Archive

1940


“HOORAY FOR LOVE (┬íViva el Amor!)”; Benny Goodman and his Orchestra; Helen Ward; Jimmy McHugh; Dorothy Fields; Victor (25011-B); 1935


“HOORAY FOR SPINACH”; Van Alexander and his Orchestra; “Butch” Stone; Johnny Mercer; Harry Warren; Bluebird (B-10158-B); February 16, 1939


Buffalo Currier Express, September 27, 1940

2 TRIGGER MEN
OF MURDER, INC.,
TO DIE IN CHAIR

Goldstein screams as he hears
judge pronounce sentence;
Strauss remains glum

New York, Sept. 26 (AP) – Martin (Buggsy) Goldstein – who once struck terror in his victims’ hearts as executioner for Brooklyn’s bloody murder-for-profit syndicate – screamed today as a judge decreed his death in the electric chair.

“The same to you and members of your family,” he yelled hysterically.

As the 33-year-old Goldstein yammered, beside him sat his fellow-gangster, silent and glum-eyed – Harry (Pittsburgh Phil) Strauss, described by the state as a “cruel killer.”

To Die in November

Both were sentenced to die the week of November 4th by Brooklyn County Judge John J. Fitzgerald, for the “contract” slaying of Irving (Puggy) Feinstein on Labor Day in 1939. They were convicted six days ago.

As the clerk asked if he wished to speak before his sentence was pronounced, Goldstein leaped to his feet and cried:

“I want to thank the court for the charge that is sending us to our death and I only wish that the same happens to you and members of your family.

“If you can’t go to your death in a nice way, you might as well go in a bad way. I was found guilty on perjured evidence and if I die, I want to die like a man. Now go ahead.”

Third and Fourth Convicted

Solemnly, the judge decreed the sentence, and as he reached the words, “where during the week of November 4th you shall be – ” Goldstein screamed, “put to death in the electric chair.”

Then, with his voice rising to a screech, he shouted, “Hurray for me. I’ll be better off than a lot of you.”

The convictions were the third and fourth obtained by District Attorney William O’Dwyer, since he began smashing the ring which holds responsible for 83 underworld slayings…

Buffalo Currier Express, September 27, 1940


“Hip Hip Hooray”; Andy Kirk And His Clouds Of Joy; June Richmond; Henry Nemo; Milt Ebbins; Decca (4366 A); 1942


“Hooray, Hooray, I’m Goin’ Away”; Beatrice Kay; Skylar; Mitchell Avres; Columbia (37922); 1947


“ROCCO’S BOOGIE WOOGIE”; Maurice Rocco And His Rockin’ Rhythm; Maurice Rocco; Decca (8523 A); Publication date: September 27, 1940

TWO IN MURDER RING
SENTENCED TO DIE

Goldstein Launches a Tirade
at Judge, but Strauss
Stares Vacantly

CALLS ACCUSERS ‘RATS’

Leaders of Gang, Liked to 83
Slayings, Hear Week of
Nov. 4 Set for Doom

The New York Times, September 27, 1940


“TONKY BLUES”; Maurice Rocco And His Rockin’ Rhythm; Maurice Rocco; Decca (8523 B); Publication date: September 27, 1940

Harry (Pittsburgh Phil) Strauss and Martin (Buggsy) Goldstein, leaders of the Brooklyn murder syndicate that has been accused of committing eighty-three underworld slayings, were sentenced yesterday by Kings County Judge John J. Fitzgerald to die in the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison during the week of Nov. 4…

…”The first thing I want to do is to thank the court for the lovely charge that is sending us to death. I can only hope that same thing for you and your family…

The New York Times, September 27, 1940


“ROCCO BLUES”; Maurice Rocco And His Rockin’ Rhythm; Maurice Rocco; Decca (8504 B); Publication date: September 27, 1940

Snarls Out His Phrases

…”That’s it. Let it go at that. If you can’t go to your death in a nice way, you might as well go in a bad way. I’m willing ti die like a man. I was found guilty on a perjured evidence. I’ll die like a man. Go ahead”….

“In the electric chair. I know all about it. In the electric chair. Hooray for me! I’ll be better off than the lot of you.”…

“Make it tomorrow. It’s all right by me. I’d be better satisfied.

The New York Times, September 27, 1940


“RHUMBOOGIE”; Maurice Rocco And His Rockin’ Rhythm; Maurice Rocco; Don Raye; Hughie Prince; Decca (8504 A); Publication date: September 27, 1940

Maledictions on Judge

…The two men were convicted on Sept. 19 by a blue-ribbon jury of strangling and attempting to cremate Irving (Puggy) Feinstein, a smalltime bookmaker, whose death was “contracted for” by Albert Anastasia, fugitive leader of the Brooklyn waterfront rackets.

The New York Times, September 27, 1940


“There Is No Death”; Richard Crooks; Victor Orchestra; Geoffrey O’Hara; Gordon Johnstone; Maximilian Pilzer; 1946


PM, September 24, 1940

Death House Reunion

It will be like old home week in the death house at Sing Sing pretty soon. Frank (The Dasher) Abbandando and Harry (Happy) Maione, Murder, Inc. slayers already there, will be joined by <artin (Buggsy) Goldstein and Harry (Pittsburgh Phil) Strauss, who on Thursday will hear themselves sentenced to die in the electric chair for the murder of Puggy Feinstein.

PM, September 24, 1940


“The Angel of Death”; Hank Williams With His Drifting Cowboys; Hank Williams; June 1, 1950


“Murder in the First Degree”; St. Louis Jimmy; James Burke Oden; Burton & Oden; April 1956


The New York Times, September 20, 1940

MURDER INCORPORATED

The jury has decided that the two gangsters on trial for murder in Brooklyn were working members of Murder Incorporated. The implications of this trial are shocking. In a certain stratum of the community in which we live it was possible for a few dollars to hire assassins who would guarantee the murder of any specified individual…

The chief informant against the two gangsters who were convicted – “Kid Twist,” as Abe Reles prefers to call himself – glories in his record. Questioned on the number of victims he has “rubbed out,” he counts them on his fingers and figures up to eleven. He has difficulty in remembering the names or mob-names of so-many, but finally calls the roll triumphantly. He had no animosity against any of them, the death of each was accepted “on contract.” The only doubt excited by his graphic recital is whether such a man should be allowed to save his life on any terms.

The New York Times, September 20, 1940


“It’s Murder”; Lil Armstrong And Her Swing Orchestra; Lil Armstrong; Buck; Armstrong; 1936


“Stop Teasing Me”; Bob Pope And His Band; Bob Pope and Creole Sisters; Pope; Publication date: September 20, 1940


The New York Times, September 20, 1940

TWO IN MURDER RING
QUICKLY CONVICTED

Strauss and Goldstein to Die
in the Chair – Judge Praises
O’Dwyer Drive on Crime

The New York Times, September 20, 1940


PM, September 20, 1940, p.8

Goldstein and Strauss Found Guilty… Will Die for Murder, Inc. Butchery

…It was over. People pressed their congratulations on District Attorney O’Dwyer and young Turkus. Among them was a slihght, pale girl in black. She squeezed Turkus’s hand. “Thanks. Thanks for what you’ve done.”

She was Puggy Feinstein’s sister.
PM, September 20, 1940, p.8


“When You Got To Go You Got To Go”; Bob Pope And His Band; Bob Pope and Ensemble; Pope; Publication date: September 20, 1940


“A Handful of Stars”; Ina Ray Hutton and her Orch.; Stuart Foster; Lawrence; Shapiro; Publication date: September 19, 1940


The New York Times, September 19, 1940

MURDER RING TRIAL
HEARS NO DEFENSE

Goldstein’s Counsel Pleads
With Jury to Spare Client
He Terms ‘a Poor Bum’

STRAUSS STARES VACANTLY

Two Psychiatrists Testify He
Could Not Tell Date — Opinion
on Sanity Forbidden

The New York Times, September 19, 1940


“Gotta Have Your Love”; Ina Ray Hutton and her Orch.; Woode; Jackson; Loman; Publication date: September 19, 1940

NEW YORK: MURDER, Inc.
A Picture Story of An Industry.
By John Kobler.

District Attorney O’Dwyer (left foreground) listens dead-pan, while from the witness stand Abe Reles demonstrates how he and his two old friends, Srauss and Goldstein (seated center), strangled Irving (Puggy) Feinstein. Goldstein’s lawyer, paunchy Leo Healy is trying to enter an objection. The quizzical gentleman in front of him is Mr. O’Dwyer’s young assistant, Burton B. Turkus. Sketched in Court by William Sharp.
PM, September 19, 1940

Madness in Great Ones Must Not Unwatcht Go

When they jailed Harry Strauss, Brooklyn’s leading Angel of Destruction, on a murder rap, he let his beard grow long and matted, babbled idiocies, generally behaved like a loon. But three stated alienists said he was faking.

Yesterday, in Kings County, his lawyer tried to show that the alienists just don’t know their psychic onions. The alienists said he saw Abe Reles under his bed. Reles wasn’t.
PM, September 19, 1940

How to Commit a Murder — By Abe Reles

Of the story of Murder, Inc., as pictured in the preceding pages, Abe Reles told much as a witness in the current case against Strauss and Goldstein. Samples:

“I killed 11 men… Joey Silvers…and Plug Schuman… and Jack Paley. And, wait a minute, I can’t recall his name… Oh yes, a fellow by the name of Ferasco.”

“The boss said he wanted a clean job… Big Harry jumped on Puggy from behind and mugged (strangled) him like this.”

“I gave Big Harry one end if the rope and we put it under Puggy’s head while Buggsy held the other end.”

Sketched in Court by William Sharp.
PM, September 19, 1940


“The World Without You”; Will Hudson And His Orchestra; Kay Kenny; Will Hudson; Maria Kramer; Publication date: September 19, 1940


The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise”; Glen Gray And The Casa Loma Orchestra; Kenny Sargent; Ernest Seitz; Eugene Lockhart; Publication date: September 18, 1940


The New York Times, September 18, 1940

GANGSTER IN COURT
PLEADS FOR LIFE

Goldstein Interrupts Murder
Trial With Dramatic Appeal
to His Ex-Bodyguard

CRIES ‘YOU”RE BURNING ME!’

Magoon, State Witness, Turns
Away and Corroborates
Reles Story of Slaying

…”I didn’t know Abe was a killer. He was a family man and was certainly good around the house.”
The New York Times, September 18, 1940


“There Was a Little Girl”; Mitchell Ayres and his Fashions-In-Music; Mary Ann Mercer; Tommy Taylor; Bud Green; Walt Schuman; Publication date: September 18, 1940


“Wild Mab of the Fish Pond”; Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra; Dale Bennett; Publication date: September 17, 1940

It Was About Time

Printing House Square
PM, September 17, 1940, p.9


“1. Telephone Bell – 2 Rings”; 1960

NEW YORK: A City of Telephone Users
PM, September 17, 1940, p.15 (Photos by Ray Platnick and Gene Badger)


“The Telephone Is Ringing”; Pee Wee Crayton; P. W. Crayton; October 1956

Paul Robeson Introduces Songs of Spanish War

He Will Be Commentator Tonight on WQXR (9) for Radio Debut of ‘Lost Records’
PM, September 17, 1940, p.11 (Photo by Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson)


6 Songs For Democracy”; Ernst Busch; Brecht; Elseler; Weinert; Palacio; Espinosa; Ernst; Daniel; Discos De Las Brigadas Internacionales (1A)

[Paul Robeson Hosts WQXR Program]


PM, September 17, 1940, p.9

Murder, Inc. Witness

She Tended Baby As Reles Killed

PM, September 17, 1940, p.9


The New York Times, September 17, 1940

RELES CONFESSES 5 MORE KILLINGS

Increases Number to Eleven as He Appears at the Trial of Strauss and Goldstein

TURNS ON 2 OLD FRIENDS

Tells of Getting Orders From ‘Boss,’ Waterfront Leader, to ‘Take’ Feinstein
The New York Times, September 17, 1940


“Night and Day”; Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra; Cole Porter; Publication date: September 17, 1940


“Somewhere Somebody’s Waiting For You”; Carlisle Brothers (Cliff and Bill); Publication date: September 16, 1940


PM, September 16, 1940, pp. 16-17 (photos by R. Capa, etc.)

Proud London, Madrid Prove Cities That Won’t Quit Can’t Be Bombed Into Defeat

Like moths to a flame, refugees from the surrounding farmlands poured into Madrid. Piling up faster than the war-harried government could ship them on to safer areas, thousands of women and children cooked, ate and slept in the subways.

Air raids are fun, too – if your fighter planes can get at the raiders before they dump their loads. Spectators may be killed by a spent bullet, but Madrilenos got so they’d risk even that for momentary relief from the boredom of life under siege.

PM, September 16, 1940, pp. 18-19 (Artist, page 19: William Sharp)

What High School Girls Like to Wear

Murder, Inc. Trial in Second Week

The court clerk at the left knows that hard-of-hearing Judge John J. Fitzgerald’s bite is worse than his bark. Artist William Sharp caught his Honor just after one of the Strauss-Goldstein lawyers had irked him.
PM, September 16, 1940, p.19

A Hollywood actor might envy courtroom style of assistant DA Burton B. Turkus (standing). Expressions of his backstoppers, Louis Josephs (foreground) and Solomon A. Klein mean deep thinking.
PM, September 16, 1940, p.19

When a felon needs a friend, he is apt to look up Leo Healy and Daniel H. Prior (left), two of the shrewdest criminal lawyers going. That’s what Harry (Pittsburgh Phil) Strauss (center) and Martin (Buggsy) Goldstein did when District Attorney O’Dwyer nabbed them on charges of a Murder, Inc. killing. Mr. Prior says wild look in Harry’s eyes is because he’s crazy and shouldn’t stand trial. at all.
PM, September 16, 1940, p.19


“You’ve Got What It Takes”; Orrin Tucker and His Orchestra; Bonnie Baker and The Bodyguards; C. Tobias; Berle; H. Tobias; Publication date: September 16, 1940


“I’M A GUITAR KING”; Tommy McClennan; Publication date: September 15, 1941


“TRAVELLIN’ HIGHWAY MAN”; Tommy McClennan; Publication date: September 15, 1941


PM, September 15, 1940, pp.48-49

The Way People React to a Camera Is Revealing

Point a big camera at a little man or a pocket Brownie at a big man and the chances are the reaction will be strong. Usually he will freeze up as if he’s put through the Birdseye Frozen Foods process. Camera shyness can…

If the photographer aims for character… Or the photographer can consciously use the shyness to make a picture.

In some pictures, Weegee has to be ruthless in sneaking shots of people who don’t want to be photographed. It’s his job – news coverage demands such pictures. But here Fritz Kuhn, arrested for stealing funds from his Nazi Bund, is glad to be photographed. Kuhn is putting on an act to show his followers they needn’t fear for his safety; and to tell the world he is fearless, innocent and lovable. But we can smell the acting in the forced geniality.

Here two boys were arrested for holding up a gas station express to the public their attitude or bravado about the whole business.

These men stabbed an enemy in a New York opera house. Weegee often snaps people who have good reason to dodge a camera.

This arrested man was hiding from a battery of photographers when Weegee crept around and caught him from his unprotected side.
PM, September 15, 1940


“Out of Nowhere”; Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra; Lena Horne; Heyman; J. Green; Publication date: September 15, 1941


“Romance Without Finance”; Tiny Grimes Quintette; Tiny Grimes; Charlie Parker; Clyde Hart; Jimmie Butts; Harold West; Lloyd Grimes; Publication date: September 15, 1944


“I’ll Always Love You Just the Same”; Tiny Grimes Quintette; Tiny Grimes; Charlie Parker; Clyde Hart; Jimmie Butts; Harold West; Lloyd Grimes; Publication date: September 15, 1944