Wednesday, February 16, 2005

From Hell's heart, Lulu Rosenkrantz stabs at Ma Bell

My internet browser is set up to pop up a random Wikipedia page every time I start it up (you can do this by making your home page). Today, the entry on Jewish gangster Abe Landau popped up. I was caught by this section about the slaying of Landau, Dutch Schultz, Otto Berman and Lulu Rosenkrantz by hitmen working for Murder Inc.:
Shortly after Workman had fled, the bathroom door flew open and Dutch Schultz, clutching his side, staggered out, not wanting to be found dead with his pants unzipped on the floor of a men's room. He picked up his hat, staggered back to his seat, sat down, and slumped over the table. He called for someone to get an ambulance; Rosenkrantz dutifully pulled himself to his feet, and rather than go immediately to the phone booth near the bar, he demanded that the bartender-- who had hid behind the register the entire duration of the shootout-- change his quarter for five nickels; Rosenkrantz didn't want the phone company getting twenty more cents than they were owed. Rosenkrantz deposited a quarter and called for an ambulance before collapsing against the wall of the phone booth.
In other words, unless this was a final act of spite as part of some longstanding vendetta against the phone company that we're not hearing about, Rosenkrantz's dying act was to affirm the stereotype of Jews as cheapskates.

I don't even know what to say about this.


Blogger bill said...

Remember that these were depression days when it was hard, even for some mobsters, to make a quarter. And a quarter then was comparable to a fin today. Not many people would throw away four bucks today.

3/21/2009 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ike said...

My mother was LuLu's first cousin. I'm not particularly PROUD of the man, but he IS the only INTERESTING member of my family tree (other than a late 18th Century Jewish theologian on my father's side)

If you do some searching, you will find multiple versions of the massacre at the Chop House. One of them even has Dutch gunned down dead in the toilet. Basically, that's the one used in the book "Tough Jews".

A newspaper account from the period was reproduced somewhere, which was probably more accurate. Dutch and Lulu, both with over 10 bullets in them, struggled to the bar. One of them demanded the bar phone to call the police, the other asked for change to call for an ambulance.

Since both men lived about 24 hours before death, and neither revealed the identity of the gunmen (who they had actually shot, and so were caught - the other account makes it sound like they were sitting ducks), their act seems more like an act of bravado. "See, we're so tough we can call for the police and ambulances ourselves. If we demand change, the bartender will remember that detail."

One website has LuLu's morgue photo - with all those bullet wounds. Yet he lived almost a day with them.

The account you mentioned is part of the WINNING gang's campaign to malign their memories. The winners always get to write history. In this case, they re-wrote it to make Dutch and LuLu into clowns and cowards.

But then, maybe they DID hate the phone company - lots of people did and do!

8/22/2010 05:58:00 PM  

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