June 01, 2008
Albert Anastasia (l) and Abe "Kid Twist" Reles (r)
On the eve of giving star witness testimony against mobster kingpin Albert Anastasia in 1941, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles plunges to his death from his "police protected" suite on the sixth floor of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island. Officially ruled a "suicide," the death of the former senior member of Murder Inc. turned canary was, most certainly, a push, not a hop.
by Robert Walsh
It's a cold and dark night on November 12, 1941. Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, once a senior member of Murder Inc. and now one of the most important canaries in American history, is preparing a makeshift ladder that will help him climb from the sixth floor of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island, N.Y., where he is being held in protective custody to turn state's evidence against that most vicious and notorious of New York's mobsters, Albert "Lord High Executioner" Anastasia.
He keeps his preparations as quiet as possible, to avoid attracting the attention of the half dozen detectives assigned to guard him around the clock while he gives evidence that could put Anastasia in Sing Sing's infamous electric chair. Having narrowly avoided a date with "Old Sparky" himself, he has no qualms about inflicting the same on his former friends if it will save his own skin.