Soon after his father's departure, Schultz left school, purportedly to support his mother. He began to hang out with low level neighborhood mobsters and was soon robbing craps games. Later he graduated to burglaries, and at 17, after being caught breaking into apartment, was sent to prison on Blackwell's Island (Roosevelt Island). He was an incorrigible inmate and transferred frequently throughout the institution. He served 17 months, which despite his lengthy criminal career, was to be his only prison sentence.
Upon his release he was given his nickname by friends who named him after an earlier gangster named Dutch Schultz, who was especially known for his brutality.
In the early 1920s, during prohibition, Shultz drove alcohol trucks for the first modern gangster, Arnold Rothstein (the man who it is said fixed the 1919 World Series), and became acquainted with up and coming gangsters such as Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, who were just making their way up the criminal food chain.
By the late 1920s, Shultz began his own bootlegging business and became a supplier of speakeasies throughout New York. The speakeasies were forced to buy alcohol from the ruthless and brutal Schultz. But, Schultz dealt with his competitors even more harshly. One such story involved a liquor turf battle with an unlucky man named John Rock who dared to stand up to Shultz. As a result, Rock was kidnapped and hung by his thumbs on a meat hook by Shultz and his companions who smeared his eyes with Gonorrhea infected gauze causing him to go blind.
During these years he built up a vast criminal empire and went to war with such mob luminaries as Legs Diamond and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, who were killed in 1931 and 1932 respectively at the hands of Schultz's henchmen. After prohibition, with the assistance of associates such as accounting whiz, Otto "Abbadabba" Berman, Schultz muscled in on the Harlem numbers rackets where he reportedly was making millions of dollars a year. He also continued to extort money from local unions and was involved in other gambling operations such as slot machines and fixing odds at racetracks.
He became a serious target for prosecution starting in 1933 when he was indicted for tax evasion. He remained in hiding until 1934, when he surrendered after being named Public Enemy #1 by J. Edgar Hoover. He was tried twice: When the first jury hung (quite possibly owing to jury tampering), his trial was declared a mistrial. When the second trial was moved to the small town of Malone, New York. Schultz and his associates came to the town several weeks prior to the proceedings and implemented a public relations blitz. Shultz bought dinners and drinks for the local townsfolk, donated to local charities and fundraisers, and even took in a baseball game with the town mayor. Doing so, he made himself a local hero, and convinced the entire town that he was an honest citizen being persecuted by the government. He was acquitted by the jury of all charges.
When he returned to NYC and found that U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey was preparing further charges against him, he went in front of The Commission, the newly created ruling body of national organized crime, whose roster at the time included Albert Anastasia, Lucky Luciano and Lepke Buchalter, and pleaded with the group to have Dewey assassinated. The Commission ruled against him, justly feeling that having Dewey killed would bring far too much heat upon their criminal enterprises.
Schultz broke from the authority of The Commission and threatened to personally kill Dewey. The Commission ordered Schultz's execution, and The Commission's hit squad, dubbed Murder Inc., were called up to complete it. At 10:15 pm on October 23, 1935, Dutch Schultz along with his associates, Otto Berman, Abe Landau, and bodyguard, Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz, was ambushed in the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey. Charlie "The Bug" Workman and Emmanuel Mendy Weiss, two ranking members of Murder Inc., were sent to complete the assassination.
Although all of the targets eventually died from their wounds, Schultz survived long enough to deliver an infamous, 106-degree fever induced, soliloquy, which to this day is still analyzed.
These are the last words of Dutch Schultz. The questioner is Sergeant Luke Conlon of the Newark Police Department:
SCHULTZ: Has it been in any other papers? George, don't make no full moves. What have you done with him? Oh, mama, mama, mama. Oh stop it, stop it; eh, oh, oh. Sure, sure, mama.
Now listen, Phil, fun is fun. Ah please, papa. What happened to the sixteen? Oh, oh, he done it, please. John, please, oh, did you buy the hotel? You promised a million sure. Get out. I wished I knew.
Please make it quick, fast and furious. Please. Fast and furious. Please help me get out; I am getting my wind back, thank God. Please, please, oh please. You will have to please tell him, you got no case.
You get ahead with the dot dash system didn't I speak that time last night. Whose number is that in your pocket book, Phi1 13780. Who was it? Oh- please, please. Reserve decision. Police, police, Henry and Frankie. Oh, oh, dog biscuits and when he is happy he doesn't get happy please, please to do this. Then Henry, Henry, Frankie you didn't even meet me. The glove will fit what I say oh, Kayiyi, oh Kayiyi. Sure who cares when you are through? How do you know this? How do you know this? Well, then oh, Cocoa know thinks he is a grandpa again. He is jumping around. No Hobo and Poboe I think he means the same thing.
Q. Who shot you?
A.- The boss himself.
Q.- He did?
A.- Yes, I don't know.
Q.- What did he shoot you for?
A.- I showed him boss; did you hear him meet me? An appointment. Appeal stuck. All right, mother.
Q.- Was it the boss shot you?
A.- Who shot me? No one.
Q.- We will help you.
A.- Will you help me up? O.K. I won't be such a big creep. Oh, mama. I can't go through with it, please. Oh, and then he clips me; come on. Cut that out, we don't owe a nickel; hold it; instead, hold it against him; I am a pretty good pretzler -Winifred- Department of Justice. I even got it from the department. Sir, please stop it. Say listen the last night!
(Statement by Sergeant Conlon) - Don't holler.
A.- I don't want to holler.
Q.- What did they shoot you for?
A.- I don't know, sir. Honestly I don't. I don't even know who was with me, honestly. I was in the toilet and when I reached the -the boy came at me.
Q.- The big fellow gave it to you?
A.- Yes, he gave it to me.
Q.- Do you know who this big fellow was?
A.- No. If he wanted to break the ring no, please I get a month. They did it. Come on. (A name, not clear) cut me off and says you are not to be the beneficiary of this will. Is that right? I will be checked and double-checked and please pull for me. Will you pull? How many good ones and how many bad ones? Please I had nothing with him he was a cowboy in one of the seven days a week fight. No business; no hangout; no friends; nothing; just what you pick up and what you need. I don't know who shot me. Don't put anyone near this check~ you might have -please do it for me. Let me get up. heh? In the olden days they waited and they waited. Please give me a shot. It is from the factory. Sure, that is a bad. Well, oh good ahead that happens for trying. I don't want harmony. I want harmony. Oh, mamma, mamma! Who give it to him? Who give it to him? Let me in the district -fire-factory that he was nowhere near. It smoldered No, no. There are only ten of us and there ten million fighting somewhere of you, so get your onions up and we will throw up the truce flag. Oh, please let me up. Please shift me. Police are here. Communistic...strike...baloney...honestly this is a habit I get; sometimes I give it and sometimes I don't. Oh, I am all in. That settles it. Are you sure? Please let me get in and eat. Let him harass himself to you and then bother you. Please don't ask me to go there. I don't want to. I still don't want him in the path. It is no use to stage a riot. The sidewalk was in trouble and the bears were in trouble and I broke it up. Please put me in that room. Please keep him in control. My gilt edged stuff and those dirty rats have tuned in. Please mother, don't tear, don't rip; that is something that shouldn't be spoken about. Please get me up, my friends. Please, look out. The shooting is a bit wild, and that kind of shooting saved a man's life. No payrolls. No wells. No coupons. That would be entirely out. Pardon me, I forgot I am plaintiff and not defendant. Look out. Look out for him. Please. He owed me money; he owes everyone money. Why can't he just pullout and give me control? Please, mother, you pick me up now. Please, you know me. No. Don't you scare me. My friends and I think I do a better job. Police are looking for you allover. Be instrumental in letting us know. They are English-men and they are a type I don't know who is best, they or us. Oh, sir, get the doll a roofing. You can play jacks and girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it. I take all events into consideration. No. No. And it is no. It is confused and its says no. A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim. Did you hear me?
Q. (By Detective) - Who shot you?
A.- I don't know.
Q.- How many shots were fired?
A.- I don't know.
Q.- How many?
A.- Two thousand. Come on, get some money in that treasury. We need it. Come on, please get it. I can't tell you to. That is not what you have in the book. Oh, please warden. What am I going to do for money? Please put me up on my feet at once. You are a hard boiled man. Did you hear me? I would hear it, the Circuit Court would hear it, and the Supreme Court might hear it. If that ain't the pay-off. Please crack down on the Chinaman's friends and Hitler's commander. I am sore and I am going up and I am going to give you honey if I can. Mother is the best bet and don't let Satan draw you too fast.
Q. (By Detective) - What did the big fellow shoot you for?
A.- Him? John? Over a million, five million dollars.
Q.- You want to get well, don't you?
Q.- Then lie quiet.
A.- Yes, I will lie quiet.
Q.- John shot and we will take care of John.
A.- That is what caused the trouble. Look out. Please let me up. If you do this, you can go on and jump right here in the lake. I know who they are. They are French people. All right. Look out, look out. Oh, my memory is gone. A work relief police. Who gets it? I don't know and I don't want to know, but look out. It can be traced. He changed for the worse. Please look out; my fortunes have changed and come back and went back since that. It was desperate. I am wobbly. You ain't got nothing on him but you got it on his helper.
Q. (By detective ) - Control yourself.
A.- But I am dying.
(Statement by detective) - No, you are not.
A.- Come on, mama. All right, dear, you have to get it.
At this point, Schultz's wife, Frances, was brought to his bedside. She spoke.
(Statement by Mrs. Schultz) - This is Frances.
Schultz began to talk again, saying:
Then pull me out. I am half crazy. They won't let me get up. They dyed my shoes. Open those shoes. Give me something. I am so sick. Give me some water, the only thing that I want. Open this up and break it so I can touch you. Danny, please get me in the car.
At this point Mrs. Schultz left the room.
(Sergeant Conlon questioned Schultz again) - Who shot you?
A.- I don't know. I didn't even get a look. I don't know who can have done it. Anybody. Kindly take my shoes off. (He was told that they were off.) No. There is a handcuff on them. The Baron says these things. I know what I am doing here with my collection of papers. It isn't worth a nickel to two guys like you or me but to a collector it is worth a fortune. It is priceless. I am going to turn it over to... Turn you back to me, please Henry. I am so sick now. The police are getting many complaints. Look out. I want that G-note. Look out for Jimmy Valentine for he is an old pal of mine. Come on, come on, Jim. Ok, ok, I am all through. Can't do another thing. Look out mamma, look out for her. You can't beat him. Police, mamma, Helen, mother, please take me out. I will settle the indictment. Come on, open the soap duckets. The chimney sweeps. Talk to the sword. Shut up, you got a big mouth! Please help me up, Henry. Max, come over here. French-Canadian bean soup. I want to pay. Let them leave me alone.