Staircases and Shadows

Joseph Cotten in The Third Man (1947) (
Peter Lorre in Stranger On The Third Floor (1940) (
Harrison Ford in Blade Runner (1982) (
Ben Gazzara in The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie (1976) (
Murder My Sweet (1944) (
Gene Hackman in The French Connection (1972) (
John Garfield in Force Of Evil (1948) (

Gangland Violence: The Two Tonys Murders (warning: graphic)

August 7, 1951. Hollywood. USC Digital Collections
LAPD lab man dusts for prints. USC Digital Collections
The bodies of Kansas City mobsters Tony Brancato and Anthony Trombino, still in their car. USC Digital Collections
Police officers, news men, and onlookers view the crime scene. USC Digital Collections.
Normally, it was a quiet street. USC Digital Collections.
Police flashlights provide the perfect noir lighting. USC Digital Collections.
The grim aftermath of a mob hit: Anthony Brancato’s career comes to an end. USC Collections.
Bagging the bodies. USC Collections.
The two Tonys, toe-tagged in the morgue. USC Digital Collections.

Anthony Brancato and Tony Trombino were two Kansas City mafioso who decided to make a name for themselves looking for action out west. Their first move was robbing the mob-owned Flamingo Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. They were promptly arrested, made bail, then headed to L.A. where they cheated a mob bookie out of $3000.

According to author Allan May, mob boss Jack Dragna had had enough. “‘You know, Jimmy,” said Dragna (to hitman Jimmy Fratianno), “these guys are no good. We’ve gotten a lot of bad reports on them. The way I see it, we’ve got to clip them. Set something up, will you.’    In the few seconds it took to utter those words, the fates of Anthony Brancato and Anthony Joseph Trombino were sealed. It was that simple.” ( The Two Tonys certainly made a name for themselves; just not the way they expected.