Bennie Lazarra was a genial wholesale grocer in Tampa, Florida. Shortly after midnight he arrived home with his wife, who was a sister of a prominent Florida judge. Just as she was opening her car door Lazzara's wife watched as her husband was gunned down by an assassin who waited in ambush. Friends and relatives of Lazzara pooled their money in order to solve his murder. He had no known enemies.
Gambler Max Fox sought revenge on gambler Morris Wolensky and New York City betting commissioner Robert B. Greene. On August 3, 1944 he found them playing cards at a midtown Manhattan gambling establishment. He opened fire on them. Fox was a former partner of Greene and Wolensky. His grievance against them dated to the 1940 Presidential election when Greene put down a 3-1 bet on Wendell Willkie.
1949-1950 was a unique year in college basketball. A City College of New York squad won both the NCAA tourney and NIT championships. A team from Peoria, Illinois, the Bradley Braves, was barely beaten out in the final game of the NIT tourney. It was the only time a team has won the NIT and NCAA in the same year. The year after a college commission ruled against teams competing in both events.
Mobster turned informant Jimmy "the Weasel" Fratianno and Las Vegas gambler Gus Greenbaum were suspected in the slayings of hoodlums Anthony Brancato and Anthony Trombino. The Los Angeles Police department surmised that both criminals were desperate for money. Looking for action they parked their Oldsmobile on a quiet street near Hollywood Blvd. Soon both were killed in a flash of gunfire.
Joseph Stassi was a large player in the gambling rackets managed by Joseph 'Bayonne Joe' Zicarelli. Their main area was Elizabeth and Union County, New Jersey. By 1969 Joe and Anthony were enmeshed in a heroin smuggling ring that originated in Europe. The narcotics were shipped to New York via Montreal, Quebec.In 1976 there was an attempt to break the brothers out of a New York prison.
Moe Kleinman was involved in murder along with the gambling and liquor rackets he controlled. Among the most publicized murders linked to him was the 1931 slaying of Cleveland City Councilman William Potter. Moe Dalitz recalled the details of Potter's demise. At first the murder appeared to be a suicide. Then police found Potter dead inside an apartment suite. A Kleinman associate was seen there.
Merle Hapes and Frank Filchock were banned from the National Football League for their failure to report a bribe offer to league officials. The two ended their football careers in Canada. Unfortunately neither betting scandal I have chronicled led to much substantive change in New York laws restricting gambling. My book is illustrated with photos from news accounts of the 1940s betting scandals.
Hymie Levine was an integral part of the Al Capone mob which controlled beer, liquor and gambling during the Prohibition era in Chicago. He collected money from speakeasies and gambling dens while paying off corrupt policemen. My ebook is a chronology of information about Hymie Levine and his Mafia associates. I have written the text from newspapers, ancestral records and previous books on Capone.