19 February 1942 – Francesco “Frank” Abbandando

Francesco “Frank” AbbandandoBrooklyn gangster Francesco ‘Dasher’ Abbandando was sent to the electric chair for devoting his life to murder and tyranny on the streets of New York.

Sicilian-born Abbandando was a mob hit man, who was instrumental in organising gambling and extortion rackets, along with loan sharking in New York.


His family had emigrated to New York and in his teenage years he’d shown Mob tendencies. He was into forcing shops to pay money over to him to prevent him from setting light to their premises.

As he grew up, he became embroiled in more and more Mob activities when he joined the Ocean Hill gang. Along the way, he gained his nickname, because he was so fast. The speed at which he tenaciously chased one escaping victim ensured he was christened ‘Dasher’.

The ice pick man cometh

But it was his reputation as a member of The Combination, or Murder Inc (as it became known in the press) that made Abbandando notorious. In the ‘30s, he was to target opposing gangs and competitors. One particularly horrific murder involved a loan shark – George Rudnick. He was strangled, hacked with an ice pick and a meat cleaver, before having his skull crushed by a garage door.


It was for this murder that Abbandando was caught and sent to trial. But he was convinced he was above the law, because he was sure his bosses would fix everything and get him off. Sadly for him, his bravado was misplaced. The Mob failed to come good, so Abbandando was found guilty of murder and sent down. The sentence was death.

The mobster was electrocuted at Sing Sing in New York, aged 31. His mate, indeed his mentor and partner in crime, Harry ‘Happy’ Malone shared death as in life – he was also executed on this day.

Also on this day

19 February 1951 – Jean Lee
19 February 1942 – Harry ‘Happy’ Malone
19 February 1999 – Wilford Berry Jnr
19 February 2002 – John William Byrd Jnr

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One Response to “19 February 1942 – Francesco “Frank” Abbandando”

  1. February 19, 1929 – René Frédillon, a young French murderer, was guillotined in front of the prison in Valence.

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