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|New York|  Martin Goldstein

Birth: 1905

Death: June 12, 1941











Martin "Buggsy" Goldstein was a leading member of the Murder Inc. organization which killed in order of the mob and was based in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

The Combination
Martin Goldstein was born in 1905 in Brooklyn to Jewish parents. At a young age he met and befriended Abe Reles, a fellow jew and Brooklyn native. To earn some extra bucks both began robbing stores and appartments. He earned his nickname "Buggsy" by being unpredictable, violent and even a bit crazy. Both men then came in contact with the Shapiro brothers in Brooklyn and started working for them. However, Lepke Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro, who were also involved in the garment industry, moved in on their rackets. Since Reles had a fallback with the Shapiro brothers they sided with Buchalter.

During an ambush made by the Shapiro brothers both Reles and Goldstein were shot and wounded, but survived the attack. In July 1931 Irving Shapiro was murdered and 2 months later his brother Meyer was also killed by Joseph and Louis Amberg, 2 former partners of the Shapiro's. A third brother, William, went into hiding and although he didn't cause no more problems, Goldstein and Reles killed him anyhow in 1934. They had kidnapped the 23 year old, beaten and stabbed him and eventually buried him alive. They were ruthless and fitted just well inside "the Combination". The gang, led by Louis Buchalter, soon came to the attention of the New York Mafia, in particular the Brooklyn based Mangano family. The "Combination", or "Murder Inc." as it was dubbed by the press, became a Mangano family branch of killers, supervised by Albert Anastasia.

Rackets and murder
In 1935 Buggsy Goldstein and Harry Strauss were arrested for their involvement in the murder of former member Louis Amberg, but were freed again not much later. They however were ordered to leave the city for a while and moved to Boston - Chicago. One year later Goldstein and his bodyguard Seymour "Blue Jaw" Magoon were arrested again for operating a painting racket in schools in Brooklyn and Queens, worth up to $2.000.000. In 1939 they were eventually cleared of those charges.

Throughout the 1930's the Combination was frequently used by several Mafia families to carry out murders accross the nation. Hundreds of murders were attributed to the gang. In September 5, 1939, Goldstein and Harry Strauss for instance murdered Irving "Puggy" Feinstein. They had led Feinstein to the house of Abe Reles where they ambushed him. During the attack Feinstein bit the finger of Strauss and angered as he was they therefore descided to stretch Feinsteins death a little bit. They got a rope and looped it around his neck and feet. The man was suffocating with every movement he made and was eventually stabbed and burned to death.

In 1940 Abe Reles was arrested and descided to avoid the death penalty by talking to the police. Goldstein and Harry Strauss were subsequently charged with the murder of Irving Feinstein. Several other members who got arrested also chose to follow Reles' footsteps and became a federal witness, amongst them was Goldsteins bodyguard Seymour Magoon. At one point during the trials Goldstein snapped when Magoon testified against him. He stood up in tears and yelled "For God's sake Seymour, that's some story you're telling... You're burning me, Seymour". Both Strauss and Goldstein were eventually found guilty of murder and were executed at Sing Sing prison on June 12, 1941.

(Source: "The Canary Sang But Couldn't Fly" By Edmund Elmaleh, "Life magazine" September 30, 1940; "Freed in Amberg slaying" NYtimes December 10, 1935; www.j-grit.com)


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