Peg Leg In this video, part three, I will take an in-depth Look at Richard “Peg Leg” Lonergan, leading up to Lonergan’s death in the Adonis Social Club, where his body was found, along with one of his men.
Lonergan assumed control of the gang after “Wild” Bill Lovett’s death, due to him being Lovett’s friend and brother in law
Traditionally, it was thought and written about that there was a battle for control of Brooklyn’s docks and rackets between the Irish and Italians, that the Italians won and wiped out the Irish gangs on the docks.
One popular theory is that Lonergan was a bigot and had chased away some Irish women, who were with Italian men, from the Adonis Social Club, shouting racial slurs at the Italians and thats when the gunfire started. And Al Capone was one of those present.
And while it may be true that Lonergan was a bigot and hated the Italians, further research suggests that that series of events may not have happened, two eyewitnesses never reported that incident taking place before the shooting started or that Al Capone was present at the time, even though he would be arrested for the incident.
Further research has brought to light the rivalry between the Irish and Italians was pretty much fiction and sensationalized. The truth may not be as sensational and less dramatic.
The White Hand Gang was in fact a collection of smaller gangs under one umbrella, the main factions being the Warren Street Red Onion Gang and the Jay Street Gang, who fought among themselves for control of the rackets and docks.
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As the Brooklyn Irish community was notoriously secretive about talking to authority, it made it difficult to piece this together. I have tried to gather as many newspaper clippings and articles in order to shed some light on the subject.
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