Crime Scene Photos from a 1950s Youth Gang Homicide: Harlem Assassins and Sinners

Before you get to the article…

On February 23, 2018, my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, who were two Brooklyn youth gangs from the 1950s, has been completed.  It took 15 years of research and writing to complete Brooklyn Rumble: Mau Maus, Sand Street Angels, and the End of an Era.  This book is roughly 6″x9″ and has 370 pages and includes a look at the characters in the Mau Maus and the details of a gang killing that happened in February 1959 in front of the iconic Brooklyn Paramount Theater (now Long Island University).  If you want to buy a copy, click here and this link will take you to an online ordering page.


My research on youth gang homicides takes me to some very interesting places and some twists and turns on the route.  For example, one case that I am researching and will be writing when I am completed my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, (click here for more information on that) happened in the summer of 1959, between two bitter enemies from West Harlem:  The Sinners (sometimes referred to as the Young Sinners) and the Assassins, an offshoot of the Uptown Assassins.  This gang murder ended in the death of 13-year-old Sergio Quinones, a member or friend of the Assassins.  Several members of the Sinners drove by a passel of Assassins near their turf and blazed away at them with a .45 hand gun.

Radislaw Blazic, Theodore Niforos, Frank Arroyo and Milton Graniela, — all Sinners — were the ones that did the drive-by shooting.  As they were making their get-away, the police took pursuit and right around Central Park and West 110th Street the car skidded to a stop and the Sinners, bold as brass, took some shots at the police.  The police returned fire, killing Milton Graniela, while the others took off, vaulting the stone wall into Central Park to make their escape.  You can notice the chalk outline in this following picture of where Graniela died that day.  Part of my research took me directly to New  York City and the spot where the Sinners and Assassins hung out as well as the spot where they shot Quinones and shot at the police on West 110th Street.  After reading over the court records on the spot where Graniela died, I tried to pinpoint what that crime scene looks like today in 2012 (when the picture was taken).  See the comparison for yourself:

Crime Scene where Milton Graniela, a member of the Sinners, a Manhattan youth gang from the 1950s, was shot and killed by the police.

Picture taken August 2012 on West 110th Street of approximately where Graniela, a member from the 1950s gang the “Sinners” died.

Some crime scene photos were easy to figure out while, others were a bit more of a challenge to pinpoint.  In this case it was difficult to know for sure that this was the exact spot where Milton died, but I think I was able to narrow it down with a good certainty.  I am doing this with the other cases I am writing about as well, so this gives a glimpse into some of the research I am doing.