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March 26, 2012
Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll
Vincent Coll, better known as Mad Dog Coll, was not a typical New York gangster. He was very young when he began a career of violent crime – only a teenager – and only 23 years old when he was killed in a hail of bullets in a Manhattan drug store. Yet, he had become the leader of his own gang and one of the most notorious criminals in New York at the time of his death.
Mad Dog Coll was a creature of his own invention. Shut out of controlling a slice of New York’s lucrative liquor trade during Prohibition, he started in his own gang and crashed the party. He was very different in another way: Coll robbed other gangsters by kidnapping them for ransom, and towards the end of his career he set himself up as an assassin who would accept contracts from one prominent gangster who wanted to kill a rival.
And finally, he was an Irish-born gangster who was born in Bunbeg, Co Donegal, and was one of the few Irish-born and the only Donegal-born gangster in New York during the glory days of the gangsters, in the first half of the Twentieth Century.