Friday, April 03, 2009

Lepke Buchalter

It's funny after finishing Paul R. Kavieff's biography of Lepke BuchalterThe Life and Times of Lepke Buchalter: America's Most Ruthless Labor Racketeer I can honestly say that I feel no sympathy for Louis Buchalter. I've felt more sympathy for serial killers than I did for Lepke. It stands to reason though. Lepke could not have been who he was if a wuss like me could identify with him! Let's see...started out as your basic pick pocket. Discovered more money in busting heads for or against labor unions. Discovered the real money was in taking over the businesses that he'd worked for. A lot of times the prior owners were killed or maimed when they protested. On the side he was the CEO of Murder, Inc. a group of hit men who specialised in killing people who displeased the mob. He did it all so well, too. In the end, he was taken down by a ruse conceived by Lucky Luciano and eventually paid the ultimate price for ordering the murder of a hapless trucking company owner he had hounded out of his business and never adequately compensated. Never pays to be cheap.
I've got mixed emotions about this book. I'm not sure if my lack of enthusiasm isn't because hoods aren't thieves.