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Lot #217
Meyer Lansky Autograph Letter Signed

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Estimate: $800+
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Legendary organized crime leader (1902-1983) who headed the notorious ‘enforcement’ syndicate Murder, Inc., which emerged in the early 1930s as successor to the warring Prohibition gangs and the old-line Mafia, and continued to operate into the 1950s. ALS signed “Shalom, Meyer,” two pages, 6.25 x 9.25, December 20, 1972. Handwritten letter to his friend Joseph 'Yushki' Sheiner, a member of the Israeli Security Agency. In part: "I well knew what our idiot friend would say. May be if he would have followed up the first time he went to make the arrangement we may have been able to judge and would have had more time to check things out…He should ask that lawyer from Haifa why the Honorable Justice Shapiro handed me over when he made the statement under no condition would they hand me over? That is all past now."

He continues, remarking on his arrest: “Do you remember how many times I repeated myself to the Yidish [sic] speaking fellow that they will use the drug slander and he said as long as there wasn’t any charge and they well knew it would only be for publicity. You checked with him again when you saw him. Well I never had confidence in the matter, but what was left for me to do? I’m sure I will get as good a trial as Dreyfus. The judges may be fair but the prosecutor will use any means to a [sic] end.” He goes on to elaborate, explaining that the prosecutor had tried to revoke his bail for failure to appear while he was ill in the hospital.

Finally, Lansky comments here on Israel’s role in bringing Adolf Eichmann to justice, feeling their role in the affair was unfortunate: “I was much disheartened when I read the article in our newspapers about the $10,000 reward in the Eichman [sic] case. I wish I would have known about it, I would raise the money myself before having to see the Israel government exposed in it at this time.” In fine condition, with two file holes to the right edge of each page.

Lansky fled to Israel in 1970 to evade charges of federal tax evasion but was deported by the Israeli government in 1972. It was Sheiner who accompanied Lansky on his infamous flight from Israel to Switzerland and South America. Unable to secure asylum, Lansky ultimately returned to Miami, where he was promptly arrested by the FBI on an outstanding warrant. He was acquitted in 1974, thought he was never allowed to return to his beloved Israel and he died in Miami in 1983.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Animation
  • Dates: #620 - Ended November 10, 2021

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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