A brutal mobster and ruthless racketeer, Arthur “Dutch Schultz” Flegenheimer was probably the most intimidating figures of the Nineteen Thirties.

Removed from the complicated philanthropy of Bumpy Johnson and the staunch activism of Stephanie St. Clair, Dutch Schultz was a stone-cold villain of the twentieth century.

Schultz was decided to run New York’s most worthwhile numbers racket and destroyed anybody and everybody who acquired in the best way of his rise to the highest.

Identified to tug the set off with out a second’s hesitation, he instigated gang warfare quicker than you can roll a pair of cube.

So, how precisely did this second-generation German immigrant ascend from the Bronx slums to turn into one in all New York’s most notorious mobsters? Learn on to search out out.

Prison Beginnings

Like most mobsters within the 1900s, Schultz’s upbringing was removed from glamorous.

Arthur Flegenheimer was born on August 6, 1902, the son of two German Jewish immigrants, and grew up in poverty within the Bronx.

His father, a saloon keeper, deserted the household when Arthur was 14 years previous. Compelled to imagine the function of the breadwinner, Arthur dropped out of college and picked up just a few odd – however authorized – jobs across the Bronx.

His revenue wasn’t sufficient to supply for each him and his mom, so he needed to begin getting artistic. He joined an area gang and commenced to rob craps video games and burgle homes to earn a residing.

At age 17, Arthur was caught red-handed. He was sentenced to 17 months in jail, his first – and solely – time behind bars.

Arthur “Dutch Schultz” Flegenheimer
Picture: babyfacenelsonjournal.com

He was launched from jail in December 1920, and it was round then that he began going by the title “Dutch Schultz.”

Some say he was given the title after one other native (and equally violent) thug of the identical title.

Others declare Arthur himself instigated this rebranding after the title of the corporate he was working for – Schultz Trucking.

Both method, one factor was clear: Arthur Flegenheimer was out, and Dutch Schultz was in.

Profiting From Prohibition

Prohibition (in any other case often called the Volstead Act) was enacted in 1919 to scale back the crime price in America. In actuality, it was the catalyst for a large wave of organized crime.

Not one to overlook out on a money-making alternative, Schultz determined to money in on Prohibition.

Whereas nonetheless working at Schultz Trucking, he started “bootlegging” – transporting liquor and beer throughout the border from Canada.

Schultz spent years working as a bootlegger, not simply transporting however making his personal beer.

He additionally picked up work in underground speakeasies, the place he lived as much as his namesake’s status for violence and brutality.

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It was this violent streak that caught the eye of Joey Noe, proprietor of a Bronx speakeasy referred to as the Hub Social Membership.

Noe initially employed Schultz as safety however ended up making him a associate of the membership.

Dutch Schultz - mobster
Picture: babyfacenelsonjournal.com

Collectively, the duo opened dozens of unlawful speakeasies and breweries all throughout Manhattan, together with in Yorkville, Washington Heights, and Harlem.

Their bootlegging enterprise was thriving, particularly after the pair started utilizing intimidation as a gross sales tactic and forcing rival membership homeowners to purchase their beer.

Whereas this massively elevated each Noe’s and Schultz’s bankrolls, it additionally attracted the undesirable consideration of different distinguished mobsters.

Jack “Legs” Diamond was one such mobster. By transferring their headquarters from the Bronx to Manhattan, Legs believed the pair have been encroaching on his turf.

Diamond started hijacking Schultz’s liquor shipments, and shortly an all-out battle between Schultz and the Irish mobster started.

Jack “Legs” Diamond
Jack “Legs” Diamond. [Image: allthatsinteresting.com]

In 1928, an unknown gunman shot Noe on the street. Although he survived the assault, Noe died from his wounds a month later.

Schultz was devastated by the loss of life of his associate in crime and vowed to take revenge.

Assured that Legs was accountable, Schultz ordered his assassination. In October 1929, Legs and his mistress have been gunned down on the Resort Monticello.

Regardless of sustaining 5 gunshot wounds, Legs lived to inform the story. In reality, this was solely one in all a number of assassination makes an attempt he would survive throughout his lifetime.

Certifiably spooked, Legs fled to Albany, the place he would migrate most of his operations. Somebody ultimately discovered Legs’s Achilles heel, and he was murdered in December 1931.

Although no person got here ahead to say the homicide, Schultz reportedly commented that Legs was “simply one other punk caught together with his arms in my pockets.”

Life As A Racketeer

Legs’s departure gave Schultz nearly full domination of the New York speakeasy scene. By this level, the “Beer Baron of the Bronx” had turn into one of many greatest gangsters within the state.

Nonetheless, the tip of Prohibition meant Schultz needed to discover new methods to complement his revenue.

His answer? The Harlem numbers racket.

In any other case often called the “numbers recreation,” “coverage recreation,” or “Italian lottery,” the numbers racket was an unlawful lottery performed in working-class African American neighborhoods.

Playing was a profitable enterprise, significantly in Harlem. Gangsters like Stephanie St. Clair (identified affectionately because the “Numbers Queen”) already had a stronghold over Harlem’s underground playing scene.

Stephanie St. Clair.
Stephanie St. Clair. [Image: Twitter/Essence]

Schultz had already proved he was not afraid of stepping on different mobsters’ toes and began utilizing brute drive to overthrow Harlem’s pre-existing rackets.

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Unlawful bookmakers have been often called ‘coverage bankers,’ and Schultz progressively turned probably the most formidable coverage bankers in Harlem.

Because it was performed in African-American neighborhoods, New York’s rackets have been predominantly Black-owned. So when Schultz began his violent tirade, coverage bankers like Stephanie St. Clair noticed it as a racially-motivated assault.

He gave his rivals three grim decisions: Relinquish their enterprise to him, proceed to run it and hand over a share of the earnings, or face the brutal penalties of selecting neither possibility.

When Schultz had used violence to drive rival membership homeowners into shopping for his beer, he had been met with little resistance. Nonetheless, Stephanie St. Clair was not like any gangster he had confronted.

As a substitute of backing down, St. Clair fought hearth with hearth and launched counterattacks towards Schultz’s personal rackets and storefronts.

Tousling With The Taxman

Throughout this time, Schultz was additionally coping with opposition from the regulation. He was charged with tax evasion in 1933, and when the trial moved to a small city upstate, Schultz moved with it.

He employed a public relations group to clean over his gangster picture and donated lots of of 1000’s of {dollars} to charity in an try and win over the general public.

Although his scheme labored, it left a substantial dent in his bankroll.

By the point he returned to Harlem, he was in a determined plight to realize complete management of the playing scene.

However there have been two important obstacles in his method: Stephanie St. Clair and particular prosecutor Thomas Dewey (under).

Thomas Dewey - special prosecutor
Picture: Eugene Hutchinson/Wikimedia Commons

Dewey had been employed by the mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia, to research Schultz and produce him down for good.

In the meantime, the Numbers Queen was nonetheless refusing to again down from Schultz’s threats.

Taking Drastic Measures

Nothing might make St. Clair hand over her numbers empire, so Schultz ultimately ordered a success on her life and compelled her into hiding.

Desirous to do the identical to Dewey, Schultz scheduled a gathering with the top of the mafia’s 5 Households, Charles “Fortunate” Luciano (under).

Charles “Lucky” Luciano
Picture: Twitter/ddeoluu

Schultz sought permission to assassinate Dewey. Fearing the eye that such a public act of aggression would carry to the underground playing scene, Fortunate prohibited it.

However Schultz – determined and paranoid – determined to go forward together with his plans anyway.

Dutch Schultz was a strong man, but when there’s one factor The Godfather has taught us, it’s that you just don’t get on the unsuitable facet of the mafia.


Whereas Schultz continued together with his scheme to assassinate Dewey, Fortunate had give you his personal plan.

On October 23, 1935, Dutch Schultz, his accountant, and two of his bodyguards have been eating on the Palace Chophouse in Newark. Whereas Schultz was within the lavatory, two gunmen from the notorious hit squad “Homicide, Inc.” slipped previous safety.

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The lads opened hearth on Schultz and his posse and managed to hit all of them.

Schultz's attempted murder
Picture: babyfacenelsonjournal.com

Nonetheless, Schultz was removed from lifeless and lived nearly 30 hours after being shot. He ultimately succumbed to his wounds and died in his hospital mattress.

What’s The Deal With Schultz’s Treasure?

Earlier than he died, Schultz made a number of references to a secret stash of treasure.

Quite than naming his killer, he rambled on to the police about his fortune, alluding to stacks of hidden money that have been buried within the woods.

Dutch Schultz on deathbed
Picture: nationalcrimesyndicate.com

Delirious from his accidents, his messages have been random and cryptic.

Nonetheless, rumors in regards to the existence and whereabouts of this so-called treasure are nonetheless rife right this moment, with dozens of optimistic conspiracists journeying to the Catskills to uncover it.

Although there was no precise proof to help the speculation, the Instances Union launched an article that claimed its worth – if it truly exists – might be near $100 million.


No matter his abhorrent habits, Dutch Schultz’s journey from the Bronx slums to notorious multi-millionaire is nothing wanting spectacular.

Even from his early days as a Prohibition bootlegger, Schultz’s extreme and unsentimental method to his work allowed him to climb the lawless ladder.

It was this habits that earned him the admiration of his partner-in-crime, Joey Noe, a collaboration that led to him turning into probably the most influential figures within the Bronx.

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the “Beer Baron of the Bronx” branched out into the playing enterprise. In a cruel climb to the highest, Schultz eradicated his enemies one after the other, both by way of pressured compliance or brutal (and infrequently deadly) beatings.

His legacy as one in all New York’s most notorious mobsters was solidified by the best way he ran his numbers racket. With lots of of gunmen at his beck and name, Schultz wasn’t afraid to have interaction in gang warfare to guard his portfolio of playing companies.

Nonetheless, it was his desperation to turn into the lynchpin of Harlem’s numbers rackets that in the end led to his demise.

His makes an attempt to take down his most high-profile enemies – ordering a success on Stephanie St. Clair and admitting plans to assassinate Thomas Dewey – in the end prompted his personal homicide.

By the yr of his loss of life, he had been named by the director of the FBI as “Public Enemy Quantity One.”

Regardless of an account-draining try and reconcile his public picture, Schultz will perpetually be remembered as probably the most harmful and violent gangsters of the period.

Lead picture: Twitter/littlesteven_ug

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