this day in crime history: october 25, 1957

madhatter

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

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

  1. You’d think your average Lord High Executioner would know that when your bodyguard takes a stroll. or your driver calls in sick, RUN! Unless you’re in a big hurry to assume room temperature.
    Allegedly, Joey Gallo implicitly took credit for this once by claiming to be a member of a “barbershop quartet.” But like most mob hits, we’ll never know for sure.

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    • I tend to believe the Gallo story. His stock went up after that hit. Such are the benefits of doing a favor for Vito Genovese. Of course Gallo wound up on the receiving end of a bullet himself. But I guess that’s an occupational hazard in that line of work.

      In a strange twist, Gallo was murdered in a restaurant called Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy. Albert Anastasia’s birth name was Umberto. But I’m sure that was just a coincidence.

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