He was a vicious killer from the time he was 18, but Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, was no one's man. When he came down to push and hit, he was nothing but a yellow-belly who lied to his best friends to save his own skin.
Abraham Rails was born in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn, New York on May 10, 1906. His father is an Austrian Jew who immigrated to America to seek a better life. But after years of working as a small-town worker in the clothing trade, he ends up selling knitwear on the streets of Brooklyn from a mobile booth.
Quickly realizing that his father's life was not for him, Reles, five feet two inches, dropped out of school after eighth grade. He soon worked as a goffer for the powerful brothers Shapiro, Mayer, Irving and Willie, who operated missiles in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Reles was reduced to completing orders and doing light work for Shapiros, sometimes for just five bucks a pop. One of those orders consisted of observing one of Shapiro's many slot machines, and for that reason, Thales threw a bullet in his back, which resulted in nothing more than flesh but a major explosion in Reles' ego. It was at this time that Reles took the nickname "Kid Twist" in honor of a former New York Jewish mob named Max "Kid Twist" Iver, who, equally oddly, was also killed on Connie Island.
Annoyed and unwilling to continue to get the short end of the Shapiros stick, Reles created his own little band consisting of childhood friend Bugsy Goldstein and the Italian duo of Happy Maione and Dasher Abbendado. Soon, the sadistic killer Harry Pittsburgh Phil Strauss joined the crew, and Reles announced, at the ripe old age of twenty, that he and his boys would be going to take Brownsville and all his missiles away from Shapiros. Relays called his motley crew of assassins "Brooklyn Inc."
"Why Should We Take the Left?" asked Rails Goldstein. "We have to cut a piece. Hell with those guys."
When word came back to Shapiros, which Reles had planned, Mayer, the chief of the clan, was furious. "Brownsville belongs to us," said Mayer Shapiro. "Nobody moves here."
Meyer Shapiro fired the first burst of war in control of Brownsville, grabbing Rails' girlfriend from the street and brutally beating and raping her. Now it was Reles's own face, and he and Goldstein toured the streets of Brownsville, trying to kill all three Shapiros, but mostly Mayer because of the resentment that had defiled Reles' girlfriend. Throughout the year, Reles and Goldstein shot Meyer Shapiro nineteen times, but wounded him only once. Then one evening, upon learning that Meyer Shapiro and his two brothers were ambushed in front of their Blake Avenue apartment building, Reles was upset to find that only Irving had bothered to show. As Irving Shapiro entered his fifth-floor apartment, Reles and Goldstein discharged their weapons, first striking Irving twice in the face, then sixteen more times in the back.
A few days later, Relesh and his boys grabbed a corner from Meyer Shapiro on the streets of Brooklyn. A single bullet in the ear of Mayer Sharpiro, shot by Reles, took Shapiro out as chief of the Brownsville missiles. It took Reles three years to finally eliminate Willie Shapiro, who threatened to kill Reles and his friends the entire time. After taking Willie Shapiro to a bar, he was taken to a basement in Brooklyn, beaten mercilessly, and then buried in a shallow sand dune at Canarsie Flats. Willie Shapiro's body was soon found and his medical examination autopsied and found sand in his lungs, meaning he was buried alive.
The triumph of Reles and his boys over the Shapiro brothers caught the eye of Louis Lepke Bookletter, and soon Brooklyn Inc. became a corporation of Murder Incorporated. Lepke was said to have several dozen killers on his paycheck, and in the decade of the 1930s, police estimated that Murder Incorporated was responsible for five hundred strikes across the country.
Yet nothing good lasts forever. On February 2, 1940, Reles, Goldstein, and Anthony Duke Mafethor were arrested for the 1934 murder of a small hood named Red Alpert. Maffetore was the first to file evidence against his crew, but the largest rat jewel for New York District Attorney William O Dwyer was Reles, who was the highest ranking member of Murder Incorporated at Lepke. During the trial of Lepke, which also included Mandy Weiss and Luis Capone as defendants, Reles, who had a photographic memory, gave intimate details of more than 200 murders involving the defendants. All three of Reles's former friends were subsequently convicted and fried in Singh Singh's electric chair.
Yet, the government did not end with Reles' cry. He was wanted as a key witness in the upcoming large-scale trial of the assassinations of Albert Anastasia and Buggy Seagal. While Reles waited a few more trips to court, Dwyer hid Reles at the Crescent Hotel, located on the sandy beaches of Coney Island. Relays was under constant police surveillance, with no fewer than six police officers guarding him at a time, even while he was sleeping.
Yet in the early morning hours of November 12, 1941, Reles fell to his death from a window on the sixth floor of the hotel. He was found relaxed on his back with a suit jacket, but his white shirt was unbuttoned and revealed a fat belly. Several leaves were found tied together and although Reles' body was found twenty feet from the base of the hotel, the official cause of death was cited as "dying from falling while trying to escape". Following the death of Rails, Dwer announced that his future affairs were going out of the window with Rules.
Years later, Italian crime boss Lucky Luciano said $ 50,000 was paid by Frank Costello to be distributed to the New York Police Department to see if the person who can "sing like a canary" , can fly as one too.