WHACKED: Purple Gang Boss Shot Dead in Car

Gangster Michael Meldish took a bullet to the head on Friday night in a grizzly exercise of Mafia recidivism. The killing has all the signs of a genuine, bona fide mob hit – old school all the way.

Michael Meldish's good night kiss.

Meldish, whose brother is currently serving time in prison, has been a notorious hitman believed to have killed more than 10 people in the two decades he spent running The Purple Gang. His reign ended on Friday night, at around 10:30 p.m. His body was found in the driver’s seat of a rusty Lincoln LS in Throgs Neck on Ellsworth Ave.

“Michael was a stone-cold killer,” Joseph Coffey, former commanding officer of the NYPD’s organized crime homicide task force, told the New York Daily News, which added that Coffey had “tried for years to pin murders on Meldish…” Interesting choice of phrase.

Joseph Meldish, now in prison, is alleged to have
committed up to 70 contract hits.
Coffey added: “We couldn’t get any witnesses. They had the people so terrified they just wouldn’t cooperate.”

Coffey said he suspects Meldish was offed by a rival – and that “It should have happened a long time ago. I call it vermin killing vermin — poetic justice.” Tell us how you really feel, Joe…

Meldish’s body was seen by witnesses, who said he’d been “nattily [nicely, expensively] dressed, in a camel-colored leather jacket and slacks” when he was whacked. Sounds like he was arriving from or going to a high-level meeting. A setup?

“His head was back, his mouth was open and his sunglasses were on the floor, with one of the lenses popped out,” a witness told the News.

Meldish reportedly controlled the drug trade in the Bronx and Harlem as the co-leader of the Purple Gang — a crew originally affiliated with the Luchese, Genovese and Bonanno crime families.

His brother and longtime partner in crime, Joseph Meldish, is believed to be responsible for as many as 70 contract killings.

Joseph Meldish, 56, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 2011 for a 1999 slaying.

Michael Meldish racked up nearly 10 arrests between 1970 and 1990 on charges ranging from assault to forgery. “They were the lowest of the low ... just ruthless scumbags,” Coffey said.

But Meldish’s former landlady in the Bronx described him as a perfect gentleman, the News reported.

“There’s not a bad thing I can say about him,” said his onetime landlady, Anne Rescigno, 84. “I loved him like he was my son.”

Sounds like a dyed-in-the-wool gangster.

The Purple Gang is long considered to be among the most pitiless mob crews in the city.

The gang was known for killing and dismembering rivals as it controlled the heroin trade in Harlem and the Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s. Its members — many of whom were relatives of more established crime figures — often freelanced as “muscle” for the Lucchese, Genovese and Bonanno families.

Taking its name from a group of thugs that terrorized Detroit during Prohibition, the Purple Gang grew so powerful in the late 1970s that authorities feared it might attempt to become the area’s sixth organized crime family — potentially igniting an all-out mob war.

A 1976 federal report cited the gang’s “enormous capacity for violence” and “lack of respect for other members of organized crime.”

The crew’s power began waning in the late 1980s as members were snared in drug busts.


  1. rest in peace Micheal and fuck off Joe Coffey. Mike was a true tough guy who had balls of steel. My heart goes out to his family and to his brother in prison my good friend Joey 13.

  2. I see, if you're a tough guy with balls of steel it's ok no matter how many murders you commit. What a jackass world view. Piscialetto!

    1. It was OK for Bush and Chaney to send thousands of young Americans to be killed on a lie about wmd's. Your a jackass. I never said it was OK to murder and yes I am friends with his brother and he did have balls and came from nothing in east Harlem like most of my friends and myself

    2. Bugsy Siegel famously said, "We only kill each other." Not to excuse murder, but authorities would love to put half the guys in the street in front of a firing squad, but are willing to settle for a needle or life buried underground in Colorado or some other SuperMax. Worry more about young "gangsta" thugs who randomly shoot into the street and kill women and children.

    3. Bush and Cheney, eh, genius?

      "While the distance between the United States and Iraq is great, Saddam Hussein's ability to use his chemical and biological weapons against us is not constrained by geography - it can be accomplished in a number of different ways - which is what makes this threat so real and persuasive." Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), October 10, 2002

      "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

      "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

      58% of Senate Democrats voted for the Iraq war bill. Here's a sampling, see any familiar names?

      Biden (D-DE)
      Clinton (D-NY)
      Daschle (D-SD)
      Dodd (D-CT)
      Edwards (D-NC)
      Feinstein (D-CA)
      Harkin (D-IA)
      Kerry (D-MA)
      Landrieu (D-LA)
      Lieberman (D-CT)
      Reid (D-NV)
      Schumer (D-NY)

    4. Oh Christ...you gotta be kidding! I'm Ed Scarpo not Bill O'Reilly!

  3. Hopefully they kill Joey meldish in prison. 70 contract murders is insane" I'm sure the government has him under there rader ! /. These people are a danger to society ! They should give him the needle. Go give your life to God and repent.

    1. You and santa rat would not be so bold if you talked that way to his friends

    2. That won't happen because I don't talk to vermin. I'll debate 'em online but I won't talk to them.

  4. Whatever happen to Sally horse? He was a member of the purple gang / he ended up getting pulled with the bonanno crime family / then he disappeared

    1. Writing an article about them - two acting mob bosses were affiliated with the PG - which became part of today's 116th street crew...

  5. If the computer tough guys want to back up there talk, they should go to Rao's in East Harlem. Monday through Friday evening what's left of the Purple Gang hang out at the bar or the booth they own (first one to the left) if they haven't loaned it out to some one else. This is not a website dealing with choir boys. So if anyone is offended by the content or the stories, why waste time fighting and arguing over the computer. Go to a cooking website or porn website.
    Best Regards,
    Anonymous Old School.

    1. Thank you Old School... did you notice my secret tribute to you in the lead? I sometimes think I need to write instructions on how to use this site; some folks just don't get it...

    2. I heard you have to have an invitation to get a seat at Rao's these days.

      Fondest regards,
      No School

    3. Hey Santa - read my Blakey story?

  6. You need an invitation or have to know someone to get a table at Rao's, but anyone can hang out at the bar. In all honesty, you ain't missing a whole lot. The food is so-so. The broads are hot, though, but watch out who you talk, too.
    Anonymous-Old School.

  7. The Meldish brothers are done - their time is now over, Joey goes to jail and the brother gets wacked, you should of seen this day coming. I am sure its not finished, people don't forget about the past and want their pound of flesh. The guy who shot Meldish in the head now has the brass balls. Joey better grow eyes in the back of his head in jail as its just a matter of time.

  8. Was meldish married to a girl named Anna from Queens?


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