Jimmy Coonan (1977-1986)- Jimmy Coonan led the most violent Irish gang Hell's Kitchen and New York has ever seen. After being released from jail in 1970, he started building up his own Irish gang so he could take over the rackets from Mickey Spillane. His gang soon outgrew the old Irish mob led by Spillane. Coonan's gang consisted of such killers as Richie Ryan (the uncontrollable kid who was a cocaine addict and alcoholic), Francis "Mickey" Featherstone (Jimmy's right hand man), JImmy McElroy, Billy Beattie, Eddie Coonan, Jackie Coonan, Kevin Kelley, and Kenny Shannon. Unlike the Spillane gang, which had a no-drug law, the Westies under Coonan were mostly cocaine addicts and alcoholics. In 1978, Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino's, wanted a sit-down with Coonan and they made an alliance with each other. Jimmy ordered the killing of mob associate and one of the most successful loansharks in New York City, Ruby Stein. Stein was a very powerful mand and a friend of Fat Tony Salerno. It was this murder where Coonan used the method of chopping up his victims and keeping the hands for fingerprints. Coonan also tried many times to kill Salerno. Several times Coonan, Featherstone, Ryan and McElroy went out looking for Salerno; they never spotted him. Coonan also tried to link up with an Irish gang in Boston run by his friend he met in Sing Sing, Pete Wilson. They met numerous times in NY and then flew to Boston to carry out a heist with Wilson and his boys. Together they robbed a pharmeceutical warehouse. But after that they never got back together because of the events happening in HK. From 1970-1986 there were some 30 unsolved homicides. In 1979 Featherstone and Coonan were indicted for the murder of Whitney Whitehead but were found not guilty. In 1980 Coonan and Featherstone were sentenced to four years for gun possession and counterfeiting. During the 80s the Westies' fortune grew. Narcotics became the most profitabe racket while Jimmy was gone. Sports betting was another growing racket. Pressure was building up on Coonan when his right hand man, Mickey Featherstone, flipped so Jimmy decided it was time to disappear from HK. He invested in Marine construction. In 1986, Coonan was arrested and this ended his reign of HK. Coonan was convicted in 1988 under RICO and received 75 years. In his absence Kevin Kelley took over.
This message has been edited by IrishHood on Nov 16, 2006 11:11 AM
Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.