Red Levine. The Holy Killer
John William Tuohy
Levine Samuel. Professional killer. AKA Red. Born 1903. A natural red head with a ruddy complexion gave him his neck name. Lived at 30 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. Levine had 21 arrests on his record dating from 1922 but he was only convicted once, on a weapons charge. Born in Toledo Ohio, he moved to New York’s Lower East Side as a child. An orthodox Jew, he wore a yarmulke under his fedora when he was working as a slugger for Murder Incorporated.
It was said that he refused to kill on the Sabbath. In 1935, Levine told Mob informant Joe Valachi that in 1931 that he and Bo Weinberg killed Joe the Boss Masseria and that he and Joe Adonis, Albert Anastasia and Bugsy Siegel killed Masseria rival, Salvatore Maranzano.
Maranzano was planning to murder Lucky Luciano, Vito Genovese, Frank Costello and Meyer because he sensed they were a threat and they were. On September 10, 1931, at 3:45 Levine and the others, posing as New York City Detectives, entered Maranzano office building at 230 Park Avenue and took the elevator to the 9th floor office of the Eagle Building Corporation, Maranzano’s front company. The disarmed seven men and ordered, them, and a secretary to line up against the wall. Then they crashed into Maranzano’s private office and murdered him. (He was stabbed and shot)
Maranzano had hired Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll to kill his underlings, Lansky, Luciano, Costello and Genovese. As Levine and the other rushed through the lobby, they bumped into Coll, who was on his way upstairs to meet with Maranzano. Recognizing Coll, they warned him that there had been a raid, and he too, fled the building.
According to the newspaper, he was also considered to be Lucky Luciano’s chief enforcer although it was Meyer Lansky who provided the killers for the Maranzano murder.
In 1942, Levine was involved in a pool hall incident and on October 27, 1950, he arrested in a general round up of criminals in the city. In the late 1950s, he was known to frequent Ratner’s restaurant on the Lower East Side and tell stories to the hired help. Moe Biller, the legendary president of the New York Postal workers recalled, “Red was a very nice man”