Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Albert Tannenbaum aka 'Tick Tock' Tannenbaum 1906 - 1976

From my friend, Patrick Hamou, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Six-For-Five/142907169065499. Artist and writer.

Born in Nanticoke,Pennsylvania, Tannenbaum’s father moved his family the Lower East Side in 1909 where the family settled on Orchard St.

...After World War I, Allie’s father bought a resort in upstate New York and employed his young son during the summers to wait on tables there. The hotel attracted mostly Jews from the city, including the larger-than-life Manhattan mobsters Harry Big 'Greenie' Greenberg, Jacob Shapiro and Louis Lepke Buchalter, who took the impressionable Tannenbaum under their wing and gave the skinny kid some lessons in acquiring toughness and to stand up for himself. Jacob Shapiro nicknamed him 'Tick Tock' because of his constant clocklike nervous banter.

By the time he quit high school, Allie worked for Lepke and Shapiro after Shapiro spotted him selling hats on the streets of Manhattan and offered a better pay incentive. Bit by bit he learned the trade and was soon running with some of Lepke's gunmen like Emanuel 'Mendy' Weiss and Charlie 'The Bug' Workman though duties at times never went farther then driving black sedans. Eventually he graduated and had his hand in six murders. Tannenbaum also freelanced for whoever had the cash,and was mixed up in the war for control over Brownsville, Brooklyn between Abe Reles’ crew and the Shapiro Brothers.

He eventually became a full time member of Murder Inc. eventually leading to his connection of his most high profile crime, the murder of Harry ‘Big Greenie,’ Greenberg. Greenberg, who was a Ben Siegel protogĂ©, was crying foul and whining money woes to the top brass, and threatening to go the authorities and flip. He eventually went on the run and Tannenbaum was given the task of torpedo.

By 1940, pursuant to constant pressure from Brooklyn authorities along with testimonies pouring out of Abe Reles connecting Tannenbaum to the Greenberg killing, Allie made a complete one eighty of his allegiance to his criminal colleagues and joined Reles in the stool pigeon coup. He spent almost a year at the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island along with Reles and Sholem Bernstein under police protection while the Brooklyn district attorney William O’Dwyer prepared his case. He was also flown out to Los Angeles, along with Reles, to testify in the case against Siegel in the Greenberg killing, though Siegel managed to squeeze out with an acquittal. He eventually testified in the trial against Louis Buchalter, working up the courage to stare into the face of the man he had admired so long ago, providing enough incriminating evidence to send Lepke tothe electric chair.

Albert Tannenbaum disappeared soon after from public view, resurfacing once in the mid-1950s for a court appearance as a prosecutor's witness for King's County when the case on the death of Abe Reles was reopened.

Some claim Tannenbaum spent the rest of his life as a hat salesman in Atlanta before he went missing off the coast of Florida in 1976.


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