The purpose of this website is to reveal what I find in my research on New York City youth gangs from the 1950s. I find it fascinating when I pull a thread and all kinds of information comes loose, like whiskey exiting a tumbler. And the information isn’t just about the gangs themselves.
The following is one of these progressions. It all started at an archive where my wife and I were doing research, randomly searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. If memory serves me correctly, she found the needle, a report on a member of the President Street Boys, a gang from Park Slope in Brooklyn.
Pulling the Thread
① The President Street Boy’s name was Jack and he was in the gang in the late 1940s. He was charged for burglarizing a large grocery store at 117 Union Street in December 1949. One of his co-defendants was Genaro, also a member of the President Street Boys. Along with a third companion, they used a hack saw to sever the bar in the back window of the grocery store and gain access to the building. They stole $2,000 in checks – burning most of them – and $1,675 in cash of which $75.00 was in silver.
② After a gap of several months, I got my hands on Genaro’s report. Not only was he a President Street Boy and a co-defendant in the burglary with Jack, he also became entangled with the law in 1963. By this time Genaro was an adult and his arrest was for his role in the 1st Colombo War in 1960-1963 between the Gallos and Profacis, among them Joseph Profaci and Carmine Persico. There were many co-defendants with Genaro, some of them being Larry Gallo, his brother Albert, Anthony Bernardo, Salvatore Mangiamelli, Frank Illiano and others.
③ One of the other names on the list of people arrested for their role in the Colombo War was an Anthony Hubela, born in 1912. Another wait and I got the information on him too. Anthony’s father was Egyptian and his mother was Syrian, meaning he could not be a made man. Nevertheless, he was still an associate of Larry and Albert Gallo (when Anthony was caught with Genaro and the others, Joe Gallo was in prison for extortion and conspiracy). Hubela’s legal history was longer than a coiled sausage and included burglary, policy, robbery – which he went to Sing Sing for – rolling a drunk, pimping and drug possession. It turned out that one of Anthony’s cronies from a different case was a certain John Mansour, who was described as “infamous.”
④ Several months after receiving Hubela’s information, I got to take a closer look at the infamous John Mansour. In the report, John was described as a short, dark man. Dapper, too. He had a pock-marked face and owned a “slightly misshapen nose.” John’s parents were both Syrian-born, and although it’s not known if he was an associate with the Gallo brothers, I think there is a chance based on his association with Anthony Hubela. Also, in Frank Dimatteo‘s book The President Street Boys, there is a mention of two Syrians named Louie Hubella and Sammy Zahralbam who worked in the Gallo crew. Perhaps John Mansour worked with them too. In addition to details about John, including his legal history, I found an NYPD mugshot of him which you can see below.
So now you see the route some of this research takes and although Mansour and Hubela are far out of my purview on youth gangs, there has to be some historical value in knowing their criminal backgrounds, both of which are discussed in great depth. And what happened to John? Well, in 1959, he was arrested for his role in the murder of a wealthy night club owner from Richmond, Virginia that happened in 1957. I’m not sure if he was convicted, but knowing his lengthy history, he probably went to prison for a long time.