Michael Malloy Had 5 “Friends.” They Took Out An Insurance Policy On His Life And Here’s How The Amazing Legend Was Born

Michael Malloy

Michael Malloy was an alcoholic and homeless person, but he was not lonely. Mike had five “friends,” who in the early 1930s signed him up for three different life insurance policies. One of them, Tony Marino, owned a speakeasy and gave Malloy unlimited credit, thinking he would drink himself to death.

Malloy drank – a lot – but his iron stomach must have been strong enough to handle the enormous amount of alcohol. His stomach was so strong, in fact, that he even survived drinking antifreeze slipped to him by the “Murder Trust,” as the press later called the five. Mike would simply lose consciousness, then wake up, return to his senses and order another glass.

Michael Malloy

When the antifreeze failed, they switched over to turpentine. Since that didn’t work either, it was on to horse liniment and then finally rat poison. Regardless, Mike just wouldn’t go or stay down. Then the group had another brilliant idea – they tried raw oysters dipped in wood alcohol. The last thing they could think of was feeding him spoiled sardines with poison and carpet tacks. But, nothing seemed to work.

When they realized that Mike’s stomach would not bring the insurance policies to fruition, the members moved on to the next stage. On a cold New York night, with a temperature of -14 degrees Fahrenheit (-26 degrees Celsius) outside, the five dragged drunken Mike into the snow. They then stripped him of his clothes and poured almost 5 US gallons (20 liters) of cold water on him. Mike was left to freeze to death. However, the next morning he was already in the pub asking for his drink.

Michael Malloy

A few days later, one of the group members, Hershey Green, hit Michael Malloy with his cab at a speed of 45 mph (72 km/h), injuring Mike for three weeks. He had several broken bones and spent that time in a hospital. At this point, the scheming gang was already completely fed up.

Finally, on February 22, 1933, when Mike collapsed from drinking yet again, they dragged him into a room, stuck a hose in his mouth that was attached to a gas jet and turned it on. Unfortunately, this time it worked, and poor Mike died. The official cause of death was lobar pneumonia. Malloy was buried quickly afterwards.

At the same time, there were a lot of fascinating stories going around underground bars. One of them was about “Mike the Durable,” and this story quickly spread  and reached the cops. The police decided to check it out, so they exhumed Mike’s body, and after a forensic examination arrested his five friends. Green went to prison while the other four were sentenced to death and executed.

Bonus fact: The rock band Primus has an instrumental piece called You Can not Kill Michael Malloy.