E120: Arnold Rothstein (Special Kingpins Crossover!)
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Go to Stitcher premium dot com slash par cast and use promo code par cast that Stitcher premium dot com slash par cast and use promo code park cast. The world of organized crime is a treacherous landscape that rewards both ruthless order and violent impulse. How do these hardened men and women rise out of their communities and to the top of the criminal underworld? And what ultimately brings them down into new episodes of kingpins every Friday search kingpins wherever you listen to podcasts. And subscribe now and stay tuned to the end of this show for a sneak peek of the first episode of kingpins. Due to the graphic nature of this case. Listener discretion is advised. This episode includes dramatization and discussions of murder and assault that some people may find offensive we advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. Hump. I already told you. Talk. You're sounding a little drunk help St.. The game was rigged. String. Even if it wasn't. Don't they they pay because I run a clean game. On. Three hundred. Tends to pay. Or, you know, find some other way. Make things right. Look, georgia. Maybe this is what this Cussing in person. I've got a poker game a friendly poker game. If you wanna head over a weekend talk, only, a few swear, it's friendly. It will be. I'll see you in a couple of hours. A November fourth nineteen twenty eight leader of the New York Jewish mob and notorious kingpin Arnold Rothstein. Went to a meeting to resolve outstanding gambling debt. You want me to get your gun, boss? No, no. I'll be fine. Despite the nickname 'ole hump McManus is a straight shooter Arnold owed over three hundred thousand dollars that he refused to pay. But when he left the meeting that night clutching, his gut and openly bleeding from a bullet wound. He realized his stubbornness and pride were about to cost more than even the infamous kingpin could afford. This is unsettled murders true crime stories on the par cast network. I'm your host Carter, ROY. And I'm your host Wendy MacKenzie. This is our first episode on Arnold Rothstein a criminal genius whose penchant for gambling cost him everything in life Arnold Rothstein was an Torius kingpin. So for our investigation into rusty's murder. We've invited the hosts of par cast new podcast kingpins to help us dig into the criminal underworld, we have Kate. Hi, unsolved, murders, listeners and Howell. Hello everyone. If you're interested in learning about the rise and fall of kingpins and Queen pins. You can check out our new show kingpins every Friday wherever you listen to podcasts. You can listen to previous episodes of unsolved murders as well as all park cast other shows wherever you listen to podcasts. A new episode comes. Out every Tuesday. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram at par cast and on Twitter at par cast network. Some of this nurse have been asking how they can help support the show if you enjoy the podcast the best way to do that is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening. Arnold Rothstein was genius against her. And a gambler at the time of his death in nineteen twenty eight. He was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in New York City. Let alone the United States on September eighth nineteen twenty eight he took part in a high stakes poker game with several of the country's most notorious gamblers the game lasted for three days. And at the end of it. Arnold had lost three hundred thousand dollars are not refused to pay insisting the game had been rigged against him. George mcmanus. The man who had set up the game spent several months trying to collect Arnold's debt, but the kingpin remained type fisted finally on November fourth nineteen twenty eight George invited Arnold to a peace meeting at the park central hotel to discuss some way that could come to an agreement. However when Arnold arrived at the meeting he was shot in the stomach and elevator operator found him. Bleeding in the hotel service corridor and an ambulance took him to the nearest hospital. Police followed Arnold the whole way pressuring him to tell them who had pulled the trigger in keeping with mafia protocol Arnold refused to identify his killer after Arnold died. Differing accounts of the peace meeting point, two different killers and Arnold silence. Ultimately, led to his murder being unsolved only a very unique kind of person would refuse to identify their own murderer howl in Kate can tell us exactly how unique Arnold Rothstein. Truly was anx Carter Arnold Rothstein was the kingpin of New York City in the nineteen tens and twenties. In fact, Arnold was the prototypical kingpin, the first person to truly exemplify the glamorous lifestyle of an underworld, boss. Arnold was filthy rich, and he had his hands in every. Criminal venture in New York City. He owned several gambling houses in casinos throughout New York. State and horse racing. Stables in Saratoga springs. He bankrolled Broadway. Plays government. Bribes the first running opperations during prohibition. And he was the first person to set up a stable drug smuggling cabal in New York City at the height of his wealth in nineteen twenty five Arnold Rothstein was worth over ten million dollars. The equivalent of one hundred forty five million today. He changed the public's perception of crime bosses from crude and violent brutes to our modern conception of kingpins as fisted suave and ruthless businessmen. Arnold, keen intellect privileged upbringing. And lifelong experienced gambling in the slums allowed him social mobility. No gambler had possessed before you bridge the gap between unrefined openly, violent street gangs. Upscale corrupt politicians and the heat and mystic law. Skirting behaviors of the fabulously wealthy. Arnold became the go to man for every CD element in the city acting almost as a C E O for New York crime Inc. He was so successful at treating crime like a business that reporter screenwriter and author. Leo catcher described him as the J P Morgan of the underworld, it's banker and master of strategy Arnold was so important to the criminal element of New York City that when he was murdered the city fell into unorganized chaos. His delicately built empire was broken down into warring factions each looking for their own piece of the pie, but to truly understand Arnold Rothstein and his murder, we need to understand his childhood and his subsequent rise to prominence and prestige Arnold Rothstein was born on January seventeenth eight. Eighteen eighty two in Manhattan to Abraham minister rusting, he's spent most of his life in New York City and his childhood was anything, but normal. Something's rotten with that. Boy, not hairy. Hurry. Hurry is great. I'm talking about Arnold. Oh, what did he do? This time found him standing over Harry's bed with a knife on knife Arnold Rothstein threatened to kill his older brother with a knife. When he was only three years old. It doesn't sound too surprising that a kid with those tendencies would grow up to be a criminal kingpin will. Yes. And no Abraham Rothstein Arnold. Spotter was actually known around the city as a principled and outstanding businessman heroes. Dean Arnold older. Brother excelled in school and became a rabbi. The rusting clan was wealthy and well respected. However, according to his father Arnold was the only blemish on an otherwise upright family Arnold was an attention seeker who resented the admirations people had for his brother. It sounds like a real Cain and Abel type of relationship minutes, not far from the truth. The resentment and jealousy didn't result in murder, but it did Dr Arnold to differentiate himself from his brother as much as he could he decided to get attention by misbehaving. He specifically chose to pursue the one vice that is father, particularly hated Arnold love playing dice. And he loved gambling. How many times the tell you gambling is not allowed Arnold almost enjoyed his father yelling at him when he was an adult. He said, maybe I gambled just to show my father. He couldn't tell me what to do. But I don't think. So he also told people about another motive for his gambling the excitement thrill when I'm gambling nothing else matters nothing else matters as Arnold grew into his teens in the eighteen nineties, it became more and more clear that he meant what he said Arnold began spending most of his time in pool halls and at the race tracks his academics suffered greatly. And by the time he turned sixteen he had dropped out of school completely. He ventured to the CD part of town where his gambling habits brought him face to face with the criminal underworld organized crime in New York City was dominated by street gangs in the late eighteen hundreds and the early nineteen. Hundreds but most of them were restricted to their own specific turf or area of operations, for instance, from eighteen ninety to nineteen twenty New York's most notorious street gang was the five points gang named after the five points a region of the city who's exceptionally slum? Like conditions were known around the world the five points. Ran prostitution rings ramshackle gambling ounces, and extortion schemes if you wanted to run a legitimate business, you had to pay the gang cut up your profits. And if you wanted any sort of ice the gang was your provider, however, gangs like this were geographically limited. The police were often too afraid to enter the five points, but they made sure the criminal activity was contained the cops patrol the border of these poor neighborhoods vigorously, keeping gangs confined to a particular slum the. The result was that turf became extremely valuable if Arnold Rothstein wanted to play cards or pick-up sex workers he had to enter the slums to do it when he was just a teenager Arnold pursued his cambering hobby into the five points wandering between underground gambling houses where poker and crafts could be played and smoky rooms and bag alleys there he made connections with members of street gangs who shared his love of bedding in eighteen ninety nine. When Arnold was seventeen. He moved out of his parents house and got a job as a traveling hat salesman. He worked throughout New York state. He mostly used his income to fund his gambling, Abbott. But the more Arnold gambled. The better he got at it. Even though he did poorly in school, he demonstrated an extremely skilled understanding of mathematics and probability. He soon realized that most fulltime. Gambler's didn't make their living through honest games. With honest bedstead the people in charge of pool halls casinos and racetracks made their money by fixing the odds in their favor pool hall, operators would use weighted balls car dealers at casinos would stack the decks and race track. Aficionados would manipulate the odds and fixed the race with this realization Arnold understood that if they could fix the games he could to Arnold decided he was no longer satisfied with making bets. He was going to work his way up the criminal ladder and become the man taking the vets instead. Has what the race? Yes. They missed her. I just one hundred dollars not a bad some young, man. But you're not quite in the big leagues yet. Big leagues. How much did you win? Are you? Sure, you want to know, you might feel inadequate inadequate, please. How much did you win? Oh, not much only ten ten dollars ten thousand dollars ten thousand. How can you afford that you have to bet big if you wanna win big? And if you want to win big you've got to do it from the inside in the late eighteen hundreds in the early nineteen hundreds gambling was the go-to pastime for the nation's powerful and obscenely wealthy in New York state all forms of gambling were illegal and required venturing into the slums and illegal gambling houses. But horse racing was a sport with an air of prestige. Rich had their own upscale bookie. These boxes and stands from which they could enjoy the races. The exclusive nature of these seats allowed their bets to be more easily concealed the average gambler had to deal with shadier bookies that hung around the peripheries of the track the swale both rich and poor alike. Gambled at the racetracks, the two worlds were profoundly different in this way. Arnold was somewhat of an anomaly the time he spent in gambling houses allowed him to understand the lingo of the lower class and blend in with the CD bookies. However, unlike his friends, Arnold wealthy upbringing also allowed him to seamlessly associate with the rich with this unique position and several years of work. Arnold was able to build an information network designed to help him turn his bets into sure things. Hey, kid looks like tough work you doing that could use a break, maybe ten minutes or so at this rate. Ten minutes aren't going to do many good. I didn't sit down for twenty minutes or more. I'll talk to your boss recommended gives you twenty five. Gee, thanks, Mr.. You know, these days just keep getting longer and longer I had to clean rising glory stable earlier, and it was just a real mess. I don't think she's feeling good at all. And you know, easy drifter. Install three is really irritable. The dang horse. Tried to kick me. I think they changed your feet or something. Today's been real stressful while kid you doing a real good job. Keep up the good work. And I'm sure it will get better soon. I'll be sure to check up on next week. All right. I'd really predate that, sir. The rich and poor alike. Had accessed insider information the poor bribed the working hands around the stables for tips and rumors about the horses the rich use the information they got from simply owning a racehorse to make educated bets. But both sets of knowledge were incomplete Arnold had a foot in both doors and therefore possessed a clearer picture than anyone else over the course of several years. He built his information network accumulated a larger. Bank account by making informed bets. He started to gain a reputation as a successful gambler and an era of intrigue surrounded him when he wasn't using his reputation to secure money. He was using it to pursue women in nineteen oh eight at twenty seven years old. He went to a cabaret show at the hotel Cadillac. Boy, these Dame's of something else. I don't they Arnold something else. Indeed. But look at her. Wow. She something special which one the role in the chorus line that one I think she saw you pointing at it. Good now. She knows I wanna when the show ended Arnold made a point of introducing himself. Excuse me, miss. Hey, this is the changing room. You can't be back here. I won't be long. I'm just hit ask if you'd be interested in getting a nice dinner with a good men. Good men tend not to enter the ladies changing room. Will I'm not entirely a good, man. I'm just good at certain things. I'd say you look like a real sportsman a sportsman type the names Arnold Arnold Rothstein. Oh. I've got to be honest Arnold. I've heard your name before. So that's yes. To dinner, then at -solutely. Yes. Caroline green wrote in her autobiography that when her and Arnold met. It was love at first sight after less than a year of dating on August twelfth nineteen zero nine the pair got married in Saratoga springs. The racetrack. There was a favourite travel destination for Arnold's gambling buddies shortly after the honeymoon Arnold true. Love gambling was about to bankrupt. Their finances and threatened the budding marriage entirely. We'll hear more about Ross teens near downfall. After this. I've been meaning to ask you Carter has your cat sell doing. She's doing great thanks for asking except she has a tendency to scratch her claws on my couch comfy chair and sometimes my bare leg out. That's not so bad. The worst part about being a cat owner is dealing with cat litter. It's messy smelly. That's all together. Disgusting. That's why I switched to pretty litter by pretty litter just for that clever. Name more than just a clever name pretty litter uses super absorbent crystals that trap and conceal odor and moisture so there's no more smell sounds like pretty litter does its job. It does more than that. It also monitors your cats health by changing colors to detect underlying illnesses before urgent medical care is needed could save you money stress. Maybe even your cats life. Do what Carter did make the switch to pretty litter today by visiting pretty litter dot com and use promo code unsolved for twenty. Percent off your first order. That's pretty litter dot com, promo code unsolved. For twenty percent off pretty litter dot com, promo code unsolved. Kingpins is a new podcast from par cast about how money and power changed people and how those people change their communities through organized crime every Friday kingpins tracks the rise. And fall of the notorious telling bizarre and captivating tales from the underworld, we tell the stories of kingpins and Queen pins like freeway Rick Ross, Frank Lucas and queenie Saint Clair along the way we will profile the outrageous people in skewed relationships behind organized crime individuals that they'd kill our other mobsters. And that's how you take care of Justice. He lives, and I'm gonna break him to Carter in. I got a sneak peek at the first episode, and I have to say, I found it fascinating. It's also terrifying. These are some scary people definitely a bit terrifying. But also informative. I can't wait to hear more episodes, new episodes come out every Friday. So don't wait. Subscribe to kingpins now wherever you listen to podcasts. Now back to the story. In nineteen oh nine newly married. Twenty seven year old gambler named Arnold Rothstein ran into a string of bad luck bed after bet. Arnold lost and lost and lost until his Bank account was nearly empty. He was ashamed of his poor luck. And he hit his finances from his wife. Arnold there. You are old. Hey, babe. How's Cindy dune? She's good. She's good. She told me something really interesting. What's that? She said she saw my jewelry at the pond shop on fifty second street. My jewelry that's been missing for a week. That's great. I wonder if they'll catch whoever took it stop with the run around Arnold. I know you pond it so what if I did look, you know, that if you need money. My dad will be happy to lend us them your desert butcher how much could he possibly have the lend? Well, you know a couple hundred for day to day expenses. But I don't know. I think if you had something like a business venture business venture. What are you talking about wasn't Sullivan? Trying to get you in Willie shade open a bar together. That's not happening Honey Sullivan's asking too much and Willie's both unpleasant and unstable that seven is an unstable. And as I was saying, my dad would be happy to help his son in law with something like a couple thousand if he got a little cut of the profits. A couple thousand your dad when lend me us two thousand dollars. Yeah. I was just talking to him about it. The other day tell you to get the money ready. I've got to go talk to Willie about a bar. Thanks to his wife and his wife's father's generosity Arnold. Rothstein was able to make his first real step towards becoming a big player in the New York. Crime-scene Arnold's father in law lent him two thousand dollars in nineteen oh nine adjusted for inflation. That two thousand dollars was the equivalent of fifty one thousand five hundred dollars today a very hefty chunk of money. The gamble Arnold's. Father in law took on Arnold was paid off. Big time. One of Arnold's wealthy friends from the race tracks a politician named big Tim Sullivan arranged a partnership between Arnold and a man named willy shea big. Tim Sullivan was an extremely powerful and extremely corrupt politician. He was born in the five point slums and had some minor connections to the street gangs. But instead of focusing on turf, he opened saloons and. Sued a career in politics prior to nineteen hundred nine he had served in the New York state assembly. The New York Senate and the United States house of representatives more important than all of that was big Tim's connection to Tammany hall. Tammany hall was the dominant political force in New York City from eighteen fifty three to nineteen thirty four. They were closely tied to the Democratic Party and had major influence in presidential elections. Townie hall leverage the voting power of the city's poor and immigrant communities to gain political power, and prominence. However, while the group initially served a help people in need Tammany hall became better known for rampant. Corruption Tammany often used government funds to line their own pockets forced the police to cover up personal scandals and funneled funding for public works to their own districts in order to maintain their voting base. When big Tim rose to power within Tammy he further increased Tammy's connections to the criminal element of the city, primarily through his friendship with Arnold Rothstein now Willie. I better not hear you say anything about his race or religion, or whatever the young man's genius. And you need someone like him running the place if you wanna make any money back on your investment. I just don't see how you can trust his kind him. Maybe he'll make some money, but how much is he going to steal from me. Client, really come in. Tim willie? I've got the money to grand you've got your buying Willie. You mean ten times that you that's enough Willie will take care of the rest of the purchasing price. You don't need to worry about that idea say it, boys. But I think you two are going to be very successful together. If you say, so Tim. Yeah, Tim if you say so during September and October of nineteen thousand nine Arnold him Willie went through the process of buying a bar on west forty six three in Manhattan and converting it into a discrete undercover gambling house. West forty six straight was the number one spot in Manhattan for drinking and partying as well as illicit activities such as sex work and gambling, the police were aware of the legal activity, but so long as Tammany hall got their cut of the action officials turned a blind eye for Ornelas gambling house. The man who kept it open was the man who encouraged its opening in the first place big. Tim with Arnold business acumen, gambling expertise and big Tim's protection. Arnold's bankroll grew exponentially. And over the next few years, he asserted himself more firmly onto the New York scene in nineteen thousand nine most low class gambling houses were controlled by street gangs and could erupt into violence at anytime. The extremely wealthy gamblers tended to leave the city and gamble in ritzy undercover. Casinos Arnold spot. Didn't pull in much of a crowd right out of the gates, but it attracted some low and middle class gamblers looking for a safe place to make bets however many of his patrons weren't too fond of Arnold. They didn't like is smart Aleck style of talking and they decided to set him straight. One of these men was named Jack Conaway in nineteen oh nine Jack was a successful stockbroker who also played. A mean game of pool? So you're the Arnold Rothstein. I've been hearing about we'll let me tell you. You don't look like much to me. You can't even beat me in a game of pool. I've got five hundred dollars that says I can you're gonna end up paying a lot more than five hundred dollars by the time. The night is. Jet Conaway and his friends thought they would put Arnold in his place. The two started playing at eight PM. The first game was close pony up. Mr. Rothstein, you only five hundred bucks. You don't think this is settled after just one game? Do you? We're going double or nothing. Your on smart guy. Jack pulled far in the lead at the start of the second game. He sunk shot after shot and the spectators started joining in the bedding. Looks like I'm about to take your money again. Don't get cocky with me kid Arnold managed to pocket several balls in a single turn winning the second game with an absolutely unexpected comeback. He beat Jack by a single ball. The game was on the crowd grew throughout the night. Watching these two bitter rivals play endless games, the sound of rolling balls echoing through the night the duo played until they were kicked out of the bar at four A M fueled purely by a desire to humiliate the other. Ersan and take all their cash. It was a marathon game of pool. The likes of which New York had never seen by the end of the night. Arnold came out on top. He walked away from the table with four thousand dollars of Jack Conway's cash adjusted for inflation that would be over one hundred thousand dollars earned from a single night of pool Jack Conaway and his friends had intended to make Arnold look like a fool, but instead the entire city had seen Arnold fleas Jack for a small fortune the game only served a boost Arnold reputation. Arnold's new found fame led many people to go to his gambling house specifically Arnold and Willie began to make a killing bringing in ten to fifteen thousand dollars of revenue each month. What would now be approximately two hundred fifty to four hundred thousand dollars on a monthly basis for the next year? Everything went well for aren't. Nld it continued making connections throughout the city with police politicians theater people and thugs one night in the middle of November nineteen ten Rothstein managed to bring in a whale of a Mark or a wealthy person. Prime to spend a lot of money at the gambling house. The Mark's name was Charles gates gates was the son of John w gates. The unbelievably wealthy co founder of the United States Steel Corporation and inventor of barbed wire. Charles gates entered Rothstein establishment, believing Rothstein to be his friend by the end of the night. Charles had lost forty thousand dollars to Rothstein gambling house adjusted for inflation. That's approximately one million twenty thousand dollars Arnold went home to his wife and excitedly told her about how much money he had made that night. However when Arnold showed up to work the next day. Willie and the forty thousand dollars were nowhere to be found after hours of searching the city Arnold finally found Willie drunk at our. Willie? We need to talk there. You are filthy dog. You've been cheating me every day for the past year and bloody. Well, no, it you aren't getting a set of that money from me think of it as paying interest for all my sense you hit under thirty little mattress. I'm not here for money. I came to say, I never wanna see you again that makes two of us leave and we'll both be happy. No. I need you to sign this. And I need you to sign it now to contract swearing that. You'll give all ownership of our business to me that way, we can truly be through with each other. You are a sucker aren't you? Of course, I'll sign you little paper there. Now, get outta my face gladly. When people heard about the deal Arnold abate with Willie. They felt like Willie at pulled a fast one on him. They couldn't believe Arnold had let the man cheat him and walk away unharmed. Most the and gamblers made sure cheaters couldn't use their kneecaps ever. Again. Of course, as time went on it became clear to everyone in New York that Arnold had been the smart one after all his business made three to four times the amount of money willy had stolen every year. And now he was the sole owner when Willie realized that he had made a grave mistake. He went groveling back to the gambling house. I was drunk Arnold. You can't hold them into a contract when he's drunk. I'll pay you the forty thousand. And then some just give me back my part of the business get outta here before I throw you out your crook. And a Welsh. Arnold, then expanded his wealth by hiring steers steers where people who scouted out wealthy suckers and brought them to Arnold's casino. Most of his steers were good looking women actresses and showgirls who wanted to make a little extra cash on the side. Some of these steers became more than please, they became Arnold's mistresses showgirl, Bobbie Winthrop and Broadway. Actress Inez Norton both became infatuated with the man Caroline grew suspicious of Arnold. But there was little she could do he argued these women were simply a part of his business. And that was at least partly true with the help of these steers Arnold was able to grow his wealth to an unprecedented level by nineteen thirteen he'd increased his everyday Bank roll to three hundred thousand dollars, seven and a half million dollars adjusted for inflation. Are no the began walking around town with no less than two thousand dollars on his person at any given time. He was soon given the nickname the big bankroll. He saw his wealth as an opportunity to create more wealth. And he started funding anything he thought would result in a good return on investment, if a rising actress wanted to finance a play Arnold was her guy if a politician needed a campaign contribution Arnold was the guy if a gambler needed funds to open a gambling house Arnold was the guy if a mob boss needed some money to help the police look the other way after a wack Arnold was the guy Arnold began. Opening larger more opulent gambling houses at least two more in Manhattan and one casino in Saratoga springs called the Brooks at this point Arnold was the gambling king of New York. Nobody could compete with the popular. Charity and prestige of his underground casinos. Many street gangs didn't even try to compete with Arnold. Instead they used him as a go-between nicknaming him. The man of town if street gangs corrupt labor unions had disputes Arnold became the men who negotiated peace with Arnold as an adjudicator. The street gangs were able to move past turf wars and into a more peaceful era of organized crime. He became so skilled at insuring mutually beneficial arrangements between gangs, the gangs would pay him whatever he asked in one instance to street gangs, happily paid Arnold half a million dollars to plot out trade routes for them Arnold own operations stretch throughout the city, but his influence and connections allowed him access to anything he needed from any group that skirted the law. He was truly a man without rival. Of course, all of this was illegal, but thanks to his connection. At Tammany hall. Arnold was invincible on January nineteenth nineteen nineteen. When Arnold was just twenty nine years old. He got into a situation during a floating game of crafts that proved. Exactly how invincible he was. Okay. Seven solid roll. You wanna let it ride or switch a bit. What who squealed on our location this time? One of you. Get your boys to come still pot. Nobody wants to fess up. I'll show you. What happens to thieves? Coming in like, hell, you are. Guns down. Now police shut my partner New York City. Police raided a craps game that Arnold Rothstein was playing in an Arnold mistook the cop for a robber, he fired his gun without seeing who is coming through the door and shot a cop in the arm. He was arrested and charged with a salt. But after big Tim got involved in Arnold paid a hefty sum of money. The officer dropped the charges and Arnold was set free Arnaud put his fingers in every pie that he could. But he never forgot his one true love gambling. When the man who could pay for everything would soon use his obscene wealth to make the most infamous bet he would ever make a bet against the Chicago White Sox winning the nineteen nineteen World Series. We'll learn more about Rothstein and then infamous championship right after this. Lots of people have debt some have little some have a lot. 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Start dot com slash unsolved to find out how low your upstart rate is checking your rate only takes two minutes, and it won't affect your credit. That's upstart dot com slash unsolved. If you're interested in another excellent true crime podcast. You should check out felonious Florida felonious Florida is not a park cast podcast. But we do think you'll like their true crime stories full of twists and turns and suspense. It's true. Crime. Florida's style veteran crime at investigative journalists from the south Florida sun sentinel, dive into some of the state's most notorious crimes and reveal details that have never been told before they're more memorable episodes is about a case from nineteen ninety. Where a clown clown clown complete with an orange wig, white face paint. And a red bulb knows knocked on the door of an upscale home. He was thought to be delivering balloons and flowers. But instead he opened fire the thirty year chase for the killer. Clown of Wellington is so extrordinary. It's barely believable. Fine. Felonious Florida on apple podcasts at wonder. Dot com. Felonious Florida dot com or wherever you listen to podcasts. And now back to the story. Arnold Rothstein had acquired so much wealth. People nicknamed the big bankroll Arnold. Didn't just sit on that money. He was always looking for the next opportunity to make more in nineteen nineteen thirty seven year old Arnold turned his attention to baseball in the early. Nineteen hundreds baseball was growing to unprecedented heights of national popularity. It was being marketed as America's pastime America loved. It's new sport. And when World War One started in nineteen fourteen the nation needed something positive to bond over baseball was seen as a wholesome activity. Good for the whole family, unfortunately, while the great war increased the popularity of baseball with the law abiding portion of America, it also gained the attention of the gamblers the sports slowly started to turn crooked gamblers began paying off players and ask them to throw the games coaches and team owners largely look. The other way to save the games new idealized reputation Arnold Rothstein saw this as the perfect opportunity to make a profit in September of nineteen nineteen Joseph sport Sullivan, one of Arnold Rothstein associates approached chick Gandel first basement for the White Sox the best team in the league. Hey, chick even playing. Well, have the paychecks been is good as you not at all Comiskey is still the cheapest SOB this out of the Mississippi. You know, if you want a little extra money, I think I could get you something I'm not looking for a loan, especially not from you know, offense. None taken take in. It wouldn't be alone. It would be a payment all asking is that instead of playing welfare Comiskey you play a little poorly for yourself me to do that this week. No, no not this week during the World Series. How much you offering ten thousand dollars if the World Series go sideways, you'll make more than twice as much money as you make an entire year. One man can't lose a game, you'll need at least six or seven others. But if Comiskey's as cheap as you say that shouldn't be a problem at first chick was hesitant to agree. But Rothstein was several steps ahead within the week, a Battelle former boxer and Rosty personal bodyguard approached another White Sox player with a similar offer Abe offered the players less money. But with two offers coming in from two allegedly different gamblers. The White Sox players thought the fix was a sure thing they agreed to the deals and by the end of the World Series. The White Sox had lost the pennant of a loss was convincingly real to most people, and it was specially real for Arnold Rothstein who had used several different agents to place bets against a white. Sox victory. Most historians agree that aren't a made at least three hundred fifty thousand dollars on the series, if not more adjusted for inflation. That's approximately nine million dollars for fixing the World Series. Three hundred fifty thousand dollars was more money than most people would have seen in their lifetimes. But for Arnold Rothstein who had around four million dollars at the time. It seems like a small some the fact that Rothstein didn't bet. More on the fix has led many people to question how involved he was in the first place, some historians. Think Arnold didn't actually arrange the fix himself. And he only heard about it through the grapevine. However, both people who approached the White Sox were noted underlings of Arnold Rothstein. The odds that two people from the same organization would approach the same team with the same offer around the same time and not be involved with each other are incredibly slim. Mm-hmm. In the end, what matters is that the World Series was thrown and Arnold Rothstein made a small fortune off of the game over the course of the next year. Rumors of the fix started to spread in order to quell public outcry. The major league baseball association conducted an investigation into what had publicly become known as the black SOX scandal before going to court in nineteen twenty the players involved in the scandal gave their testimonies admitting to a fault how they had conspired to fix the World Series based on their testimonies Arnold Rothstein was implicated as the mastermind behind the scandal. And I'm not Tober twenty six nineteen twenty. He was called to testify before a grand jury in Chicago. Arnold rothstein. You've been accused of arranging the big fix. Do. You have anything to say in your defense. Of course, your honor. I am completely innocent. I was not in on it. I wouldn't have gone into it under any circumstances. And I didn't bet a set on the series after I found out what was underway. The prosecutors failed to provide any substantial evidence linking Arnold to the big fix and after Arnold testimony. The grand jury chose not to indict him shortly after the grand jury all the records testimonies in written. Confessions of the players mysteriously went missing the courts were forced to give up their investigation and all the players were acquitted, according to the United States court system, the nineteen nineteen black SOX scandal. Never even happened. Arnold. Rothstein will be forever remembered for his role in the big fix, but it was not even his most significant criminal enterprise. Darling. Did you see the paper prohibition has become law are your bars going to be ok, okay? Honey, they're going to be booming prohibition. Isn't a barrier. It's an opportunity I'll get boos from Canada boos from England. I'll fill the city with booze. I'll be the only one doing it. And I'll make a killing to you. Sure. This is a risk. You should be taking. Honey, somebody's gotta give the people what they want. It may as well be me. In nineteen twenty prohibition became national law banning all forms of alcohol in the nation by the end of nineteen twenty at thirty eight years old Arnold Rothstein had already set up complicated smuggling routes to import and sell alcohol. He was the first gangster in the United States to make a profit bootlegging people like Al Capone merely followed in his footsteps Arnold's gambling houses and speak easies filled. The city in his Bank accounts got even more stuff than they were before. Prohibition. Allowing him to reach the height of his bankroll at ten million dollars by nineteen twenty four Arnold's bootlegging profits had reached their limits. He sold to every speak easy in the city. And there was nowhere left for him to expand his liquor business. He also couldn't raise the prices because people would only pay so much for liquor over the shrewd businessman Arnold recognized that the business opportune. That he had created was slowly turning into a business liability in nineteen twenty five he decided to pivot towards something more lucrative. Well, if it isn't the brain himself to what the why are the pleasure you've been running boos from me for a while. Now, you know, the roots pretty well. Now, I'm sure better than anyone in the city. Good. I want you to start bringing in something else. I've already got a seller range down south, no problem. Boss. Sounds a bit risky though. Normally riskier work gets better pay you pull this off. We'll all get better pay. That's all I needed to hear Arnold Rothstein was not only the first true bootlegger during prohibition. He became one of the first gangsters to traffic narcotics mostly heroin in out of New York City, Arnold filled every street corner every Speakeasy every casino and every Broadway show with heroin. As he expanded his drug network. He took on promising young proteges and showed them their way around the business. These proteges were men like Meyer Lansky Charles lucky. Luciano Dutch shoals and Jack legs diamond each of these men control dozens of underlings and dozens of street corners throughout the city and their collective influence would eventually stretch across the United States Arnold Rothstein was above them. All and he was the one who prepared them for the day. They could become kingpins in their own rights. It wouldn't take too long for that day to come. Arnold downward spiral began in early nineteen twenty seven. Caroline. What are you doing up so late? I know what you've been up to. I'm tired of it. Can't this wait til morning. Maybe save it for the therapist. I pay so much for couples counseling. No, it can't wait I'm done with couples counseling, and I'm done with you. I wanna divorce Caroline had grown tired of Arnold his years of sleeping around with younger, women and flaunting his wealth in front of them had made Caroline sick of him. Arnold, refused to get a divorce, and because of his refusal to divorce was never officially finalized. However Caroline's request for a divorce signaled the beginning of the end for forty five year old Arnold Rothstein. For decades, Arnold luck had paid off handsomely. Now, his luck had turned sour he began making mistakes and sloppy bets losing more money on gambling than he had ever lost before his wealth was so expensive. And his sources of income. So constant that is gambling losses didn't significantly diminish. His Bank account. However, the losses were psychologically, taxing and indicative of how much mental energy the divorce proceedings were taking away for him over the course of a year Arnold made increasingly poor decisions which culminated in a single poker game that took place over three days September eighth ninth and tenth nineteen twenty eight. This particular poker match was the poker event of the year. Everyone who was anyone was going to be there, including high rollers from the Pacific coast. This was a much bigger deal in the nineteen twenties. When it took around ten days to travel from coast to coast, some big names at the match where the Boston brothers. The Solomon brothers and read Martin low all of them are known for their poker prowess on the east coast, but they were largely in. Significant to Arnold story. The west coast gamblers were the ones who really changed the game. Nate Raymond was a poker player and gambler from California who had been making a name for himself, fixing Pacific League baseball games. There was also a man in Titanic. Thompson Titanic's real name was Alvin Clarence Thomas, but he liked his nickname so much that he often introduced himself as Titanic Titanic was a famous gambler and hustler known for making extreme bets on absurd. Things too many the stories they heard about Titanic where reminiscent of Tom Sawyer antics. The only difference being that Titanic was a real person. Even the story of how Titanic earned his nickname sounds like a gambler's folk tale. He bet a man two hundred dollars that he could jump lengthwise across a pool table after setting up a mattress to cushion his fall, he sprinted towards the table and flew over. Without ever touching. The felt the bet ruined. The man saying Thompson had sunk him another patron responded by saying that Thomson sinks, everybody at that point. They decided they should just call him Titanic because he was the real sinking tragedy from that day on the nickname stuck Titanic like the scale of the name and those who met the man agreed that it suited him. The last major player was George hump McManus who set up the game in the first place a hump McManus was a gambler with many family connections in the New York. Police force one of his brothers was even a Lieutenant in his local precinct because hump had arranged the game. He took responsibility for making sure people paid up. It was more than just making sure the money was placed in the right hands Homs reputation was at stake with all the major players present Arnold, Rothstein Titanic. Thompson, raymond. And George hump McManus. The game was ready to begin. Looks like five hearts. I'll check. This is high stakes fellas L check as well. I'll raise two hundreds call two hundred boys are off your rockers, I'll fold I'll have to fold as well. Show him boys. I've got a flesh. Good luck beat net. That's a nice trimester Steen. But a flush don't beat what I got full house. The game continued for hours and after several breaks for sleeping it eventually stretched to three days much, like the marathon pool game that had earned him much of his notoriety. Arnold Rothstein refused to concede defeat on fortunately for Arnold the longer. He played the more. He lost the deal of the cards began to take on a strange pattern three of kind flush every time Arnold got a good hand a hand that would usually be a winning hand Titanic Thompson or Nate Raymond would have a hand that was just lightly better. You can't beat me. This time boys. I've got four of a kind. Sorry. Big guy oil flush. That's it you filters. This game is fixed. And I ain't having it. You can leave anytime you want so long as you pay. The game is fixed. I'm not paying any Reuss three hundred thousand dollars better pay up or you're The Wilshire you'll get nothing from me when Arnold left. The fact that he refused to pay a bet became public knowledge. The legendary gambler Arnold Rothstein was proving himself to be a major hypocrite just to make it clear. Arnold rothstein. Was right. The game was fixed. Alright everyone's expecting me to fix this thing. So if I win at a look incredibly suspicious, but if I win they'll be none. The wiser exactly I'll stack the deck in your favor as well as I can you, and I we're going to fleece these east coaster bags, especially that Rothstein character. We'll milk him for all these God. It's unclear as to whether or not George McManus was in on the plot to rig the game in reality. It didn't actually matter. George was responsible for people paying up and if his players didn't pay new players would never take part in Georgia's games in the future his reputation was at stake and his livelihood along. With it George initially thought he could get through to Arnold and eventually convince him to pay. However as weeks went by it became clear that Arnold wasn't joking around George had to make it clear. He wasn't joking around either. George. It's on. I'm here to talk. Hey are no come on in. Oh. What's he doing here? He's here to talk just to talk with the rest of us conversation lasted for a short time before. On November fourth nineteen twenty eight Arnold Rothstein was found bleeding to death in a service corridor of the park central hotel. He had attended a peace talk with George McManus and got shot. Instead, the police and an ambulance showed up to take Arnold to the nearest hospital as they rush through the city streets. They tried to get as much information as they could from Arnold Arnold. We need to know you could die any minute. Now who shot you my mother did it other tailings of the stories say Arnold responded with another line you stick to your business. Stick to mine and still another telling says that Arnold simply put his finger up to his mouth in the universal mafioso. Sign of silence death before the dishonor of snitching what he actually said her did is up for debate. But the point is that he refused to tell the cops who had actually shot him. At ten fifteen a m on November fifth or according to some sources on the morning of November sixth Arnold Rothstein died from the gunshot wound. The only witness to the murder who had any motive to be honest was gone from this world Rothstein murder. Shook New York City the city's biggest kingpin a man with a hand in countless legal and illegal operations was dead. Unfortunately, the investigation was stunted by corruption from the police department the district attorney's office and every branch of the judicial system corruption that was spurred by a key suspects intimate ties with the police department in the case of Arnold Rothstein murder. The lines between politics in the underworld the lines. He worked so hard to blur would come back to haunt him from beyond the grave. Join us next week as we dig into the trial of George McManus the life and possible murder. Motives of Dutch Schultz and one historians intriguing theory that Ross teens murder had nothing to do with the infamous poker game at all. You can find unsolved murders and all of park has podcasts on apple podcasts. Spotify Stitcher, Google play cast box tune in and your favorite podcast directory and new episode comes out every Tuesday. And if you enjoyed this episode, you can find kingpins wherever you listen to podcasts with new episodes every Friday, you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram at par cast and on Twitter at par cast network. And if you enjoy the podcast the best way to support us is by leaving a five star review wherever you listen. We'll all be back next week to finish up this investigation. Thanks for listening. Real see you next time. If we live till next time unsolved murders true crime stories end kingpins were created by max Cutler and developed by Ron Cutler, our production of Cutler media and are part of the par cast network. They are produced by Maxon Ron Cutler sound design by Kenny hob. With production assistance by Ron Shapiro and Paul Moller additional production assistance by Maggie admire in Carleen Madden. This episode was written by Giles Hof Seth and stars. How it Kate Leonard windy MacKenzie and Carter ROY the amazing cast voice actors include by alphabetical order. Mike Kaposi, Jerry, Courtney Austin, Harris Markson, Steve Pinto and Dan Velazquez. Don't forget to check out kingpins. You can listen to episodes on Pablo. Coast of the reality also known as El Zora Doha Naga, the only Naga FOX and Richard the iceman Kuklinski right now with new episodes released every Friday search kingpins wherever you listen to podcasts. And subscribe now as promised here is a brief sneak peek of the first episode of kingpins on Richard the iceman Kuklinski. We hope you enjoy it. And be sure to tell you about it. It should have been a quick easy. Kill the man was staring down the barrel of Richard's gun praying and pleading please God help me over and over again, Richard could barely think it was so annoying. Please God, please his should have just shot him to shut him up. But instead he lowered the gun and told him you have half an hour to pray. If God can come down and change the circumstances. You have that time Richard sat down and waited a half hour past God didn't show up. Richard never felt guilty after a murder. He never felt anything at all. But this time for the first time in his life. He found himself regretting what he'd done. He shouldn't have let it go down like that. By the time. He got back home to suburban Dumont, New Jersey, his wife and kids were already asleep. He changed his clothes made himself a Turkey sandwich. And sat down to watch some TV he wondered to himself why he was so cold and cruel. He didn't think he could change, but he wished he could understand it.