7. The Murder of Arnold Rothstein at The Park Central Hotel
Arnold Rothstein is a legendary name in the gangster world; he is credited with transforming organized crime into a massive business that pervaded into the lives of everyday Americans. From a young age Rothstein was talented with numbers, an aptitude that paid dividend in running a criminal business that included bootlegging, running speakeasies and brothels, and waiving the political powers in his favor by filling politics with his gangsters. Rothstein was even responsible for match-fixing at the 1919 World Series, where he paid White Sox players $10,000 to intentionally tank the game – the meeting where this was decided took place at The Ansonia Hotel.
Also the consummate poker player, Rothstein’s luck finally ran out in 1928 when he encountered an unprecedented losing streak that left him with $320,000 in debt. Rothstein refused to pay the money, however, claiming that the game had been rigged. Two months later, in another poker game, he was shot in the stomach as he entered room 349 at the Park Sheraton Hotel (now Park Central). Rothstein managed to catch a fleeting glimpse of his assailant as he dragged himself out of the Midtown establishment through the service elevator. However, even on his deathbed two days later he refused to give the name of his killer when questioned by the police, staying true to the gangster code of silence.
The police tried McManus (the poker game organizer whom Rothstein owed money to), however he was ultimately acquitted, leaving the murder unsolved.