Thursday, August 24, 2006

"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.

"Knadles"

"Knadles" Records From Sing Sing Prison

15 Comments:

At August 24, 2006 at 7:23:00 AM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

I'll have to make sure not to get on your bad side.

 
At August 24, 2006 at 7:28:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yes, and another distant relative was in the Irgun Zvai Leumi.

 
At August 24, 2006 at 9:14:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Michoel said...

ASJ,
I once heard from a Rosh Yeshiva that we tend to look at Reb Moshe z"l (for example) as a person with a naturally eidel demenor. But in truth, great baalei koach, if they had not been tzaddikim, might have been gansters. For example, Reish Lakish. So you should have chizuk from the fact that you are realted to people with big n'shamos that can do big things, when directed the right way.

 
At August 24, 2006 at 10:44:00 AM EDT, Blogger Alice said...

I knew there was something intimidating about you....

 
At August 28, 2006 at 1:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Funny, I was recently at the shabbat table of someone who was the grandson of the notorious Jewish gangster Sagansky. My host had changed his last name when he became frum...

 
At August 28, 2006 at 6:31:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I am not sure how many people have heard of Sahgansky or Nitzberg though. They are not as well known as Bugsy Siegel or Meyer Lansky.

 
At August 28, 2006 at 5:10:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come the Litvishe olam still dresses like these guys?

 
At October 5, 2006 at 5:08:00 PM EDT, Blogger booblikon said...

i think many people dressed like this in those days.

 
At November 22, 2006 at 9:20:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating indeed. I love anything relating to Jewish history. Check out my blog on it sometime. Regards.

 
At May 31, 2008 at 10:23:00 PM EDT, Anonymous mark from CT said...

Dear Simple Jew - Could we be related? I too have a relative in Israel who has devoted many years to studying our family's genealogy, and we are also related to Nitzberg. I will have to check the research to figure out the exact relation.

 
At January 1, 2010 at 8:16:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i recently found out, im related to a Harry Greenberg, who was supposed to be a part of Murder Inc. I haven't found any records, I'd love to find out more.

 
At April 7, 2011 at 12:35:00 PM EDT, Blogger lexdoc said...

interesting just by chance saw this i am knadels third cousin.. my mothers grandfather jacob sisters son ...what a small world by the way the lawyer that got him off death row and free was Zelig Lenefsky supreme court lawyer in manhattan. He was my great uncle (grandfathers brother)I would like to know more about the irgun side of the family also anyone can tell me something ?

 
At December 31, 2011 at 9:43:00 AM EST, Blogger Robert J Feldman said...

As a criminal defense attorney I am proud to be much more closely related to Irving Nitzberg than a fourth cousin.

He is my great uncle brother of my blessed and brilliant grandmother.

 
At January 29, 2013 at 6:48:00 PM EST, Anonymous lexdoc said...

A little history on "KANADLES" NITZBERG.. Jacob Lenefsky was my great grandfather (was in the seltzer business in NYC). He had 9 brothers and sisters. The ones I know are Channi (who married a Nitzberg and his son was the famous Knadels) Susha (owned the famous sacred cow restaurant in NYC), Levin family (changed his last name from lenefsky to Levin (they are from Chicago). Jacob had 4 sons and one daughter Boris (was my Grandfather) Itel (he changed name to Isadore) Itchey (changed his name to Theodore) and Dora. Maybe someone who knows can add something.

 
At January 29, 2013 at 7:00:00 PM EST, Anonymous lexdoc said...

I forgot to say Jacobs other son was Zelig Lenefsky (Kanadels uncle) who was the supreme court lawyer who got Kanadels off of death row in 1941 and again I think in the 1950's does anyone know how Kanadels died rumor has it he committed suicide??

 

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