To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
“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.
Comments are closed.
The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.
A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165
Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.
When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.
I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.
Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.
The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.
Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.
Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.
In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.
It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…
You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.
The reality is that civility is less important than clarity, and right now only very few people on the Left are interested in having a civil conversation about the merits of particular policy solutions.
Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.
I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
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.
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: