In the late twenties of the last century, gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky set up the National Crime Syndicate. Organized crime needed a mechanism to keep anarchy from breaking out within its ranks between various gangs and factions. Operating out of a 24 hour candy store in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Murder, Inc. ( the name was a newspaper invention) provided this mechanism. Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter and Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia were the leaders of Murder, Inc.
The Syndicate, by majority vote, would order the slaying of an unruly gangster and Murder, Inc would carry it out. The hitmen of Murder, Inc. operated under strict guidlines. No innocent bystanders were to be killed. No hits could be ordered against judges, police or prosecuting attorneys for fear of reprisals from law enforcement.
Over the years Murder, Inc. murdered some 800 fellow gangsters. In 1940 the downfall of the murder enterprise began when Murder, Inc. killer Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles, turned informant in order to save himself from the electric chair. Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter died in the chair in Sing Sing in 1944, after the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal which raised, among other issues, the contention of Buchalter that lurid press coverage had tainted the jury. Other Murder, Inc. members swiftly followed “The Judge” down the last mile. Albert “The Madhatter” Anastasia would have followed in their footsteps but for the tragic “accidental” death of Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles when he fell from room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island. In the gang world he was ever after known as “The Canary that sung but couldn’t fly.” However, with the attention of law enforcement focused upon it, Murder, Inc. could no longer function and it ceased to exist except as a gangland legend.
Based upon this grim record I hope you can see why it is necessary for me to apologize—to Murder, Inc.
– See more at: An Apology by Donald R. McClarey