But what sealed Featherstone’s and The Westie’s fate was that the gang had planned to pin a murder on him, to try get him out of the way. If you like what we do and would like to support our work, please consider donating, we understand that times are hard at the minute and there are far more pressing matters for you to worry about. West Side crime regrouped during Prohibition when, it was said, there were more speakeasies than children on many blocks of the neighborhood.

They never actually said where they had been while on the run, they were both tanned so you can rule them out of hiding in Ireland, the only thing they would say, through their lawyer was “Its tough being on the run” & “They wanted to see their families”. Armed with a concealed tape recorder, Sissy Featherstone drew Bokun and others into conversations, sometimes when they came with regular payments for the family - the traditional organized-crime inducement to loyalty. THERE IS SOMETHING ALMOST QUAINT IN the image of Irish organized crime, something that calls to mind old movies with Jimmy Cagney lording over a troop of saucy wharf rats. In March 1986, Featherstone was found guilty, and faced a sentence of 25 years to life. THE PROSECUTORS' inability to make murder indictments against the Westies stick was a source of tremendous frustration for them.

Defense lawyers have complained in Federal District Court that Mr. Featherstone and other informers received highly beneficial deals from the Government to obtain their testimony in the Gambino trial and that the jury was not told that the informers were being freed. https://www.upi.com/.

It's not on YouTube or any similar sites. The Westies became, as Schlanger puts it, the Gambino family's ''Coonan crew.''. The Gambinos ''wanted to have some say in who was killed and who was not killed'' on the West Side, ''and they were willing to pay for this,'' says Jeffrey Schlanger. And when someone points to newcomers behind bars, cutting corners and running scams, just remember the Irish.

When he was paroled, in September 1984, Coonan apparently realized that the Westies' days as a territorial gang were numbered. This time, he was innocent.

Until his release last week, Mr. Featherstone had been held in custody on his racketeering charge and for a parole violation involving his earlier conviction in a counterfeiting case. After deciding to cooperate with the authorities, Mr. Featherstone pleaded guilty to a Federal racketeering charge, admitting his participation in four murders, five murder conspiracies and additional acts of loan-sharking, drug dealing and other crimes.

From a hardscrabble start escaping the Great Famine in the old country and decades of rejection and poverty in the new, the Irish eventually ruled the streets of America. One theory is that it was a case of mistaken identity. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited. He was also charged with the attempted murder of John O’Connor, O’Connor was shot in the buttocks outside a West Side union headquarters on May 7, 1986, as a favor to reputed Gambino Boss John Gotti, after O’Connor and his friends destroyed a restaurant that wouldnt pay union fee’s. When the police arrived at Erie several hours later, they found the car, its engine still warm. Francis T. "Mickey" Featherstone (born September 2, 1948) is a former Irish American mobster and member of the Westies, an organized crime syndicate from Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan in New York City, led by James Coonan.Featherstone committed several mob killings before he was convicted in 1986 of a murder he had not committed. What's more, he knew the guilty party: the night before the murder, he was told by Kevin Kelly, a gang member, that Holly was going to be killed. For once there were witnesses. Investigators discovered bullets embedded in the apartment's walls and found dried blood that had seeped between the floor boards.

© 2020 Toronto Sun, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Featherstone and Coonan had tipped two girls in a massage parlor with counterfeit $100 bills.

He spent time in a series of mental hospitals, being released in 1975. Great! TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. BY THE MID-1970'S, CONTROL over Hell's Kitchen crime had passed to the mythically named Michael (Mickey) Spillane. That’s what law and order right wingers and social scientists alike don’t get. How do I go about contacting Mickey Featherstone, who is in Witness Protection, to ask him something? Leone's local controlled employment at the U.S.S. On the evening of May 13, 1977, he was summoned to speak with someone in a dark sedan parked outside his home in Woodside, Queens. She would start conversations trying to get them to talk in order to prove that Featherstone was innocent, she was able to record Billy Bokun actually admit he was the killer of James Holly and recorded Kevin Kelly admit his part in the set up of Featherstone. At about the same time Spillane was killed, Ruby Stein disappeared. He was shocked. From his South Boston HQ, he governed over the underworld like a colossus. Mickey Featherstone destroyed the Westies and its boss, Jimmy Coonan, right. That man turned out to be James Coonan, now 40. Because the gang, until recently, has largely terrorized the insular world of Manhattan's West Side docks, living off extortion from bookmakers and loan sharks, the Westies never gained the notoriety of the Mafia. He was finally jailed after using fake currency at a massage parlor - he was traced because the girl remembered seeing his forename tattooed on his arm. Both went to prison. He was freed in December 1988 and went into a witness protection program. Albert Finney in Millers Crossing is one of the prototypical Irish gangsters of the movies.

Francis T. "Mickey" Featherstone (born September 2, 1948) is a former Irish American mobster and member of the Westies, an organized crime syndicate from Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan in New York City, led by James Coonan.Featherstone committed several mob killings before he was convicted in 1986 of a murder he had not committed.

#7 Convicted ''One of your trademarks was the murder and dismemberment of your victims in order to terrorize and avoid detection,'' the judge said, adding that Mr. Featherstone had been ''hospitalized for alcoholic addiction and psychiatric problems.''. It was the end of the Westies, Featherstone had previously been charged and acquitted of three murders he did actually commit but found guilty of the one he didnt. Kevin Kelly however was charged and found guilty for the 1984 murder of a Gambino Family associate, Vincent Leone, who tried to cheat the Westies and the Gambinos out of $30,000 in sports betting proceeds. Jack Nicholson channeled Whitey Bulger in The Departed, with Ray Winstone. On April 25, 1985, as Holly was walking down 35th Street near 11th Avenue, a man stepped out of a brown station wagon, screwed a silencer onto a gun and fired five shots at him.

''If you saw this guy, you'd swear that butter wouldn't melt in his mouth,'' says an acquaintance of his.

On Oct. 30, 1978, little Jason was found alongside the bodies of his parents Gary and Joan Deal, both 26, in Folsom, NJ. Taking a page from the book of Mafia tactics, Coonan attempted to expand into legitimate businesses. ON THE AFTERNOON OF MARCH 26, Robert Colangelo, chief of detectives of the New York City Police Department, was in his office, posing for a celebratory photograph with a detachment of his men. Hopefully, we'll send a message by putting people in jail for long stretches of time. The two stepped outside the Leprechaun Bar on 10th Avenue. Like a few that went to war in Vietnam, Mickey wanted go kill someone there, but the US military disappointed him when he never saw any combat. He is still in the witness protection program, there has been talk for a long time of a movie based on his life with the title of The Emerald City.