(February 26, 1902- October 25, 1957)
Albert Anastasia was born on February 26, 1902 at the turn of the century in Tropea, Italy, Anastasia moved to the United States in 1919 and settled in New York. During his career he was known as The Mad Hatter” and “Lord High Executioner”.
During his teens, Albert Anastasia along with his brother Tony took to the sea and by the age 15 he sneaked off his ship and into Brooklyn. In 1917 Anastasia came to the US sometime shortly before World War I. He doesn’t even have shoes and he stayed with a relative until he could find some work. He was able o find a job by the age of sixteen where he became a longshoreman on the docks.
Anastasia was probably best known for his being hot- tempered. This man was perhaps considered as one of the most violent men to ever reign as a mob boss in a family. In his early 20’s, he was arrested in for having killed a fellow longshoreman in the year 1920, in a quarrel over the right to unload ships with expensive cargoes. Several witnesses have witnessed how the fierce Anastasia stabbed and strangled his victim. He was convicted and sentenced to death. He spent 18 months in the death house of Sing Sing. Shortly before he was to be executed, he won a new trial when the witnesses reversed their statements. His case was reopened and Anastasia was set free but a new trial was never held. Four of the most important witnesses suddenly ended up to be missing.
Anastasia was one of the reasons why Lucky Luciano rose to power. In 1930, Luciano approached him about his plot regarding the old Mustache Petes that ran the Mafia, Anastasia declared that he’d waited for eight years for Luciano to be in charge and that he is willing to “kill everybody” so that Luciano could stay on top of the game. Luciano had wanted Anastasia to be a big part of his plans in the future.
Anastasia was so hungry and craving for power and knew that if Luciano will be the head of the National Crime Syndicate, he would also get a piece of the action. By the year 1931, Anastasia was part of the four men that were sent to kill Masseria in Coney Island Restaurant.
His ruthless brutality and his love for power made him legendary and helped him achieve the leadership of one of the most powerful families in mob history. Anastasia was very ambitious and became friends with famous gangsters like Frank Costello, Al Capone, and Lucky Luciano. Anastasia was offered the position of chief of Murder Inc., as the syndicate’s enforcement arm when the prohibition was ended. It was his friends that begun this national crime syndicate and they offered Anastasia to fill in the said position.
It was on the morning of October 25, 1957, when Anastasia’s life came to an end. According to reports, he entered the barber shop of the Park Central Hotel, in New York City. As Anastasia relaxed in the barber chair, two men in scarves covering their faces rushed in and fired at Anastasia. The gunmen continued firing until Albert Anastasia finally fell dead on the floor. The Anastasia murder case remains officially unsolved.