Excerpt for Loan Sharks And Hit Men Murder, Inc. Brooklyn, NY 1939-1941 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Loan Sharks and Hit Men

Murder, Inc.

Brooklyn, NY, 1939-1941

Published by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr. at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr.

In early February 1941 George Cagey Zeitz, 26, of 496 Stone Avenue, Brooklyn, faced a mandatory death sentence. The Brownsville loan shark was convicted of murdering money lender Irving Matty Moskowitz (1912-1941), 27, of 1880 Strauss Street. He was the son of junk dealer Morris (1891-) and Rose Moskowitz (1893-) of 2845 West 20th Street, Brooklyn. One of George Zeitz’s aliases was Jack Zeiderman.

On the night of February 6 a Kings County jury found Zeitz guilty for the slaying. The jury deliberated for four hours before reaching a verdict. Judge Samuel Simon Leibowitz (1893-1978), a Jewish Romanian, ordered the defendant taken to jail pending sentence.

The hit on Moskowitz occurred in a barber shop at 68 Herzl Street on February 1, 1939. Zeitz alleged that Moskowitz gave him a gun to kill Anthony Duke Maffetore (1915-1951), a member of Murder, Inc. Zeitz refused to carry out the crime. Moskowitz had offered to forgive Zeitz’s $700 debt for killing Maffetore. Having originally owed the loan shark $100, the interest on Zeitz’s loan had increased precipitously. It had accrued to $700. He returned to confront Moskowitz who rushed and leaped on him. Zeitz’s defense claimed that he had thrown his gun at Moskowitz, and it had discharged accidentally.

Judge Leibowitz described the story as completely incredulous. He said it was the most ridiculous and fantastic he had heard in his twenty-five years as a practicing lawyer. Pleased with the guilty verdict of Tuesday, February 18th, the future New York State Supreme Court Justice elaborated. Speaking to the courtroom he said he hoped it would serve notice to thugs and gangsters that they cannot commit crime, shoot people-even their own-and go unpunished. May God have mercy on your soul Leibowitz addressed Zeitz after reading him the formal sentence.


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