March 4, 1944
Ossining, New York
American mobster and head of Murder, Inc. Louis “Lepke” Buchalter is executed
Lepke began his life of crime as a teenager, which was when he met Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro. The duo soon established an extortion business. Eventually the two formed a larger gang with Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen and stepped up their criminal activities. The gang hustled unions (both employees and employers), moved bootleg liquor, and imported heroin. Lepke’s share was approximately $500,000 a year.
Lepke and two of his henchmen — Louis Capone and Emmanuel “Mendy” Weiss — were executed for the 1936 murder of Joseph Rosen, a candy shop owner who had been shot 17 times to keep him from testifying against Lepke. The prosecution suggested Lepke ordered the hit, Weiss fired the shots, and Capone organized the escape.
Lepke followed his henchmen in death, leaving no final words.
“Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, the head of Murder, Inc., is executed.” History. November 13, 2009. Updated: March 4, 2019. Accessed: March 4, 2019. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-head-of-murder-inc-is-executed
“Head of Murder Ring Dies In Electric Chair.” Pensacola News Journal. March 6, 1944
“Lepke and His Gangster Pals Electrocuted.” The Los Angeles Times. March 5, 1944