Boston Gang Wars- Murdered by the McLeans: Bernard McLaughlin

BERNARD McLAUGHLIN, 40                                           October 31, 1961 On Tuesday, October 31, 1961, shortly after noon and thirty-six hours after Buddy McLean fired shots near his car at night, Bernie McLaughlin walked down Chelsea Street, in City …

Boston Gang Wars- Loan Sharks and Bookies: Harold “Zimmy” Zimmerman

HAROLD “ZIMMY” ZIMMERMAN, 38                        November 8, 1956 Zimmerman would be the first of three Jewish men involved in the bookmaking business who were murdered between 1956 and Labor Day, 1961. The North End sought to send a message to the Jewish bookmakers that dealing …

Boston Waterfront Murders- John F. (Fats) Buccelli

JOHN F. (FATS) BUCCELLI, 44              June 19, 1958 Buccelli had a record going back over the years including convictions for burglary, larceny, bookmaking and breaking and entering. In 1940, he was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to five to seven-years in State Prison. On June 6, 1956, four …

Introduction: Origins of the Irish-Italian Gang Wars

Boston was a city that welcomed European immigrants throughout the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century. Large numbers of Italian immigrants settled in Boston’s North End in the late 19th century. Equally great numbers of Irish immigrants settled in South Boston, “Southie” during the same period. Both sections border the Boston Harbor, separated …

Background to the Boston Gang Wars: Mythmaking

To understand the Boston Gang Wars of the 1960’s and 1970’s, you have to understand Boston.  Boston is a city of myths. Its people thrive in its mystique.  Boston calls itself the “hub of the universe.” This statement was first made by Oliver Wendel Holmes in 1858 in an essay he was writing for The …