The Law Steps Up - Hayes Goes Down

5902 Edgewater Drive
The Law Steps Up, Hayes Goes Down - Unholy Toledo Tour
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As a result of Kennedy’s murder, Prosecutor Frazier Reams ordered all the slot machines and gambling devices in the county seized. When Sheriff Kreiger and Chief of Toledo Police Wolfe said that they couldn't find any, Reams sent a published letter to them in which he said that if they didn't know the addresses he would be happy to show them.

Reams believed that without money to finance all their illegal activities, the Licavoli gang wouldn't be able to function. To that end, he ordered all illegal activities in the city be suspended. No booze, no gambling, no women, no anything. All of Licavoli's illegal enterprises were shut down tight. With the lid on organized crime in Toledo, it wasn't long before the Licavoli crime family imploded.

As 1933 drew to a close, the residents of northern Ohio saw Licavoli's main enforcer Wop English found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Yonnie Licavoli's trial was next and then Jacob Firetop Sulkin’s followed. Ironically, Licavoli and English received life in prison while Sulkin was sentenced to death. Sulkin's sentence was later reduced to life in prison.

1934 saw an end to the public side of the Licavoli Gang. The conviction of Wop English, and Yonnie Licavoli's trial, coupled with the legal implications and jail time for the remaining members of Yonnie's Toledo gang, assured Toledoans of the gang's demise.

Unfortunately for Jimmy Hayes, the violence wasn't over. On the morning of Thursday, October 4, 1934, local headlines blared the discovery of Hayes' body in a Detroit alley. Hayes had traveled to Detroit with a party of friends and business associates to attend the opening game of the World Series between Detroit and St. Louis. He reportedly checked into the Book-Cadillac Hotel and was later spotted in the company of several members of the Detroit mob faction headed by Yonnie's brother Pete at the Club Maxine. Among those seen with Hayes were Charles Bracco and the infamous Joe Massie, a gunman known to have committed several killings on behalf of the Licavoli interests. At the time, the events leading to the discovery of Hayes bullet riddled body remained unanswered but speculation was the hit was in retaliation for Hayes’ involvement in gambling in Northern Michigan. By operating in the backyard of the Detroit family and refusing to pay or allow them a piece of the action, much like the situation years before in Cleveland, Hayes had made himself a target of the Detroit mob. Later reports pointed to the start of the Licavoli trial for murder and the rumor that Hayes had secretly given testimony detailing the Licavoli activities in Toledo. Whatever the case, Jimmy Hayes is officially listed as the 15th and final victim in the battle for control of Toledo's rackets during the Unholy Toledo era.

By the end of 1934, the depression in Lucas County was holding strong, Toledoans still didn't have adequate employment, but they did have the illusion of security returning to their streets.

So what do you think happened next?  Let's head for Club Devon and find out.  

Please pull left on to Edgewater Drive and follow it back to Summit Street. Turn Left on Summit, right on 108 Street, right on Suder, left on Benore Road, left on Alexis and right on Benore.  Slow down past the railroad tracks and pull off to the right at the Mudjaw Bowman's Club at 6240 Benore Rd.

Copyright © 2020 Tedd Long

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