Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Legsl* (for Legislat* or Legislac*) = 5

Jack Nolan, more famously known as Legs Diamond, was upstate New York's most celebrated criminal (robber, bootlegger, and generally glam gangster) during the 1920s. It was pretty much inevitable that he would die in a rain of bullets unleashed by another no-goodnik, but he eluded this fate for a very long time. His archenemy, Dutch Schultz, once complained to some fellow gang members: "Ain't there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don't bounce back?" Diamond's uncanny "never say die" quality also gave rise to the nickname "Clay Pigeon of the Underworld." Legs Diamond met his match in 1931 when determined foes tracked him down to a hideout on Dove Street, in Albany, N.Y. It's still unclear who actually shot him or arranged for his "execution"; possibilities include "Dutch Schultz, the Oley Brothers (local thugs), the Albany Police Department, and relatives of Red Cassidy, another Irish gangster at the time," according to Wikipedia. But William Kennedy, founder of the NYS Writers Institute and author of the book O Albany!, says it was the Democratic Party machine and the Albany coppers whodunit. We found five cases of Legsl* (for legislat* or legislac*) in OhioLINK today, and 45 in WorldCat.

(Mug shot of New York mobster Jack Diamond, courtesy of the NYPD and Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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