Mobsters – Big Bill Dwyer – King of the Rum Runners

He started out as a simple doctor worker, greatly magnified himself in bullying, and was also known as the "King of the Ruma Runners." Big Bill Dwyer made so much money, he partnered with famous gangsters at several New York nightclubs. Dwyer also owned two professional hockey teams, including the New York Americans, and he owned the Brooklyn Dodgers football team. However, in the end, when Big Bill Dwyer passed away, he died in the middle of the light and the apartment broke.

William Vincent Dwyer was born in 1883 in the Hells Kitchen area on the west side of New York. Two gangs, the Hudson Dusters and the Gophers, ruled the hellish kitchen at the time, but Dwyer avoided joining both gangs and instead took a job at the docks as stevedores for International Debt Debt (ILU). ).

While working on the docks, Dwyer started his own bookmaking operation. After the Volstead Act was passed in 1919, prohibiting the distribution of alcohol, with the money he earned from bookmakers, Dwyer branched out into the bookmaker business. Dwyer bought a fleet of steel speedboats, each with a machine gun mounted, in case thieves try to hijack the shipment. Dwyer also purchased several large rum launch ships that were needed to get the illegal hull off any ship that supplies it.

Dwyer traveled to Canada, England and the Caribbean to make connections with those who sold him the alcohol he needed to smuggle into the US. Then Dwyer established a system whereby his ships would meet ships that supplied him with alcohol, many miles in the sea. There, the market was transferred to the Dwyer ships and then quickly transported to the Dwyer speedboats, which were closer to the New York coast.

The cast landed at the docks, protected by Local 791 of the ILU, of which Dwyer was a charter member. With the dock, alcohol was moved to several warehouses in the New York area. When the time came, trucks beaten with illegal alcohol and protected by convoys of team members transported loot across the country: with heavy shipments moving to Florida, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati and beyond as New Orleans.

Dwyer was able to smuggle large quantities of liquor into New York City because he knew one simple fact: you had to bribe the police and the Coast Guard if you wanted to be successful in starting a car. And so did Dwyer, handing out thousands of dollars to the one who needed to be greased.

Paying off New York City police officers was easy. Officers who did not have a hand for the vaccination money were among only a few. However, Dwyer was particularly adept at hiring Coast Guard members to look the other way when his speedboats entered New York waters.

Dwyer's first contact was a petty Olsen Coast Guard officer. Across Olsen, Dwyer met a bunch of coast guards, the "Guard" called them, who might be willing to receive a bribe. Dwyer would bring these Guardians into the bright lights of New York, where they would be fed lavish meals, taken to Broadway shows and even brought them a light hotel room, occupied by a lady of their choice, for which Dwyer would also pay. Once Guardie received a bribe from Dwyer, he was informed that he could earn hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars more if he could enlist other Guardies to help protect Dwyer's shipments.

Soon Dwyer made so much money through rebellion, which was considered the largest distributor of illegal alcohol in the entire United States. However, Dwyer did have one huge problem, which he needed help solving. Whenever one of his trucks left New York to distribute liquor to other parts of the country, they were vulnerable to being caught by hundreds of hijackers operating across the country. Dwyer knew how to prevent this from happening, which he had to do with partners – members of the Italian Mafia and the Jewish Mafia. Being made in the millions of earnings, Dwyer didn't mind and could certainly afford to share the fortune. The problem was that Dwyer considered himself only a businessman and not even a gangster. Dwyer needed someone from the underworld who could make contacts Dwyer needed to continue acting without fear of being abducted.

Almost by accident, that person fell straight into Dwyer's lap. In 1924, two stolen Dwyer shipments were hijacked in federal New York. Dwyer leaned on the cops on his payroll to find out who was responsible for the abductions. Word soon returned to Dwyer that the perpetrator, who was arrested for the abductions, was none other than Owney Madden, an Irishman who grew up in Liverpool, England, before emigrating to New York. Madden was known as "The Slayer" and once ruled the Gopher killer gang in the kitchen of Hell.

Dwyer paid whoever he had to pay to get the charges dropped against Madden, with the command, "Call me, Owney Madden. I want to talk to him. I have a business proposal we need to talk about."

Madden has received news of who his benefactor is and in return is expected to meet with Dwyer. The two men met at Dwyer's office in Loew's State Building in Times Square. There is no recording or transcript of this meeting, but TJ English, in his masterpiece on Irish gangsters called Paddy Whacked, said the conversation between Madden and Dwyer may have gone something like this:

"You have a problem," Madden would tell Dwyer. "Gangsters steal your trucks like sitting ducks and what are you going to do about it?"

"That's why I called you here."

"You have to organize the shooters and the cherry pickers, not to mention the bulls (cops) and half-beaters (politicians)."

"You're right. I need kidnappings to stop. I need a place to grow my own here in town. Tiger and copper are protected. And I need places – booths, nightclubs, 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 pod."

And that was the start of the New York Mafia Irish, who would then unite with the Italian and Jewish mafia to control the bookmaking business across the United States. The grouping of three ethnic mafias was known as the "Combination."

With millions of Dwyer, Madden oversaw the creation of the Phoenix beverage company, located at 26th Street and 10th Avenue, right in the heart of Hell's Kitchen, where both Madden and Dwyer grew up. This red-brick building, which consisted of a whole block, was originally a Clausen & Flanagan brewery, created to produce and sell beers in the vicinity, which no true beer drinker would ever let go of. The beer made in Phoenix was called Madden No1.

With Dwyer basically behind-the-scenes money, Madden became the architect who created and nurtured their empire. Madden brought in a former taxi company owner named Larry Fay as the head of several high-end establishments that were needed to sell Madden no. 1, plus all the whiskey, rum, vodka, cognac and champagne smuggled into town by the Combine. One such place was El Fay at 107 Street, West 54th Street.

The main attraction on El Fay was Texas Guinan, a cheeky cabaret / comedy singer, later copied by May West. To get Guinan to work in El Fay, Madden and Dwyer made Guinan a partner. Guinan was known for her sages, who were torn between a rocking chair or a rocking chair while she sat in a high chair in the main room. Guinana's signature banner was "Hello Sucker", thus welcoming all well-heeled El Fay customers.

When the singer or dancer completed their performance in El Fey, Guinan would persuade the assembled to "give the little lady a big hand!"

One day, a restraining agent, unable to buy Madden or Dwyer, attacked El Fey. He approached Guinan, put her hand on her shoulder, and told his fellow agent, "Give the little lady a big fox."

Dwyer did the best he could, Guinan was released from prison, and El Fey soon jumped again, making everyone involved truly rich.

Madden and Dwyer also partnered with former bookmaker Sherman Billingsley at the very modern Stork Club on East 53rd Street. Two Irish gangsters spread their wings to the north of Manhattan when they bought Club De Luxe from former heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. They have invested Big Frenchy De Mange as their operating partner and changed their name to Cotton Club. At Cotton Club, De Mange established a Whites Only acceptance policy, despite the fact that waiters, dancers and head entertainers, such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and Nicholas Brothers, were are all black.

Still, the Cotton Club has had great success with big expenses from downtown, putting a ton of money into the pockets of Dwyer and Madden.

Dwyer was arrested in 1925 for attempting to bribe a Coast Guard officer during a coup strike led by the Prohibition Bureau. Dwyer was sentenced to two years in prison but released after 13 months for good behavior. With Dwyer in the can, Frank Costello took over Dwyer with the bookies.

While in prison, a desperate Dwyer told one of his friends in a cell. "I wish I had never seen a case of whiskey. I spent years in my daily fears for my life, always expecting to be arrested, always dealing with fraud and double canopy, and now look at me. My wife is heartbroken and I'm up than cracked. "

As we shall see, this was not exactly true.

When Dwyer took to the streets again, he quit the blow job, leaving the Romanian operation to Costello and Madden. To pass his time, Dwyer began investing in legitimate businesses, especially sports teams.

In 1926, boxing promoter Tex Rickard tricked Dwyer into buying 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 smart as Dwyer ran the boat, he is just as stupid in managing the hockey team. His pockets cracked with little money, Dwyer's winning strategy was basically overpaying everyone on his team. With an average hockey player earning between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000 a year, Dwyer gave Billy Burc a three-year, $ 25,000 contract. Shorty Green also received a huge raise when Dwyer awarded him a $ 5,000 a year contract.

Being an old rogue at heart, Dwyer took an active part in managing his team, even going so far as to try and set up games. Dwyer paid the umpires to the goalkeepers to rule that his team scored if it touched the goal line instead of switching the goal line completely, which is the rule.

At the 1927 match at Madison Square Garden, the goaltender judge, who had Dwyer in his pocket, began mocking Ottawa goalie Alex Connel for some unknown reason. Connell responded by ending his hockey stick in the referee's naked nose. Dwyer became enraged at the goalkeeper's actions in Ottawa (you do not manage one of Dwyer's employees), and Connell was told to quickly leave town after the game. A police detail took Connel to the train station and protected him until the train was safely out of town. After the train left the station, the man asked Connel if he was Ottawa goalie Alex Connell. Connell feared for his life and told the stranger no. And as a result, the goalie of other hockey games lived.

Bypassing the league rule that a man cannot own two hockey teams, in 1929, Dwyer, using former lightweight boxing champion Benny Leonard as front man, purchased the NHL Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1930, Dwyer also inserted his skinny fingers into the newly formed National Football League by buying Dayton Triangles for $ 2,500. Dwyer moved the team to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn and renamed them the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In three years, Dwyer, once again overpaying all his players, began to lose so much money, he sold the Brooklyn Dodgers to two former New York Giants football players, Chris Cagle and John Simms, for $ 25,000. Although the team sold 10 times what it paid, Dwyer estimated that in the three years that the team had lost $ 30,000.

In 1934, fulfilling American sports teams (he still owned New York Americans, but they were bleeding money), Dwyer bought the famous tropical equestrian trail in Miami, Florida.

However, the roof fell on Dwyer when he was charged with gambling in 1935. Dwyer beat the case, but then the government did to him what they did to Al Capone: they hit him with tax evasion charges. Those charges remained, and all property was confiscated from Dwyer, except New York Americans, and homes in Belle Harbor, Queens. With almost no money, Dwyer no longer had the money to keep New York's Americans on the air.

1937 The National Hockey League temporarily seizes control of New York Americans. To show the NHL it was financially solvent, Dwyer borrowed $ 20,000 from Red Dutton. However, instead of paying salaries to his team, Dwyer decided to try to multiply his money in a nonsense game. That wasn't too good when Dwyer ran out and lost the whole twenty thousand. Failing to pay for his team and failing to raise more capital, the NHL permanently abandoned Dwyer and took final control of the New Yorkers. Broken and desperate, Dwyer retired to his home in Port Belle.

On December 10, 1943, Big Bill Dwyer, "King of the Ruma Runners," died at the age of 63. Dwyer was reportedly out of money at the time of his death, and his only fortune was a roof over his head.