age of eight to shine shoes and sell newspapers. Being the enterprising lad that he was, Sullivan soon saved up enough cash to start his own newspaper delivery business. He employed dozens of poor kids from the neighborhood to do his deliveries, and soon Sullivan was the owner of four local bars, the first of which he opened on Christie Street, just east of the Bowery. One of Sullivan’s bar customers was Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, a notorious ward leader in Tammany Hall. Sullivan fell under Walsh’s political wing, and in 1894, Sullivan was elected to the Third District’s State Assembly.

In a few short years, Sullivan became a big cog in Tammany Hall’s corrupt wheel and soon he was appointed District Leader of the entire Lower East Side. That was like giving the key to the candy store to an especially bad kid. Sullivan bridged the gap between public service and the common street thuggery, by recruiting infamous gang leaders like Paul Kelly and Monk Eastman to do his dirty work, which included “voter influence” at election sites, which basically meant their gangs beat up voters who didn’t exactly see things Sullivan’s way.

In return for using his influence to keep gangsters out of jail, Sullivan got a piece of all the illegal activities in the Lower East Side, including prostitution, gambling, loan sharking and extortion. To keep things looking on the up-and-up, Sullivan also entrenched himself in many legal endeavors, including becoming partners in the MGM and Loews cinema operations.

Sullivan did introduce a couple of key pieces of legislation, like one in 1896 that made boxing legal, only to see it made illegal again in 1900, because of several deaths in the ring. Sullivan also passed the dubious “Sullivan Act” in 1911, which made it illegal to carry guns, unless you could afford a hefty registration fee. Needless to say, Sullivan’s murderous cronies made so much illegal dough, they all were able to cough up the cash needed to carry guns legally, in order to enforce their illegal activities.

In 1911, Sullivan’s evil ways finally caught up with him. He contracted syphilis, probably in one of the many prostitution houses he had a piece of, and he suddenly became paranoid and delusional. He was judged mentally incompetent and removed from his senate seat. In 1912, his family placed him in a mental institution, which only made his condition worse.

In 1913, while the guards were playing cards, Sullivan escaped from the sanitarium. This was a fatal mistake. Less than a day later, his body was found near the railroad tracks in Pelham Parkway. For some reason, his body was not claimed, so the city declared him a vagrant, to be shamefully interred in Potter’s Field. A police officer at the morgue finally recognized his body and Big Tim was given a proper send-off, with 25,000 people attending his funeral ceremony at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral on north Mulberry Street near Houston Street.