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|New York|  Gang - The White Hand Gang

Birth: Early 1900s

Death: 1925












The White Hand Gang was a collection of the various Irish gangs operating on the New York Brooklyn and Red Hook waterfront from the early 1900s to 1925 organizing against the growing dominance of the Italian Black Hand (known as Le Mano Nera). The gang primarily collected tributes from incoming and outgoing barge and warf owners as well as forced payment of longshoreman. The gang was known to be particularly violent often with members killing each other contributing to their unstable leadership as one member of the gang would murder the "dock boss" and would in turn be killed by another member continuing in an endless cycle. The most prominent of these bosses was "Wild" Bill Lovett, who had replaced former leader Dinny Meehan. Meehan was shot and killed while sleeping in his home with his wife at his side. Lovett aggressively confronted the Black Hand until his death on November 1, 1923 while passed out at a bar after being shot several times (possibly by Vincenzo Mangano and Johnny Guistra) before Sicilian assassin Willie "Two Knife" Altierri killed Lovett with a meat cleaver.

Lovett's brother-in-law Richard "Peg Leg" Lonergan, who had become leader before Lovett was killed, began an even more aggressive attack against Frankie Yale's organisation (which included Vincent Mangano and Joe Adonis) who began moving in on the White Hand waterfront. On December 27, 1925 White Hand members, led by Lonergan, entered the Adonis Social Club, a speakeasy owned by Yale. Frankie was tipped off but his guest of the evening, Al Capone, decided to go on with the party while expecting Longergan and his crew. When Lonergan and his White Handers eventually stepped in they were suprised by Capone and were all instantly murdered on the scene. The bloodbath was called the Adonis Massacre. It also showed Capone's power even when he was not in Chicago. The White Hand gang is believed to have died with Lonergan that evening on 1925. (Although there were probably some more members who continued the gang, but never regained its power).


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