September 10

This Day in History

Crime

Sep 10, 1931:

Crime boss Salvatore Maranazano is murdered

Crime boss Salvatore Maranzano is shot and stabbed to death in New York City by four men working for Charles "Lucky" Luciano, one of the flashiest figures in organized crime. At one time, Luciano was living at the Waldorf Astoria and taking in over a million dollars a year, while declaring only a small income. He was always seen with a Broadway showgirl on his arm, although he reportedly had a fondness for prostitutes in private.

Luciano's main source of income was selling protection to brothels in New York City. He earned his nickname from his luck at picking winning horses. However, Luciano was also lucky with his life.

In October 1929, Luciano was abducted and stabbed in the cheek and throat with an ice pick. Miraculously enough, the weapon missed his jugular vein, and he survived. When prosecutors began to gather evidence against Luciano, he fled to Hot Springs, Arkansas--a city notorious for prostitution. But the authorities managed to catch up with him, and he was extradited to New York to face extortion charges. Luciano, who was subsequently convicted, was saved from a long stretch in prison by the onset of World War II. Because the city's organized crime syndicate still controlled the waterfront at the beginning of the war, authorities struck a deal with Luciano to eliminate potential sabotage of important military operations at the docks. In return, they agreed to deport Lucky to Italy, where he lived out the remainder of his days.

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