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  • The room contains three men and a bed.

  • One of the men is drunk, flailing about with little control of his body, and the other

  • two are stone cold sober.

  • Then things turn violent.

  • One man grabs the drunkard and pins him downin such a state, he can hardly put up

  • a fight.

  • The other sober man starts fiddling with something by the bed, and a few moments later, he unhooks

  • the tube from a gaslight and shoves it into the mouth of the drunk man.

  • He switches it on.

  • Carbon monoxide floods into his mouth and he remains pinned down until his body goes

  • limp.

  • The mission was nearly completeafter at least nine attempts, it was finally time

  • for Iron Mike Malloy to die...

  • How had things come to such a sorry state?

  • Two words: the Great Depression.

  • Oh wait, that's three words, but never mind.

  • Desperate times call for desperate measuresand few points in history have been more

  • desperate than the period after 1929.

  • Unemployment was soaring, and you'd struggle to meet someone who wasn't looking for money.

  • A certain five men sat in a New York speakeasy in 1933 were no exception.

  • They were Tony Marino, Joseph Murphy, Francis Pasqua, Hershey Green, and Daniel Kreisburg.

  • The one thing binding them together was the need to make some quick dough, and that's

  • exactly what they were discussing one night in the bar.

  • Jobs were almost out of the question.

  • None of them were morally opposed to a life of criminality, but they knew they had to

  • be smart about it.

  • A bit of petty thievery here or there just wasn't going to cut it.

  • They had to think big.

  • That's when a eureka moment hit.

  • Life insurance.

  • They'd all heard the tales of people doing themselves in, or doing their loved ones in,

  • to cash in on a good policy.

  • But there had to be a better way to do it.

  • What about if you knew someone who was already really ill?

  • You could persuade them to sign up for a life insurance policy and cash out when they tragically

  • met their end a few weeks down the line.

  • The perfect crime.

  • There was just one problem.

  • Nobody could think of anyone who was dying.

  • Luckily, one man had a better idea.

  • What if someone took out a life insurance policy and later died in a tragic, very accidental

  • accident?

  • Straightaway, they thought of just the guy.

  • Mike Malloy.

  • That tragic Irish immigrant who'd lost his job and now spent all his time drinking.

  • He was in this bar almost every nightit would be easy to try some funny business.

  • Besides, he didn't have much life left in him anyway.

  • If they cut his life short artificially by a few months then so what?

  • There's no way they could have known that the man they selected would turn out to be

  • almost entirely indestructible...

  • But the five of them agreed.

  • They'd take out a life insurance policy in a fake name, and make a fake identity card

  • in the same name.

  • As long as Mike had the fake identity in his pocket when he died, they'd be able to make

  • a claim on the life insurance.

  • One of the other men would take out a fake identity to pose as his brother.

  • It would require a bit of upfront investment of course, but it'd be well worth it in

  • the end.

  • Or so they thought.

  • So, off they went to the insurers.

  • Spending almost every last penny the five men could pool together, they took out one

  • policy from Metropolitan Life and another from Prudential.

  • Mike Malloy became Nicholas Mellory and Joseph Murphy became Joseph Mellory.

  • Ah, to be alive in the times when scamming people was that easy.

  • In total, Mike's life would be worth just under $3,500, or $65,000 in today's money.

  • Not bad for a total washup.

  • What could go wrong?

  • The only thing at stake was their lives if they got found out and accused of murder

  • but no need to worry about that...

  • Hundreds of people were already dying in New York from alcohol poisoning each year, which

  • is pretty impressive considering alcohol was illegal there at the time.

  • That was why Mike Malloy was the perfect victim.

  • It seemed perfectly plausible that a known alcoholic with little to live for would join

  • the hordes of men passing away at the hands of their favorite vice.

  • Shortly after taking out two life insurance policies

  • Soon enough, the fateful night rolled around.

  • Mikeor should I say Nicholas, wink winkentered the speakeasy, like he did most

  • other evenings.

  • There was just one crucial difference: this time, he was given copious amounts of alcohol

  • for free.

  • The five men greeted Mike as if he was some kind of legend, royalty, or a long-lost brother.

  • Instead of him waiting in the corner of the establishment until someone got drunk enough

  • to buy him a drink, tonight the booze was flowing as if money was no object.

  • A beer here, a shot there.

  • The plan was that he'd gradually get drunker and drunker, until he eventually succumbed

  • to alcohol poisoning.

  • But somehow, it wasn't working.

  • Mike downed one, two, ten, twenty drinks, until the men were unable to keep count anymore.

  • Yet he never reached that pitiful state of drunkenness where you lose all sense of reality

  • and become helpless.

  • In fact, he kept coming back for more.

  • He didn't even look tipsy.

  • How could someone with no money for alcohol build up such a huge tolerance?

  • The gang realized they'd have to play dirty.

  • This man might be able to stomach endless quantities of beer, but there was no way he'd

  • be able to defy actual poisons.

  • Well, that's what you'd thinkbut Mike was no normal man.

  • Unfortunately, there was no arsenic on hand.

  • That was too expensive.

  • But barman Tony did have some methanolyou know, the byproduct of wood alcohol and coal

  • that destroys the optic nerve and poisons the central nervous system of regular people.

  • But not Mike.

  • He continued to laugh and joke, like he was on Cloud Nine.

  • He might have had a stomach of iron, but his social intelligence was lacking.

  • The men gathered behind the bar, plotting their next move.

  • Maybe the alcohol and the methanol didn't kill him.

  • But there was one thing that couldn't possibly fail: denatured alcohol.

  • The definition of denatured alcohol is literally alcohol that's unfit for drinking.

  • And why is it unfit for drinking, I hear you ask?

  • It contains toxic additional chemicals.

  • It doesn't even taste like regular alcoholit's completely disgusting.

  • So, let's see how our good friend Mike fared this time

  • You'd think he'd spit it out in disgust at least.

  • But there was nothing.

  • No reaction.

  • He downed it like it was whiskey.

  • Eventually, it came to closing time for the speakeasy.

  • Mike departed in great spirits, thanking everyone for the free drinks.

  • He even had the nerve to walk in a straight line as he left.

  • In a moment of last-ditch hope, you wondered if maybe he'd die in his sleep.

  • Instead, he was back again the next night.

  • What had happened defied everything you could have predicted.

  • How was this man still alive?

  • But still, there had to be another way.

  • One man proposed using food as poison instead.

  • Everyone conceded it was at least worth a go.

  • So, someone sourced a tin of who-knows-how-old sardines that smelled like death, and prepared

  • them in a sandwich for Mike, who was once again drunk.

  • I can't imagine he was thrilled to be presented with a sardine sandwich, but this was a man

  • who enjoyed drinking denatured alcohol, after all.

  • The five men waited anxiously as Mike wolfed down the sandwich.

  • Andnothing happened.

  • In fact, he asked for another one.

  • This was ridiculous.

  • Did he have no sense of taste at all?

  • Was he just challenging them and playing along?

  • But still, the men weren't about to give up so easily.

  • Not after shelling out so much money on life insurance.

  • This time, the men filled out the sandwich with as many ridiculous and toxic yet cheap

  • things as they could think of.

  • Bits of broken glass, carpet tacks, finely ground bits of metal tin.

  • Joseph tried oysters marinated with denatured alcohol, knowing oysters and hard spirits

  • formed a deadly combination that should pickle the stomach.

  • Can you guess what happened?

  • Nothing.

  • Once again, Mike waltzed out in high spirits.

  • And if you thought any of the previous attempts on Mike's life were savage, you've seen

  • nothing yet.

  • The next night, the men suggested that everyone could go for a walk together.

  • Nothing like a bit of fresh air on a freezing winter night.

  • Once they reached a park, they encouraged Mike to sit down on a bench, and hung around

  • waiting until the alcohol took hold and he fell asleep.

  • And then they did what all good friends would do in such a situationleft him there

  • to die.

  • Few people can survive a winter night in New York city with no protection from the elements.

  • But this wasn't just anyone, it was Mike, so they had to be sure.

  • They ripped open his clothes, poured water over him, and left.

  • So, would that be it?

  • Would that finally be the end?

  • Of course not.

  • The next morning Mike returned to the speakeasy in perfect health but with an interesting

  • tale, explaining the cold had shaken him awake, allowing him to leave before he reached a

  • bitter end.

  • Meanwhile, one of the men who had walked him to the park had come down with a bad cold.

  • And they say Karma isn't real.

  • That night served as a kind of turning point.

  • Although the men had been trying to murder Mike, they'd at least been doing it in a

  • nice way.

  • They hadn't tried to strangle or hang him or anything too cold-bloodedthey'd

  • just been preparing him dodgy sandwiches or suggesting questionable activities.

  • Now, things were about to change.

  • One of the men, Harry Hershey Green, was a cab driver.

  • And he reckoned he could orchestrate a car crash.

  • At first, Hershey tried to bribe some of his acquaintances into doing his dirty work for

  • him.

  • But it turns out that even during the Great Depression some people have either morals

  • or a sensible risk management approach.

  • So, he resolved to do it himself.

  • A few days later, the fatal crash happened.

  • Mike took a harsh battering and was admitted to the hospital.

  • Everyone thought he'd be dead within hours.

  • They were wrong.

  • Once again, Mike lived.

  • He'd broken his shoulder and suffered a concussion, but he was still very much alive.

  • In fact, a week later he was back at the speakeasy looking for some free booze.

  • Oh, Mike, if only you knew what was good for you.

  • You need to find some real friends.

  • That night, things turned violent.

  • The men had thought of one thing that no man could possibly survive.

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Rewind back to the scene at the start of the video.

  • Joseph Murphy and Daniel Kriesberg had pinned a drunk Mike down on the bed as they used

  • a gaslight tube to poison him with carbon monoxide.

  • You might doubt that the man who died was really Mike.

  • But come on, you didn't really think he would survive this one, did you?

  • It took twenty minutes to finish the job, which is surprisingly long, but eventually

  • his body had to give in.

  • So, what happened next?

  • Did they check in their life insurance premium, wander off into the sunset and live happily

  • ever after?

  • Not quite.

  • They did succeed in getting the money.

  • At first.

  • They paid a doctor to sign a death certificate, citing lobar pneumonia as the cause.

  • It was a downright liethe doctor falsely claimed Mike had visited the doctor complaining

  • of flu twice before dying.

  • There was just one problem.

  • A few months later, there was a murder at the speakeasy, and Joseph Murphy was taken

  • into custody as a witness.

  • Meanwhile, one of the life insurance agents became suspicious after failing to track them

  • down the nonexistent Nicholas Mellory

  • There were already rumors going around about the plot to kill Mike, and eventually the

  • police caught wind of it.

  • Everything was going to pot.

  • The police decided to give Mike's body an autopsy.

  • The murdering fivesome hadn't bothered to embalm the body, which would have removed

  • all traces of what had happened.

  • Rookie mistake.

  • It soon became clear that Mike hadn't died because of his lobar pneumonia or flu.

  • It didn't exactly take a forensic pathologist to figure it outthere was a cherry red

  • discoloration all over the corpse, a clear sign of what had really happened.

  • All five men, plus the doctor who signed the fake death note, were arrested.

  • All in all, the gang had blown almost two thousand dollars trying to earn the three

  • thousand five hundred life dollar premium.

  • If only I'd be there with them, I would have suggested they use that as to bribe a

  • journalist to report a fake death.

  • The power of hindsight, I suppose.

  • Now, begin your own journey towards immortality by checking out our videos on how to survive

  • a crocodile attack or falling out of an airplane.

The room contains three men and a bed.

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Man Who Couldn't Be Killed "Iron Mike"

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/07