William “Little Patsy Doyle” Moore was the leader of the Hudson Dusters gang in the 1910’s and he was killed at the end of a war between his Hudson Dusters gang and Owney Madden’s Gopher Gang.

The Hudson Dusters were a street gang that were founded in the late 1890s by “Circular Jack”, “Kid Yorke”, and “Goo Goo Knox”, the gang began operating from an apartment house on Hudson Street. Goo Goo Knox, a former member of the Gopher Gang, had fled the Gophers and the Westside after a failed attempt to gain leadership of the gang.

While the gang dominated the West Side, it constantly battled smaller rival gangs including the Fashion Plates, the Pearl Buttons, and the Marginals for control of the Hudson River docks throughout the 1900s. They eventually drove out the rival gangs through sheer force of numbers, they had over 200 members.

Many of the gangs members, including most of its leaders, had become drug addicts and were known for their wild cocaine parties in which the gang wandered the city afterwards in a drugged state committing violent acts. One victim of these attacks was a member of a rival gang, Owney “The Killer” Madden who was shot six times at the Arbor Dance Hall on 52nd Street near Seventh Avenue. This resulted in the deaths of three of the Hudson Duster gang members less than a week later. While recovering in hospital, Madden refused to cooperate with police, instead he had ideas of his own

On 28 November 1914, Doyle was lured to Nash’s Cafe by Madden’s girlfriends Margaret Everdeane and Freda Horner, and two gunmen followed him into the restaurant. Doyle talked to the girls before turning to see the gunmen, and he was shot several times. Doyle limped to the doorway of the restaurant, and he collapsed on the sidewalk and died. Owney Madden would be charge and sentenced to 10 to 20 years for this murder but only served 9 years before being released in 1923.

One of the more famous names from the ranks of the Hudson Dusters was Jack “Legs” Diamond, who joined the gang after moving to New York from Philadelphia. Diamond would go on to become one of the more well known gangsters of his time.

Owen Forsyth

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