Who was Dutch Schultz? Treasure hunters flock to Catskills for gangster's box of diamonds and loot worth $50M

Having grown up in poverty, Schultz started working at a small pub owned by a local mobster

                            Who was Dutch Schultz? Treasure hunters flock to Catskills for gangster's box of diamonds and loot worth $50M
Dutch Schultz (PBS)

PBS' new documentary titled ‘Secrets of the Dead: Gangster’s Gold’ follows groups of treasure hunters on the lookout for Bronx-based gangster and bootlegger Dutch Schultz’s hidden valuables. It is widely believed that the notorious gangster buried his fortune worth $50 million somewhere in New York’s Catskill Mountains prior to his death in 1935. Schultz was gunned down by two hitmen at the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey on October 23, 1935, and died a day later without revealing the details of his highly valuable hidden treasure. However, he did hint about the whereabouts of his fortune before taking his last breath, which is serving as a clue to the treasure hunters. 

Schultz reportedly told his bodyguard, “Lulu, drive me back to Phoenicia. Don't be a dope, Lulu, we better get those Liberty Bonds out of the box and cash 'em.” The 2-by-3-foot steel box is said to consist of money, World War I Liberty Bonds and jewels. 

Who was Dutch Schultz? 

Schultz was an American mobster based in New York City in the 1920s and 30s. He was born to German-Jewish immigrant parents. He is said to have made fortune in organized crime-related activities, bootlegging and lottery rackets. Having grown up in poverty, he started working by joining a small pub owned by a local mobster. 

He went on to become ‘Beer Baron of the Bronx’, forcing bar owners to buy his beer or face violence. When organized crimes were rampant in New York,  Schultz set up commercial bootlegging operations in the Catskill Mountains. Eventually, he also got involved in gambling through crimes related to slot machines. He was indicted on a tax charge in 1934 and tried twice in 1925 for income tax evasion. 

Why was he shot dead?

Schultz had reportedly plotted the murder of Thomas Dewey, the prosecutor, and politician, specially appointed by LaGuardia to look into the gangster’s tax invasion case. Schultz is said to have proposed to the confederation of mobsters National Crime Syndicate to kill Dewey. However, the commission voted against Schultz’s proposal as it would lead to legal complications and he walked out of the meeting saying he would kill the lawyer himself. 

Upon learning about Schultz’s plans to take down Dewey, the commission appointed another mobster Louis Buchalter to eliminate ‘The Dutchman’. When Schultz was in a washroom at a restaurant, two Murder Inc hitmen  Charles "The Bug" Workman and Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss entered the establishment and started firing at him and his gang members numerous times. 

The documentary slated for November 18 release is said to feature a “new interview with Stanley Grauso, the 104-year-old last living member of Dutch Schultz’s gang who worked as an enforced in the 1930s.” 

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