The Westies- Hells Kitchen, NY

The Westies- Hells Kitchen, NY

Joined: April 15th, 2005, 9:58 am

June 2nd, 2005, 12:04 pm #1

Jimmy Coonan (1977-1986)- Jimmy Coonan led the most violent Irish gang Hell's Kitchen and New York has ever seen. After being released from jail in 1970, he started building up his own Irish gang so he could take over the rackets from Mickey Spillane. His gang soon outgrew the old Irish mob led by Spillane. Coonan's gang consisted of such killers as Richie Ryan (the uncontrollable kid who was a cocaine addict and alcoholic), Francis "Mickey" Featherstone (Jimmy's right hand man), JImmy McElroy, Billy Beattie, Eddie Coonan, Jackie Coonan, Kevin Kelley, and Kenny Shannon. Unlike the Spillane gang, which had a no-drug law, the Westies under Coonan were mostly cocaine addicts and alcoholics. In 1978, Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino's, wanted a sit-down with Coonan and they made an alliance with each other. Jimmy ordered the killing of mob associate and one of the most successful loansharks in New York City, Ruby Stein. Stein was a very powerful mand and a friend of Fat Tony Salerno. It was this murder where Coonan used the method of chopping up his victims and keeping the hands for fingerprints. Coonan also tried many times to kill Salerno. Several times Coonan, Featherstone, Ryan and McElroy went out looking for Salerno; they never spotted him. Coonan also tried to link up with an Irish gang in Boston run by his friend he met in Sing Sing, Pete Wilson. They met numerous times in NY and then flew to Boston to carry out a heist with Wilson and his boys. Together they robbed a pharmeceutical warehouse. But after that they never got back together because of the events happening in HK. From 1970-1986 there were some 30 unsolved homicides. In 1979 Featherstone and Coonan were indicted for the murder of Whitney Whitehead but were found not guilty. In 1980 Coonan and Featherstone were sentenced to four years for gun possession and counterfeiting. During the 80s the Westies' fortune grew. Narcotics became the most profitabe racket while Jimmy was gone. Sports betting was another growing racket. Pressure was building up on Coonan when his right hand man, Mickey Featherstone, flipped so Jimmy decided it was time to disappear from HK. He invested in Marine construction. In 1986, Coonan was arrested and this ended his reign of HK. Coonan was convicted in 1988 under RICO and received 75 years. In his absence Kevin Kelley took over.

Last edited by IrishHood on November 16th, 2006, 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 15th, 2005, 9:58 am

June 2nd, 2005, 12:13 pm #2

Francis "Mickey" Featherstone (Boyle) -the right hand man of Jimmy Coonan. Joined the Army at the age of 17. When he got back from Viet Name in 1970, he was involved in a few murders but got off due to insanity and declared unfit to stand trial. He was 5'8", 160 lbs and fearless, never backing down from a fight. Coonan soon introduced him to his organization. He was involved in the killing of mob associate Ruby Stein. In 1979, Featherstone was indicted for the murder of Whitney Whitehead. He was found innocent. He did get six years for gun possession and counterfeiting. When Mickey got out he was angered that Coonan had not taken care of his family like he promised. Featherstone also began to dislike how Coonan kissed up to the Italians. He decided it was time to go straight. He turned down an offer from Coonan to murder some guys, which angered Coonan. The breaking point between Featherstone and Coonan started when Coonan refused to lend Featherstone $40,000. Featherstone soon put together his own gang of HK thugs to take out Coonan and his associates. His two top men for the conspiracy were Billy Beattie, whom Coonan had a contract on, and Jimmy McElroy. They went out a couple of times trying to find him but were unsuccessful. The FBI got Mickey to flip in 1986. He testified against Coonan and helped convict him. He later testified against John Gotti and other Italian gangsters. Featherstone is still alive in WPP.

Last edited by IrishHood on November 16th, 2006, 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 15th, 2005, 9:58 am

June 2nd, 2005, 12:17 pm #3



Eddie Cummiskey was an old time gangster compared to Jimmy Coonan. He was actually the first to show Coonan the way of chopping up his victims and dumping them into a river. He was first employed by Mickey Spillane and was on his side during the Spillane/Coonan wars of the mid-60s. But when Coonan got out of jail he became good friends with him. During the 1970s he was good friends with both Spillane and Coonan. On August 20, 1978 Eddie Cummiskey was drinking at the Sunbrite bar when a man walked in and shot him in the head at point blank range. The deed was done by Joe "Mad Dog" Sullivan and ordered by Tony Salerno.
Last edited by IrishHood on December 1st, 2006, 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 15th, 2005, 9:58 am

June 2nd, 2005, 12:19 pm #4

Kevin Kelley (1986-1988)- With the absence of Coonan, HK rackets were up for grabs. Kevin Kelley, along with his right hand man Kenny Shannon, grabbed what they could take. They also started operating outside the West Side, pushing cocaine in Manhattan's Upper East Side. With evidence building up, Kelly and Shannon went on the run. In August of 1988, after the sentencing of Coonan and other gang members, Kevin Kelley and Kenny Shannon turned themselves in. The FBI identified the two men as the last ruling structure of the Westies. They were wrong, Bosco "The Yugo" Rondonvich took over what was left of the HK rackets.
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Joe Connolly
Joe Connolly

December 14th, 2005, 11:52 pm #5

Jimmy Coonan (1977-1986)- Jimmy Coonan led the most violent Irish gang Hell's Kitchen and New York has ever seen. After being released from jail in 1970, he started building up his own Irish gang so he could take over the rackets from Mickey Spillane. His gang soon outgrew the old Irish mob led by Spillane. Coonan's gang consisted of such killers as Richie Ryan (the uncontrollable kid who was a cocaine addict and alcoholic), Francis "Mickey" Featherstone (Jimmy's right hand man), JImmy McElroy, Billy Beattie, Eddie Coonan, Jackie Coonan, Kevin Kelley, and Kenny Shannon. Unlike the Spillane gang, which had a no-drug law, the Westies under Coonan were mostly cocaine addicts and alcoholics. In 1978, Paul Castellano, boss of the Gambino's, wanted a sit-down with Coonan and they made an alliance with each other. Jimmy ordered the killing of mob associate and one of the most successful loansharks in New York City, Ruby Stein. Stein was a very powerful mand and a friend of Fat Tony Salerno. It was this murder where Coonan used the method of chopping up his victims and keeping the hands for fingerprints. Coonan also tried many times to kill Salerno. Several times Coonan, Featherstone, Ryan and McElroy went out looking for Salerno; they never spotted him. Coonan also tried to link up with an Irish gang in Boston run by his friend he met in Sing Sing, Pete Wilson. They met numerous times in NY and then flew to Boston to carry out a heist with Wilson and his boys. Together they robbed a pharmeceutical warehouse. But after that they never got back together because of the events happening in HK. From 1970-1986 there were some 30 unsolved homicides. In 1979 Featherstone and Coonan were indicted for the murder of Whitney Whitehead but were found not guilty. In 1980 Coonan and Featherstone were sentenced to four years for gun possession and counterfeiting. During the 80s the Westies' fortune grew. Narcotics became the most profitabe racket while Jimmy was gone. Sports betting was another growing racket. Pressure was building up on Coonan when his right hand man, Mickey Featherstone, flipped so Jimmy decided it was time to disappear from HK. He invested in Marine construction. In 1986, Coonan was arrested and this ended his reign of HK. Coonan was convicted in 1988 under RICO and received 75 years. In his absence Kevin Kelley took over.

Tell us about how John"jackie"Coonan jr.is the new "kingpin" of NYC irish mob.He was taken in early this year by the FBI.Is there truth to this??
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Joined: April 15th, 2005, 9:58 am

December 15th, 2005, 12:55 pm #6

There have been rumours about this for a while, though I didn't hear about him being arrested by the FBI. If he is running the next generation, they've kept a much lower profile than their fore fathers!

My hunch is that they're still there, but may be running out of another neighbourhood aswell as the Kitchen!
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Joined: December 17th, 2005, 2:19 am

December 17th, 2005, 6:40 pm #7

What ever happened to old Tommy Collins? I remember back in the mid 80's going up to Greenhaven to visit my uncle Brian Conlan with my mother. I believe it was there annual Holy Name Society get together in the yard. I was just a teenager at the time and didn't realize I was sitting at a table of old school Irish warriors. Tommy just happened to be one of them. I was told he got out but is he stiil alive? And I know his kid Mike was doing a bid. Did he ever regain his freedom?
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BendyThumbs
BendyThumbs

December 19th, 2005, 6:11 pm #8

He was released back in 97 or 98 now, don't know how he is, but he must be in his mid-seventies now if he is still kicking. Also Billy Bokun was released in 2001 i think, same with Kenny Shannon. Anyone know the word on Kelly?

I can honestly say i don't know the full extent of the HK, but i know it is minimal. Jackie Coonan as mentioned is around same with Sean Cumminskey, Eddie's son, but i realaly don't know anything about them. I know Coonan testified at the Hilton Rape (the boxer) trial in Montreal a few years ago as a witness for the defence. I will try to find out how he was involved.
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Joined: December 7th, 2005, 10:25 am

December 20th, 2005, 1:17 pm #9

There are no irish people in Hell's Kitchen anymore, and there hasn't been since the early 90's. The Westies old stomping ground is now basically a mixture of hispanics, blacks and wealthy wall street types who are moving into plush new apartments in the re-named neighbourhood of Clinton. Anyone who thinks there is still an irish mob in HK is living in a dream world.

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irishgodfather
irishgodfather

December 23rd, 2005, 2:52 am #10

nobody really knows what's goin on,it's dosen't matter if alot of irish people still live in hell's kitchen, just like in brooklyn theirs not that many Italian areas anymore but they still run areas that are a 100 percent black, and know one really know's who's in the westies, when Bosko toke over he had a crew but you don't know who they are cause they didn't make the newspaper and you can't find them on the internet. when Bosko left am sure someone took his spot, I mean it's all about makin money why would anyone give up on makin money in the rackets. So unless they make the paper know one is really gonna know what's goin on, and I live on Long Island, and I walk through hell's kitchen before, I didn't just read about it. so I know alittle bit more then people living across the country.
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