Excerpted from CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness.
There can be little doubt but that Larry Neumann was extremely dangerous. He chose a life of crime not out of necessity, but because he enjoyed it. Stealing may have been fun for him, but he seemed to derive the most pleasure from killing people. He murdered when murder wasn’t necessary. For example, the three people he shotgunned in the Chicago tavern were reportedly killed because Neumann thought he’d been short-changed in the amount of two dollars. And in Frank’s opinion, there had been no reason to kill jeweler Bob Brown. But there were other examples of Neumann’s penchant for homicide.
One time Neumann, Guardino, and Frank were sitting in Frank’s restaurant when Neumann got up to take a phone call. When he came back, he said, “Some guy got in a beef with my ex-wife in a lounge back in Chicago. The motherfucker grabbed her by the throat.”
“Was she hurt?” Frank asked.
“No, she’s okay.”
“Hey, she’s not hurt and you aren’t even married to her any more. Don’t get so upset,” Frank told him.
Those words fell on deaf ears. Neumann said, “What he did was a sign of disrespect to me. I’ve got to go back and kill the bastard.”
For the next hour and a half, Frank talked to Neumann, trying to convince him not to do anything. When the conversation was finished, Frank believed that he’d succeeded.
About ten days later Neumann said he had to go to Chicago for a few days. Frank had a caper in the works for which he planned to use a kid named Tommy as an alibi. He figured if Tommy went out of town for a while there would be less chance anyone would connect them, so he asked Neumann if he’d take Tommy with him. As a side benefit, having the kid around would probably discourage Neumann from doing anything foolish regarding the supposed assault on his ex-wife.
Neumann and Tommy left for Chicago and the next day Frank received a call from a friend about a double killing in McHenry County, Neumann’s home turf. According to the caller, a guy and his girlfriend were shot in the head while sitting in a lounge. Frank called Tommy to find out if he knew anything about the murders, but the kid didn’t want to say anything on the phone; he told Tommy to have Neumann call him. When Neumann called, he told Frank he’d be back in a week. In the meantime he was going to keep Tommy under wraps, so nobody could talk with him.
As promised, Neumann was back the following week and he met with Frank. “Larry, did you kill those people in the bar?” Frank asked.
“Yeah. He was the son of a bitch that choked my ex-wife.”
“You promised me you were going to let that go.”
“I thought about what you said, but I couldn’t control myself. I found out the tavern this guy was in and went there; I left Tommy outside in the car. I asked the guy why he grabbed my ex-wife’s neck. He was feeding me a line of shit and I was getting more and more pissed off. I pulled my gun and shot him in the forehead. And then I shot the broad. The guy gurgled, so I shot them both again.”
“But the girl had nothing to do with it. And I hear she had a couple of kids.”
“Then the kids are probably better off without her.”
Neumann’s homicidal tendencies weren’t lost on Tony Spilotro either. Spilotro, considered by some to be the most dangerous man in Las Vegas at the time, once spoke about Neumann to Frank. He said, “Jesus, whatever you do, don’t ever unleash that bastard on me.”
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