New York Gangs Murder Trust and Michael Malloy Part 5

About the New York gang in the 1930s known as Murder Trust and Michael Malloy, survivor of over 30 murder attempts.


The next day Malloy did not appear in Marino's. Nor did he appear the next nor the next. Two weeks passed and no Malloy. The Murder Trust felt sure that he was dead, at last, but they had to prove it to the insurance companies. They read the obituaries. No mention of Malloy. They visited the morgue. No Malloy. They phoned hospitals. No Malloy. He had vanished from the earth. Bastone suggested they waste no more time, find another bum, run him over, identify him as Malloy, and collect the insurance money. They tried it. The new victim clung to life in Fordham Hospital. The gang still did not have their dead man.

Then, in the third week of Malloy's disappearance, the habitues of Marino's were thrown into a turmoil. Michael Malloy himself walked in and settled at the bar. He apologized for his absence. He'd been in the hospital, which had neglected to list him as a patient. A car accident, Malloy explained. He'd suffered a concussion of the brain and a fractured shoulder. But now he was fine. "I'm sure ready for a drink," he said.

The Murder Trust was in despair and utterly routed. They had placed their chips on a human who was apparently indestructible. Once more, Bastone suggested they stop using finesse, stop being clever, just get rid of Malloy the quickest way possible and cash in their insurance policies. All hands agreed. Murphy, the bartender, offered his room on Fulton Avenue. On Washington's Birthday, the gang treated Malloy to his quota of drinks. He got drunk as usual and passed out. Kreisberg and Murphy took him to Murphy's room and dropped him down on the bed. One end of a rubber hose was attached to the gas jet, the other end was stuffed into Malloy's mouth. They let the gas fill him. "His face is all purple," Kreisberg reassured his collaborator.

In the morning, Michael Malloy was found dead. Dr. Frank Manzella, an ex-alderman, was called in to write the death certificate. He certified that Michael Malloy had expired from lobar pneumonia, noting alcoholism as a contributing factor.

For a promise of a $400 share of the insurance payoff, undertaker Pasqua placed Malloy in a $10 pine coffin and buried him in a $12 plot of ground in the Ferncliffe Cemetery in Westchester.

The durable Michael Malloy had lost in the end. Yet, though he would never know it, he would ultimately win.

The Murder Trust members were suspicious of one another and they talked too much. When Bastone tried to improve on his share of the insurance take, he was promptly liquidated. But the basic five continued to be indiscreet. The Bronx police began to hear rumors. When they checked and learned an actual Michael Malloy had died on Washington's Birthday, and there were policies on his life, they went to Ferncliffe Cemetery and exhumed Malloy's body. The coroner found Malloy had not died of pneumonia but had been eliminated by use of illuminating gas. Members of the Trust were charged with murder.

The trial was held in the Bronx County Courthouse. The jury deliberated seven hours. Harry Green went to prison. Dr. Frank Manzella went to prison. On June 7, 1934, Anthony Marino, Frank Pasqua, and Daniel Kreisberg went to the electric chair in Sing Sing. On July 5, 1934, Joseph Murphy also died in the chair.

Because of his indestructibility, Michael Malloy had forced his killers to resort to obvious murder, and, as a result, four of them died. They died, yet somehow Malloy lives.

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