"Knadles" - My Fourth Cousin
In the process of my genealogical research, I received an e-mail from someone in Israel whose family turned out to be related. In the course of our ensuing e-mail communication I learned that I was the fourth cousin of the Murder Inc. gangster Irving "Knadles" Nitzberg.
In January 9, 1939, Knadles Nitzberg murdered fellow gangster Albert Shuman while they were riding together in a car in Brooklyn. Knadles was apprehended by the police, sent to Sing Sing Prison, and later escaped execution on the electric chair when the star witness and mob informant Abe (Kid Twist) Reles "fell out of a window". Knadles was later let out of prison, but once again fell a life of crime and became involved in burglary and loan sharking.
In researching information on Irving "Knadles" Nitzberg, I obtained articles concerning him from the New York Times newspaper archives. I also was able to enlist the help of a lawyer to obtain electronic copies of the 1941 court case that gave the details of the murder trial. Finally, I wrote to the New York State Department of Corrections and received his records from Sing Sing Prison.
Part of me is fascinated with this distant relative who was involved in the infamous Murder, Inc during the height of Jewish gangsterism. At the same time, I am happy that we do not share a common last name or a closer relation.