It was the New York police commissioner who would nickname brothers Anthony and William Esposito ‘the mad dog killers,’ a description that would catch on in the press. On Jan. 14, 1941, the Esposito brothers held up office manager Alfred Klausman for the $649 payroll he was carrying, shooting and killing him in the elevator of an office building in Manhattan. What followed was a spectacular mid-day gun chase along Fifth Avenue, with the pair running and shooting in and out of department stores and taxis — William, shot in the leg, fell to the ground, and while pretending to be dead surprised, shot and killed the policeman who chased him.
The Police man was Police Officer Edward Maher. Bizarrely enough on the 14th of January 1921 Officer Maher had lost his wife, leaving leaving the young cop to raise the couple’s infant son alone.
Fifth Avenue shoppers and pedestrians overtook William, beating him unconscious, and police arrested Anthony in a convenience store nearby.
(Anthony Esposito on Jan. 16, 1941, as he was brought before a police identification line-up)
During their trial, the brothers made an effort to convince the court they were insane; they barked, howled and made other animal noises, drooled and banged their heads on the table. But the barking and drooling wasn’t compelling evidence to the jury, and the brothers were both found guilty of first-degree murder. The two continued their behaviors, including speaking in gibberish and undertaking a hunger strike, while incarcerated at Sing Sing until both were put to death by electrocution in 1942.
They were executed on March 12 1942 by electric chair five minutes apart at Sing Sing for the January 14, 1941 slaying of Officer Maher and Alfred Klausman.
Both brothers were in such fragile health that they had to be brought into the death chamber in wheelchairs because they had refused all food for the past 10 months that was not fed them forcibly