16. The Unraveling of a Weird Criminal Scheme
Tony Marino and his coconspirators figured that nothing he ate or drank could dent Michael Malloy’s bizarre durability. So they decided to freeze him to death. One cold winter night when the temperature dipped to minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit, they waited for him to pass out, then carried him to a park, dumped him in the snow, and poured five gallons of water on his chest to make sure he froze solid. Malloy showed up the next day for his booze on credit. They then ran him over with a taxi owned by one of the plotters. That only put Malloy in a hospital for three weeks with broken bones, and he reappeared at the speakeasy upon his release.
Finally, on February 22nd, 1933, the plotters struck a gas hose in Malloy’s mouth after he passed out and turned on the jets. That did the trick. The plotters collected on the insurance, but rumors of “Mike the Durable” began making the rounds, and soon reached the ears of the insurers and cops. Malloy’s body was exhumed and reexamined, and the truth came out. The plotters were tried and convicted in 1934. One of them got a prison sentence, while the other four, including Tony Marino, the speakeasy’s proprietor, got the death penalty and were executed in Sing Sing prison.