The Prototype for Citi Bike Was Invented By Monk Eastman, A Pigeon-Loving Gangster From Williamsburg

Image via Wikipedia
Monk Eastman, circa 1910-1920
Earlier this month, Citi Bike announced that its bike renters had taken over 5 million rides. And while they're certainly the biggest name in the bike rental game today, if they were operating 100 years ago, they'd have some stiff competition from Monk Eastman, an eccentric Brooklyn-born gangster who ran one of the earliest, most successful bike shares in the city's history, when he wasn't busy hoarding animals, beating people up, or smoking copious amounts of opium.

Eastman was reputedly born Edward Osterman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn around 1873 (although some accounts contend he was born in Corlear's Hook, now a park area on the Lower East Side). He loved cats and pigeons, so much so that his father, a Jewish restaurant owner, helped set him up with his own pet shop.

But the pet store game failed to excite him, and he left in the mid-1890s to become a bouncer (or "sheriff", as they were then known) at the mammoth New Irving Dance Hall. Eastman sounds like he was a real looker in his prime, according to a description of him in Low Life, Luc Sante's classic book about the seedy underbelly of turn-of-the-century New York:

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Motorcycle Gang Chases, Attacks SUV Driver on West Side Highway [VIDEO]

Categories: Gangsters

Screencap via YouTube
Update, 8:02 p.m.: The driver of the SUV has been identified as Alexian Lien, 33, a Director at Skrill, an "e-commerce" site. There are still no arrests in the case. At the time Lien, his wife Rosalyn, and their two-year-old child were on a drive celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

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After SUV Attack, Internet Thinks All Hollywood Stuntz Gang Members Are "Pussy" "Terrorists" Who Deserve to Die

A motorcycle gang chased a man and his family in their SUV down West Side Highway in revenge from running over a few of its members, according to a video going viral on Live Leak. It is unclear from the video what started the dispute, but at the beginning we see the gang harassing the car and clogging the entire three lanes of West Side Highway, before the seemingly frightened driver runs over a few of the bikers in an escape attempt.

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Hells Angels Cronies, Gambinos Join Forces in Thuggery

Categories: Gangsters
Here's some free advice: If you need some quick cash, a loan from a Gambino crime family associate is one of the worst ways to go about getting it. And if being indebted to the Mafia isn't enough to scare you off, this might: In at least two cases, a Gambino gangster has teamed up with a Hells Angels crony to get someone to pay up. And when Hells Angels and mobsters ask you to pay up, it's rarely a polite suggestion -- in this case, it involved brass knuckles, a gun, and a baseball bat.

Three men -- each with ties to violent gangs, including the Hells Angels and the Gambino crime family -- have been indicted on extortion charges for allegedly threatening a Queens man on multiple occasions after he didn't pay back a $50,000 loan to the gangsters' satisfaction.

According to court documents obtained by the Voice, James Ferrara, a Gambino associate; Daniel Hanley, a member of the Westies street gang; and Peter Kanakis, a member of the Demon Knights -- a sub-chapter of the Hells Angels -- have been hit with an eight-count indictment charging them with multiple counts of extortion.

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Netas Gangsters "Boobie," "J-Live," And "Lae" Charged In 2004 Shotgun Murders

Three members of the Netas, a street gang that's found its way from the prisons of Puerto Rico to the streets of New York, have been indicted on murder charges in the 2004 shotgun slayings of two rival gangsters.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the three gangsters -- Alvaro Cabral, a.k.a. "Boobie," Luis Benitez, a.k.a. "Lae," and Jason Cabral, a.k.a. "J-Live" -- murdered two members of the Latin Kings, a rival Hispanic street gang, by blowing their heads off with shotguns.

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MS-13 Gangster Carlos "Silencio" Ortega Indicted For Attempted Murder Of Voice Source, Murder Of Two Others


The MS-13 gangster who admitted to shooting one of our sources in the head -- and fatally shooting one of his friends -- was formally indicted today by a federal grand jury. Additionally, Carlos "Silencio" Ortega, 22, was indicted in the machete-to-the-face murder of a fellow MS-13 gangster who refused to "put in work" for the gang by murdering a rival gangster.

In all, Ortega was hit with 12 counts (racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and related conspiracy and firearms counts) for the February 17, 2010, murder of David Sandler and attempted murder of our source -- who wished to not be identified. The charges also include the murder of Ortega's fellow gangster Mario Alberto Canton Quijada, about a month later on March 17, 2010. As we mentioned, Ortega admitted to hacking Quijada to death with a machete.

See our previous stories on "Silencio" here and here.

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MS-13 Gangster "Silencio" Earns High Marks For Gang-Name Mystique, Low Marks For Getting Away With Murder

In addition to being a feared gangster, if you join MS-13, you get one of these (ahem) cool tattoos.
We're not going to venture to guess what an alleged MS-13 gang member has to do to earn the name "Silencio," but we'll give credit where credit is due: it's a badass friggin' gang name.

Unfortunately for "Silencio," a.k.a. Carlos Ortega, 22, his badass gang name probably isn't going to get him off the hook for the federal murder charges he'll soon face for the 2010 murder of David Sandler, and the attempted murder of another man in Brentwood that same day.

Additionally, the United States Attorney's Office says "Silencio" also was involved in the murder of another man, Mario Alberto Canton Quijada, on March 17, 2010 (spoiler alert: he admitted to hacking him up with a machete).

According to an 11-page federal complaint, provided to the Voice by the U.S. Attorney's Office, "Silencio" and other MS-13 gangsters, including Jimmy Sosa, who has the less-impressive gang name of "Junior," agreed to "put in work" for the gang on February 17, 2010, by murdering a member of a rival gang.

The gangsters cruised around Brentwood in a Ford Explorer that night looking for rival gangsters to kill, which is when they found Sandler -- who they believed to be a member of the Latin Kings, a rival street gang -- at a deli near Timberline Drive and Second Avenue.

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James "Whitey" Bulger: 25 Things You Should Know About the Captured Boston Irish Mob Legend

Categories: Gangsters

Free Whitey! (Just kidding.)
After Osama bin Laden's death, James "Whitey" Bulger was the Most Wanted Man in America. Then after 16 years on the run, the mythological South Boston ex-con was caught yesterday in California. Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed was loosely based on Whitey, in the sense that Bulger was both the Hub's most notorious gangster and most surprising FBI informant. But even beyond the drug-running, extortion, murder, money-laundering, snitching, and Scorsese, the nuances of Bulger's character are legendary. Noses bitten off, soiled pants, puppy tears--examples culled largely from Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill's Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob. File under: couldn't make this shit up.

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Sopranos' Little Pussy Pleads Guilty in Extortion Racket

"Big Pussy" Vincent Pastore (right) and little pussy Tony Darrow (left). Photo by Rob Rich.
​Who would have guessed that "Larry Boy Barese," one of the minor hoods on The Sopranos, would turn out to be a real-life hood? Actually, he turned out to be a little chickenshit who plotted with hoods to beat up a guy to collect a debt. Darrow, who set up the guy for the beating, pled guilty today in Brooklyn federal court to an extortion conspiracy. He'll get from 33 to 41 months in a federal prison, probably one of the country-club types.

Darrow, whose real name is Anthony Borgese, was a minor nightclub singer before he became a minor actor -- he was the bar owner whom Joe Pesci beat the shit out of in Goodfellas. He was busted in 2009 for the 2004 real-life crime perpetrated by the real-life Gambino family. It sounds like a scene from right out of The Sopranos:

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