American Mobsters – Louis Pioggi (Louie the Lump) – The Man Who Killed Kid Twist

By | November 21, 2017

Louis Pioggi, affectionately called Louie the Lump, was a diminutive and dapper Italian Five Point Gang member, who thrust himself into the spotlight one starry night in Coney Island, when he snuffed the life out of Kind Twist, the boss of the former Monk Eastman Jewish Lower East Side gang. Twist’s gang and the Five Pointers were in a constant battle for the Lower East Side rackets, and under Twist’s reign, his gang had made great inroads into the Five Pointer’s territory. The ire was so great between both gangs, they made the Hatfields and the McCoys seem like choir boys singing in a church.

Born in 1889 on the Lower East Side, Pioggi was basically a footnote in the history of the American gangster. He was a small timer, who as fate would have it, fell in love with the same dance hall girl, the more illustrious Kid Twist ( Maxwell Zwerbach) was seeing on the side.

It was the custom at the start of the 20th Century for gangsters who had more than a few bucks in their pockets, to break free from the dumps and dives on the Lower East Side and “go out on the town,” to the wondrous expanses of Coney Island in Brooklyn. On May, 14, 1908, Pioggi took a trip out to Coney to see Carroll Terry, a gorgeous Coney Island dance hall girl. who was the regular squeeze of Twist’s. Unknown to Pioggi, Twist was also in Coney Island to see Miss Terry, and was accompanied by his bodyguard Cyclone Louie, real name Vach Lewis. Cyclone Louie was a killer for Twist, but was better known as a Coney Island circus strongman, who bent large pieces steel around his neck for a living.

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