Mobsters – Big Bill Dwyer – King of Runners

As a simple docker, he melted heavily and was known as the "King of Rummy Runners". Big Bill Dwyer made so much money by partnering with famous gangsters at several crazy New York nightclubs. Dwyer also owned two professional hockey teams, including New York Americans, and was the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers football team. Finally, when Big Bill Dwyer died, he died out of the limelight and the apartment broke.

William Vincent Dwyer was born in 1883 in the Hells kitchen area in western New York. Two gangs, the Hudson Dusters and the Gophers, dominated Hell's kitchen at the time, but Dwyer avoided joining both gangs and instead took to the Dock as a stevedore of the International Long Range Union (ILU). ).

While working on the docks, Dwyer started his betting operation. Following the entry into force in 1911 of the Wolves law prohibiting the distribution of alcohol and making money by betting, Dwyer branched out into the German wage business. Dwyer bought a steel speedboat with the vehicle, all fitted with a machine gun, in case the rogue tried to hijack the shipment. Dwyer also bought several large hub-powered boats needed to load an illegal barge from any boat.

Dwyer traveled to Canada, England and the Caribbean to establish relationships with those who sold him the liquor he needed to smuggle in the United States. Then Dwyer set up a system whereby his ships met along the sea several miles from the ships that supplied him with liquor. There, the boats were taken to Dwyer ships, then quickly transported to Dwyer high-speed vessels closer to New York's shore.

The speedboats were unloaded in the docks protected by ILU local 791, of which Dwyer was a member. From the docks, the liqueur was taken to several warehouses in the New York area. When the time was right, the trucks carried booze protected by illegal alcohol and convoy crews throughout the country: heavy shipments to St. Petersburg, Florida. To Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati and as far away as New Orleans.

Dwyer was able to smuggle a lot of booze into New York because he knew one simple fact: if you wanted to be successful in boot business, you had to bribe the police and the Coast Guard. And so did Dwyer, handing over thousands of dollars that needed lubrication.

Paying the New York cops was easy. Occasionally there were few police officers who had no access to grafting money. But Dwyer was particularly adept at recruiting Coast Guard members to look the other way as his high-speed craft entered New York waters.

Dwyer's first contact was with Coast Guard Officer Olsen. Through Olsen, Dwyer met with a number of coast guards, calling them "guards" who might be willing to bribe. Dwyer would take those Guardsmen to the bright lights of New York, where he would feed them richly and dine, take them to Broadway shows, and even get them a gorgeous hotel room, occupied by their chosen girl, for whom Dwyer would pay. ka. When Dwyer was bribed by the Guards, he was told he could earn hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars more than he could employ to protect Dwyer's shipments.

Soon, Dwyer made so much money through bootlegging that he was considered the largest distributor of illegal alcohol in the United States. But Dwyer had one huge problem that he needed help solving. Every time one of his trucks left New York to spread booze to other parts of the country, they were vulnerable to hundreds of hijackers operating throughout the country. Dwyer knew to stop it, he had to bring along partners – Italian mob members and Jewish mobs. As he made millions in profits, Dwyer did not bother about it and could certainly afford to share his wealth. The problem was, Dwyer didn't just consider himself a businessman and wasn't a gangster himself. Dwyer needed someone in the underworld to get the contacts Dwyer needed to continue his business without fear of being hijacked.

Almost accidentally, this person fell directly on Dwyer's lap. In 1924, two shipments of Dwyer were hijacked in New York State. Dwyer relied on his salaried cops to find out who was responsible for the hijacking. Soon Dwyer came back saying that the abductor detainee was an Irishman, Owney Madden, who had grown up in Liverpool, England, before emigrating to New York as a teenager. Madden was a vicious con nicknamed "The Killer" and had once ruled the murderous Gopher gang in the kitchen of Hell.

Dwyer paid all he needed to pay back the charges against Madden, "Get me Owney Madden. I want to talk to him. I've got a business proposal that we need to discuss."

Madden received the word of his benefactor and was expected to meet Dwyer in return. Two men met at Dwyer's office in Loew State House in Times Square. There are no recordings or transcripts of this meeting, but TJ English told Paddy Whacked, the Irish gangster masterpiece, that the conversation between Madden and Dwyer could have gone something like this:

"You have a problem," Madden would have told Dwyer. "Gangsters have gotten them off your trucks like sitting ducks and what are you doing with it?"

"That's why I invited you here."

"You have to arrange shooters and cherry pickers, not to mention bulls (cops) and bolts (politicians)."

"You are right. I need to stop the hijacking. I need a place where I can brew my own home. A shelter for the tiger and the cops. And I need outlets – talk, nightclubs, you name it."

"You need a lot, my friend.

"Are you with me?"

"Give me one reason why."

"I can make you rich."

"Pal, you and I are two peas in a pot."

And that was the start of the New York Irish Mob, which would then connect with Italian and Jewish mobs to control bootlegging business throughout the United States. The grouping of the three ethnic groups was known as "Combine".

Along with Dwyer's millions, Madden watched the establishment of a Phoenix-based grain beverage company on 26th Street and 10th Avenue, right in the heart of Hell's Kitchen, where both Madden and Dwyer had grown up. This red brick building, which covered the entire block, was originally the Clausen & Flanagan brewery, which was set up to produce and sell beer that no true brewer will ever miss. Beer made in Phoenix was called Madden # 1.

Because Dwyer was primarily a behind-the-scenes moneymaker, Madden became an architect who created and nourished their empire. Madden brought former taxi owner Larry Fay to several men who needed to sell Madden's No. 1, in addition to a number of high-end establishments, plus all the scotch, rum, vodka, cognac and champagne the smuggler brought in. city. One of these locations was El Fay at 107 West 54th Street.

El Fay's main attraction was Texas Guinan, an obscene cabaret singer / comedian who was later copied by May West. To attract Guinan to work in El Fay, Madden and Dwyer made a partner from Guinan. Guinan was famous for his crackers, which he wound out between the clips or holes in the whistle as he sat in the main room on a high stool. Guinan's signature statement was "Hello Sucker". So he welcomed all El Fay customers in good health.

As the singer or dancer ended her performance at El Fey, Guinan admonished the crowd: "Give the little lady a great big hand!"

One day, El Fey was attacked by a supporter who couldn't be bought by Madden or Dwyer. He marched to Guinan, put a hand on his shoulder, and said to his fellow agent, "Give the little lady a great big handcuff."

Dwyer did what he did best, Guinan was released from prison, and El Fey soon jumped again, really making everyone very rich.

Madden and Dwyer also partnered with former bootlegger Sherman Billingsley at the very fashionable Stork Club East-53. on the street. Two Irish gangsters spread their wings in northern Manhattan when they bought Club De Luxe from former heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson. They added Big Frenchy De Mange as their operating partner and changed their name to a cotton club. At the Cotton Club, De Mange established an "Only White" admissions policy despite waiters, dancers and keynote speakers like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Nicholas. Brothers, they were all black.

Nevertheless, the Cotton Club was wildly successful with downtown big spenders putting tons of cash in Dwyer and Madden's pockets.

In 1925, Dwyer was arrested for attempting to bribe members of the Coast Guard during a needle operation led by the Prohibition Authority. Dwyer was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, but was released after 13 months for good behavior. Since Dwyer was wiping, Frank Costello took over Dwyer's bootlegging business.

While in prison, Dwyer said desperately to one of his roommates. "I wish I had never seen a whiskey case. I spent years of my life in daily fear, always waiting for me to be arrested, always dealing with scams and double cuts, and now look at me. My wife is heartbroken and worse than broken."

As we see, this was not really the truth.

When Dwyer hit the streets again, he withdrew from bootlegging business, leaving the rum operation to Costello and Madden. As time went on, Dwyer began investing in legitimate business, especially sports teams.

In 1926, boxing professor Tex Rickard called on Dwyer to buy the National Hockey League's Hamilton Tigers. Dwyer did so, and he moved his team to the New York Madison Square Garden and renamed them New York Americans. As clever as Dwyer was in running a boot trade company, he was just as foolish as running a hockey team. With his cash-strapped pockets, Dwyer's winning strategy was basically overpaying for everyone on the team. As the average hockey player earned between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000 a year, Dwyer gave Billy Burch a three-year, $ 25,000 contract. Shorty Green also gained a huge boost when Dwyer signed a $ 5,000 annual contract with him.

Being an old scam, Dwyer took an active part in leading his team, even going so far as to try to play games. Dwyer paid the goalkeepers his team to score when the pendant simply touched the goal line instead of passing through the goal line completely, which was the rule.

During a game in the Madison Square Garden in 1927, the goalkeeper, who had Dwyer in his pocket, began to chase Ottawa goalkeeper Alex Connell for some reason. Connell replied by pushing his hockey stick into the goalie's nose. Dwyer was inspired by the actions of the Ottawa goalkeeper (you can't handle one of Dwyer's staff) and Connell was told to leave town soon after the game. The police unit took Connell to the train station and protected him until the train was safely out of town. After leaving the train station, the man asked Connella if he was Alex Connell, the Ottawa goalkeeper. Connell feared for his life, said a stranger no. And as a result, he became the goalkeeper for other hockey games.

Removing the league rule of not having two hockey teams, Dwyer bought the NHL Pittsburgh Pirates in 1929, using former lightweight boxing champion Benny Leonard as his chairman. In 1930, Dwyer also put his fisted fingers on the newly created National Football League, buying Dayton triangles for $ 2,500. Dwyer moved the team to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn and renamed them the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Over three years, Dwyer started losing so much money by overpaying all his players that he sold the Brooklyn Dodgers to two former New York giant footballers, Chris Cagle and John Simms for $ 25,000. Although he sold the team ten times what he had paid, Dwyer said he still valued the team for $ 30,000 over three years.

In 1934, when he filled American sports teams (he still owned New York Americans, but they were bleeding money), Dwyer bought the famous Tropical Park horse racing track in Miami, Florida.

But Dwyer fell on the roof when he was accused of gambling in 1935. Dwyer beat the case, but then the government did to him what they did to Al Capone: they beat him on charges of tax evasion. These accusations stalled and Dwyer was seized of all his property, except the New York Americans, and a house in Belle Harbor, Queens. Almost effortlessly, Dwyer had no more money to stay afloat in New York.

In 1937, the National Hockey League temporarily took control of New York Americans. To show the NHL that it was financially solvent, Dwyer borrowed $ 20,000 from Red Dutton. Instead of paying his team salary, Dwyer decided to try to multiply his money in craps. It didn't go too well when Dwyer broke out and lost all twenty big ones. As the NHL was unable to pay its team and no longer raise capital, the NHL finally opened up Dwyer and took control of the New York Americans. Broken and desperate, Dwyer went home to her Belle Harbor.

On December 10, 1943, Big Bill Dwyer, the "King of Rummers", died at the age of 63. Dwyer was allegedly troubled at the time of his death. His only property was a roof over his head.