The Shmooze

Jewish Mobster To Retire in Luxury

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Peter Shone via Wikimedia Commons

Victims and cops are fuming that a “legendary” Jewish gangster has been sprung from jail after a “surprise” parole decision that will “allow him to live out his final days in a posh gated community in Florida,” the NY Daily News reports.

Though 86-year-old “mob hit man” Harold Konigsberg was released in June, news of his freedom surfaced only this week. Konigsberg had spent nearly five decades in upstate New York’s maximum-security Mohawk Prison for a gangland murder. Retired NYPD detective and veteran mob buster Joseph Coffey told the News it’s a “disgrace” that Konigsberg is free. “I knew him well and he was the worst of the worst,” Coffey said. “He enjoyed killing and enjoyed getting paid for it. He was a nasty bastard and he should have gotten the (electric) chair.”

Jennie Castellito was just 13 when her father, Teamsters official Anthony Castellito, was murdered by Konigsberg on orders of a union rival. Konigsberg strangled Castellito with a Venetian blind cord.

“My father’s dead and he didn’t have the last 49 years to spend alive with his children and grandchildren,” she told the News. “I don’t think he should have been released. I don’t understand it.”

Konigsberg is suspected by the feds in as many as 20 other mid-20th century mob hits. But at an April parole hearing, he reportedly asked why everyone just couldn’t let it go.

“This is over 50 years old. When does it end? I mean you can’t keep holding it against somebody for 50 years, 60 years, and say the crime was this or that,” he whined, according to a hearing transcript.

In Blood Relation, a 2005 book by his nephew Eric Konigsberg, the hit man known as “Heshy” was described as “a troublemaker from the beginning, a malevolently wild creature in a house full of Sabbath-keepers,” according to a New York Times book review.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Harold Konigsberg

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.