There’s going to be a movie made about Cleveland Irish Mobster Danny Greene. The title of the movie is called “The Irishman.” It’s going to include an A-List Cast. Too bad they are filming this movie in Detroit.
I grew up in a tough neighborhood as a kid. The area was a part of Cleveland, Ohio called Collinwood. During the 70’s, Collinwood had a resident named Danny Greene. Danny was a hated man by the mob.
As a kid growing up in Collinwood, I used to see the bomb marks on the buildings where the mob
tried to kill Danny Greene several times in the 70’s.
Some of the Old Wise Guys in the neighborhood still think that Greene is alive because they tried to knock him off so many times.
Danny Greene was a folk hero to the neighborhood. He used to donate to my old school St. Jeromes. While in the Collinwood area, Danny rented an apartment at Waterloo road. There, as Ned Whelan wrote in a Cleveland Magazine story called “How Danny Greene’s Murder Exploded the Godfather Myth”: “Imagining himself as a feudal baron, he supported a number of destitute Collinwood families, paid tuition to Catholic schools for various children and, like the gangsters of the Twenties, actually had fifty, twenty pound turkeys delivered to needy households on Thanksgiving.” He would often pick up tabs for friends, neighbors, and acquaintances at a restaurant, and made it a point to leave generous tips.
After moving to Waterloo road, Greene made sure that the neighborhood undesirables were kept in line. He evicted a bookmaker who operated out of a small Waterloo business and kept a local bar in order by personal visits, if things got too chaotic or disorderly. When a rowdy group of Hells Angels moved into Collinwood, Greene visited their headquarters with a stick of dynamite. He threatened to light it and throw it into their club house until they came out to receive a warning to keep things quiet when in Collinwood.
On may 12 1975, On May 12, an explosion rocked Collinwood. Greene’s building was destroyed, but Greene somehow had only minor injuries. As the second floor fell, he was shielded from the debris by a refrigerator which had lodged against a wall. A second, and more powerful, bomb had failed to explode. This second explosion would surely have killed Greene. Greene credited his miraculous escape to the intercession of St. Jude, whose medal he always wore around his neck.
On October 6, 1977, Greene went to a dental appointment in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Members of the mafia, who had listened in on Greene’s phone line they had tapped, anticipated this visit. Greene had his dentist repair a loose filling after which he left the office building and approached his car. The automobile parked next to his exploded. The explosion was thunderous and, sent a red ball of fire into the air, a blinding cloud of flame that for an instant bathed the already sunlit parking lot in a terrifying white light. Greene was ripped apart. His clothing, except for his brown zip-up boots and black socks, was blown clean off his body. His left arm was torn free and was thrown 100 feet away. One gold ring with five green stones was still on one of the fingers. His Adidas bag was untouched. Police found, among other contents, a 9mm pistol and a holy card with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.