Reputed to be the killer of 20 men, Richard “Peg-Leg” Lonergan is credited with taking the helm of the White Hand Gang after “Wild” Bill Lovett married his sister, Anna Lonergan, and vowed to go straight.

While a youngster, Richard was hit by a street car and lost his leg, which resulted in his being fitted with a prosthesis that led to his underworld sobriquet. While a teenager Peg-Leg acquired a bike but, since he himself was unable to use it, he rented it out to other neighborhood kids and soon he had enough money to buy another, then another. Before long, he opened a bicycle shop where he bought, sold and rented bikes. Around this time, an Italian thug known as Bonanzio began to hang around and asked Lonergan

to let him sell drugs from his store. Lonergan beat him up and sent him on his way. Bonanzio then sent a pal into Richard’s shop to sell him a stolen bike. After the purchase, in retribution, Bonanzio told the police Lonergan was selling stolen merchandise. The cop found Richard with the stolen property and Peg-Leg was sent to a work farm. There he made the acquaintance of his future brother-in-law and gang leader, “Wild” Bill Lovett.

After Lovett's retirement, Lonergan assumed the leadership of the White Hand and, like his predecessors, his end came both quickly and violently. On Christmas night, 1925, Lonergan and four pals went out for an evening of hard

drinking. Their final stop was at the Adonis Social Club, an Italian speakeasy. Also in the Adonis was a table of Italian gangsters, including Al Capone. They called one of Lonergan’s pals over to their table to talk. The conversation concluded with one of the Italians breaking a bottle over the Irishman’s head. The Italians then drew their guns and shot Peg-Leg and two of his cronies down.

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