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 …

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 …

When the Mafia Leaders Do Less Time Than A Woman In Love

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha is quoted speaking outside the courtroom, “We have driven a stake through the heart of organized crime in Rhode Island and we’ve cut off its head in Boston.”  Maybe he meant they gave a steak to the organized crime leadership who cut off a piece or two and enjoyed the taste …