They called him 'The Rasputin of the Bronx'.
In 1933 a group of men in New York hatched a plan to take out on insurance on someone's life and then kill them before claiming the money. Nothing subtle about that.
The poor unfortunate they happened upon to be the victim in their nefarious plot was a vagrant originally from Donegal by the name of Mike Malloy. They had to make it look like an accident, of course, but the problem was that Mike just wouldn't die.
A TG4 documentary airing 28 December at 9.30pm will tell the macabre story in full and director, Paddy Hayes told JOE about the many ways they tried to take The Rasputin on The Bronx down:
"They tried to poison him with drink but he had hollow legs! They then tried anti-freeze. They tried horse linament. They fed him anti-freeze. Then tried to give him poisoned oysters – left out for a week and then dipped in formaldehyde.”
Despite the many creative and occasionally luxuriant attempts to kill Malloy, the would-be gangsters had failed. They then decided to opt for more conventional tactics.
"They left him out in Central Park in the freezing New York winter of 1933 at -5 degrees but he survived that too," Paddy explained.
"Eventually they hired a guy to run over him twice in a taxi. But Malloy survived again with only a broken collar bone and he arrived back to the speakeasy looking for more drink!"
In the end, they did succeed in killing Mike Malloy but you'll have to watch the documentary to see just how they did it. Just to prove that the he did finally succumb to the many attempts on his life, Paddy sent JOE the only known picture of the legendary Donegal man.
Body of Mike Malloy after it was exhumed. (Photo by Ossie Leviness/New York Daily News via Getty Images) Body of Mike Malloy after it was exhumed. (Photo by Ossie Leviness/New York Daily News via Getty Images)
With good reason he later became known as 'The Rasputin of the Bronx' - after the famous Russian monk and faith-healer who also had several attempts on his life before his own assassination in 1916.
Paddy told us that his inspiration for the documentary arrived via QI:
"I first saw the story of Mike Malloy on QI, threw out the feelers and then I thought of Donegal All-Ireland 1992 winning captain, Anthony Molloy to tell the story. It’s a giant of a Molloy from Donegal telling the story of an indestructible Malloy from Donegal!”
Here's the original clip and it's quite brilliant:
It has the makings of a fascinating documentary, Deoch an Dorais which will air tonight on TG4 at 9.30pm.