Crime History, March 4, 1944: Head of Murder Inc. executed in Sing Sing

Louis Lepke Buchalter

Louis Lepke Buchalter

On this day, March 4, in 1944, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter — the head of Murder Inc. — was executed in New York. He is the only major mob boss to be executed in the United States.

Murder Inc. was a hit squad established at the formation of the national crime syndicate known as the Mafia. The unit, run out of a Brooklyn candy store, was responsible for 400 to 800 murders.

Buchalter went into hiding after the feds named him “the most dangerous criminal in America.”

After a two-year manhunt, powerful newspaper columnist Walter Winchell persuaded Buchalter to give himself up. Buchalter was convicted of ordering the murder of a garment trucker and sentenced to death.

Buchalter and his two henchmen were executed by electrocution within minutes of each other at Sing Sing.

– Scott McCabe


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