Last week we presented you with five beautiful New York murder scenes. This week, get ready for five more–and no, we’re still not including the Dakota.
1. Doyers Street, Chinatown – Gang Wars Unlimited
Doyers Street is too big to be officially counted as an alley, but the narrow, meandering street in Chinatown is an intriguing urban escape path (especially aided by this tunnel) from the busy Bowery.
This modern Thermopylae is also the site of some of the most gruesome urban street battles in New York history. At the turn of the 20th century, the most powerful Tong, or gang, in Chinatown was the On Leong, under the control of Tom Lee. Among his rivals was the upstart Mock Duck, leader of the Hip Sing. Meeting Lee over tea one day, Duck demanded that he cede control of half of his gambling rackets to the Hip Sing. Lee refused and the war was on.
Doyers Street, which connected the two Tong territories, came to be known as the Bloody Angle. With guns and hatchets, gangsters repeatedly met here to slaughter each other. Over 50 fighters died here in one encounter alone. The war finally ended when Mock Duck wrested control of Chinatown away from Tom Lee; he presided over the neighborhood until his death in 1941. Don’t miss the escape tunnel, now populated by small businesses, which enabled many an escape.