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New York Daily News, February 9, 1942

“Crying Babies Drive Nurse Crazy; She Dopes 2, 1 Dies
Her face pale with grief, nurse Irma Twiss Epstein, whose own baby died a year and a half ago, is booked at Morrisania Police Station in the death of a new-born baby whose crying was ‘driving me crazy'”

[“Aliens Begin Registering. Registration of enemy aliens begins today…”]

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PM, February 9, 1942, p. 3

“Here is Nurse Accused of Killing Baby
Distraught and pale with grief, Irma Twiss Epstein, 32 year-old nurse, whose own baby died 18 months ago, is booked on a homicide charge in the death of a baby whose crying, she said, “drove me crazy.” Miss Epstein, Bronx Maternity Hospital nurse, is accused of giving a powerful drug to the 20 hour-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Castro Vallee, whose only other child died after birth 11 years ago. Another infant, 4 days old, was revived by nurses and doctors after Miss Epstein was found in a hallway hysterically sobbing: eyedropper, baby.” Hospital records showed she entered service there in 1940 and after nine months took a leave of absence to have a baby. Police said she had been in Bellevue’s psychopathic ward two years ago for observation after tasking an overdose of sleeping tablets. She told police at Morrisania Station she expected to be married soon. PM Photo by Weegee.”

PM, February 9, 1942, Vol. II, No. 168, p.3

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Daily Mirror, January 2, 1937 (unidentified photographer)
“The first tragic figure of 1937, Mrs. Anna Sheehan, mother of three children, is charged with stabbing her husband to death because he accused her of ever-friendliness with another at a New Years party…”

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PM Daily, February 9, 1941
Murder in the Rain… Hell’s Kitchen Style
This is the picture story of the careful man who remembered to put on his rubbers but failed to watch out for death. Weegee took the photo and wrote the title… Weegee said: “He was going into his home on W. 48th Street when an unknown man fired three shots and ran toward 10th Avenue. Nobody saw or heard any shots… so they said.”

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Weegee Daily, February 9, 2013
No Murder… No Rain… No Snow… Hell’s Kitchen Style
Weegee as photographer and reporter (and poet!)… We recently saw a horizontal version of this image (the printed version is perhaps a third of the un-cropped image) and the legs in the upper left corner are more obvious… Perhaps the square in the foreground, in the sidewalk, is the same in both of the above photos… Perhaps coincidentally, Weegee’s future home was behind and a few doors west of this location…

This is the picture story of a careful man who remembered to make this photo before the blizzard arrived. Ceegee took the photo and wrote the title. About the photo of a 74 year old crime scene, in what critics call a continuation of a boring and profoundly unoriginal blog, Ceegee said: “I was gradually going home, walking past W. 48th St., before going to B&H Photo, and perhaps an old bakery, when I fired about ten shots and walked toward 10th Avenue. A few people, walking home, walking dogs and/or children, saw the shots… if so, they didn’t say.”

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(A few easily google-able news clippings…)

Weegee Daily Map!


Weegee, PM, November 24, 1941, p. 13

Cop Kills Holdup Man: A few minutes after he had held up an Essex Street lunchroom on the Lower East Side and shot a patron, Vincent Mannuzza, 31, was lying dead at the feet of the cop who shot him. Patrolman Laurence Cramer, right, shot and killed Mannuzza, after a two-block chase and is shown handing the gunman’s revolver to Sgt. Eugene Morland. The $20 loot taken from the restaurant lies in Mannuzza’s hat at his side. An ambulance surgeon crouches over the dead man who was shot in he head and back. Mannuzza shot a customer, Adam Zayko, 50, when he refused to go into the back room with two other customers and the mangaer of the lunchroom.
PM Photo by Weegee


Weegee Daily, November 24, 2012, – Approximate location
WD Photo by Ceegee

Footnote, or, after a few minutes of Googling, two similar, yet slightly different accounts:

The Herald Statesman, Yonkers, N.Y., Monday, November 24, 1941, p. 5


The Niagara Falls Gazette, Monday, November 24, 1941, p. 22


Weegee Daily, November 24, 2012 – Approximate location
WD Photo by Ceegee

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New York Post, November 17, 1939
Street Scene in New York
After the guns ceased barking and the gunmen fled, neighbors peered from the fire escape and almost every window last night for a glimpse of the body of Anthony Greco, slain in front of his own cafe at 10 Prince Street.
Associated Press Photo”

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Ceegee, November 17, 2014
Balcony Seats At A Brunch… Balcony Seat While Shopping in Noho…

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New York Post, November 17, 1939
Street Scene in New York
After the guns ceased barking and the gunmen fled, neighbors peered from the fire escape and almost every window last night for a glimpse of the body of Anthony Greco, slain in front of his own cafe at 10 Prince Street.
Associated Press Photo”

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LIFE, November 27, 1939
Murder in New York
“After dusk on Nov. 16, Angelo Greco stood smoking outside his cafe in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Emerging from the darkness, a man drew a gun, fired four shots, fled into the night. Greco tumbled dead in his doorway. From windows above, heads popped out. Police cars screamed into the street. Close in their wake arrived Arthur Fellig, famed free-lance photographer (LIFE, April 12, 1937) who sleeps behind police headquarters, has a short-wave radio in his car. He listened briefly while neighborhood folk stolidly disclaimed knowledge of the murderer, then stepped back and photographed this dramatic street scene.”

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Weegee, Naked City, pp. 78-79, 1945
“Balcony Seats At A Murder
This happened in Little Italy. Detectives tried to question the people in the neighborhood… but they were all deaf… dumb… and blind… not having seen or heard anything.”
Weegee, Naked City, p. 79

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Street Scene in New York
After the guns ceased barking and the gunmen fled, neighbors peered from the fire escape and almost every window last night for a glimpse of the body of Anthony Greco, slain in front of his own cafe at 10 Prince Street.
Associated Press Photo”
New York Post, November 17, 1939

Murder in New York
“After dusk on Nov. 16, Angelo Greco stood smoking outside his cafe in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Emerging from the darkness, a man drew a gun, fired four shots, fled into the night. Greco tumbled dead in his doorway. From windows above, heads popped out. Police cars screamed into the street. Close in their wake arrived Arthur Fellig, famed free-lance photographer (LIFE, April 12, 1937) who sleeps behind police headquarters, has a short-wave radio in his car. He listened briefly while neighborhood folk stolidly disclaimed knowledge of the murderer, then stepped back and photographed this dramatic street scene.”
LIFE, November 27, 1939

“Balcony Seats At A Murder
This happened in Little Italy. Detectives tried to question the people in the neighborhood… but they were all deaf… dumb… and blind… not having seen or heard anything.”
Weegee, Naked City, 1945, p. 79

“One of the best pictures I’ve made… I got up nine o’clock one night, and I says to myself, I’m going to take a nice little ride and work up an appetite. I arrive right in the heart of Little Italy, 10 Prince St…. This was a nice balmy hot summer’s night… Some of the kids are even reading the funny papers and the comics… To me this was drama, this was like a backdrop. I stepped all the way back around 100 feet, I used flash powder… Of course the title was “Balcony Seats at a Murder”… That picture won me a gold medal [see below]… I try to humanize the news story. Of course I ran into snags with the dopey editors…”
Famous Photographers Tell How… ca. 1955
(Weegee talking about how he made his amazing photo can be heard on the Weegee’s World website.)

“At 6:45 P.M., on November 16, 1939, A Lone Gunman Shot Angelo Greco in the doorway of his candy store at 10 Prince Street in Little Italy. Greco who had a long history of arrests, fell dead with four bullets to the head. The gunman dropped his weapon beside the victim and disappeared into the panicked sidewalk crowd… police dutifully recorded the interior of Greco’s poorly stocked store and the location of the body…”
Murder Is My Business, p. 72

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Weegee Dans Ls Collection Berinson, pp. 188-189

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Murder Is My Business, pp. 72-75

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A few years ago we made this related post, that pointed out the Editor and Publisher News Photo Contest prize award on the wall above his bed, in his home:
Balcony Seats at a Prize… Freelancer Fellig’s a Winner!


Popular Photography, May 1940, pp. 44-45
Freelance cameraman Arthur Fellig’s a Prize Winner! (Perhaps not surprisingly, Fellig’s the only freelancer, and May 1940 is before he was widely known as Weegee…)
“Balcony Seats at a Murder” is included in the 5th Annual Exhibition of the Press Photographers’ Association of New York and Editor and Publisher News Photo Contest…
(You won’t see this one on too many bibliographies…)
Is that the Alan Fisher? A future colleague at PM? And the William Klein? And the Joseph Conrad?
A pre-PM free-lancing Fellig was understandably proud of winning the Editor and Publisher Prize… In February 1941, the beginning of his most productive year as a photographer, the award was still on his wall…


Weegee, [self-portrait], 1941

Several years ago we made this related post:
Balcony Seats at a Blog…

Weegee, Naked City, 1945
Balcony Seats at a Murder…
10 Prince St. New York, N.Y. ca. 1939


10 Prince St. New York, N.Y. March 3, 2008


10 Prince St. New York, N.Y. Septemeber 17, 2011

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10 Prince St. New York, N.Y. Septemeber 17, 2014

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Weegee, Naked City, pp. 78-79, 1945
“Balcony Seats At A Murder
This happened in Little Italy. Detectives tried to question the people in the neighborhood… but they were all deaf… dumb… and blind… not having seen or heard anything.”
Weegee, Naked City, pp. 78-79

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Weegee (and Ceegee), Not the Naked City, pp. 78-79, 1945 – ca. 2010

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Weegee (and Google Maps), Not the Naked City, pp. 78-79, 1945 – ca. 2010

(to be continued…)

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Time, January 27, 1941

Slaughter on Fifth Avenue

“At noon Fifth Avenue was crowded. Alfred Klausman, middle-aged office manager of a linen firm, walked across the street from his office to the bank on the corner and drew the weekly pay roll: $649. [Approximately $10,365.50 in 2014, according to an Internet inflation calculator…”]
As the genial, round-faced Klausman walked back, two men silently threaded through the crowd behind him, two strange, grey-coated creatures washed up from the depths of New York City’s criminal world. One was Anthony Esposito, 35, a long-nosed, horse-faced hoodlum who had been in & out of New York’s prisons and reformatories for 16 years, had once been deported to Italy and sneaked back in. His brother William, 29, had robbed drunks, snatched pocket books, done a seven-year stretch in Sing Sing. Their father had served time for forgery. Their brother was in Clinton Prison, Dannemora, N. Y. for parole violation. Their lives had been spent in squalor. petty crime, prison and torpid, hard-eyed loafing. Klausman entered the elevator to his office. The Esposito brothers stepped in after him. Between the second and third floors they drew revolvers from their overcoat pockets, ordered the operator to stop, face the door. He heard Klausman cry “No! No! No!” -then one of the gunmen put his revolver to Klausman’s head and pulled the trigger.
They ordered the operator to take the elevator down, ducked out into the street, disappeared into B. Altman’s big department store.
Out into the street the operator yelled “Hold-up! Murder!” The cry spread. Two patrolmen raced from the corner, into the store, a long way behind.
Down the crowded aisles of the store darted the Espositos, through the block-long building. At the far entrance they climbed into a cab, put a gun at the driver’s head. But Madison Avenue was jammed with traffic; they were trapped. “Get going. Make it fast. Get moving or we’ll kill you.” Back in the store panic was spreading as police with drawn revolvers moved down the aisles shouting, “Get down!” The cab stalled behind a bus. Like men leaping over a cliff, the brothers
jumped out into the traffic. At sight of the two running men, waving revolvers, people flattened themselves against the buildings or ducked to the sidewalk. A taxi driver ran to Patrolman Edward Maher, directing traffic on the corner, yelled “Stick-up!” and pointed at the fleeing men. Maher raced after them, only 20 feet behind, afraid to shoot into the crowd. Motorists left their cars and joined the chase. Maher saw a clear space, shot twice, and William Esposito staggered side- ways, fell face downward, one arm outstretched, one twisted under him, apparently dead.
A little crowd collected around him. Patrolman Maher held the gunman by the overcoat, started to turn him over, turned to warn the crowd away. “Back up, please,” he said, “someone’s liable to get hurt. As he rolled William over, the gunman’s .38 came up. William Esposito pulled the trigger and Patrolman Maher slumped over, dead.
The crowd surged back, then forward. A taxi driver named Leonard Weisberg leaped on the prone gunman. He grabbed for the revolver, missed. Esposito jerked it back a few inches, fired again. Weisberg, clutching his throat, gasping for breath, fell to the sidewalk.
Esposito, still lying down, drew another gun from his overcoat pocket. Two men leaped on him. Then the crowd closed in, kicking and beating.
Anthony ran on when his brother fell. Behind him the police fired into the air. He shot a few times, wildly, apparently to clear crowds out of his way on Fifth Avenue. He ducked into Woolworth’s, bowling over the women shoppers. He plunged to the basement, put away his guns, walked up again to hide in the crowd – and met six policemen at the head of the stairs, went down with revolver butts thudding on his skull.
The Espositos went to the hospital, to the line-up, to indictment for murder. Leonard Weisberg, recovering from his throat wound, was promised a new cab of his own and won a hero’s praise. The Nazi press gleefully played up the crime as evidence of democratic depravity.”

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(No Weegee photos…)

“Anthony Esposito is shown above as he was taken for a personal appearance in the police lineup at headquarters. He and his brother
were quickly indicted for first degree murder. William Esposito, killer of Patrolman Maher, is shown at right in the Bellevue hospital prison ward where he was confined with a bullet wound in the leg.

BLOOD flowed and death staked its claim in the fashionable Fifth avenue shopping district of New York City when the gun-crazy Esposito brothers shot it out with police in one of the most amazing high noon robberies in the history of the Big Town.
Death began stalking its prey when Alfred V. Klausman, 55, office manager for a linen company, picked up a pay roll of $649 at the Irving Trust company branch in the Empire State building and walked out into Fifth avenue at 12:20 p.m.
Two swarthy little men with beady eyes had seen the transaction and they quietly followed Klausman through the bustling lunch-hour crowd.
They were Anthony and William Esposito, armed with three guns, each. Klausman entered the elevator at 6 East 34th street and nodded to George Greby, the operator. Greby paid no attention to the two little men who slipped in after Klausman. He slammed shut the elevator door.
The cold muzzle of a gun suddenly prodded Greby in the back of the neck. “Stop between the first and second floors, snapped William Esposito.
Greby looked around and saw that the second little man was menacing Klausman with a gun. “Hand over that money‚ ordered Anthony Esposito.
With a quavering voice but high courage, Klaus-
[Continued on page 49]

“Mad Dog” Killer Tamed by Police

[Continued from page 23]

man refused. Anthony; jabbed him viciously with the gyn muzzle.
“Come on,” he snarled. “Turn it over.”
“You won’t get it,” Klausman cried.
The roar of a shot from Anthony’s gun filed the elevator. Klausman slumped to the floor, a bullet hole drilled through his forehead. William Esposito’s hands were clawing at him almost before life left his body. When William rose he held the pay roll sack.
Gerby, stunned by the brutality of the crime, heard one of the bandits order him to stop at the second floor. He obeyed automatically and the duo leaped out.
“Go up to the roof with this car and keep your mouth shut,” was the next command. Then, as elevator door closed, leaving them alone with their loot, Anthony and William lost their heads. They ran down the single flight of stairs and rushed out of the building.
_ Pedestrians 34th street. Screams arose. Hounded and frantic the Espositos plunged into Altman’s department store on the north side of the street. Women shoppers scrambled out of their way as they tore through the busy aisles, turned right and headed for the Madison Avenue exit.
Two doormen took up the chase. Officers on duty at Fifth avenue who had heard the shot which killed Klausman, rushed through the store in hot pursuit.
Bursting through the Madison Avenue exit, the Espositos leaped into a parked taxicab. Driver Isidore Eder looked up, amazed, into two gun muzzles and heard the order. “Get this cab going or else!”
Eder saved his own life by starting his motor, then endangered it a second later by deliberately turning his cab so that it was blocked by a bus. Cursing but holding their fire, the two gunmen leaped out and began racing up the avenue toward 35th street.
They were not fast enough. Traffic Patrolman Edward Maher, 52, who had left his post a block away, was closing in. As the fleeing brothers turned the corner and dashed into 35th street, Maher began firing. As pedestrians and cars swerved out of the way, Maher saw a clear opening, aimed and fired. Halfway down the block. William Esposito pitched forward on his face, a bullet through one of his legs.
Anthony kept on running as several officers took up the pursuit, but Patrolman Maher paused by the side of the man he had dropped. William was lying quiet but did not seem to be unconscious. Maher waved back the crowd which had gathered, then pulled at the wounded man’s greatcoat to turn him over. William Esposito turned over with suspicious ease. From under his body he pulled a .38 revolver. It flashed up and belched flame against the blue of the officer’s uniform. Maher slumped.
“Eddie” Maher had been a popular officer among the cabbies in that stretch of mid-town New York. Leonard Weisberg, 39, one of the cabbies who knew him best, did not hesitate when he saw Maher fall. He rushed forward, unarmed.
William Esposito’s gun cracked. Weisberg staggered back with a bullet in his throat. Once more the maniacal little bandit pressed the trigger and this time William C. Mueller, a bank guard, was whirled about by the impact of a slug which bit into his shoulder.
The crowd answered William’s madness with a fury of its own. Truck drivers, doormen, office workers and nondescript citizens closed in with a single impulse, seized the hoodlum’s pistol and overpowered him. Police had to rescue him from their pounding hands and feet.
As William cringed in imprisoning arms, his brother, Anthony, headed in frantic flight toward Fifth avenue. Officers pounded after him, firing into the air. Anthony cleared pedestrians from his path by firing an occasional shot in return. Then he reached a Woolworth five-and-ten and charged through the door. His precious pay roll sack was stuffed into his pocket and in each of his hands was a revolver. Six officers followed him into the store.
Bedlam reigned. Women shoppers screamed, rushed in groups toward the exits or threw themselves on the floor in their efforts to evade the chase which moved with unbelievable swiftness from one aisle to another. Anthony managed to
get into the store basement, then made the mistake of coming up again. An avalanche of bluecoats floored him. officers took two guns from him. He broke loose and squirmed along the floor until he was again overpowered. A third gun was found sewn in a pocket in his trouser leg. His police captors fended off infuriated women who were striking at the gunmen with fists and handbags, then handcuffed him.
Fifteen minutes had passed since the saga of death had begun.
Then Anthony and William Esposito were taken away and the voice of midtown New York subsided to its usual dull rumble.
In Bellevue hospital where he lay in bed behind stout bars and latticed windows, the wounded William snarled rebelliously when a priest was brought in to see him.
“I quit talking to you guys years ago.” he said.
Anthony, placed in a police lineup, alternately cursed and cringed. In court, he tried to play idiot, an obvious preparation for an insanity defense. While District Attorney Dewey moved to indict the two killers for first degree murder, Patrolman Maher was given a commissioner’s funeral by his comrades on the force. His friend, Leonard Weisberg, passing the critical stage of his wound with the aid of blood transfusions, was tendered $1,000 by the police and was rewarded with a new taxicab for his bravery.
The murder spree of the Espositos, had climaxed dual careers of crime since childhood. Anthony, 35, deported in 1936 after serving a prison term for robbery had returned to the United States illegally and was being sought by immigration authorities at the time of his bloody raid. William, 29, who once had tried to kill a detective, was wanted for parole violation when he teamed with his brother to turn Fifth avenue into a battlefield.
When the New York grand jury voted first degree murder indictments against the brothers Esposito in the record time of 20 minutes, Assistant District Attorney jacob rosenblum commented:
“Those two men are the most vicious and dangerous bandits that have ever walked the streets of New York. They are walking arsenals of destruction.”