The Last Days of Lepke Buchalter

Oct 14, 2009 - by Allan May - 0 Comments

Louis "Lepke" Buchalter

Louis "Lepke" Buchalter

Thomas E. Dewey built a political career around hounding the Jewish gangster Lepke. His execution in 1944 — the first of a major underworld figure – riveted the attention of a nation and was in doubt up to the last minute.

by Allan May

It was Thursday, March 2, 1944, and time was running out in Sing Sing prison for Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and four of his henchmen who were facing execution with him. Condemned to the electric chair with Lepke were Emmanuel "Mendy" Weiss and Louis Capone, for the murder of candy storeowner Joseph Rosen; and Joseph Palmer and Vincent Sallami, for the murder of Brooklyn detective Joseph Miccio.

From the pre-execution chamber that the underworld called the "Dance Hall," Lepke seemed confident that the legal maneuverings of his attorney, J. Bertram Wegman, would pay off. After all, his execution date had already been changed five times. Weiss and Capone were optimistic too that if reprieve came for the boss that they would escape the electric chair too. Palmer and Sallami both sat dejected. Only a last minute word from New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey could save them.

*********** Please subscribe to Crime Magazine to view all content. **********

Subscription Options:

Yearly Subscription $29.99 Automatically renews until you cancel.

90-Day Subscription $9.99 Does not automatically renew.

Monthly Subscription $2.99 Automatically renews until you cancel.

Gift Subscriptions:

Gift 90-Day Subscription $9.99 Does not automatically renew.

Gift Yearly Subscription $29.99 Does not automatically renew.

Gift 2 year Subscription $49.99 Does not automatically renew.

Gift 3 year Subscription $69.99 Does not automatically renew.

Bulk Subscriptions:

Discount option for schools, groups and other institutions. Inquire here for bulk subscriptions. 

Please note that Crime Magazine is an Internet only publication and is not mailed to subscribers

Total views: 32524