Philip Kastel: Perfecting the Number Two Spot

Oct 14, 2009 - by Allan May - 0 Comments

"Dandy" Phil Kastel

"Dandy" Phil Kastel

"Dandy" Phil Kastel was a little-known partner of organized crime heavyweights such as Frank Costello and Arnold Rothstein.  Allan May illuminates Kastel in a way that gives you a feel for the ever-changing face of organized crime.

by Allan May

Phillip Kastel had no illusions of becoming a top mobster in the country. However, he hitched his wagon behind two of the most successful crime bosses of all time; Arnold Rothstein and Frank Costello.

Kastel was born and raised, like many Jewish hoodlums, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Some say Kastel went to Canada during World War I to avoid having to serve his country. Whatever the reason, he wound up in Montreal where he operated a nightclub for a short time. After his return, Kastel and his first wife, Daisy, were arrested for swindling a wealthy businessman from New Jersey. In 1919, when the case went to trial, Rothstein’s attorney, William J. Fallon, known as the "Great Mouthpiece," successfully defended Kastel. The close relationship between Kastel and Rothstein lasted until 1928, when the latter was murdered.

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