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Harry MAIONE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "Happy"
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: New York mobster who served as a hitman for Murder, Inc.
Number of victims: 1 - 12 +
Date of murder: May 11, 1937
Date of birth: 1908
Victim profile: George Rudnick (police informant)
Method of murder: Stabbing with a meat cleaver
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Status: Executed by electrocution at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, on February 19, 1942
 
 
 
 
 
 

Harry "Happy" Maione (1908 February 19, 1942) was a New York mobster who served as a hitman for Murder, Inc. (the enforcement arm of the National Crime Syndicate) during the 1930s. Maione was called "Happy" because his face displayed an eternal scowl.

Early years

As a young man, Maione led the Ocean Hill Hooligans, an Italian street gang in the Ocean Hill, Brooklyn section of New York. His protegee in this gang was Frank "Dasher" Abbandando. Maione had a son, Albert Maione. who eventually became an associate with the Gambino crime family.

In 1931, Maione and Abbandando helped Abe "Kid Twist" Reles and Martin Goldstein eliminate their gangster rivals, the Shapiro Brothers (Meyer, Irving, and William). Previously that year, the Shapiros had unsuccessfully tried to murder Reles and Goldstein. The Shapiros then abducted Reles' girlfriend and raped her. Reles and Goldstein wanted revenge and the two Italians wanted to take over the Shapiro operations. On July 11, 1931, Irving Shapiro was gunned down near his apartment. On September 17, 1931, Meyer was found shot to death in the basement of a tenement building on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Murder, Inc.

Maione, Abbandando, Reles, and Goldstein then banded together. They were soon joined by Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss, Albert "Tick Tock" Tannenbaum, Seymour "Blue Jaw" Magoon, Louis Capone, Charles "The Bug" Workman, Cooper McCue, and Vito "Socko" Gurino.

The gang started picking up murder contracts from the National Crime Syndicate with the help of Syndicate Board Member Joe Adonis. The gang soon became the official murder-for-hire squad of the Syndicate, and was dubbed "Murder, Inc." by the press. Maione acted as the Italian liaison to the Jewish members of Murder Inc.; Reles was his counterpart on the Jewish side. Murder Inc was directed by the brutal Louis "Lepke" Buchalter (another member of the Syndicate board) and the nefarious Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia. Maione reportedly killed at least 12 men himself while working for Murder, Inc.

Eliminating potential witnesses

In the mid-1930s, New York District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey targeted Buchalter for prosecution. In response, Buchalter started eliminating all potential witnesses. Murder, Inc., rubbed out anyone that Buchalter even suspected of being an informant. Loan shark George Rudnick was one such victim; he was killed by Maione, Abbandando, and Strauss on May 11, 1937.

In 1940, Reles became an informant for the State of New York. He then implicated Maione in the horrific slaying of Rudnick. According to Reles, the men supposedly killed Rudnick and started stuffing him back in their car. Suddenly, the "corpse" started coughing. To finish him off, Strauss stabbed Rudnick with an ice pick and Maione buried a meat cleaver in his skull.

In May 1940, Maione was convicted of first degree murder, but the verdict was overturned on appeal. After a second trial, Maione was convicted again. On February 19, 1942, Harry Maione was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Harry "Happy" Maione (1908 February 19, 1942) was an Italian-American hitman for Murder, Inc. (the enforcement arm of the National Crime Syndicate) during the 1930s. His nickname was given to him because he never smiled and his face displayed an eternal scowl.

Maione was head of the Ocean Hill Hooligans, an Italian street gang in the Ocean Hill section of Brooklyn, New York. His underling in this group was Frank Abbandando. Maione and Abbandando helped Abe Reles and Martin Goldstein exact revenge on the Shapiro brothers (Meyer, Irving, and William) in 1931 for trying to kill the two Jewish hoods and for abducting and raping Reles' girlfriend and future wife. The two Italians were hoping to get a piece of the Shapiro holdings in return.

Maione, Abbandando, Reles, and Goldstein then banded together and created Brooklyn, Inc., the forerunner to Murder, Inc. When joined by other killers, such as Harry Strauss, Emanuel Weiss, Albert Tannenbaum, Seymour Magoon, Louis Capone, Charles Workman, and Vito Gurino, the group started picking up contracts for the National Crime Syndicate through Syndicate "board of directors" member Joe Adonis.

Brooklyn, Inc. soon became the official murder-for-hire squad of the Syndicate, and began to be dubbed "Murder, Inc." by the press. Maione acted as the Italian liaison to the Jewish killers of the faction; Reles was his counterpart on the Jewish side. They operated under the direction of the brutal Louis Buchalter (another member of the Syndicate board) and the nefarious Albert Anastasia.

When Buchalter was being targeted by New York District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey starting in the mid-1930s, he waged an all-out war of extermination to eliminate potential witnesses Dewey could use. Murder, Inc. played a major role in this campaign, rubbing out anyone that "Lepke" even suspected of being an informant. Loan shark George Rudnick was one such victim; he was killed by Maione, Abbandando, and Strauss on 11 May 1937.

When Abe Reles became an informant for the state in 1940, he implicated Maione in the horrific slaying of Rudnick. He reported that when the three hitmen had tried to get the "dead" Rudnick into their car after supposedly killing him, he coughed, apparently still alive. Strauss began hacking away at the body of the victim with an ice pick, Maione putting the final exclamation point on the murder by sinking a meat cleaver into Rudnick's skull.

Reles' information was enough for Maione to be sentenced to death for first-degree murder. He was executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing in February 19, 1942.

 
 


Harry "Happy" Maione

 

Harry Strauss, Harry Maione and Frank Abbandando.

 

Convicted

 

 

 
 
 
 
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