Understanding the Great Gatsby: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

By Dalton Gross; MaryJean Gross | Go to book overview
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York gamblers stayed up until the sentence was executed, and then went out for their usual night's gambling.

Two newspaper accounts of Rosenthal's murder follow. The New York "Herald Tribune" article describes the murder and gives a brief history of the events leading up to it. As you read it, decide whether or not you think it is intended to be an accusation of Becker or of anyone else. While the "Herald Tribune" article treats the murder as part of a "gambler's war," the coverage in the New York Times suggests Becker's guilt much more strongly.


FROM "ROSENTHAL SHOT AND KILLED IN GAMBLER'S WAR" (New York Herald Tribune, July 16, 1912)

Herman Rosenthal, the serf-confessed gambler, who was responsible for District Attorney Whitman and Commissioner Waldo to shorten their vacation [sic] in order to investigate the graft gambling charges, was shot and instantly killed at 1:55 this morning in front of the Metropole Hotel, in West 43d street, off Broadway. Five bullets were sent through his head, any one of which, according to Dr. Taylor, who responded to an ambulance call from Flower Hospital, would have proven fatal.

"Beansy" Rosenthal, as he was better known to the gambling fraternity, arrived at the hotel and remained there for several hours. At 1:50 o'clock a man came into the hotel, apparently known to the dead man, and asked him to step outside, as a few friends of his wished to see him in regard to some important matter.

In the hotel at the time was Patrolman File, attached to the East 67th street police station, in plain clothes. File said that Rosenthal seemed to hesitate, but later went out rather reluctantly. Just as Rosenthal reached the sidewalk, four shots came in rapid succession.

Fearing that something had gone wrong, File immediately ran out. As he reached the street he met Lieutenant Frye, attached to the West 47th street police station, who was making his rounds about the precinct. The two saw four men hurriedly enter a slate-colored automobile and then head east toward Fifth avenue.


Jumps into Taxicab

A taxicab which was standing near the hotel was immediately pressed into service and the two started after the automobile. Ignoring all traffic regulations, the chauffeur put on all speed. But by this time the machine

-40-

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