In 1933, a group of four thugs came up with a gruesome way to make money. They took out three insurance policies on an Irish vagrant named Michael Malloy and killed him for the proceeds.
Well, tried to, anyway. Malloy proved to be almost unkillable:
- They gave him unlimited credit at a local speakeasy, but Malloy just drank.
- They substituted antifreeze for Malloy’s whiskey, but he just passed out.
- They substituted turpentine for the antifreeze, horse liniment for the turpentine, and then rat poison for the horse liniment. No luck.
- They served him a meal of raw oysters marinated in wood alcohol, then a dish of spoiled sardines mixed with carpet tacks.
- They dumped him into a bank of wet snow and poured water on him.
None of this worked. Desperate, they ran him down with a taxi at 45 mph. This put him in the hospital for three weeks, but it didn’t kill him. Finally the trio waited until Malloy had passed out one evening, took him to a room and put a gas hose in his mouth.
That killed him, but they didn’t have long to enjoy the insurance money. Infighting among them led to rumors, and the police exhumed Malloy’s body and revealed the plot. One conspirator went to prison and the rest were electrocuted at Sing Sing.