Schultz's father abandoned the family when Schultz was 14. The event traumatized
Schultz, and throughout his life he would deny that his father had left him, instead telling
people that the elder Flegenheimer was a respectable man and an ideal father who had died
tragically of disease. As a result of the abandonment, Schultz left school to work in order to
support himself and his mother. He ended up apprenticing to low-level mobsters at a neighborhood
night club. He robbed craps games before graduating to burglary, but was caught breaking
into an apartment in the Bronx and arrested.
He spent time in prison on Blackwell's Island
(now known as Roosevelt Island) before the prison staff, unable to deal with him, transferred
him to a work farm called Westhampton Farms, from which he escaped. Schultz was re-captured
shortly thereafter and given an additional two months. Upon his return to the streets, his old
associates dubbed him Dutch Schultz, the name of a deceased strongarm notorious for dirty fighting tactics.
As his power grew, Schultz developed the bizarre tendency to offer houses in Westchester
to police officers as bribes to either kill his enemies or let him escape prosecution.
During the early years of Prohibition, Schultz drove a truck for Arnold Rothstein
before becoming involved with Jack Diamond, through whom he met future Don, Lucky Luciano.
By 1928, Schultz was in business for himself, working as a bootlegger for speakeasy owner
Joey Noe, who quickly became Schultz's best friend and ally. Schultz moved in on rival speakeasies,
forcing the owners to buy his beer or face the consequences. An Irish speakeasy owner named
Joe Rock attempted to fight Schultz, but ended up kidnapped and hung up by his thumbs from a
pair of meathooks. While Rock was suspended, Schultz smeared a piece of gauze with discharge
from a gonorrhea infection and had it taped over Rock's eyes, causing him to go blind.
Around this time, Schultz began to hire on new muscle for his operation including Vincent
"Mad Dog" Coll, with whom he formed a strong bond, Vincent's brother Peter, Abe "Bo"
Weinberg and Abe's brother George. With the extra strength, Schultz and Noe were ready to
move on to bigger things and relocated their operation from the Bronx to Manhattan, placing
them in direct competition with Schultz's former associate Jack Diamond. Diamond responded
by having Joey Noe murdered as he walked out of his speakeasy one night.
Schultz was devastated by the loss and took the matter personally. Shortly after Noe's death,
Jack Diamond's own best friend, Arnold Rothstein, was found murdered; newspapers speculated
that Rothstein had welched on a deal he had made with another gangster, but talk amongst the
underworld suggested that it was a revenge killing perpetrated by Schultz.
Simultaneously, Schultz faced troubles with Mad Dog Coll. Schultz bailed Coll out of jail when he
was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. Coll, in turn, jumped bail, and Schultz was forced
to pay the $10,000 fine. When Coll resurfaced, he demanded that Schultz make him a full partner.
Schultz refused, and Coll left the gang with brother Peter, intent on starting up their own bootlegging venture.
Schultz hid out in the apartment of well-known New York madam Polly Adler for a time
during the war. Soon after, Schultz had Peter gunned down.
Coll in turn murdered four of Schultz's truck drivers and stole their loads.
The Schultz-Coll war reached a head when Coll, in a botched drive-by shooting,
accidentally murdered a five-year-old boy named Michael Vengali. Coll was forced
deep into hiding. Schultz managed to track Coll down to a dilapidated apartment complex.
When Coll left the building on the evening of February 8, 1932 to use a pay phone at a drug
store on West 23rd Street, a trio of Schultz's gunmen (reportedly including Bo Weinberg)
surrounded the phone booth and machine-gunned Coll to death, cutting his body in half
in the process.
With the end of Prohibition, Dutch Schultz sought illegal income elsewhere. His answer came
in two forms: Otto Berman, and the Harlem numbers racket. The numbers racket, the forerunner
of "Pick 3" lotteries, required players to choose three numbers, which were then derived from the
last number before the decimal in the odds at the racetrack. Otto Berman, nicknamed
"Abbadabba," was a middle-aged accounting whiz who aligned himself with Schultz. In a matter
of seconds, Berman was able to mentally calculate the minimum amount of money Schultz
would need to bet at the track at the last minute in order to alter the odds, thereby ensuring that
he always controlled which numbers won.
Along with the policy rackets, Schultz began extorting New York restaurant owners and workers.
Through strong-arm tactics such as ballot-box-stuffing, beatings, and stink bomb attacks, Schultz
coalesced all local unions under his Metropolitan Restaurant & Cafeteria Owners Association.
A large, hulking gangster named Julius Modgilewsky, aka Julie Martin, was his point man in this
operation. Martin successfully extracted thousands of dollars of tributes and "dues" from the terrified
During Schultz's tax trial, he began to suspect that Martin was skimming from the shakedown
operation, as Otto Berman had discovered a $70,000 disparity in the books. Escorted by Bo
Weinberg and Dixie Davis, Julie Martin was lured by Schultz to a meet at the Harmony Hotel in
Cohoes, New York on the evening of March 2, 1935. In quite a belligerent mood, Martin denied
Berman's charges and began arguing with his employer. Both he and Schultz were drinking heavily
as the debate wore on, and things really took an ugly turn after Schultz sucker-punched Martin,
who finally insisted that he had stolen "only" $20,000 dollars, money that he was "entitled to."
Dixie Davis related what happened next:
"Dutch Schultz was ugly; he had been drinking and suddenly he had his gun out. The Dutchman
wore his pistol under his vest, tucked inside his pants, right against his belly. One jerk at his vest
and he had it in his hand. All in the same quick motion he swung it up, stuck it in Jules Martin's
mouth and pulled the trigger. It was as simple and undramatic as that - just one quick motion of
the hand. The Dutchman did that murder just as casually as if he were picking his teeth."
As Martin contorted in his final agonies on the floor, Schultz readily apologized to his attorney for
killing a man right in front of him. Davis later admitted his shock when he read a newspaper story
about Julie Martin being found shot to death on a snow bank but also with a dozen stab wounds to
his chest. To which Dutch Schultz dead-panned, "I cut his heart out."
At the time of his murder of Julie Martin, Schultz was busy fighting a government tax evasion case.
The trial took place in rural New York state, which U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey setting his sights on
the gangster. Looking to influence potential jurors, Schultz presented himself as a country squire,
donating cash to local businesses, holding bingo parties and turkey dinners, etc. By the late
summer of 1935, Schultz was surprisingly acquitted. Returning to New York City, he was informed
in no uncertain terms that he was unwelcome in the city, so he set up shop across the river in
Newark, New Jersey.
No others were as shocked at Schultz's acquittal as his fellow mobsters, who had nearly salivated
at the prospects of taking over the Dutchman's rackets upon his trip to Alcatraz. Bo Weinberg,
figuring his boss was a goner, formed an alliance with Lucky Luciano, trying to get in good with
the new administration. When Schultz came back to town, his learned that his right-hand man had
been disloyal and killed him. Last seen on the evening of September 9, 1935, Bo Weinberg
disappeared permanently. Gangland legend has it that the Dutchman fitted Weinberg's feet in a
tub of cement and dropped him while he was still alive into the Hudson River.
Harboring lingering suspicions at Luciano over the Weinberg incident, Schultz went before the
Commission with a plan to kill his nemesis, Thomas Dewey. While some gangsters, such as Albert
Anastasia, saw merit to Schultz's proposal, the others shot it down, as they figured, probably
correctly, that the whole world would come down upon their heads if they hit Dewey. Schultz
was furious, claiming the Commission tried to steal his rackets and was trying to "feed him to
the law." After he left, Murder, Inc. head, Louis Lepke, was designated to handle the Dutch
Schultz was ambushed at 10:15 on the night of October 23, 1935, in the Palace Chophouse
in Newark, New Jersey. Since fleeing New York, Schultz had converted the back room of the
Palace into his headquarters, at which he held regular meetings with his associates.
Schultz had excused himself to go the bathroom when Charles Workman (also known as
"Charlie the Bug") and Emanuel Weiss (also known as "Mendy"), two hit men working for
Louis Buchalter's Murder, Inc., entered the back room. Accounts of what happened next vary
from person to person; what is known for certain is that Emmanuel Weiss carried a
sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot, and Charles Workman was armed
with a .38 special revolver and a .45 automatic loaded with rust-coated bullets.
The most widely accepted story has Workman and Weiss opening fire on the three men they
found there: Otto Berman, Schultz's chief henchman Abe Landau, and Schultz's bodyguard
Lulu Rosenkrantz. In the bathroom, Schultz apparently heard the shots but had difficulty ending
his urination to come to his men's aid.
Workman opened fire with his .38. Before either of the Schultz gunners had been able to get off
a single shot, "Charlie the Bug" had emptied his pistol, and all 6 bullets hit their marks. Just as
accurate, Weiss sprayed the men with buckshot: a total of seven slugs ripped through
Rosenkrantz from his chest down (ricocheting shotgun pellets even ripped apart one of his shoes);
a total of six went through Berman, into his torso, wrist, elbow, his shoulder, and into his neck
(which exited through the side of his face); and three struck Landau, in the wrist, right arm,
and left shoulder (which exited the right side of his neck, severing an artery).
Mere seconds later, Workman charged into the bathroom and found Schultz still at the urinal.
Schultz reached for an 8.8 cm (3.5 inch) "Chicago Spike"-style switchblade knife, the only
weapon he had on him at the time; he'd been intending it to be an uneventful evening and had
been planning on returning soon to the hotel room he was sharing with his wife. Before Schultz
could retrieve his knife, Workman fired off two shots from his .45. The first bullet missed, while
the second bullet struck Schultz slightly below the heart, ricocheting off bone and damaging
Schultz's spleen, stomach, colon, liver, and gall bladder before tearing out of his back. It is
likely that rust off the casing entered Schultz's bloodstream in the process.
Workman returned to the back room, whereupon he discovered that Weiss had run out of the
restaurant, followed miraculously by Rosenkrantz and Landau, both of whom had gotten their
guns out and were pumping lead at their assailant. Landau was clutching his neck to stop the
spray of blood from his severed artery. Landau fired all the bullets from his .45, none of which
did any serious damage to his prey. Weiss jumped into the hitmen's waiting getaway car and
ordered their driver, Seymour "Piggy" Schechter, to speed away, leaving Workman behind
at the murder scene, who dodged the bullets and charged out the front door of the chop house.
Landau followed him outside but then collapsed on a trash can, while Workman disappeared into
the night. Back inside, his .45 empty, Rosenkrantz finally quit and fell face down on the floor.
Having been abandoned by the rest of his murder squad, Workman was forced to find his way
back to New York by foot in the middle of the night.
Shortly after Workman had fled, Dutch Schultz staggered out of the bathroom, clutching his side.
He did not want to be found dead on the floor of a men's room. He picked up his hat, staggered
back to his seat, sat down, and slumped over the table. He called for someone to get an ambulance.
Rosenkrantz dutifully pulled himself to his feet, and rather than go immediately to the phone booth
near the bar, he demanded that the bartender (who hid behind the register the entire duration of the
shootout) change his quarter for five nickels; Rosenkrantz did not want the phone company
getting twenty more cents than they were owed. Rosenkrantz deposited a nickel and called for
an ambulance before collapsing against the wall of the phone booth.
When ambulances arrived, the first man they found was Landau, still sitting on the trash can, his
arms dangling at his sides and blood faintly coming out of his neck. His last bits of strength
were used to give the police a fake name and address before he was loaded into the ambulance.
The next man discovered was Rosenkrantz, inside the phone booth; he was strapped to a gurney
and taken away. Otto Berman, barely clinging to life, was the first to die, at 2:20 that morning.
Police interrogated Schultz and gave him brandy while they waited for another ambulance to arrive.
When he was finally loaded into the ambulance, Schultz gave the paramedics twenty dollars and
asked them to take good care of him.
At the hospital, Landau and Rosenkrantz awaited surgery and refused to speak even a word to the
police until Schultz arrived and gave them permission; even then, they provided only minimal
information. Landau died eight hours after he was wounded; meanwhile, Rosenkrantz was taken
into surgery, where doctors found themselves unsure of where to start, considering the extent of
Before he was operated on, Schultz received last rites from a Roman Catholic priest per Schultz's
wife's request, having converted shortly before the end of his life. Doctors performed surgery,
but they were unaware of the extent of damage done to his abdominal organs; he would succumb
to peritonitis 22 hours after being wounded. In what can only be considered a medical marvel,
Lulu Rosenkrantz lasted seven hours longer, dying at the 29-hour mark at the age of 33.
Workman complained he had been abandoned by Weiss and Piggy at the murder scene, an offense
punishable by death. Weiss defended himself by arguing that Workman had returned to the men's
room not for the purpose of making sure the job had been completed (as Workman claimed),
but simply for the purpose of stealing Schultz's money and other belongings. Therefore, argued
Weiss, the job was already done and Workman had chosen to remain at the scene strictly for
selfish personal reasons, thereby jeopardizing their escape and increasing their risk of capture.
Last words and posthumous events
Schultz's last words, influenced by a high fever and large quantities of morphine,
were a strange stream of consciousness babble. They were taken down by a police
stenographer. This includes the famous: A boy has never wept...nor dashed a thousand kim.
But the entire text is much more rambling, including such gems as: You can play jacks, and girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it.
Oh, Oh, dog Biscuit, and when he is happy he doesn't get snappy.
One of his last utterances was a seemingly random reference to "French Canadian bean soup".
The surreal nature of Schultz's comments inspired a number of writers to devote works
related to them. Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs published a screenplay in
novel form entitled The Last Words of Dutch Schultz in the early 1970s, while Robert Shea
and Robert Anton Wilson connected Schultz's words to a global Illuminati-related conspiracy,
making them a major part of 1975's The Illuminatus! Trilogy. (In Wilson and Shea's story,
Schultz's ramblings are a coded message.)
After Schultz's death, it was discovered that in addition to the woman who was the mother
of his children, Schultz had also married two other women; all three came forward to try
and claim his earthly possessions.
By receiving last rites, Schultz was guaranteed interment in Gate of Heaven Cemetery
in Hawthorne in Westchester County, New York.
Workman was identified as Schultz's killer by mob turncoat Abe Reles, and put on trial in
New Jersey in 1941. He pleaded guilty after his alibi witness was found to
Dutch Schultz in Popular Culture
Their has been written allot about Dutch Schultz, for example 'The Last Words of Dutch Schultz'
and he is mentioned in the Mafia Encyclopedia by Carl Safikes.
Also their are some movies refering to him: Billy Bathgate (played by Dustin Hoffman),
Hoodlum(played by Tim Roth) & The Cotton Club from
Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather I, II, III).