For my Guys and Molls event piece, I am doing assassinated gangsters. But all of my assassinated gangsters have something special in common, they were really hard to kill.
What I like about especially Legs Diamond and Vito Di Giorgio is that they were deemed so hard to kill, it was only underhanded methods that eventually offed them. People seemed to realise that they wouldn't go down without a fight...or seemingly in it, so it took being shot while being passed out drunk or getting a shave at the barbers to do the job.
Jack ‘Legs’ Diamond
10 July 1897 - 18 December 1931
- Jack Diamond was an Irish American gangster of the Prohibition era in Philadelphia and New York
- He served in the first world war but deserted and was later jailed for it
- The nickname "Legs" is derived either from his love for dancing or his ability to get away from enemies quickly
- During one of the earlier attempts on his life Legs was shot five times.
- A couple of years later he was attacked by people with machine guns, yet still survived. The people around him, unfortunately didn't.
- It was in 1931, the attempt on his life finally killed him. It took three gunshot wounds to the chest while he was sleeping.
- Diamond's nemesis Dutch Schultz remarked to his own gang, "Ain't there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don't bounce back?"
- He became known as the clay pigeon of the underworld, because no matter how many times he was shot...he just never seemed to go away.
- There is speculation that it was a corrupt cop that finally got him, acting under orders of a crooked politician.
Vito Di Giorgio
19 March 1880 - 13 May 1922
- Di Girogio was Sicilian born, he moved to New York in 1904 with his parents.
- Di Giorgio survived two shootings before finally succumbing to the third attempt on his life in 1922
- He was an early leader of the Los Angeles crime family and possibly the first Mafia boss in LA.
- The second attempt on his life resulted in a leg wound that he and his wife lied to the police about, saying that they were wealthy food merchants (which they were) and had no enemies (but they did...heaps)
- Di Giorgio was one of the most feared men in California, it was his reputation that preceded him and helped to keep him on top.
- Vito was finally murdered in a barber shot whilst he was waiting for a haircut and a shave. His assassination was so brutal and he was so well known that it reached papers across New York and New Orleans
- Surprisingly though, Los Angeles, where he was most notable, never reported on his death.
Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Aiello
c. 1891 - 23 October 1930
- Joe was assassinated after a long power struggle with Al Capone
- Joe didn't have multiple attempts on his life like the others, but when he died, the coroner pulled 59 bullets out of his body.
- Joe immigrated to New York from his native Bagheria to assist family. His family were in the food business, importing olive oil, cheeses and sugar.
- It was through sugar that the Aiello family came into contact with mobsters and other organised crime, during the Prohibition era alcohol was banned, which naturally put it in high demand, Joe and his family supplied the sugar that went into the illegal distilling process.
- It was Joes co-ownership of a cheese importer that brought him into contact with Anthony Lombardo, and subsequently Al Capone.
- Capone and Lombardo were friends, and it was through Lombardo that Capone gained access to the Sicillian mafia even though he was Nepolitana.
- This cheesed Joe off (pardon the pun) which put him into a long and bloody battle with Capone.
- I think the 59 bullets was a little overkill (again, pardon the pun) but it did prove that even Al Capone thought Joe Aiello was hard to kill.
- Before being moved later, Joe was originally buried in the same cemetery and quite near to Lombardo.
- He was not afforded the respect of crime head at the time of his funeral though, most of the procession that left his home...never made it to his grave. Guess they had some stuff to do for Capone...
Guys and Molls - Goodies
WIN this hilarious deck of flashcards, and you'll have fun learning how to sling some lingo.
About: Get a line on this racket: flashcards feature famous one-liners and slang from 1930s gangster classics. Dish out some gangster speak and your pals and enemies will think you were made for the silver screen. 30 movie flashcards, boxed.
Preview: Check out the deck
WIN this great multi-title DVD, which includes four of the best
gangster movies that were ever made. Host your own 1930s mobster movie
About: There are four vintage films included on this DVD.
The Public Enemy (1931) - A taut, realistic time capsule of the Prohibition Era, showcasing James Cagney's powerhouse breakthrough as a streetwise tough guy who rises high in the bootleg racket.
The Roaring Twenties (1939) - Screen legends Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino star in this soulful study of a gangster whose hard-boiled persona finds itself at war with his compassionate side - a side that will ultimately be his downfall.
Little Caesar (1930) - Loosely based on the life of real-life Prohibition-era mobster, the infamous Al Capone. Edward G. Robinson rocketed to stardom as a pugnacious hoodlum who murderously rises to
the top ranks of the underworld.
Smart Money (1931) - In their only screen teaming, Little Caesar's Edward G. Robinson leads the way and The Public Enemy's James Cagney rides shotgun in this brisk tale of barbers who go from cutting hair to cutting in on the gambling racket.
HOW TO PLAY: There are four steps, but they're all fun and easy to do.
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