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THE HONEST BOOKIE WHO DIDN'T LIKE BANKS
Jimmy Breslin
July 16, 1962
The discovery that Newsboy Moriarty left $2,590,525.52 lying around in garages prompts some recollections of his career by a man who used to bet with him and now wants his $10 back
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July 16, 1962

The Honest Bookie Who Didn't Like Banks

The discovery that Newsboy Moriarty left $2,590,525.52 lying around in garages prompts some recollections of his career by a man who used to bet with him and now wants his $10 back

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He lived in a neighborhood they call Horseshoe. Once it was fashionable, but now it is falling apart, and his apartment in the three-story walkup was cluttered with papers every time the police broke in. He began to throw money at them because he had so much of it that it didn't mean as much as an arrest.

The money would be in stacks around his house and often he would ask his sister, Eleanor, "How much did you take?"

She would hold her thumb and index finger a little apart.

"Oh, about this much." she'd say. "About an inch and a half."

"That's all right," Moriarty would say. "That's only about $500."

Eleanor would take the money out and give it away.

"She was some touch," a guy on Journal Square tells you.

But if somebody tried to rob him, Newsboy would stand up as very few people can. There was one night a year ago when two kids tailed him and then got him in a hallway and pulled guns on him. Newsboy moved between them in the dark hall.

"You'll shoot each other, too," he said. Then he crashed out the door and got away. He would rather take a chance with his life than give up his money in a heist.

A year ago the law got after him again and now he has to sit in No. 4 Wing, and they keep coming around and telling him his money is being found and he sits in his cell and says nothing. But the idea of somebody picking up that money and not standing the risk of a big payoff must be killing Newsboy inside.

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