ON JANUARY 25, 1933, A FEDERAL GRAND JURY IN NEW YORK wound up a wearying 20-month marathon and indicted Arthur Flegenheimer on the same charge that had brought down Al Capone: income tax evasion. The jurors had examined carloads of evidence and taken testimony from 300 witnesses paraded before them by that 31-year-old prodigy in the United States Attorney's office--Thomas E. Dewey.
The indictment cited the reformed Beer Baron for neglecting to file returns during 1929, 1930 and 1931 on $481,637.35 in taxable income from his multimillion-dollar bootlegging operations. The figures for 1931, showing a gross of $728,000 and a net of $237,000, made no reference to any odd nickels and dimes which may have come into the Dutchman's coffers from the policy racket in his maiden year in that Harlem vineyard. The government may not have known about the new Flegenheimer sideline, since the police of that happy time weren't taking any pains to broadcast the guy's connection with anything so odious as a game that preyed on the poor.
Schultz, charged with cheating Uncle out of $92,103.34 in the three-year period, did not need to be reminded that a tax rap had reduced AI Capone from his baronial underworld eminence to the overall shop in the federal pen in Atlanta before consigning him to an even drearier existence on that dreadful rock in the Pacific called Alcatraz. The Capone conviction only went back to October 1931.
But even beyond any painful reflections about how nasty the courts could be with racket bums who failed to cut the government in on a decent share of the proceeds, the Dutchman had to think twice about standing trial at that moment in a case in which he faced a possible 43 years in prison and something like $110,000 in fines.
In the first place, he was too busy.
While Repeal was about to remove him from the beer and whisky trade, he had his hands full with the infinitely more complex and troublesome policy operation and he was going to need to wring more and more money out of the numbers, not just for the inevitable showdown over taxes but for a much more immediate necessity. There was an election coming and the mob had to put its holstered shoulder to the wheel to help Jimmy Hines see that the right kind of guy occupied the office of District Attorney of Manhattan. To raise the loot for this worthy cause, Schultz would have to tap the policy banks harder and harder--an item that could not well be left entirely to the Combination's subordinates.
So the Dutchman, hardly caught by surprise when the indictment was handed down, elected to become a fugitive rather than tangle with Tom Dewey. Now lest there be any undue concern about the man's plight, it is well to note that he did not become a fugitive in the pure Webster sense ("resorting to flight, running away, fleeing as from pursuit, danger, or restraint"). No. None of those conditions could be applied to Arthur Flegenheimer. While he would be idenified for the next 22 months as the "fugitive mobster" he wasn't going to have to do much running. He wasn't even going to have to spoil that plain raw map of his with a mustache or dye his hair the way Vincent Coll had to do when he was on the lam.
Thus we come to one of the more intriguing periods in the Schultz saga, because it says something about his brash ways and, more important, it says something about the police of New York in the Year of Our Lord 1933--and 1934, too.
Manhattan Headquarters launched the search for Arthur Flegenheimer by putting out 50,000 wanted cards on him for worldwide distribution--and the face on the card supposedly was the object of a manhunt by the city's 18,000 men in blue as well as that little band of never-say-die federal men on the Eastern Seaboard. The same face adorned post office bulletin boards everywhere and might as well have been up in lights on Broadway along with such other familiar faces of the time as George M. Cohan, Fred Astaire or Bert Lahr. Beyond this, we were told that there was a round-the-clock vigil on all airports, piers and depots. Get it? The Big Town was locked up tight. The hunted man could never get away.
He never had to.
He was home, tending to his business. Oh, he kept some spare haberdashery in Connecticut, outside the Dewey jurisdiction, but George Weinberg never had to take any time away from the on-the-scene policy operation to go all the way up there to see the Chairman of the Board. George could always see the boss in a flat he had on East 44th Street or in a hideaway apartment at 89th Street and Riverside Drive, where Dixie Davis talked about seeing him too, or in a spare place he kept way up at Broadway and 207th Street. For that matter there were moments of crisis when one could see the Dutchman in the wide-open storefront GHQ of the policy racket at 351 Lenox Avenue in the very heart of Harlem.
But wait. The portrait of the mobster in flight gets more interesting as it goes along.
Frances Flegenheimer said she had gone to Pennsylvania Station with Arthur several times in 1933--did you note above how the depots were being watched?--to see Jimmy Hines or Dixie Davis off for Washington. This was in the period when efforts were being made to straighten out Schultz's tax problems; presumably some eleventh-hour strategy sessions at the station were indicated. Frances furnished some other interesting tidbits on the fugitive as well. She said that one night in 1934 she had a late dinner with Arthur and Mr. Hines at Luchow's after the three of them had killed some time in a night club. She didn't name the club; it might have been one of the more secluded oases. As for Luchow's, that celebrated downtown haven of the sauerbraten crowd was about as private as Penn Station itself, although it is conceivable that the man hunters could have missed their quarry in such roomy quarters. It's a shame the sleuths never tried the Embassy Club on East 57th Street, a carriage trade joint the Dutchman himself owned at one time or another. Edward Severi, bartender at the Embassy, something of a Manhattan shrine because that's where Helen Morgan used to sit on the old upright and tear everybody's heart out with her rendition of Bill, said that he served Mr. Schultz somewhere between 20 to 25 times while he was on the lam--and on four or five of those occasions he thought the party drinking with the underworld potentate looked an awful lot like James J. Hines.
None of this, of course, is meant to suggest that the fugitive made it a universal practice to flaunt himself in public places. In the more idle hours, he managed to keep up his customary attendance in the play-for-pay boudoirs operated by that outstanding saleswoman of the time, Miss Polly Adler. In her book, A House Is Not a Home, the mini-sized Madam recalled that while the Dutchman treated her girls to a welcome respite when he had to go underground after the murder of Vincent Coll "he reappeared upon the scene in the late summer of 1933" and was very much in evidence from that point on, escorting "important political figures" to all-night soirees with the hired help.
Night? The hunted man also was available in the daytime. Miss Adler said he turned up on a moment's notice one time after a band of neighborhood hoodlums made unscheduled visits to her playpen on successive nights and wrecked the joint. All she had to do, she said, was to tell Bo Weinberg what had happened and there was her friend Schultz--moving through midtown Manhattan in broad daylight without a care in the world. Now this may not have been as daring a feat as it sounded, because the Dutchman generally didn't have to go very far to get to Polly's place. They were neighbors. The Adler love-for-sale emporium in those days was on West 54th Street and the amorous gangster by then had a night club of his own on that same thoroughfare. This was the Chateau Madrid, always a favorite resort of Schultz's even though the sidewalk outside ran with the blood of Joey Noe on that fateful night back in 1928. On a dummy floor below the club, Schultz maintained a lavish office spread, complete with living quarters as well as all the accoutrements of a small fortress.
While George Weinberg never mentioned it, the fact is that the fugitive was also available to insiders in that snug haven in the heart of the little village Peter Minuit had picked up from the Indians for $24 some 300 years before the modern-time Dutchman decided to make Manhattan his preserve. And without wishing to be nasty the author invites the reader to bear in mind that the Chateau Madrid not only was conveniently close to Polly Adler's place but also was just a hop-skip-and-jump away from the West 54th Street police station, like three blocks. It is also well to remember that when the new year turned there was a new broom in the City Hall, wielded by Fiorello LaGuardia, and a tough new commissioner, Lewis J. Valentine, at Police Headquarters. This is not necessarily to infer either a lack of concern or any corruption on such lofty 1934 levels but just to underline the extraordinary immunity enjoyed by Arthur Flegenheimer when whole armies were supposed to be beating the bushes for him. Obviously, Lewis Valentine could not get the top brass under him to get the gold badges under them to get a couple of plain ordinary detectives to go bring in the most celebrated tax dodger of the time and, incidentally, the boss of the policy racket which the new Mayor was talking about stamping out.
Now if Schultz was so much as playing the part of the hunted man during his cash-and-carry idylls with the inmates of Polly Adler's house of all nations, he surely never betrayed it. Thus one day, Polly, returning from a visit to her parents in Brooklyn, found her Number One customer "in the kitchen, sitting with his feet propped on the window sill, reading The Life of AI Capone." Doing some research, no doubt, but there's a larger point here. The Dutchman evidently felt as safe in Polly Adler's midtown sin den--at the window, indeed--as he would have felt on the Island of Elba (mentioned in this connection only because Dixie Davis once listed Emil Ludwig's Life of Napoleon as one of his client's favorite tomes).
Perhaps one should be charitable and concede that the fugitive really ran no risk of detection in Polly Adler's window because all the town's Javerts had their eyes peeled squarely to the ground looking for footprints in the relentless search for him. But this brings up still another item: only two years had elapsed since Judge Seabury had plastered the peppery Madam all over the front pages in his investigation into the prostitution industry and its alliances with officialdom. What is noteworthy is that the Dutchman could loll around Miss Adler's new pleasure palace secure in the knowledge that no nosy cops were ever coming around perchance to see if that woman of scarlet had fallen upon her errant ways again. You might say that Mr. Schultz was just as safe from apprehension there as he was at Penn Station, Luchow's
or the Embassy Club.
Lest any impression get abroad here that the eternal weakness of the flesh is what kept the fugitive around Manhattan so much with all that cold heat on him, let us consider here not just his policy and tax headaches but his 1933 debut in Democratic machine politics. Schultz had a fair amount of muscle and money--and a pretty good piece of his future-wrapped up in the municipal campaign that winter. Maybe he couldn't keep those stiff-necked federal tax snoops off his back, but he could do himself a great deal of good in his "business" if he had the right kind of guys in high office in the town. This is not to say that the Dutchman had set his sights on any impossible dream. Being so close to a district leader whose father and grandfather before him had served as Tammany captains under such monumental boodle boys as Richard Croker and William Marcy Tweed, Schultz knew better.
"We have to concentrate on the D.A. more than anything else," he told George Weinberg in one of his Manhattan hideaways that September. "It looks like the D.A. has a chance where the Mayor might not have a chance."
Did it pay to know Jimmy Hines or not? Of course. Jimmy Hines knew that LaGuardia, bobbing downstream with the sweet wind of reform at his back, was unbeatable. The Little Flower was running against Tammally's bumbling John P. O'Brien with Joe McKee of The Bronx on the ballot as an independent Democrat, a cinch to draw off O'Brien votes. So the mob's mission, as Arthur told George, was to elect itself a District Attorney--and Mr. Hines happened to have the man for the job. Tom Dewey said that Jimmy Hines wanted William Copeland Dodge because William Copeland Dodge was "stupid, respectable and my man." In the first Hines trial, before Judge Ferdinand Pecora, Dewey would introduce evidence to show that those quotes belonged to the district leader.
Dixie Davis, for example, swore that when Hines told him he was going to back Dodge, then a Magistrate, for the nomination, this dialog ensued--
DAVIS: I don't see why you should be for Dodge because I think he is very stupid and he doesn't know what
it is all about, and he would be harmful to us because of his stupidity.
HINES: I wouldn't worry about it. I can handle him.
DAVIS: If he's Okay with you he'll be all right with me--but I still think he's stupid.
When Davis in another reference testified that he told Hines that he did not think that Dodge "would make a good man" as District Attorney, Judge Pecora broke in:
"A good man for whom or what?"
"I meant by that that he might make a good man for the people of New York City but I didn't have any faith in what he might do for us."
"Us?" asked Pecora.
"I meant Schultz and those people who afterwards financed his campaign," Davis said.
Pecora ordered that answer stricken as too vague.
"I meant the underworld," Davis then said.
"Who, name them," said the Judge, and now he got this answer from the busted barrister:
"I meant Schultz. I meant Bo. I meant Ison. I meant Pompez. I meant Hines and I meant myself. I meant everybody that was in any way connected with us."
Getting the nomination for Dodge proved to be no problem, naturally. Jimmy Hines simply passed the word along to John Curry in the Tammany wigwam and, lo, the Judge turned up on the O'Brien ticket. Henry Sobel, one of the party faithful, was named campaign manager for the austere-looking candidate and when he asked Mr. Curry about the wherewithal, like money to hustle up the votes, he was referred to Hines. There were 70 district leaders in the Hall at the time, mind you, but only Mr. Hines was to be tapped for the drive to install Bill Dodge in that big, musty office in the Criminal Courts Building.
Sobel, an insurance man, said that Hines came up with $11,OOO--and there's a small embarrassment there too. George Weinberg testified that the policy banks were tapped for $32,000 for the Dodge campaign, and Dixie Davis swore that he personally had $12,000 to $15,000 of that amount shoveled along to Hines. Beyond that, there was a smattering of testimony from some of the policy bankers on the amounts the mob had slugged them for during the campaign. Big Joe Ison, for one, said he had to hold still for successive bites of $2,500 each that fall and when he asked George Weinberg about the fresh assessments on the banks he was told, "They're campaign funds for the Democratic Party. We want a Democratic Mayor and a Democratic District Attorney."
Indeed, the Combination's enthusiasm for the party of progress and social enlightenment was so boundless that year that Big Spender Davis threw in two or three grand of his very own--or so he said--as shortages afflicted the campaign kitty. It adds up then not just to $32,000 but perhaps to 34 or 35 Big Ones against the $11,000 Sobel reported collecting for the Dodge drive. One can only wonder which portions of the missing currency stuck to whose hands while Bill Dodge labored valorously on the stump to bring a new kind of crime-fighting to the racket-infested metropolis. It is a fair assumption that Henry Sobel didn't get away with any of it, because the mob must have had all kinds of eyes trained on him while he made his journeys back and forth from Harlem to replenish that anemic campaign chest. If you can believe men like Weinberg and Davis, the sticky fingers had to belong to nobody other than James J. Hines, but then you would have to allow for the fact that the district leader might have done some direct spending in that campaign without using Henry Sobel as a middleman. Hines, having protested his innocence all the way in the matter of Dutch Schultz, never had occasion to try to set any portion of the record straight. Found guilty and sent to Sing Sing on a four-to-eight-year sentence, he did three years and ten months behind the gray walls and, burdened with garlands for his labors in the prison greenhouse, came out at the age of 67 just as grimly tight-lipped as ever.
George Weinberg told of one instance a month before the election when Davis called him and said the "Old Man" (Hines) needed some instant cash for the Dodge campaign and to scoop up $3,000 in small bills and rush them right down to the law office of Joseph Shalleck, a Hines pal. "I greeted Hines and told him, 'I have that money for you,' " whereupon--this is Weinberg's testimony--the "Old Man" turned to a bespectacled gentleman in the room and said, "Do you know George? This is one of Dutch Schultz's boys. This is where I am getting my money for your campaign." The way Weinberg remembered it, the man with the glasses was William Copeland Dodge. And he remembered that the candidate was so grateful that he staked him to a handshake. Dodge, for his part, had no memory of such a meeting in the Shalleck office or anywhere else. "I never saw that man in my entire life," he said on the witness stand. "I was never introduced to him. I never shook hands with him. And no money was ever passed by him to Mr. Hines in my
Beyond that, the beleaguered Dodge denied that Hines ever told him that the mob was picking up all the grunts for his campaign. He said that Henry Sobel, an honorable sort, never would have taken that kind of tainted money.
The former District Attorney had a bad time on the stand when it was brought out that a Grand Jury he impaneled in 1935 to look into policy and other naughty things had heard testimony to the effect that the underworld had bankrolled his election. Dodge had trouble remembering whether the assistant who presented that evidence, Maurice G. Wahl, had told him precisely what had come out.
"Is it your testimony here in this courtroom," Dewey asked him, "that Wahl did not tell you that the underworld or Dutch Schultz or gangsters, or something like that, had contributed money to your campaign?"
"Now he may have mentioned Dutch Schultz, I have forgotten about that," Dodge replied. Then he said no, Wahl had not mentioned Schultz. Then he said well, maybe Wahl did say the money had come from the Schultz crowd. Then, worse, Dodge had to admit under Dewey's insistent prodding that while Wahl had indeed told him something about that interesting testimony on May 13 he didn't bother to look into it until August 16 when the Grand Jury transcript reached his desk. And what did he do then? Whatever it was, it had to be minimal at best, according to Dodge's own admissions. He said he did not question Hines, or Sobel, or his campaign treasurer, William R. Mclntosh or, for that matter, anybody else. It added up to a highly damaging portrait of a District Attorney maintaining either an extraordinary calm or an inexplicable indifference after a Grand Jury--in this case his own Grand Jury--had heard a qualified witness testify that known criminals had put him in office.
The questioning of Dodge, unfortunately, did not touch upon his skintight victory in the election. While the Republican-Fusion forces of LaGuardia were marching triumphantly into City Hall with a plurality of 259,469, the Hines-Schultz candidate for District Attorney of Manhattan managed to squeeze in with a bare 15,015 votes to spare over Jacob Gould Schurman Jr., the GOP standard bearer, and Ferdinand Pecora, the same Pecora who would turn up on the bench five years later to preside over Jimmy Hines' first ordeal before the bar (Pecora declared a mistrial when Tom Dewey made the mistake of throwing in a question about the poultry racket).
How much did the mob help with the votes Dodge needed? Dixie Davis said that on Election Night the more muscular luminaries of the Dutchman were assembled in force in Hines' Monongahela Club to direct an army of floaters recruited to go to the polls and cast their votes--four or five times each, that is--for William Copeland Dodge. Davis said the floaters were handed a variety of registration cards--the traditional "graveyard vote" of the big-city machines--and some assorted dollar bills to compensate them for their labors. Davis listed Abe Landau, Marty Krompier, Lulu Rosenkrantz, Larry Carney, George Weinberg, Big Harry Schoenhaus and Jules Martin, the Schultz restaurant racket associate who later came to a rather bad end (the Dutchman, as will be seen, blew his head off to settle an argument). When Dewey reeled off all those names, throwing in Abbadabba Berman for good measure, Dodge submitted that it was a gallery of scoundrels utterly unbeknownst to him. He denied that Hines had ever mentioned that guy Dixie Davis to him, for that matter.
Speaking of the voluble Schultz mouthpiece, Davis testified that he went to Hines during that fruitless 1935 swipe at policy by the Dodge Grand Jury and protested that the District Attorney was hounding him. "Hines said, 'We won't worry about him,'" the lawyer went on. Was this so? Dodge, a staid 58-year-old New Englander suddenly floundering in the muddy waters of Manhattan but testifying in a firm and forceful voice as he tilted with the young prosecutor who had succeeded him when he elected not to seek another term in 1937, swore that Hines never once dared to tell him to keep his mouth shut.
As far as policy went, the burden of Dodge's recital was that in his time in office the sun barely set on a day when he wasn't pulling out all the stops to bring down the numbers mob. He said that policy arrests had tripled during his administration. Dewey didn't need to challenge that handsome statistic, since the record by then was bulging with testimony about the booming prosperity the racket enjoyed until Arthur Flegenheimer's outside troubles took his firm hand off the tiller.
Prosperity? The ever-thoughtful Dutchman found a way in 1933 to increase his own take from policy in the face of ever-rising costs. That was the Year of the Fix--Abbadabba Berman's time, a good time for the Combination and a bad time for the poor people of Harlem.
Abbadabba originally came around with his $10,000-a-week proposition in the fall of 1932. He said he could go to the tracks and fix it so that the pari-mutuel totals would hardly ever wind up to coincide with any heavily played numbers. Now that sounds ridiculous, but who could doubt the guy with the adding machine mind? Nobody. Schultz listened with a fine glow--color it green--in his bedroom eyes but turned the deal down. With millions rolling in and relative peace among the natives in the ranks, he said he thought it would be best to keep policy honest and give the players a better shake.
Come June 1933, however, adversity had eaten away at the man's less-than-Puritan moral fiber. Apart from all the bites Jimmy Hines was putting on, his legal bills were running up because he had a small army jogging between New York and Washington trying to buy off his tax case with a $100,000 settlement. You could not expect the guy to cover all those grunts with the grand a week he customarily took from each of the policy banks for walking-around money, could you? Of course not. George Weinberg said that within a period of months while the boss was on the lam and fussing over that tax headache he had to haul no less than $275,000 out of the Combination's strong box for him in dribs and drabs of, oh, $25,000 to $50,000. So it was indeed time to tap the loyal Harlem masses a little harder. It was time to call in Ab- badabba and cut down on them winning numbers.
To see how easy this was, you start with the method by which the daily policy number is arrived at. The winner is derived from the third digit in the pari-mutuel payoff totals for the first three races, then the first five races, then the first seven. Thus if the payoffs on the winning horses in the first three races added up to $315.60 and then went to $731.60 after the fifth race and $913.40 after the seventh the winning number (the one before the digits) would be 513. Well, all Abbadabba had to do was to go to the Coney Island track in Cincinnati, or to the New Orleans tracks or Florida's Tropical Park when their pari-mutuel totals were being used, and set himself up at a telephone. Just before the seventh race he would call George Weinberg in New York and tell him which two winning numbers had emerged from the first five races--5 and 1 in the example used here. Weinberg would riffle through the day's play, all collected from the various drops and neatly sorted out by then, and tell Abbadabba which
digit or digits from one to ten on the seven-race totals would produce the most winning tickets. Let's say that in this instance Weinberg reported that 513 and 517 would hurt the most.
This is where the lightning brain comes in. Just as the windows were closing for the seventh, Abbadabba would go over the payoffs on the sixth-race winners and then study the odds on all the horses in the next one to see whether the probable returns on the top three were apt to produce a total which would cause a 3 or 7 to come up in the seven-race summary. Again for purposes of our example, let's say that Abbadabba found that the indicated payoff on the top-heavy favorite in the race--the chalk, as the high players call it--was going to cause the seven-race totals to come out to $913 and change, thus making 513 the numbers winner for the day.
Once Abbadabba had that figured out--we're down to split seconds now, mind you--he would have to throw some fast bets into the window to alter the odds and change the payoffs. Abbadabba, only Abbadabba, could do that, and at Coney Island, moreover, he enjoyed a singular advantage. There he had a way to get his bets down after the seventh started and while the field was still battling for the finish line. A sure system. He was exercising the final say on the payoffs and maybe now and then snaring himself a winner in the process--and collecting $10,000 a week for the strain all this put on his mental processes.
It sounds impossible, but it worked because of the sheer mechanical wizardry of Mr. Biederman-Berman, compounded, of course, by the privileges he enjoyed around the friendlier tracks. You understand, it couldn't have been done without the rare benefit of that outside telephone line and the collaboration of the world's most congenial track officials and mutual clerks.
How well did it work? George Weinberg said that "pretty near every day was a winning day" after Abbadabba began to toil in the Dutchman's cause because the banks seldom got stung for anything worse than small hits. In simple terms, the rigged payoffs almost invariably steered the pari-mutuel totals away from the more heavily played numbers, and this happy process, in operation whenever the right tracks were running, ran on and off from 1933 into 1935. How much it may have enriched the individual banks in the Combination is something else. To begin with, the Dutchman made them ante up $2,500 a week apiece to pay that initial overhead item of $10,000 to compensate Abbadabba for his exhausting labors. It is a fair assumption that the lion's share of policy's new-found wealth wound up in the pockets of the game's white master.
Strangely, it wasn't enough.
In the same year, Schultz found it necessary--or perhaps the word is advisable--to cut the commissions of his runners and controllers to put some more bulge into the Arthur Flegenheimer Defense Fund against that inevitable rainy day in court. How much of a cut? A round 50 percent, down to 10 percent for the runners and 5 percent for the controllers, seemed about right, and in a move of such dimensions the proper executive breaks the news himself even if he happens to be the nation's most wanted (or is it "wanted") fugitive. So, with New York clearly exempt from the worldwide search for him, the Dutchman around Decoration Day of 1933 showed up in person at his Lenox Avenue GHQ to break the bad news.
This session, combining the agony of a pay cut with the ecstasy of a rare visit with the big boss, was aired early in 1935 in the course of a bail bond investigation conducted by Paul Blanshard, Mayor LaGuardia's vigorously incorruptible Commissioner of Accounts. Irving Ben Cooper, Blanshard's Seabury-trained counsel, elicited the story from the lips of Max Romney, a tall and elegant East Indian Negro who went back to 1920 in policy. Romney, a controller for the Combination, told Cooper that the Dutchman's poverty plea fell on universally deaf ears even though his less charming helpers, such as Abe Landau, were talking rather freely about breaking some heads if any serious resistance developed. The mobsters evidently had never learned the aphorism that in unity there is strength. Now they found out about it. The runners and controllers hired a hall and held a mass protest meeting, like any labor stiffs going against a skinflint employer, and declared a strike of sorts. All of a sudden fewer and fewer bets were being delivered to the banks, reducing the vast policy inflow to a mere trickle as the Dutchman's street soldiers lost their zeal for shaking the nickels and dimes out of the pockets of their Harlem neighbors.
How effective was this? Alexander Pompez told the Hines trial that his bank's volume dropped from $9,000 a day to $186 in the first week of the strike. The lesson, naturally, was not lost on Dutch Schultz. The cut in the commissions was swiftly revoked. The aforementioned Romney, for his part, quit policy in the wake of the unseemly labor-management dispute and stayed out in the face of an apparent death sentence. "I got threats that if I didn't come back and behave myself they'd pick my body out of the river," Romney told the Blanshard investigation.
The significant item in the Romney-Pompez disclosures, of course, is the timing. The weight of their testimony, among others, was that the Dutchman was in the Lenox Avenue command post at least once a week during 1933 and well into 1934--even with that tough new administration downtown. One has to wonder why some lowly foot cop on patrol along the avenue never went into that storefront and picked himself up a promotion and some instant fame by putting the cuffs on that long-missing fugitive.
Didn't anybody in the city of New York want Dutch Schultz brought in? If the men in blue couldn't be bothered, (the tax case was federal, after all), how about the government sleuths? There were all kinds of stories about the intrepid T-men trailing the guy to dark and dangerous hideaways outside the city and just missing him by a whisper. Beautiful, but why didn't they ever take that nickel subway ride up to Harlem and see if Arthur Flegenheimer might perchance be around there minding the store?