web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

{Originally posted on author’s site, FirstOne Through} The town of Sayreville, New Jersey is in mourning. The superintendent of the town shut the high school’s football program for the rest of the year due to reports of sexual assaults made by upper classmen of the football team against the junior classmen. According to initial reports, […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

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”?

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.

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.

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: