On this day 24th April 1965 Owen Vincent Madden better known as Owney “The Killer” Madden dies in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Madden was born to Irish parents Mary and Frances Madden in Leeds, UK. Madden along with his mother and siblings moved to Hell’s Kitchen, New York. His father is believed to have been in prison and died before he could join the rest of the family.
A young Owney Madden joined up with the Gopher Gang who ruled Hell’s Kitchen and battled with the Hudson Dusters alongside the Marginals. Madden would eventually spend time in prison but would be released around the time when the Prohibition Era was beginning.
During Prohibition Madden would rub shoulders with some infamous names like Frank Costello, Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, Jack “Legs” Diamond and Big Bill Dwyer.
He would also be connected to some very famous names, singer and actor George Raft, Mae West, Heavyweight Champion Primo Carnera and one of my favorites Texas Guinan the Queen of the Nightclubs. He owned some of the most popular nightspots in New York, the Sliver Slipper, The Hotel Harding and the famous Cotton Club.
In 1932 Madden went into exile in Hot Springs, Arkansas where he oversaw the gambling in the town. It’s here where he met his wife Agnes Demby, the postmasters daughter.
The photo was taken in 1961, four years before his death.