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Murder, inc.,: The story of "the syndicate,"

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Burton B. Turkus was an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. Sid Feder was a veteran journalist.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Young; 4th Printing edition (1951)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007DO1QE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,890,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
MURDER INC. is an excellent informative source on the subject of organized crime in the United States and murder in New York City in particular. The book is written by the authors in plain english and legalese is avoided. The book reads like a whos who in the world of the Syndicate. The reader must be cautioned that this book contains intricate details of actual murders and may not be suitable to all, particularly individuals offended by material of this nature.
The author makes his arguments well and is persuasive enough to have the reader wondering if murders which appear in the daily papers as unsolvable, could possibly be related to the world of organized crime. In addition it makes one wonder about many political decisions being made by our elected officials today and if these officials have in some manner been influenced by crminal organizations such as the Syndicate.
The author clearly justifies his argument that the Brookly faction of MURDER INC. was a gang of violent thugs who employed almost every conceivable method to carry out their chosen trade. Mr. Tukus further points out that this faction is not unique to the syndicate as a national organization.The book describes among other methods, murder by ice pick, drowning, hacking by cleaver, and strangulation. The murders, as argued by the author, seem to be performed for the purposes of ensuring continued criminal operations.
This book is well written and is highly recommended to all who are serious students in the field of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement as well as anyone interested in just reading an entertaining history of crime in the U.S. and New York City.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Murder Inc." was written by a former Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York-Burton Turkus. In the years just preceding WW2, Mr. Turkus successfully prosecuted several members of the national crime organization he terms the Syndicate. Seven went to the electric chair at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York. The author believed that the Mafia, as we now know the term, did not then exist. There are both weak and strong points to MI. Weak points include the author's breezy style, with which this reviewer was initially uncomfortable. At the outset, Turkus wrote as if his readers were as knowledgeable of the subject as he. I found it difficult to keep up with the both the story and the cast of characters. These are not the Gottis, Colombos, Gallos or Gambinos of a more current era. These guys are of the 1930s and early 40s and comparatively unknown-especially to non native New Yorkers. They are not even all Italian. We are introduced to Harry Strauss ("Pittsburgh Phil"), Louis Buchalter ("Lepke"), and Abe Reles ("Kid Twist"). I will save the infamous-and embarrassing! - tale of the Kid's demise for those who buy the book. We are introduced to Italian criminals as well: Albert Anastasia (the boss of the waterfront), the notoriously powerful Frank Costello ("The Ambassador") and the cover boy Joey Adonis, who even the author respectfully calls "Mister A". Midway through the text, this reviewer felt a shift! MI got stronger! Perhaps I warmed up to Turkus' style. Perhaps an anonymous editor took charge of the text. Perhaps I became used to the characters-and "characters" they are! I loved the painstaking recounting of various rubouts. These guys planned! I appreciated the savvy courtroom tactics needed to convict the accused mobsters, all defended by top-notch counsel.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
One of my the many things that history has given me is the myths and legends of the underworld and the mafia. Murder, Inc. is the answer to the myriad of question history class never answered.
For over 20 years I have been reading about men like Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Buggsy Siegel, Frank Costello, Johnny Torio and Albert Anastasia, and until this book I was misinformed about a number of things.
From the early 30's and into the 40's and 50's, follow along and watch the trail of over 1,000 brutal and horrific murders were committed by one the most ruthless groups of individuals ever assembled.
Read along and watch Murder Inc. bring and end to prohibition, and how this same group was taken down as the author, a former Brooklyn DA, sent seven of the men to the chair. This book ranks number 2 in my reviews for 1999!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good, quick read. Of course, it goes on Turkus's word only, and a few things have come out differently over the years. It's also written in a very noir style - very dramatized. Not bad for a quick read, but I do prefer other books that have been written about Murder, Incorporated.
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Format: Paperback
The only thing this book doesn't give on the Mob up to the mid 50's is an org chart. This is probably the best look at the Mob from an insider's point of view outside of WISEGUY. And much of the inside information comes from a made man, something Henry Hill (the mobster in WISEGUY) never was. Learn about the Purge of Mafia, the establishment of the international cartel, the histories of the biggest names in organized crime history, including Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Albert Anastasia, Joey Adonnis, Bugsy Seigel, and the rest of Murder, Inc. The only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars is that it is embarrassingly out-of-date and therefore presents a distorted view of the Mob in the years up to 1955. It can't benefit from historical perspective or just the distance of time.
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