The Mob Whacks Dutch to Protect a Lawman

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Today in History, October 23: 1935 – The Chophouse Massacre. Gangster and racketeer Dutch Schultz and several of his crew are gunned down in his “headquarters”, the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey by 2 hit men from Murder, Inc. I find the interesting part of the story in why he was killed, and the future of another man involved. Schultz had been prosecuted twice by a very talented and aggressive US Prosecutor, Thomas Dewey. Schultz had gone to his fellow Mafioso and sought permission to assassinate Dewey. When they declined, afraid the full weight of national law enforcement would be brought to bear on them, Schultz was furious and made plans to kill Dewey anyway. That’s when the decision was made that Schultz had to be eliminated. Schultz’s death and Dewey’s survival meant that Dewey would become the NY DA, NY Governor, and would run for President 3 times. In 1948 it was so much assumed he would win that the Chicago Tribune ran the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman”, a paper that the real victor, Truman, held up for a famous photo…relegating crusading prosecutor Thomas Dewey, known for his photographic mind that helped him tear apart suspects on the stand, who so angered the Mafia that they wanted to kill him, to a punchline for most. This is why I like finding the links in history

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