Dutch Schultz

Dutch Schultz

Original Name Arthur Flegenheimer
Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Death 24 Oct 1935 (aged 34)
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 932 · View Source
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American Gangster, Bootlegger, and Murderer. Born in the Bronx, New York as Arthur Simon Flegenheimer to German Jewish immigrants, he later became known as Dutch Schultz. When he was in his early teens his father left the family, he dropped out of school and began his career as a burglar, quickly escalating into illegal gambling. He was enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census, as 18 year old Arthur Flegenheimer, inmate of the New Hampton Farms Reformatory having been arrested at age 17 for burglary. In spite of a life of crime this was the only time he was imprisoned. When released from prison he took up bootlegging and associated with both Lucky Luciano and Legs Diamond. Over time his rivals in crime became Legs Diamond and Vincent Coll. By 1930 he was targeted by both the Internal Revenue Service and New York Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey. He had built up his business of selling beer in New York, intimidating saloon owners into buying only from him, going so far as to kidnap and torture Joe Rock, a saloon owner who refused to buy from the Schultz gang. Allegedly the gang beat Rock and hung him by his thumbs from a meat hook and wrapped a gauze bandage smeared with gonorrhea infected discharge over his eyes. Ultimately Rock’s family paid $35,000 ransom, he was released and went blind. The Schultz gang soon expanded into Manhattan which led to full out gang war with the Jack “Leggs” Diamond gang. Diamond was killed 1931, by one of the members of the Schultz gang. The ensuing gang war finally ended when Vincent Coll was killed in 1932. Around this time Schultz expanded into illegal gambling, operating slot machines and a type of lottery carefully controlled by a strategy devised by his accountant, Otto Berman, so there were very few winners. The gambling racket netted Schultz a multimillion-dollar-a-month tax free income. The authorities finally indicted him in 1933 on a tax charge. He hid out for months and finally surrendered in 1934, he was tried twice, the first trial ended with a hung jury and he was acquitted in the second. New York Mayor Fiorello la Guardia was so enraged by the acquittal that he banished Schultz from the city, so he moved his operations across the river to Newark, New Jersey. In 1935 he was indicted on Federal Tax charges. Thomas E. Dewey had to give up his plan to prosecute Schultz for his illegal gambling crimes. He planned to assissinate Dewey, blaming him for his legal problems, but he was creating too much trouble for the other gangs and they enlisted the hit squad Murder, Inc. to kill him before he could kill Dewey. He and four of his gang members were shot down at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey on 23 October 1935. He survived emergency surgery but died of peritonitis 22 hours later, age 33 years and 2 months. After his death it was not possible to prove he had married any of the four women who claimed to be his wife. He had an estimated $7 million when he died, supposedly buried in an airtight waterproof safe in upstate New York. The safe has never been found.

Bio by: Gail Campbell Schulte

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 932
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dutch Schultz (6 Aug 1901–24 Oct 1935), Find A Grave Memorial no. 932, citing Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .