Posts Tagged ‘New York mobsters’

Who ordered the murder of Arnold Schuster?

May 12, 2009

In 1952, Arnold Schuster was a 24-year-old clothing salesman living with his parents in Borough Park. One night, while riding the subway to his 45th Street home, he realized the guy next to him was bank robber and fugitive Willie “because that’s where the money is” Sutton.

ArnoldschusterSutton left the subway at Pacific Street. Schuster followed him and then flagged down some cops, who later made an arrest. Sutton’s capture was headline news at the time, and Schuster became a minor celebrity, even appearing on TV.

That probably wasn’t a smart move. Less than a month later, Schuster was murdered, shot in the groin and in each eye.

Sutton insisted he had nothing to do with the slaying. Though the crime outraged New Yorkers, no arrests were ever made. The Schuster family sued the city for not protecting Arnold; eventually city officials settled for $41,000 but admitted no wrongdoing.

Below, a Life magazine photo of a Brooklyn College professor asking citizens to help the police ID Schuster’s killer: 


So who ordered the hit? Years later, a mob turncoat told police that Mafia boss Albert Anastasia, who had no association with Sutton, wanted Schuster dead after seeing him on TV one night. “I can’t stand squealers!” Anastasia supposedly shouted.

Judge Crater: the missingist man in America

October 6, 2008

On the night of August 6, 1930, Joseph Force Crater got into a midtown cab—and was never seen or heard from again. So began the saga of “the missingist man in America,” a state supreme court judge with ties to organized crime and a penchant for picking up showgirls who left behind a tantalizing trail of crooked dealings.

His whereabouts became a national obsession, with journalists, tabloid writers, and comedians weighing in for decades on his fate. Even after having him declared legally dead in 1939 and remarrying, his wife, shown below, insisted that police keep the case open.

To this day, however, the case remains unsolved. Did Judge Crater plot his own disappearance, fearing that he would be indicted for corruption within the Cayuga Democratic Club, of which he had been president? Was he killed by mobsters? 

In 2005, notes left behind by a recently deceased 91-year-old woman in Queens indicated that he may have been murdered in the cab and buried under the Coney Island Boardwalk. Police did not try to dig up any remains.