Johnson, Enoch "Nucky" (1883-1968)

Born Galloway Township, NJ, Jan. 20, 1883

Died Atlantic City, NJ, Dec. 9, 1968.

"Nucky" Johnson was lord of Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition Era. He was involved in rum-running, numbers rackets and other illicit enterprises and simultaneously served in a number of government roles.

Johnson was a big shot in southern Jersey Republican politics. He was local sheriff and Atlantic County treasurer for several terms. He had Atlantic City so under control that it was deemed safe for a peace conference of Chicago's leading gangsters in spring 1929.

The meeting, held from May 13-16 at the President Hotel (one source says it was the Breakers Hotel) is known to have included Al Capone and Frankie Rio of Chicago. Other Chicago crime bosses and Mafia leaders from the major cities of the East likely also attended, but there is no supporting evidence for their presence. (This has not prevented some authors from presenting lists of attendees, the meeting agenda and portions of meeting dialogue.)

Under Nucky Johnson, Atlantic City was one of the leading import centers for illegal booze. Johnson, along with gin merchants up and down the East Coast and in Cleveland, created a bootlegging cartel later known to authorities as the Seven Group. That association included Italian Mafiosi as well as non-Italian elements.

In the early 1940s, federal agents brought tax evasion charges against Johnson. He was convicted of non-payment of taxes owed on $124,000 of numbers racket income in 1936 and 1937. In Camden, NJ, on Aug. 1, 1941, District Court Judge Albert B. Maris sentenced him to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Nucky was unsuccessful in appeals to the Circuit Court in Philadelphia and the U.S. Supreme Court. On the eve of his sentencing, July 31, playboy Johnson got married to former showgirl Florence Osbeck in Atlantic City. The two reportedly had dated for seven years.

Johnson did his time in Lewisburg, Pa., and returned to his Atlantic City home. He died of natural causes on Monday, Dec. 9, 1968. He was 85 years old.


Iamascia, Danny (1902-1931)

Born New York, NY, c. 1902

Killed Manhattan, NY, June 18, 1931.

Daniel J. Iamascia worked for the Bronx organizations of Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova and Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer.

Daniel Iamascia was born in New York in 1902 to parents Giuseppe and Rosina Charamia Iamascia. His parents, born in the Province of Campobasso, Italy, crossed the Atlantic in the 1890s and settled in New York. (Giuseppe was born Feb. 10, 1867, in Macchia Valfortore. Rosina was born Nov. 15, 1881, in Pietracatella.)

He had a number of arrests on his record, but always got off the hook. He was arrested as a youth for assault and battery in Queens in 1918 but then released when the victim suddenly disappeared. He was apprehended on a rape charge in the Bronx in 1919 and then released. Police caught him on a burglary charge in the Bronx later that year, but again he was released.
He was finally convicted of unlawful entry in the Bronx in 1920, but his prison sentence was suspended. Two burglary cases in 1920 and 1924 and a robbery charge in 1922 never went to trial.

Iamascia was among several known criminals in attendance at a Dec. 7, 1929, banquet thrown for Magistrate Albert Vitale at the Roman Gardens in the Bronx. That banquet was held up by seven gunmen but all loot - including a police detective's handgun - was returned shortly after Vitale got on the telephone. The event proved a connection between organized crime and the courts and led to state-sponsored investigations of local New York City government. Vitale was booted off the bench, and eventually Mayor Jimmy Walker was forced to resign.

Daniel continued to reside with his family at 2313 Belmont Avenue in the Bronx. In addition to Daniel and his parents, the home also included his sisters Frances, Catherine and Theresa, his brothers Anthony and Andrew, and Anthony's wife Olga. Two other siblings, Nicholas and Maria, lived elsewhere. On April 15, 1930, Iamascia's father Giuseppe died.

When Joseph "the Baker" Catania was shot to death in the Bronx on Feb. 3, 1931, his close friends Iamascia and Daniel DeStefano were picked up by police as material witnesses. That killing, part of the New York Mafia's Castellammarese War, remained unsolved by police.

Serving as Schultz's primary bodyguard during his war with Vince "Mad Dog" Coll (a former member of the Schultz mob), Iamascia met his end on June 18, 1931. He and Schultz stepped out of a Schultz apartment building at Fifth Avenue and 102nd Street to observe two men apparently hiding in the shadows. Believing them to be Coll gunmen, Schultz and Iamascia opened fire. The shadowy figures reportedly turned out to be police detectives who shot Iamascia in front of 1212 Fifth Avenue and apprehended Schultz.
Iamascia was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital nearby with gunshot wounds to his abdomen and right arm. He quickly succumbed to his wounds.

Iamascia's years of loyal service and his death apparently at the hands of the police earned him one of the most spectacular funerals New York has ever seen. There were 125 cars of mourners and 35 cars of flowers during the procession of his silver coffin (valued by some at as much as $20,000) from his mother Rosina Iamascia's Belmont Avenue home, to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (Belmont and 187th Street) and then to St. Raymond's Cemetery. Enormous floral displays were provided by Schultz (a large wreath of lillies) and Terranova (a 15-foot-high floral gate of lillies, roses and carnations). Iamascia was temporarily interred at the private mausoleum of undertaker Daniel Scocozzo, it was reported, while his own $25,000 mausoleum was erected. Ultimately, Iamascia was laid to rest in a fairly ordinary grave in St. Raymond's.

Hoffa, James R. (1913-1975)

Born Indiana, Feb. 14, 1913.

Declared dead 1982; believed killed July 30, 1975.

"Jimmy" Hoffa, famed leader of the Teamsters union, was not a member of the Mafia but did have a number of Mafia contacts. It is believed that his underworld associates ended his life in 1975. He was declared legally dead in 1982. The details of his death and the whereabouts of his remains are unknown.

Organized crime within organized labor was targeted by Senate attorney Robert Kennedy in the 1950s, before his brother John became President and named Robert to the attorney general's post. At that time, Dave Beck was head of Teamsters International, and Hoffa was moving into national prominence as leader of the Teamsters in the Detroit area. Beck, in league with the Chicago crime Family of Sam Giancana, proved, due to his blatant criminal activity, ill-equipped to deal with the federal pressure. Giancana's group and members of New York's Lucchese Family helped Hoffa take over the International presidency on September 1957.

With John Kennedy's Presidential victory in 1960, Hoffa was in hot water. Late that year, Robert Kennedy announced that Hoffa was the primary focus of his attack on corruption in labor unions. Hoffa channeled many millions of dollars of Teamster pension funds to underworld activities in Las Vegas and other Mafia-run land development operations. Those secret loans, involving kickbacks to underworld brokers, illustrated the intimate links between various Mafia organizations and the Teamsters.

Hoffa was personally linked to Johnny "Dio" Dioguardi of the Lucchese Family. The Teamster membership records showed further links. Numerous known mobsters, including Tony Provenzano of New Jersey, were listed on the Teamster rolls.

Hoffa managed to escape a number of charges, but was finally convicted of attempting to influence a jury in 1962 and then of improperly tampering with the union pension fund in 1964. Appeals kept him out of jail until 1967, when he began a 13-year sentence. Hoffa and Tony Provenzano found themselves incarcerated in the same prison for a time. The two men, initially friendly, had disagreements and became enemies while behind bars.

Hoffa was freed by order of President Richard Nixon at the end of 1971 on the temporary condition that Hoffa not participate in union leadership. Hoffa's hand-picked successor Frank Fitzsimmons was still in control of the Teamsters and appeared unwilling to step aside for his old mentor. Hoffa's former underworld allies reportedly felt more comfortable with Fitzsimmons at the helm. As Hoffa began to plot a return to the union presidency, his relationship with Fitzsimmons and his allies soured.

On July 30, 1975, Hoffa was reportedly waiting at the Machus Red Fox restaurant outside Detroit to meet with representatives of the underworld. Witnesses said they saw him in the parking lot and making at least two telephone calls from a pay phone outside a nearby hardware store. Hoffa disappeared after that. He was declared legally dead in 1982.

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