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Mobsters – Crazy Butch Gang

Mobsters – Crazy Butch Gang

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Published by Joe Bruno
In the Gay Nineties, Crazy Butch was one of the youngest criminals on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Legend has it that Butch was abandoned by his parents when he was only eight years old, and as a result, Butch lived on the streets and became, what was known at the time, a “street urchin.
In the Gay Nineties, Crazy Butch was one of the youngest criminals on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Legend has it that Butch was abandoned by his parents when he was only eight years old, and as a result, Butch lived on the streets and became, what was known at the time, a “street urchin.

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Published by: Joe Bruno on Sep 21, 2011
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Mobsters – The Crazy Butch GangIn the Gay Nineties, Crazy Butch was one of the youngest criminals on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Legend has it that Butch was abandoned by his parents when he was only eight years old,and as a result, Butch lived on the streets and became, what was known at the time, a “street urchin.”One day, Butch was scrounging on the streets looking for food to eat, when he met a dog, whowas abandoned too. Butch took the dog under his wing and named the dog “Rabbi,” because the dogwas so smart.Butch began teaching Rabbi “tricks,” but not the usual tricks kids would teach their dogs. WhenButch spotted an old lady carrying a handbag, he would tell Rabbi to “Go fetch.” And that Rabbiwould do, by lunging at the handbag and tearing it off the arm of the startled woman. Then Rabbi,handbag tightly in his mouth, would run to the corner of Willett Street and Stanton Street, where Butchwould be waiting. Butch would get the contents of the handbag, and Rabbi would get himself a nice big bone, one of which Butch always kept in his pocket, in case a mark suddenly appeared.Butch and Rabbi were so successful in their stealing, other street urchins started followingthem, so that they could learn the tricks of the trade too. Soon Butch had his own gang of pre-teen andteenage crooks, which he called the “Crazy Butch Gang.”When Butch accumulated enough cash, he bought himself a huge bicycle; not only for transportation, but to be used as an instrument for his next scheme. Butch would peddle the bike on thecrowded streets of lower Manhattan, followed by his gang, and Rabbi. When Butch thought the timewas right, he'd plow his bike into an unsuspecting female pedestrian. Instead of apologizing to thefallen lady, Butch would jump off his bike and begin berated his victim with remarks like, “What areyou blind, or somethin'? You old bag!”Almost immediately, a curious crowd would form a circle around Butch and his victim. Whileunsuspecting onlookers were scoping out the Crazy Butch situation, Butch's gang, ranging from 10 - 15incorrigible kids, would slip though the crowd, picking every pocket in sight. Rabbi would grab hiscustomary handbag, usually from the very person Butch had knocked to the pavement. Then the gangmembers would scatter in different directions. They would meet later at their headquarters, a smallthird-floor apartment on Forsyth Street, to divvy up the profits.As Butch and his gang started getting older and more bolder, they attracted the attention of PaulKelly's Five Points Gangs, which ruled the same neighborhood where Crazy Butch had been pilfering.Apparently, Butch's gang had victimized a few relatives of the Five Points Gang, and it was rumoredthat one of the Five Pointers himself had been pickpocketed by the Crazy Butch Gang.Soon, Butch heard that the Five Pointers were out to get him and his gang, so one summer dayButch decided to test how good his gang's defenses were in their Forsyth Street apartment. Not beingthe brightest of mugs, Butch crept up the stairs, then screaming like a banshee, he busted into hisgang's apartment, firing away with a revolver in each hand. His startled gangs members, most of whomwere taking naps, were totally taken by surprise. One of the gang members, Little Kishky, was sittingon the window sill with the window open. Little Kishky fell backwards out the window to the pavement three floors below. It is not clear if Crazy Butch paid for Little Kishky's hospital expenses.As the Crazy Butch Gang got older, to neutralize the Five Pointers who were constantly after them, Butch's gang joined forces with the 2000-strong Monk Eastman Gang, which was constantly at

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