Unlike most mobsters, Danny Greene did not start out in organized crime. In fact, he started out as a longshoremen, working on the docks of Cleveland’s lucrative transport/export industry. He earned a repetition of a tough guy who had no problem with roughing up some people up for what ever the reason.
After a lot of hard work and gained respect from his work ethic and attitude, Greene became a union organizer and eventually the union boss job title was available — he was a shoe in.
After becoming the union boss he gained great respect from people in the higher society including government officials, rich business owners and also interested mobsters.
After sending some time with the corrupted mobsters, Greene liked the money that he seen and took some plays out of the mobs play book. Greene loved his Irish heritage and had the whole union office banked rolled to be renovated. The outside of the building and everything on the inside would be painted Greene — matching his green suits, hats, shoes and everything else he seemed he owned.
The only problem was a lot of the money he was receiving for renovation and other projects were going into his own pocket and when the renovation was over he kept receiving the money and kept lining his own pockets. He also ran many other rackets on the docks that were illegal with no real worry being caught or brought up on charges — it was said he was so confident he never even really tried to hide it.
His confidence came in the whelm of something he called the grievance comity. A bunch of tough rough neck deckhand workers that would visit you if you had a problem with the way Greene was running things. These were not people you wanted to see unless you wanted to take a beating until you decided your problem was solved.
Eventually this activity would earn him an investigation. With the way he carelessly embezzled his money, it was not that hard to indict Greene and convict him of the crimes. But Greene received nothing more than a slap on the wrist. A $10,000 fine and a loss of his job is would all he would receive for his corruption.
After that it was not hard for Greene to find work. A very powerful Jewish mobster Alex “Shondor” Birns approached him and asked him to be his muscle. Greene already liking what he had seen from the mob so far, agreed. After a while of doing work for the mob, Birns approached Greene and asked him to do his first murder. Greene agreed and suggested to use a bomb. A bomb would take care of the evidence and would surely get the job done, Birns liked the ideal.
The only problem was is Greene botched the bombing and nearly blew himself up by accidentally letting the bomb blow up in his car. When questioned by authorities, he said someone just came by and threw a bomb in the window of his parked car — he shrugged it off and told authorities, he survived because “It’s the luck of the Irish”.
After the botched attempt, there was still more work for Greene, including using his muscle to influence the Cleveland garbage system for the mob. But there was one job that Greene was asked to do that would change his relationship with the mob forever.
He was asked to work with a partner that Birns had set up for him – Greene obliged. The only problem was the partner turned out to be a drug dealer. Birns fronted over $70,000.00 dollars for a job, but the drug dealer spent the money on cocaine to double the profit of the job. Unfortunately, cops would raid the apartment of the drug dealer and the partner ended up dumping the coke and losing Birns ‘ money and the profit.
This issue put Greene in a sticky situation. Birns wanted Greene to pay back the $70,000.00 since the partner and the money were unreachable. Greene reluctantly refused and said the drug dealer was your guy and it wasn’t his fault. In the underworld, a situation like this only ends in one or two ways — someone pays or someone dies.
Birns put a $25,000.00 hit on Greene’s head and gave the contract to whoever wanted to take it.
This would ignite a war between the mob and Greene and his group called the Celtic Club mainly made up of Irish gangsters standing their ground and standing proud for their Irish heritage. Greene would have several attempts made on his life — which he survived — always saying “It’s the luck or the Irish”.
A bloody war would insure between the two, bombs were frequently used for a means of murder. But one of the most important bombs took place in 1975, right outside of Birns ‘ favorite bar and across the street from a church. After finishing a drink, Birns walked to his car and started it up — Birns ‘ car blew up in the streets of Cleveland on the eve of Easter. One of Cleveland’s biggest mob/underworld figures was dead.
This only promoted the war between the mob and Greene — more bombs and more murders ensued. Everyone wanted Greene to tell his crew to stand-down, even his investigating detective asked him to stand-down for his own safety, for as the mob was known for never backing down and he was sure to find himself blown up as well. But Greene had no interest, and what most would call very big balls. He said, he would never back down to the mob and said he was hell-bent on running the mob out of Cleveland.
After more blood shed and the bombing and murder of Green’s number two-man, Greene was not deterred. Greene often stood out in the open perhaps taunting his enemies. He never really laid low and even was brought up on manslaughter charges after being shot at and returning fire, killing the would be assassin – charges were dropped. His place where he lived was blown up while he was in it — again he escaped using the old saying “it’s the luck of the Irish”.
But the luck would run out. As Greene walked to his car October 6, 1977, in Lyndhurst, Ohio, a bomb was set off and the green light on Greene’s head was finally over (the Irishman was dead).
In the wake of Greene’s death, his wish final came true. He went to war to get the mob out of Cleveland so he could have the turf — he may have never got the Cleveland turf, but for the most part neither did the mob. Thanks to the apprehension and corporation of an out-of-town mobster, Ray Ferritto , who placed the bomb and set it off – because of his testimony, roughly 22 Cleveland organized crime figures were convicted and sent to prison. Since then Cleveland has been a much quieter place.