Sunday, September 16, 2007

Historical feature on 'canary' Reles

Today's issue of the New York Daily News includes a historical feature by David J. Krajicek on Syndicate hitman Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. Facing possible electrocution for a series of killings, Reles decided in 1940 to aide in the prosecution of his old associates. He was a key witness in the 1941 case against mob boss Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, and prosecutors expected Reles to help send Albert Anastasia to the chair. But, on Nov. 11, 1941, Reles fell to his death from a window in the Half Moon Hotel, where he was under police guard. A couple of tied-together bedsheets were found out the window, and some suggested Reles was trying to escape. The great distance to the ground and the distance Reles landed away from the building were indications that he was helped out of the window. Reles became known as the canary who could sing but couldn't fly.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.