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  • Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss was a prolific contract killer for Murder, Inc. in the 1930s. He purportedly killed over one hundred men using a variety of methods, including: shooting, stabbing with ice picks, drowning, live burial, and strangulation. Strauss never carried a weapon in case the local police picked him up on suspicion. He would scout his murder spot for any tool handy that would do the job. Most of his associates called him "Pep." In the 1930s, he was committing assaults, larcenies, and drug dealing. He was arrested 18 times but was never convicted until he was found guilty of the homicide that sent him and fellow Murder, Inc. hitman Martin "Bugsy" Goldstein to the electric chair. After hitman Abe "Kid Twist" Reles turned informant, Strauss was arrested for the murder of Irving "Puggy" Feinstein, and at least five other known murders. Strauss tried to avoid conviction by feigning insanity in the courtroom and on death row. He was executed by electrocution using Sing Sing's Old Sparky on June 12, 1941.

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