this day in crime history: october 25, 1957


On this day in 1957, mob chieftain Albert Anastasia was gunned down while getting a haircut in New York City. Anastasia, born Umberto Anastasio in Calabria, Italy, was head of what would come to be known as the Gambino crime family. His resume also included being “Lord High Executioner” of the mob hit squad that had been dubbed Murder, Inc.

On the morning of October 25th, Anastasia arrived at the Park Sheraton hotel to get a haircut. After he sat down in the barber chair, his bodyguard conveniently went for a stroll. Minutes later, two gunmen walked into the barber shop and shot Anastasia several times. The killers walked out the door and disappeared into mid-morning traffic.

The killers were never caught, and several of Anastasia’s former allies–including his underboss, Carlo Gambino–were thought to be behind the hit. The Park Sheraton, back when it was known as the Park Central, was also the place where gambler Arnold Rothstein (architect of the 1919 Black Sox scandal) was murdered in 1928.

Further reading:

American Mafia History – Albert Anastasia

FBI – Albert Anastasia

Utica Observer-Dispatch (October 25, 1957) – Killers Cut Down Albert Anastasia In Barber’s Chair

7 thoughts on “this day in crime history: october 25, 1957

  1. According to the newspaper story, “the startled barbers” could not give a description of the killers. It should have read “the smart barbers”.


  2. Many years ago there was a book written about the sad and untimely demise of Joey Gallo. That book quoted Gallo as saying that he was part of a “barbershop quartet,” obviously taking credit for the Anastasia hit. Of course, he was called Crazy Joey for a reason, so his word isn’t definitive.


  3. John D.:
    This is always one of those great mob-hit stories.
    I’m just surprised that none of the barbers had a hand in it.
    (talk about your CLOSE-SHAVES…heh)


    Good post.

    Roll safe out there.


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