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|New York|  Biff Ellison

Birth: 1862

Death: 1920's












James T. "Biff" Ellison was an early New York gangster and member of the Five Points Gang. He had first come into prominence in the gang after assaulting police officer Jeremiah Murphy in Sharkey's, a Fourteenth Street saloon, and was so severely beaten that he was left in a hospital for four weeks. As a result, Ellison was convicted of first degree assault in 1902. He was closely affiliated with Jack Sirocco and largely took part during the gangs war against the Monk Eastman Gang during the early 1900s. Sirocco however defected to the rival Monk Eastman gang which led to disagreements between Ellison and gang leader Paul Kelly.

Somewhere in early 1900's Biff Ellison got in charge of the Gopher Gang and in 1909 he and three other men including Razor Reilly and Jimmy Kelly attempted to kill then Five Points gang leader Paul Kelly, in order of taking over the organization. Although Kelly was able to escape from Ellison and Hogan, his bodyguard Harrington was killed in the crossfire. He was tried before the Criminal Branch of the New York Supreme Court and later convicted of first degree manslaughter on June 8, 1911. (Other sources however claim that Ellison was murdered in retaliation of his attempt on Paul Kelly life : mobsters.8m.com)

The trial itself, in which gang members Pat Hogan and George Wetzel testified against Kelly, saw around fifty members of the "James Kelly" gang and 75 members of the Five Points Gang were in attendance. Concerned whether their presence might influence the verdict, they were later forced to leave. During the trial, Ellison made threats to a court officer regarding Hogan as well as prosecutors stating that he would't rest "..until those prosecuting guys has got theirs." if he was found guilty. Ellison reputedly went mad in prison and was committed to an insane asylum where he died in the 1920s.


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