Monday, October 01, 2018

Number 2240: Kill Dutch!

Prohibition-era gangster’s name, Dutch Schultz, was an alias. His birth name was Arthur Flegenheimer. Would his life and criminal career be remembered today if he had kept the name Arthur Flegenheimer? (Rhetorical question.)

This version of Schultz’s career, unlike most crime comics biographies of famous gangsters, is fairly accurate. A couple of names are changed, and it doesn't mention Schultz’s famous stream-of-consciousness babble on his deathbed (which was transcribed, becoming famous on its own). During Prohibition Schultz teamed up with a speakeasy owner named Joey Noe. The story shows the Joey Noe-Dutch Schultz gang hanging a rival gangster, Joe Rock (called Ricci in the story) by his thumbs. The Dutch Schultz biography in Wikipedia gives a chilling description of the torture: “They beat [Rock] and hung him by his thumbs from a meat hook and then allegedly wrapped a gauze bandage smeared with discharge from a gonorrhea infection over his eyes His family reportedly paid $35,000 and he was released. Shortly after his return, he went blind. From then on, the Noe-Schultz gang met little opposition as they expanded to control the beer supply for the entire Bronx.”

The story appeared in Fox’s Murder Incorporated #3 (1948). There are no credits for the story or artwork, although it is signed B/S.

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