Abe Bernstein "Purple Gang Leader"
Bounty: ?????? "Unknown"
Abe Bernstein (1892 - March 7, 1968)
Abe's Early Life
Born in New York, in 1892, Abe Bernstein and his three brothers; Joseph, Raymond, and Isadore Bernstein, moved to Detroit, Michigan, in their childhood years. While growing up in the slums in Detroit, the influence of criminal behavior soon became a way of life for Abe and his brothers as their petty crimes turned into something much greater and much more dangerous. During their adolescent years, the five Bernstein brothers joined up with an adolescent delinquent gang that was the antecedent to the soon to be Purple Gang.
Abe's Gang Pt. 1
The Purple Gang also known as the "Sugar House Gang" was a group of Jewish gangsters founded by the Bernstein brothers: Abe, Joe, Raymond, and Izzy (also known as Isadore) that resided in Detroit, Michigan.
Unlike many other gangs, that profited off the prohibition law, by bootlegging, the Purple Gang was not interested in rum running, as it was called. Instead the gang was known for stealing illegal booze from more experienced bootleggers and for intercepting shipments of alcohol as they arrived from over the Canadian border to Detroit. The Purple Gang's business plan was a simple one. Hijack the booze and kill the bootleggers. Since the Purple Gang was only about fighting and killing other gangsters, there was little suppression on the part of the police force. There was probably a fair amount of corruption on the force, but those cops were also very pleased to see the Purple Gang get rid of other gangs such as the Purple Gang's sworn rival the Little Jews Navy.
Abe's Gang Pt. 2
The Gang's Actions
Abe's Gang Pt. 3
Abe's Gang Pt. 4
In September 1931, the Purple Gang killed three of their own individuals who were conflicting with the group to their greatest advantage. The three men, Hymie Paul, Joe Sutker, and Joe Lebowitz, were invited to a peace transaction at the Collingwood Manor Apartment working in Detroit. When they arrived, they were gunned down, and Sol Levine, the man who transported the three respectable men to the condo, was later arrested by Detroit Police and for his connections with The Purple Gang, who was against the group. Thus, three out of four of the men who were involved with the murders, including Ray (Raymond) Bernstein, were indicted an extensive round of questioning murders and sentenced to life in prison .
Infamous, and scandalous Chicago mafia boss "Scarface" Al Capone connected with his underworld associates in Detroit, the notorious Purple Gang, for help in pulling off the famously severe St. Valentine's Day Massacre in the winter of 1929.
Abe's Final Years
Abe Bernstein, who had started fanning out to other significant urban areas in the nation during the mid-1920's, became a partner of New York mobsters Joe Adonis and Meyer Lansky, and later turned into an accomplice in a few syndicate betting gambling clubs in Miami. After his sibling Ray was detained for his involvement in the "Collingwood Massacre", Abe dedicated the rest of his life to getting his sibling out of jail until his death on March 7, 1968 in his inn room of the Book-Cadillac. To this the day it is unknown where Abe Bernstein's final resting place is located.