web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Notorious Jewish Mobster’s Death Still Raising Questions


“I never met anybody who thought Abe went out that window because he wanted to,” said mob informant Joseph Valachi about Abe Reles’s fatal five-story plunge on November 12, 1941.

            Reles, a notorious Jewish mobster and head of what became known as Murder Inc., either jumped or was pushed out of his room in the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island where he was being held in protective custody under armed police guard. Already having provided enough testimony to send several of his former partners in crime to the electric chair, Reles was due to testify against many others before his fatal fall. In 1951, a grand jury declared his death a suicide.

A recently published book, however, questions this official verdict. In The Canary Sang but Couldn’t Fly, author Edmund Elmaleh recounts the storied life of Abe Reles before turning his attention to the strange circumstances surrounding his death and the many unanswered questions about it that persist to the present day.

Tragically, Elmaleh, who spent 10 years researching and writing the book, also died a sudden and mysterious death, just before his labor of love reached bookstores. Only 49 years old, Elmaleh was at home with his wife, Kathi Kapell, when he suddenly suffered a heart attack.

“After he passed away,” said Kapell, “there were several people who asked me, ‘Do you think this could have been a mob?’” In fact, one of Elmaleh’s aunts had pleaded with him when he first started researching the topic not to write the book for fear of stirring up the mob’s anger.

Kapell, however, dismisses the possibility of mob involvement in the death of an author writing about events that took place 70 years ago. The onset of his heart attack, she said, was probably related to a congenital heart condition.

Although her husband’s death came as a shock to her, Kapell said the book at least provides her some measure of comfort. “For me, this is just a wonderful legacy to hold onto. I can actually see something and look at it and know it’s something we worked on together. I’m really proud of it.”

Nonetheless, she said, “I wish he were here to see it.”

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Notorious Jewish Mobster’s Death Still Raising Questions”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal.
Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah
Latest Indepth Stories
donny pic

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Jewish Holidays' Guide for the Perplexed

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

The New York Times building is only the cover page for what goes

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

ISIS Released Map

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Ben Cohen

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

Rabbi Berel Wein

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

If a child is seldom required to yield his desires and needs to those of others, surely doing so as an adult will not come naturally to him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/notorious-jewish-mobsters-death-still-raising-questions/2010/01/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: