On this day in 1977, in Lyndhurst, Ohio, Danny Greene who was an Irish-American mobster was killed in a car bomb outside Brainard Place office building, Greene died instantly. This all happened just a few months after his long-time ally John Nardi was also killed in a car bomb.
Greene set up his own gang called the Celtic Club in the 1970’s and began setting up gambling operations across the city, which is where the initial problems soon began. Around the same time he teamed up with Cleveland associate John Nardi in an effort to takeover some of the area’s rackets which were at the time being run by the Sicilian Mafia who controlled the city.
The Jewish mobster Alex “Shondor” Birns saw this move as a threat and while Birns served prison time, Greene took over some of his operations in the area.
This move saw many attempts made on Greene’s life including the bombing of the building he was living in, but he managed to survive that attack walking away from the rubble and debris. He later stated:
“The luck of the Irish is with me and I have a message for those yellow maggots. That includes the payers and the doers. The doers are the people who carried out the bombing. They have to be eliminated because the people who paid them can’t afford to have them remain alive. And the payers are going to feel great heat from the FBI and the local authorities … And let me clear something else up. I didn’t run away from the explosion. Someone said they saw me running away. I walked away.”
Birns ended up meeting the same end as Greene, dying from a car bomb blast outside a church in 1975.
In the 1970’s there were more than 35 reported bombs that were set-off by competing families in the Cleveland area, most of which were attached to cars.
The car bomb was said to have been planted by hitman Ray Ferritto. He was arrested soon after the murder of Danny Greene and he quickly turned to the FBI in order to strike a deal to gain protection from James Licavoli. This would eventually lead to the Mafia Commission Trial.