Queen City Chronicles - Fechter murder

Posted at 12:13 PM, Nov 17, 2014

A 1929 robbery and murder reads like it was ripped from the pages of a pulp fiction novel, except that it really happened on the streets of Buffalo during the height of Prohibition. This story has it all: murder, mayhem and magic.

In 1929, the notorious Blue Ribbon Gang, led by Russian gangster Alex Bogdanoff, staged the bold daylight robbery and murder of Ferdinand Fechter in order to hijack the money that Fechter had on hand to cash workers' payroll checks from the Chevy plant across Delevan Ave. in Buffalo.

The crime went unsolved until Buffalo Police Detective William Burns overheard the thieving thugs boast of their dastardly deeds during the investigation of another murder that took place at the Peacock club in downtown Buffalo on New Year's Day a year earlier.

After securing enough to make the case, a daring commando-like raid ensued, resulting in the arrest of Bogdanoff and his partners in crime: Max "the Goose" Rybarczyk and Stephen "Bob the weeper" Grzechowiak and their ultimate death by electrocution at Sing Sing.