Monthly Archives: May 2017

Joe Bruno on the Mob – Stephanie St. Clair – The Queen of the Harlem Numbers Rackets

Joe Bruno on the Mob

She was chased out of the Harlem numbers rackets by Dutch Schultz, but when Schultz lay dying from a bullet wound, Stephanie St. Clair had the last laugh.

Stephanie St. Clair was born in 1886, in Marseilles, an island in the East Caribbean. At the age of 26 she immigrated to New York City and settled in Harlem. Almost immediately, she hooked up with the Forty Thieves, a white gang who were in existence since the 1850’s. There is no record of what St. Clair did for the next ten years, but it’s safe to say, considering her ties to the Forty Thieves, a notorious shake-down gang, what she did was anything but legal.

In 1922, St. Clair used $10,000 of her own money and started Harlem’s first numbers rackets. St. Clair was known for having a violent temper and often cursed her underlings out in several languages. When…

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There is something intriguing about the ways of a criminal !!!

Joe Bruno on the Mob

Waxey Gordon was one of the richest, most powerful gangsters in New York City in the 1920’s. But after he was set up by his enemies for a fall, he was reduced to selling junk on the streets, like a common two-bit criminal.

Waxey Gorden was born Irving Wexler in 1889, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Polish/Jewish parents. Not having great fondness for the New York City school system, he took to the streets and became the best pickpocket on the Lower East Side. Wexler was so good at his trade, he took the nickname “Waxey,” because he was so “light fingered,” he could pick someone’s wallet, like his fingers and the wallet were coated with wax. Waxey Gorden sounded better than Waxey Wexler, so Waxey Gordon it was, from that point on.

Gordon did what most tough Jewish criminals did in those days. He got involved…

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