The Man Who Wouldn’t Die

The man who wouldn’t die

New York, 1930s, A time of great depression and uncertainty amongst the residents. The city had for the first time in two decades stopped expanding towards the clouds and focussed on escaping the grip of recession. With little money, many New Yorkers invented imaginative ways to gain investment and raise funds. One group of friends from the Bronx also developed a cunning idea that would see many attempts to take one very drunk man’s life.

Over a round of drinks, three men by the name of Francis Pasqua, Daniel Kriesberg and Tony Marino made a deal. They were to push ol’ Michael Malloy, the resident drunk to drink himself to death. Tony Marino had a notorious speakeasy in the North of Manhattan; arriving every morning and gulping down the illicit fluids from the bar was Irishman Michael. He had, due to his excessive drinking fallen behind on his payments at the secret inn. It was suggested by one of the men to take out insurance on the man’s life, Marino had previously carried out the same technique on another local alcoholic. He had taken out a policy before giving her unlimited credit and once passed out, had wrapped her in wet blankets and left her to freeze. He was then able to take his winnings. As the plot on Michael’s life became cemented, two of the bars regulars also joined in on the fun. The minor criminals joining the exploits had nicknames that were so fantastic they would not sound out of place making an appearance in ‘Angels with filthy souls 3’, much to the horror of little Kevin McCallister. First, there was Eddie ‘Tin Ear’ Smith (he had a wax ear) then later, ‘Tough Tony’ Bastone who would be dead in a couple of months. With the help of a crooked insurance agent and a man posing as Malloy’s next of kin the plan was faultless.

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Tony Marino

December 1932, time to end the drunken dance of Michael. Marino opened his bar and Malloy quickly stumbled in eager to wet his chops. Malloy was delighted that Marino had gifted him an unlimited tab and set about taking full advantage. After many hours, Malloy rose to his feet and walked out, thanking the staff as he exited. The next day he returned and took his fill, this occurred for three more days. The gang was becoming increasingly intolerant to Malloy and his lively soul. The group discussed shooting the poor chap in the head, but a more indirect approach needed to be taken if they were to receive their prize. They soon settled on wood alcohol, a dangerous substance known for its toxicity. Marino began the day serving Malloy whiskey before making the switch to the dangerous chemical. The drunken Irishman continued to drink in a lively fashion, would take his leave and return the next day for more. One night he collapsed onto the floor of the establishment, silently, the group listened for a breath. Malloy took a long sharp breath; his chest fell and he let out an almighty snore.

The plot was becoming expensive and fears grew as to whether the group would ever get their greasy paws on the cash. Desperate times call for desperate measure, and the group decide to feed Malloy oysters along with the wood alcohol which should result in the seafood pickling and causing acute digestion. Malloy simply licked the tip of his fingers one by one. The following day, a festering sandwich of rotten sardines mixed with shrapnel was presented in front of the Irishman. Instead of his gullet being grated and collapsing on the floor because of internal bleeding, he simply licked his lips and requested another. Malloy was developing somewhat of a Rasputin charm. It appeared that consumption of dangerous materials had no visible effects on Michael. Marino turned to his past for the answer, he dragged an unconscious Malloy into the snow, removed his shirt and poured several litres of water over his motionless body. The next day, Marino arrived and discovered a rather blue and shivering Malloy in the basement. After waking, he had stumbled back to the inn and persuaded the barman to let him in.

It was now the end of January, killing the drunk had converted into a matter of pride. This time the men hired a cab driver to run the Irish distillery down. The group held him up in the road’s centre, jumping to the side when the yellow cab drew close. Malloy was hit at 50 miles-per-hour. His lifeless body flew onto the hood and against the windshield, then sliding to the ground. The driver was instructed to then reverse over the body for good measure. An approaching car scared off the group but they were sure Malloy had taken his final dance. A man by the name of Joseph Murphy began phoning hospitals and morgues, acting as a missing sibling. Five days passed before a figure appeared at the speakeasy’s entrance. “I’m dying for a drink” a voice sent shivers down the spine of the men. A heavily bruised and battered Malloy told the tale of how his pleasant night of drinking must have taken a mysterious turn as he found himself in a hospital bed the following day.

On the 21st February, 1933, Michael Malloy, the high spirited, lively, drunk Irishman lost his long battle against death. After dropping to the floor tired and woozy, Malloy was dragged to a house a mile away from Marino’s bar. He was placed into a chair and had a rubber hose positioned in his mouth that ran to the gas light fitting. A towel tightly covered his face as the gas took effect. Pneumonia was listed as the cause of death on a fake death certificate. The men later collected the mighty prize of $800 for their troubles. However, this is not our stories end. The myth of indestructible Mike Malloy quickly spread throughout the city. Following a police investigation, Michael’s body was exhumed and inspected.

Mr. Malloy no doubt took his seat in the courtroom, enjoyed a sip of his whiskey and grinned as he observed his murderers receive their sentences. The verdict, guilty and sentenced to death. Marino, Kriesberg, Pasqua and Murphy were all executed on the first try whilst sat on an electric chair in the summer of 1934.

Oh, how strange things occur when we move an immovable object.

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News headline following the police investigation
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