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Murder, Inc.

Murder, Inc., name given to the band of professional killers who operated (1930–40) throughout the United States as the enforcement arm of the Syndicate, composed of the national heads of organized crime. Originally a gang of neighborhood thugs in Brooklyn, N.Y., they soon came to the attention of Louis (Lepke) Buchalter, a member of the Syndicate, who extended their activities to the national scene. With Albert Anastasia, allegedly the connection between the Troop, as the gunmen of Murder, Inc., were called, and the Syndicate, the band committed well over a hundred murders. They continued their criminal acts for years, allegedly protected by politicians, and it was not until the late 1930s with the investigations of Thomas E. Dewey that their existence came to public notice. Law-enforcement authorities led (1940–41) an assault on Murder, Inc.; it resulted in numerous convictions and several executions, including that of Buchalter. However, the mysterious death of Abe (Kid Twist) Reles, chief killer of Murder, Inc., and the state's star witness, hampered the prosecution.

See B. Turkus and S. Feder, Murder, Inc. (1951, repr. 1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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