Owney Madden Essay

This essay has a total of 933 words and 4 pages.

Owney Madden

for so many years. It was wasting away, but the Don Corleone from the UK would do
everything he could to establish a name for himself, through a life filled with luck and

Liverpool, England, the birth to British and American Rock sensation, The beatles, was
also the birthplace of one of the world's most notorious killer. It was in Liverpool,
England, 1892, that Owney Madden was born. However, only in 1903, did he and his family
emigrate to New York and settle in the slums of Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen. At an early
age, Owney joined the Gophers and despite his light build, he was renowned as a tough and
crazy gangster. He was a crack shot with a pistol and he used his trademark weapon, a lead
pipe concealed in a rolled-up newspaper, to great effect. He was nicknamed "Killer Madden"
at the age of 17 because by that time he already had two murders under his belt. Many more
would follow.

Madden moved out of his family's tenement apartment and rented a house with Tanner Smith.
Smith had been leader of a relatively unsuccessful street gang known as the Marginal Gang,
but became a Gopher when the Marginal split up. Soon after they moved into the house,
neighbors began to complain about the all-night parties that the two gangsters held.
Members of the Gophers would often come over and spend the night drinking, gambling and
brawling at Owney and Tanner's. When the landlord threatened to throw them out, Madden
asked "Mister, did you ever hear of Owney Madden?" The man replied that he had heard of
him and Madden said: "Well Mister, I am Owney Madden."

Apparently, that was enough to intimidate the owner of the house, but the neighbors
continued to suffer from their entertainment and one night, a number of policemen arrived
to break up a party. When he spotted them Madden shouted through a window: "We'll shoot
the gizzard out of any cop that tries to come in here." True to his word, when the
sergeant knocked on the door, Madden aimed his pistol through the window and killed him.

The police retreated, waited for reinforcements and then stormed the house, handing out
severe beatings to the gangsters they found inside. They never discovered which of the men
fired the shot from the window and Madden, still a minor, was released the next day on a
$500 bond. As a side note, when Tanner Smith was released he made a complaint to New
York's Mayor William J. Gaynor about police brutality, resulting in Order Number 7 which
banned New York police officers from using their night sticks unless it was in defense of

Of the many organizations that fell victim to the crimes of the Gophers, New York Central
Railroad was struck particularly hard by the gang's highjackings and assaults. In the
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