||New York| Harry Maione
Birth: 1908 - New York
Death: February 19, 1942 - Sing Sing Prison
Harry "Happy" Maione was an Italian-American hitman for Murder, Inc. (the enforcement arm of the National Crime Syndicate) during the 1930s. His nickname was given to him because he never smiled and his face displayed an eternal scowl. Maione was head of the Ocean Hill Hooligans, an Italian street gang in the Ocean Hill section of Brooklyn, New York. His underling in this group was Frank Abbandando.
Maione and Abbandando helped Abe Reles and Martin Goldstein exact revenge on the Shapiro brothers (Meyer, Irving, and William) in 1931 for trying to kill the two Jewish hoods and for abducting and raping Reles' girlfriend and future wife. The two Italians were hoping to get a piece of the Shapiro holdings in return. Maione, Abbandando, Reles, and Goldstein then banded together and created Brooklyn, Inc., the forerunner to Murder, Inc. When joined by other killers, such as Harry Strauss, Emanuel Weiss, Albert Tannenbaum, Seymour Magoon, Louis Capone (not related to Al Capone), Charles Workman, and Vito Gurino. The group started picking up contracts for the National Crime Syndicate through Syndicate "board of directors" member Joe Adonis, who was an associate of Salvatore Luciano. Brooklyn, Inc. soon became the official murder-for-hire squad of the Syndicate, and began to be dubbed "Murder, Inc." by the press.
Maione acted as the Italian liaison to the Jewish killers of the faction; Reles was his counterpart on the Jewish side. They operated under the direction of the brutal Louis Buchalter and the nefarious Albert Anastasia. When Buchalter was being targeted by New York District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey starting in the mid-1930s, he waged an all-out war of extermination to eliminate potential witnesses Dewey could use. Murder, Inc. played a major role in this campaign, rubbing out anyone that "Lepke" even suspected of being an informant. Loan shark George Rudnick was one such victim; he was killed by Maione, Frank Abbandando, and Harry Strauss on 11 May 1937. When Abe Reles became an informant for the state in 1940, he implicated Maione in the horrific slaying of Rudnick. He reported that when the three hitmen had tried to get the "dead" Rudnick into their car after supposedly killing him, he suddenly coughed, and was apparently still alive. Strauss began hacking away at the body of the victim with an ice pick, Maione putting the final exclamation point on the murder by sinking a meat cleaver into Rudnick's skull. Reles' information was enough for Maione to be sentenced to death for first-degree murder. He was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing in February 19, 1942. Murder, Inc. Stopped existing somewhere in the early 1950's, about the same time Albert Anastasia became boss of the Mangano Family.
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