Harold “Whitey” Whitehead was a native of Queens but knew many of the Hell’s Kitchen crowd, he was 38 years and had curly brown hair and by all accounts he was “an arrogant prick”. Jimmy Coonan knew him from drinking in his 596 bar in Hell’s Kitchen, in fact Whitey Whitehead had gotten into a fight with one of Jimmy Coonan’s bartenders in the 596 bar but it was stopped by his brother, Jackie. There was a grudge between them going back a few years.

On this day however, Jimmy Coonan, Mickey Featherstone & Jimmy McElroy had been on another mission, they had been asked to look after a contract on a union official. This contract had been going on for almost four months, they spent most of the day staking out a bar where this union official was thought to have been. As they sat outside the bar in the “Meat Wagon”, a van that was used to transport weapons, disguises and sometimes body parts, they thought they seen the official leave the bar.

Jimmy Coonan & Mickey Featherstone got out of the van to make sure this man was the right one, they followed him for a bit, both were in disguise as it was broad day light, either it wasnt the guy or Featherstone got cold feet is unclear but they didnt carry out the hit and returned to the van. They put the failed hit behind them and went to the Plaka Bar which was located near the Opera Hotel.

At the bar Jimmy Coonan, Mickey Featherstone and Jimmy McElroy met an associate, Billy Uptown, he was with another guy by the name of Bobby Huggard, an old associate of the Coonan brothers Jimmy & Jackie. Billy Uptown introduced Mickey and the two Jimmy’s to a friend of his John Crowell. They began to drink and everything seemed fine. Then Harold “Whitey” Whitehead arrived.

At first everything was good, Jimmy Coonan then walked over to Whitehead and the two began to talk but soon started arguing, what they were arguing over is unclear but Whitehead was heard saying “That brother of yours is a fucking rat. Ive got no beef with you but its your brother”, the conversation continued for a couple of minutes and Jimmy Coonan returned back to Featherstone and McElroy. They knew Coonan was angry.

To diffuse the situation, John Crowell suggested that he, Billy Uptown, Whitehead & Huggard step into the bathroom and smoke a joint. They left and left the other three at the bar. When they left, the conversation between the three turned to Whitehead, Jimmy Coonan wasnt pleased that his brother was being called a rat.

In the bathroom the four men were stood around smoking a joint when Jimmy Coonan walked in, they said their hello’s but not much else, Jimmy went to one of the urinal’s. When he finished, he turned with a Baretta and shot Whitey Whitehead in the back of the head. The remaining three ran for the door but were met by Featherstone and McElroy who were on their way to the bathroom to see what was going on. Featherstone and McElroy held the three of them at gunpoint outside the bathroom, when another two shots rang out inside. Harold “Whitey” Whitehead was now dead.

The following morning the janitor found the body of Harold Whitehead and alerted police. In the confusion of the previous night, they had left some evidence, Booby Huggard had dropped a card in an envelope from his girlfriend and even though Jimmy McElroy promised that he found all of the casing from the bullets, he in fact forgot one, which the police found behind the bowl of the toilet.

Both Mickey Featherstone & Jimmy Coonan would be arrested and put on trial for Harold Whiteheads murder, they were both acquitted.

SOurces:
T.J English – The Westies

Owen Forsyth

Web Designer, Teacher, Artist, Writer, 3D & Visual Effects

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