Mike McGloin (1862 – March 8, 1883) was a
19th century criminal and leader of the Whyos, a New York City street
An early member of the Whyos, Michael McGloin would
rise to become leader of the gang by the late 1870s. Continuing the
ruthless tactics of his predecessors "Dandy" Jim Dolan, Piker Ryan and
others of the previous decade, McGloin terrorized New York's Westside,
particularly Hell's Kitchen throughout the last years of the 1870s.
On the night of December 29, 1881, four members of
the Whyos (presumably including McGloin) entered a local Hell's
Kitchen tavern owned by Louis Hanier. As one of the men asked to
change a $10 bill, another man suddenly became ill and tried to get
behind the bar. Asking the men to leave, there was no further incident
until around midnight when Hanier closed the bar and went upstairs to
bed. Sometime around 2:00 am, Hanier's wife reported hearing noises
coming from downstairs. When Hanier attempted to investigate, he was
shot and killed by an unidentified gunman.
Led by NYPD police superintendent Inspector Thomas
F. Byrnes, police investigation was able to trace the murder weapon, a
38. caliber pistol, to a pawn shop on Ninth Avenue, which had
previously been owned by McGloin. However attempts to gain further
evidence against him, including assigning a woman to live with the 19
year old gang leader in the hopes of gaining a confession, proved
fruitless as further attempts proved inconclusive.
Byrnes, accompanied by Captain Williams and six
other officers, raided the Whyos headquarters, arresting gang members
Thomas Moran, Frederick Banfield, and Robert Morrisey on January 31,
1882. McGloin, convinced that the other members would testify against
him, admitted to breaking into the tavern and killing Hanier, however,
he claimed self-defense, believing Hanier was armed.
On March 1, McGloin was tried alongside Moran and
Morrisey and, after eleven minutes of discussion among the jury,
McGloin was convicted by the General Sessions of first degree murder
and sentenced to death while Moran and Morrisey received eight years
imprisonment for burglary. Despite being granted a stay of execution
after several pleas for appeal, McGloin was hanged in The Tombs on
March 8, 1883.
Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York.
New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1926.
Sifakis, Carl. The Encyclopedia of American
Crime. New York: Facts On File Inc., 1982
Barton, George. True Exploits of Famous Detectives (True
Stories of Celebrated Crimes), New York: McKinley Stone &
Carey, Arthur A. Memoirs of a Murder Man. Garden City, New
York: Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1930