My Late Husband Was Probably A GangsterHugo was a frequent customer of the burlesque club I danced at. I know this club was doing some illegal stuff with drugs and booze, and I knew he was friends with the owners. I was in an unspoken relationship with another woman at the club, Lillian, when I became involved with Hugo. This was at a time when relationships between women was not acceptable at all. So when Hugo was sweet on me- paying for my cab rides home, sending me flowers backstage- I took it for the opportunity it was. As he courted me, my relationship with Lillian broke down. I don't blame her- we loved each other, but with my family and the atmosphere back then, I knew a relationship with another woman would be doomed. Hugo was a wealthy doctor, a surgeon, and proposed to me with an elaborate diamond ring. I said yes, much to the pleasure of my mother, and to the chagrin of Lillian. I had to quit at the club after she destroyed all my costumes and wrote horrible things in lipstick on my mirror.
But I never suspected Hugo was a gangster or something when I married him. He always had associates over, many of them men I knew from the club, some of them other doctors. He still occasionally went to the club, and I did too, but I stopped after having our first child. He worked on a completely different schedule than I did, and being a doctor he was rarely on a consistent schedule. Thinking back I wonder how much time was actually at work and how much time was with mobsters. He also became controlling and emotionally abusive, but back then there was really no such thing as a single mother unless she was a widow.
My suspicions were all but confirmed several months after the birth of our second child. He was supposedly working when he and his associates burst into our home in the middle of the night. They had a man who had been wounded, and my husband turned our dining room into a surgery, operating on him in our home. I never forgave him for that.
He may have been a horrible husband, but he was a good father, and he loved his children. When our oldest daughter, our second of three, was seven years old, one of my husband's associates was found touching her, and had been doing so for months. My husband beat him, naturally, but less than a month later, that same man was found shot dead. The official story was that it was a mugging gone bad. I believe my husband arranged within whatever his organization was to have him killed. I never asked my husband about it, because I don't want to know. But if he did, that would be the best thing he ever did for this family.
My husband died of heart failure. He died in the hospital, dropping dead to the floor. If he hadn't been in a legitimate hospital, I would have suspected foul play. 2 months after his death, a man broke into our home. He came after me and my children, and I shot and killed him. I don't know if he was a petty burglar or if he was a mobster, but the police never found anything on them. I didn't feel safe in NYC anymore, so I moved upstate, and always had a gun on hand.