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“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).
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Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t
There was a glaring void in the President’s State of the Union speech: Israel.
Let’s focus not on becoming an ATM for that little bundle of joy, but on what you can save in taxes.
Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves
The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.
Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.
Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians
Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists
In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site
Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”
The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps
Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.
A school voucher means the state is giving you a voucher to send your kid to whatever school you want. That might be problematic as far church-state issues are concerned.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
To many Orthodox Jews the issue is “Permitted & Prohibited;” “Right & Wrong” barely considered,
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.
Another thing they have been covering up is the nature of the building that was attacked. To this day people refer to it as a consulate or an embassy, but it wasn’t.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/notorious-jewish-mobsters-death-still-raising-questions/2010/01/06/
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