Rothstein_ The Life, Times, And Murder Of The Criminal Genius

David Pietrusza

Part 3

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The block was crowded with noisy songwriting firms and worse. The garage next door had previously been a stable. Each night Carolyn heard noises. "Rats, Mrs. Rothstein," Tom Farley explained. "Rats always hang around a stable."

Carolyn felt isolated. In the daytime her husband slept; evenings he worked. During the day she shopped and visited friends, but he forbade her to leave their living quarters after 6:00 P.M. It was the beginning of an increasingly lonely life and an unsatisfactory marriage.

Meanwhile, A. R. had his own troubles. Gambling was illegal. Therefore, he needed protection. Luckily, he remained on excellent terms with Big Tim Sullivan.

Sullivan never formally headed Tammany. He didn't need to. His own Lower East Side fiefdom was lucrative enough, and Big Tim wisely realized that if he ever took charge of Tammany, he'd inevitably serve as a lightning rod for reformers' ire.

Sullivan's was a rags-to-riches story. When Tim was four, his father died. At eight, he peddled newspapers on the street. His energy and charm quickly attracted the attention of local politicians, and he began ascending Lower East Side society. By twenty-two he owned his own saloon. At twenty-three he won election as a.s.semblyman in the old Third District. In 1892 Tammany boss Richard Croker anointed Sullivan as leader of his a.s.sembly district, making him de facto boss of the entire Lower East Side. That fall Sullivan's district voted for Democrat Grover Cleveland over President Benjamin Harrison 395 to 4. "Harrison got one more vote than I expected," Sullivan apologized to Croker, "but I'll find that feller."

Sullivan served briefly in Congress, finding it dull aside from his campaign to capture the congressional pinochle championship. He left after one term. For most of his career, he held the t.i.tle of state senator, but it was from district leadership that his power flowed. Big Tim ruled by sheer force of charity. Need a turkey at Thanksgiving or a load of coal to help you through a cold winter? Big Tim would help. Need a job with the city or with a company that had city business? Big Tim a.s.sisted happily.

Tim's fiefdom contained the legendary Bowery. Besides saloons and theaters, stuss houses and wh.o.r.ehouses, it contained most of New York's Sullivan never forgot them. They were human beings like everyone else-and voters, too. Each Christmas, he hosted a magnificent feast in their honor. The 1909 event served 5,000 indigents 10,000 pounds of turkey, a 100 kegs of beer, 500 loaves of bread, 200 gallons of coffee, and 5,000 pies. Each man also received an array of presents to help tide him over during the coming winter: a pair of shoes and socks, a pipe, and a sack of tobacco.

Tim didn't discriminate among the different nationalities of his East Side empire. He couldn't afford to. The Lower East Side was changing fast. The Irish no longer dominated numerically. Germans, Italians, and Jews-hundreds of thousands of Jews-now lived there. Big Tim helped them all.

Grat.i.tude remained a practiced virtue, and Sullivan's beneficiaries remembered him, not only at the polls, but in their hearts. Countless tenement homes featured framed portraits of their great friend and protector State Senator Timothy D. Sullivan.

Not all of Big Tim's activities were so saintly. Every saloonkeeper, gambler, thief, and pimp operating on the Lower East Side paid tribute to Sullivan. Some said Big Tim owned brothels himself; his holding the vice presidency of the area's formal pimps' trade group, the Max Hockstim a.s.sociation, did little to alleviate suspicion. He oversaw Manhattan's boxing industry. If Big Tim didn't receive his cut, you didn't receive a license. With gambler Frank Farrell and police chief "Big Bill" Devery he controlled most of Manhattan's gambling.

Not everyone loved Big Tim. Some coveted his power and challenged the candidates he sponsored, mostly in primaries. To counter them, he employed fraud and outright thuggery. Election fraud might involve tossing an occasional ballot box in the East River, but more often it involved "repeaters," gentlemen moving between polling places, voting at each stop. Not surprisingly, Sullivan had his own strategies on repeating, and they favored employing the hirsute. "When you've voted 'em with their whiskers on," he once observed, "you take 'em to a barber and off the chin-fringe. Then you vote 'em again with side lilacs and a mustache. Then to a barber again, off comes the sides and you vote 'em a third time with the mustache. If that ain't enough and the box can stand a few more ballots clean off the mustache and vote 'em plain face. That makes every one of 'em good for four votes."

Sometimes fraud proved insufficient. Other Democrats were also skilled at such devices. So Big Tim-and his rivals-hired neighborhood toughs to discourage opposition voters, scare off enemy campaign workers, and soundly beat rivals to a pulp. A cla.s.sic battle erupted in 1901, when fellow Tammany saloonkeeper, Fourth Ward Alderman Paddy Divver, balked at Sullivan's Red-Light Cadets' (pimps') control of prost.i.tution in his district. Usually, Sullivan employed thugs from Monk Eastman's gang. This time, he selected Paul Kelly (Vaccarelli)'s Italian hoodlums for his dirty work. Kelly's men descended on Fourth Ward polling places, blackjacking Divver supporters into submission, while police blissfully ignored the b.l.o.o.d.y mayhem proceeding around them. Sullivan's candidates, including aldermanic hopeful Big Tom Foley (later mentor to Governor Al Smith), triumphed 3-1.

Employing such hoodlums had drawbacks, one being that they often grew too big for their britches. Big Tim provided a remedy. In Albany, he enacted the nation's first gun control law, modestly t.i.tled the Sullivan Act. Its purpose was simple: if a gang member proved excessively troublesome, a cop would collar him, shove an unlicensed gun in his pocket, and begin the unfortunate's journey to Sing Sing. Nervous gang leaders like Big Jack Zelig had tailors sew their pockets shut and hired expendable flunkies to follow behind them, carrying guns on their persons.

Big Tim always liked Arnold Rothstein-just as he always liked gambling. He first came across A. R. when Arnold was shooting poolquite excellently for a teenager-at his brother Florrie's pool hall. The lad was soon performing the usual political odd jobs for the Sullivan brothers, but Big Tim knew where A. R.'s talents lay. "Stick with gambling," the East Side politician advised A. R. "Gambling takes brains, and you're one smart Jew boy." Sullivan meant it. Needing someone to oversee gambling at his Times Square hotel, the Metropole, a few years later, he chose Rothstein.

Just as Sullivan a.s.sisted the jobless and the homeless in his district and gave a helping hand to up-and-coming allies like Tom Foley, he was more than willing to promote sharp youngsters like Arnold Rothstein with their own "business" enterprises. As always, there was a condition for his patronage. Sullivan would certainly ensure that Rothstein received no unwanted visits from New York's Finest, but in return Sullivan wanted two things. First, he would take a cut for himself. Second, he wanted Rothstein to take a partner: a foreman in the Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, former ward leader Willie Shea. "Willie can put up part of the bankroll," Big Tim added, and he certainly could, with the graft he collected as building inspector.

Arnold could use the money. But he knew Shea, had worked with him, and certainly didn't need someone like him gumming up his new operation. Shea had no experience running a gambling house. He was obnoxious, not particularly bright, and adding insult to injury he didn't care much for Jews.

Nor did Shea want Rothstein as a partner. "How can you tell what a Jew's thinkin'?" he asked Big Tim. "They're different from us."

"Rothstein's a good boy," Sullivan responded. "And smart. You stick with him and you'll make a lot of money."

Rothstein and Shea obeyed orders. If Big Tim Sullivan did you a favor, you didn't question the conditions-at least, not loudly.

The Rothstein-Shea partnership started inauspiciously. Upstairs, Carolyn Rothstein gauged her husband's fate each evening by just listening: I used to sit up in my bedroom and listen to the roulette wheel to learn whether the house was winning or losing. This was simple because if the house won, all that was necessary was for the croupier to rake in chips, but if the house lost he had to take time to count out chips for the winners. Thus, when the house was winning the wheel spun with short stops, but if the house was losing the wheel spun with long stops.

Even when the house won, however, business was not all that good. "There was some play in the parlors from the beginning," Carolyn recalled, "but it was not spectacular."

That changed one night in November 1910.

Barbed-wire magnate John Warne "Bet-a-Million" Gates was the most fabled recreational gambler of his time. He never actually bet a million dollars, but he bet heavily, and often. In 1901 Gates won $600,000 on the English racehorse Royal Flush. In 1902, at Richard Canfield's Saratoga faro tables, he was down $150,000 at 10:00 P.M. He not only recouped his losses, but won an additional $150,000.

In November 1910, Gates' affable but not particularly distinguished son, Charlie, found himself in New York, looking for some action. Some said life had been frightfully dull for Charlie since winning $29,000 in Los Angeles a few months back (he spent $8,000 of his haul on a new bulldog). Others said he wished to celebrate surviving a recent appendicitis attack. You never knew what caused a Gates to head toward the gambling tables. On the evening in question, Charlie Gates was drinking at Rector's with A. R.'s a.s.sociate Vernie Barton. He commented matter-of-factly. "I wouldn't mind having a little play tonight."

"That's just what I was thinking myself," Barton responded, barely concealing his excitement, for Vernie received a percentage of whatever business he brought A. R. Gates' friends protested, but Barton prevailed. First Charlie played roulette, then faro, ultimately dropping $40,000. He wrote out a check and departed. A. R. awoke Carolyn, telling her, "With this money added to the bankroll, we can go after more of these highfliers. It makes us solid."

Forty thousand dollars didn't mean much to the Gates family, but at this point in Arnold Rothstein's career, it generated incredible excitement. And it certainly interested Willie Shea, who stood to collect half the winnings. The story of young Gates's losing evening made the newspapers, helping puff up Rothstein's reputation, but it also brought tension between Shea and Rothstein to a head.

Shea suspected that their partnership was not as lucrative as it could be-at least for him. He knew A. R. was sharp, and sharp gamblers made all manner of things happen, could manipulate nearly any thing, including profit-and-loss ledgers. The next morning Shea, Rothstein, Barton, and Gates breakfasted amiably. All seemed fine. Shea and Gates adjourned to a nearby bank to cash Gates's checkand Shea decided to keep it all for himself. Shea reasoned: I've been convinced for some time that Arnold has been tossing the bank roll [sic] to his friends. I don't mind a guy being nice to his friends but when he fixes it up so that his friends can get away with my money in our gambling house, I don't care so much for it.

Take Arnold's friend, George Young Bauchle, the eminent lawyer, for instance. When Mr. Bauchle has been playing in our house, Arnold always let him bet as much as he wanted to, and as often as he wanted to on the last turn out of the box [an advantage in faro]. And Mr. Bauchle has been pretty lucky at calling the turns, and our bank roll [sic] has been pretty well nicked.

Shea complained incessantly to Rothstein about Bauchle. Shea changed faro dealers on Bauchle, and Bauchle still won. He dealt faro himself to Bauchle. Bauchle still won. Finally, he demanded that Rothstein ban his friend from the establishment. A. R. refused. He knew that if he blacklisted Bauchle, he'd be sending multiple bad messages to the gambling community. The first was that he and Bauchle were cheats. That would be obvious. The second, more subtle reason was that only losers were welcome at Rothstein's. No gambler liked thinking of himself as a loser. Sending that message was bad for business, and A. R. didn't want to scare away customers.

So, as Willie Shea cashed Charlie Gates's check, he thought: "I figure that this $40,000 just about squares Arnold and me."

When A. R. walked downstairs for a new night of business, Shea wasn't there. That wasn't like him. Critics could say what they wanted about Willie Shea, but he put in his hours. Vernie Barton gave Arnold the news: "Shea's on the town, drinking champagne, and telling everybody that he put one over on you."

"Go find him and tell him I want to see him," Rothstein ordered.

Finding Shea was easy. Retrieving him was hard. "Go back, and tell the Jew I've got the money and I'm going to keep it," a sodden Shea growled. "If he wants his share, tell him to collect it from what Bauchle stole."

If that's how Shea wanted to play it, Rothstein would oblige him. A. R. went to see Tim Sullivan, to tell his side of the story. After all, if Big Tim thought Arnold was cheating Shea, things could only get worse. Sullivan proved sympathetic, then asked, "What are you going to do about it?"

"I'm going to think about it," Rothstein answered noncommittally.

"What do you want me to do?" asked Sullivan. After all, hardly anyone ever approached him without wanting a favor. What did Arnold want? To have some muscle put on Shea-either by the toughs downtown or the police? That was messy, but feasible. To kick him off the city payroll? Again, feasible. Maybe Arnold just wanted Big Tim to reason with Willie. Big Tim had a way about convincing people to do the right thing.

In fact, A. R. wanted nothing. "Let him keep the money," he responded calmly.

"The whole forty thousand?"

"It's cheap," said A. R., finally getting to his point. "Look at it this way. One-third of it was his anyway. He has eight thousand coming to him out of the bankroll. We've been averaging about a thousand a week in profit. What it comes down to is that he's taken $15,000 for his share of the business. It's worth a lot more."

Sullivan appreciated A. R.'s logic: "That dumb Irishman should've known better than to try to outsmart you."

"I had Bauchle draw this up. It's a quitclaim. When I find [Shea], I'm going to get him to sign it."

"Whatever you do is all right with me."

At week's end, A. R. found his erstwhile partner at the bar of Times Square's Knickerbocker Hotel. Shea, good and drunk, expected a fight. Shea told Arnold he wouldn't receive "one d.a.m.n dollar out of the Gates money." When A. R. announced, "Okay, Coakley. Sign this and you can keep the money," a wave of relief pa.s.sed over Shea. He felt good about this turn of events-and about himself. "Thought you could put something over on me, didn't you?" he chortled. "Well, I was a lot too smart for you."

He took A. R.'s fountain pen and signed away his rights to their gambling house. "We're quits now," said A. R., barely containing his glee. "The money's yours and the place is mine."

Willie sobered up and realized he no longer owned a share of Broadway's most promising gambling house. He begged A. R. to take him back, promising to return Gates's cash. "Get out of here before I throw you out," Rothstein yelled. "You're a crook and a welcher."

Shea ran to Big Tim. Surely, he'd help. "Nothing doing," said Sullivan. "You thought you were putting one over on Arnold. Well, now you know you got to get up mighty early in the morning to do that."

Arnold didn't net any cash from the Gates incident; what he received was far more valuable: free-and-clear t.i.tle to his place and tremendous publicity. Rothstein's was a place for high rollers.

"Play became better following this incident," recalled Carolyn Rothstein: The house was renovated, with an English bas.e.m.e.nt. The two parlors were made into one great room, which was redecorated in garish green and gold, with crystal chandeliers. In fact, it took on the appearance of a high cla.s.s gambling house.

The house was making money. We had a Mettalurgic touring car, red and gold, and very low, a gorgeous and striking vehicle. I still hoped that soon Arnold would have enough money so that we could quit.

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No matter what he had promised Carolyn, A. R. had no interest in quitting.

Arnold became expansive. "I'll buy you the biggest diamond in New York," he promised. "I'll buy you the best fur coat. Whatever you want I'll buy it for you." She didn't want a fur coat: she wanted a husband. If that meant giving up gambling, he wasn't interested. He made excuses. Suddenly, $250,000 wasn't that much money. There were expenses, payoffs, a share to the "steerers." A. R. would not in fact, give Carolyn "whatever she wanted."

Arnold slept fitfully. The next day he traveled down to the American Tobacco Company's New York headquarters and asked for its treasurer, a Mr. Sylvester. Sylvester told A. R. that gambling debts weren't collectible. Rothstein wouldn't budge. "I am going to pay this-this-draft," Sylvester finally announced. "You accepted it in good faith, at least with as much good faith as a gambler accepts any 1. 0. U. However, I am informing you now that I will not honor another such I. 0. U., not even for five cents. Do we understand each other?"

A. R. understood. He pocketed his $250,000 check and walked out the door.

The experience grated on him. "He treated me like dirt," Arnold complained to his wife. "Well, I've got a quarter of a million dollars and that makes me as good as he is."

But the era of the gambling house was about to end with a murder on 43rd Street. Rothstein would have to change with the times. He did-and dramatically increased both his already sizable take and influence in the world of vice.

CHAPTER 6 * "He'll Crucify the Big Feller"

F YOU WANTED TO OPERATE Illegally in New York-gambling, prost.i.tution, a saloon-no problem. You required: 1. appropriate discretion (i.e., avoid having too spectacular a murder on your premises) and 2. protection from two venerable New York inst.i.tutions: Tammany Hall and the police.

City cops were as crooked as the politicians. From police on the beat to the highest officials at headquarters, they possessed plentiful opportunities-and took 'em eagerly. They became rich, arrogant, and ultimately too independent for Tammany. When the politicians finally had enough and concluded they had allowed too much autonomy to the cops, they decided to deal more directly with city vice lords. Their primary go-between would be Arnold Rothstein.

Change came when a corrupt, brutal police lieutenant named Charles Becker ordered some East Side toughs to gun down his erstwhile partner, gambler Herman "Beansy" Rosenthal, ordering him murdered on a crowded street just off Times Square-questionable judgment on everyone's part. Moreover, Becker sanctioned Rosenthal's murder during one of the infrequent periods when Manhattan enjoyed a Republican district attorney. That was truly reckless. That was inexcusable.

Venal police officials long predated Lieutenant Becker, the most spectacular being Inspector Alexander "Clubber" Williams, Commissioner "Big Bill" Devery, and Becker's former superior, Captain Max Schmittberger. Their careers reveal the workings of what frustrated reformers called "The System."

"Clubber" Williams didn't invent police corruption and brutality, but transformed both into fine arts. In 1876, when Williams's superiors transferred him from a mundane East 20s precinct to the West Side's Central Broadway District, hub of Manhattan's gambling, white slave, and liquor trades, his greedy heart leaped with joy. "I've had nothing but chuck steak for a long time," Williams chortled, "and now I'm going to get a little of the Tenderloin." Previously, the precinct was "Satan's Circus," forever afterward-the "Tenderloin."

Clubber exploited his opportunities, acc.u.mulating a $500,000 fortune, a seventeen-room town house, a $17,000 steam yacht, and a Connecticut country estate. Eighteen times he was investigated for graft. Eighteen times he won acquittal.

Gotham's cops had a license to steal, but Tammany charged them for the license. Even in Williams' day, a promotion to roundsman cost $300; to sergeant, $1,600; and to captain, anywhere from $12,000 to $16,000. Big money, but money easily earned back.

Clubber Williams paved the way for others. In the 1890s, William S. "Big Bill" Devery-300 pounds, crooked, and often drunk-served as New York's police commissioner. Devery, in partnership with Big Tim Sullivan and Sullivan's ally Frank Farrell, controlled Manhattan gambling. By 1900 Manhattan police payoffs amounted to $3 million annually, twenty times that amount in the purchasing power a century later. In 1894 the Board of Police Commissioners booted Devery off the force. A grand jury indicted him for extortion. But Big Bill won acquittal and returned to duty. A few years later, after the same process of indictment and acquittal, the New York State Legislature abolished the commissionership. Devery still survived. Tammany Mayor Robert A. Van Wyck, who called Big Bill New York's best police chief ever, reinstated him, imaginatively naming him "Deputy" Commissioner.

Most folks at Tammany liked Devery, among them organization boss Richard Croker. The general public, however, sickened of having their pockets picked by the Croker-Van Wyck-Devery operation. In 1901 Croker dumped the unpopular Van Wyck from the ticket, but Republican Seth Low still captured City Hall in a landslide. Croker departed for a genteel European exile, replaced at Tammany by Charles Francis Murphy, a taciturn but savvy East Side saloonkeeper. Murphy attempted to distance Tammany from Devery-and from other obvious thieves. It was a policy that would inevitably make the ostensibly colorless Murphy the Hall's most successful leader.

Big Bill could comfortably retire from public life; he just didn't enjoy being shoved out. In 1902 he contested a Murphy henchman for leadership in the West Side's Ninth a.s.sembly District, going all out for victory. Big Bill packed 10,000 const.i.tuents onto two steamboats, six barges, and a single tugboat for a magnificent Hudson River cruise, where they received sandwiches, soft drinks, pies, 6,000 pounds of candy, 1,500 quarts of ice cream, and even 1,500 nursing bottles for infants. Forty-five musicians serenaded the crowd. As Devery's flotilla docked, fireworks exploded from nearby barges, and Big Bill dispensed shiny silver twenty-five-cent pieces to each child.

Just before the primary, Devery staged another outing, distributing 20,000 of beer from kegs emblazoned "Special Devery Brew." He won. But Murphy cited a Democrat County Committee rule allowing the expulsion of "objectionable" members and refused to seat him.

In 1903 Devery retaliated, running for mayor as an independent. He outraged the churchgoing Murphy by exposing a house of prost.i.tution operating at a Murphy-owned property at Lexington and 27th. "There's been more young girls ruined in that house than in any other place in the city," Devery charged. "The trouble with that fellow [Murphy] is that he's got a red light hangin' around his neck, and consequently he sees a red light in whichever direction he looks." Devery handily lost to Tammany-backed Congressman George B. McClellan.

In 1894, during one of the state senate's periodic probes of police graft, its Lexow Committee heard testimony from Clubber Williams' henchman, NYPD Captain Max Schmittberger. Schmittberger implicated both himself and Williams in corrupt activities, but proved unusually flexible. When times had called for corruption, he was corrupt. When reform was in vogue, he was honest. Schmittberger not only remained on the force after the probe, he won promotion to oversee the Tenderloin. Reformers-including President of the Board of Police Commissioners Theodore Roosevelt-thought Schmittberger had gone straight. As long as they held office, he had.

But when Tammany reclaimed power, Schmittberger reverted to form, exacting tribute from every Tenderloin poolroom, bordello, and saloon. To help collect his loot Schmittberger engaged the services of Lieutenant Charles Becker, a cop as tough and corrupt as any of his predecessors. Born in the Catskills in 1870, as a teenager he moved to the Lower East Side's burgeoning German neighborhood. He worked at menial jobs (including bouncer in a huge Germanic beer hall, the Atlantic Gardens), meeting the usual neighborhood characters: street toughs, gamblers, prost.i.tutes, and Tammany politicians. Tammany liked him. He wasn't just physically imposing, his manner distinguished him from other bullyboys. The Wigwam admired him so much, that in November 1893 it not only obtained his appointment to the force, it waived its usual fee.

Charley habitually fell into trouble, but-each time-somebody pulled him out. On the evening of September 15, 1896, Becker, on plainclothes a.s.signment outside West 32nd Street's newly opened Broadway Gardens, arrested three women for soliciting. Two of the ladies were being escorted by Stephen Crane, a reporter for William Randolph Hearst's New York journal and author of the recent bestseller The Red Badge of Courage. Crane, who later claimed to be interviewing the women for an article, protested that n.o.body had done anything wrong. Becker released Crane's companions, but hauled the third woman-a "really handsome," redheaded prost.i.tute named Dora Clark-into the 19th Precinct house on 30th Street. Crane followed. Despite police warnings, Crane defended Clark vociferously. ("Whatever her character, the arrest was an outrage. The policeman flatly lied.") The next morning a magistrate dismissed charges against Clark, but Crane remained outraged. He discovered that only shortly before Dora Clark's arrest, Becker had falsely accused another woman of soliciting. Crane also learned of a general police vendetta against Clark, initiated after she spurned a swarthy officer named Rosenberg, whom she mistakenly thought to be black. ("How dare you speak to a decent white woman!") Soon after, Becker met Clark on the street, throttling, punching, and kicking her until pa.s.sersby restrained him. He threatened Dora that she would "wind up in the river" if she caused any more trouble for the police.

Crane demanded that Becker be disciplined, and learned how police protect their own. Cops raided Crane's living quarters. At Becker's departmental hearing, every off-duty officer in the precinct appeared in a demonstration of support for their comrade. Becker's attorney implied that Crane, never the most fastidiously moral person, was both a pimp and an opium addict. His questions were perfunctorily ruled out of order, but, nonetheless, made their way to the pages of the daily press. Becker won acquittal. Police Commissioner Roosevelt (formerly a friend and admirer of Crane's; Crane had dined at T. R.'s home in July and autographed a copy of The Red Badge of Courage) professed concern for gratuitous police roughness, but heartily congratulated Becker and turned his back on Crane permanently. Police accelerated Crane's hara.s.sment. Newspapers continued questioning his morals and judgment. He left the city for safer territory.

Becker soon found himself in more trouble. On September 20, 1896-five days after arresting Dora Clark-he discovered three men robbing a tobacco store. He clubbed one man. Then he and his partner, an Officer Carey, fired at the other two. One shot went through a suspect's heart. Police falsely identified the dead man as the "notorious fanlight operator [burglar] John O'Brien," and Becker and Carey enjoyed considerable public approval for two full days. But the dead man was no burglar. He was nineteen-year-old plumber's a.s.sistant John. Fay. Becker received a month's suspension. Only Big Tim Sullivan's intervention kept him on the force.

That December Becker arrested yet another woman for soliciting. She turned out to be the very proper wife of a Paterson, New Jersey, textile manufacturer. "I don't care who she is," Becker responded. "I know a wh.o.r.e when I see one." Again, Big Tim saved his job. Not long afterward, a teenager charged Becker of beating him senseless in a theater lobby.

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