By Nate Hendley
I was interviewed for the podcast Hudson Valley Legends (which focuses on New York state lore) about NYC gangster Dutch Schultz, subject of one of books. The podcast went live March 6, 2017.
Here’s a link to the podcast: http://hvlegends.libsyn.com/ep-11-dutch-schultz-and-his-lost-treasure
Dutch Schultz (real-name Arthur Flegenheimer) was a highly eccentric, highly successful Jewish-American gangster. He rose to prominence peddling awful bootleg beer during Prohibition in the 1920s. His product was lousy but his sales methods were persuasive (when faced with a stubborn speakeasy manager, Schultz had the man kidnapped, hung by his thumbs from a meat-hook and tortured).
If beer made Schultz rich and powerful, it was ‘numbers’ that pushed him into the criminal stratosphere. The numbers racket was simply an illegal lottery. People bet on a three-digit combination, from 000 to 999. The gangsters who ran the racket selected winning digits on the basis of objective statistics, such as sports scores. Anyone who had bet on the winning numbers received a small cash payment. He also moved into drug trafficking, prostitution and labour extortion.
For all his success, Schultz did not last long at the top of the underworld.
Read my book to find out why.