“One of Manhattan’s most mysterious citizens, aging (66), ailing Frank Costello, commonly termed a gambler and tax-dodger because no more nefarious raps have been officially pinned upon him, has long been ripe for rubbing out. Now free on $25, 000 bail while appealing a tax-evasion conviction (five years), Costello, a charmed-life anachronism from the Prohibition Era, could see signs that he had outlived his right to be known as “prime minister of the U.S. underworld.” The obvious way for upstart mobsters to hasten the crumbling of Kingpin Costello’s dark empire of crime and rackets would begin with the elimination of the Big Boss himself. Costello taxied last week from a quiet on-the-town evening to his apartment house on Manhattan’s Central Park West. In the building’s vestibule an ill-wisher met Costello, plunked on .38 slig into his head at ten-foot range, departed in a black Cadillac. The bullet, a hatband-guided missile, burrowed like a chigger in a short curve underneath Costello’s scalp , and came out at the other side of this head without even nicking his skull. At week’s end 60 detective had poor prospects of finding the bungling gunman before he himself was liquidated by 1) Costello’s boys, or 2) his frustrated employers. Costello, his feeling more wounded than his noggin, professed amazement over the incident: “I don’t have an enemy in the world.” Frankie’s best guess on whodunit: “I got some dry holes – supposed to be oil wells – in Wise County, Texas. Maybe some big oil company thinks whose wells have oil and tried to bump me off!”

Time Magazine – May 13, 2957 – VOL. LXIX NO. 19