New York’s First Female Crime Boss Started Her Own Crime School

I think I know what I’m suggesting for our next book club. How very interesting.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Queen of Thieves | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksOrganized crime in New York is often portrayed as a boy’s game, but one of the first and most influential crime bosses in the history of the city was a Prussian immigrant known as “Mother” or “Marm” Mandelbaum.

Eric Grundhauser recently shared her fascinating story on Atlas Obscura, as did Sarah Breger in forward.com, based on Queen of Thieves: The True Story of “Marm” Mandelbaum and Her Gangs of New York” by J. North Conway.

The Queen of Fences

Marm Mandelbaum | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Mandelbaum as portrayed in a political cartoon (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-DIG-ppmsca-28344)

Marm (Fredericka) Mandelbaum, also called “The Queen of Fences,” was an imperious and powerful woman who became one of the most well-connected criminal figures of her day, buying stolen goods and reselling them, financing criminal endeavors, and even creating a school for young criminals.

Increasing restrictions against Jews in Germany brought Mandelbaum to…

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