Buchalter, Louis "Lepke" (1897-1944)

Born New York, NY, Feb. 6, 1897.

Executed Ossining, NY, March 4, 1944.

Louis "Lepke" Buchalter had the distinction of being the first organized crime lord to be sent to the electric chair.

New York-born Buchalter was the administrative head of a Syndicate enforcement group known in the media as "Murder, Inc." Under Lepke, the Murder, Inc., group performed cold-blooded hits (devoid of detectable motive) ordered by the Mafia's ruling commission.

Buchalter, who worked closely with Joe Adonis and Albert Anastasia, also controlled labor unions in Manhattan's garment industry and apparently dabbled in narcotics trafficking.

He was convicted of racketeering and sentenced to Leavenworth Penitentiary in April of 1940. The 1940 arrest and subsequent court testimony of admitted Murder Inc. killer Abe "Kid Twist" Reles aided New York State prosecutors in convicting Lepke of murder.

Legal wrangling delayed the execution of a death sentence until 1944, when Lepke was electrocuted in Sing Sing prison.

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