Excerpt for Louis "Pretty" Amberg and the Brooklyn Loansharking War by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Louis Pretty Amberg

and the

Brooklyn Loansharking War

Published by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr. at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr.

The Amberg brothers domination of shylocking (loansharking) in Brooklyn’s East New York and Brownsville sections came to a sudden end with the murder of Louis Pretty Amberg (1897-October 23, 1935), 38, on Wednesday, October 23, 1935. During the 1920s, until the mid 1930s, the Ambergs were the most feared organized crime figures in Brooklyn’s Jewish neighborhoods. Pretty Amberg was slain the same day that Dutch Schultz was gunned down in a Newark, New Jersey chop house.

Authorities referred to Louis Amberg as Pretty simply because he wasn’t. The New York Sun reported the origin of the moniker differently. The newspaper said the nickname was bestowed on him because he was a cute gangster. He always greeted his enemies with a smile. Gregarious, he would entertain them, buy them a drink, and then take them out and put a bag on them. This is what police reported after his horrid end.

Diplomatic to an extent, Pretty possessed a killer instinct. He regularly spit in the faces of rivals he considered beneath him. Among these was Jack Legs Diamond (1897-1931). On one occasion Amberg met Diamond on a Manhattan street. Legs warned Pretty to stay out of his territory or take a ride. Pretty spat in Diamond’s face, turned on his heel and left quickly.

Police discovered Amberg’s nude, blanket covered body in a flaming Chevrolet in front of 133 North Elliott Place in Brooklyn. The location wasn’t far from the Brooklyn end of the Manhattan Bridge. Authorities believed Pretty’s abductor(s) captured him in Manhattan. They then headed for Brooklyn across the Manhattan Bridge.


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