Harold "K.O." Konigsberg (born 1926 -died November 23rd, 2014 ) also known as "Heshy" and "Kayo", is a legendary Jewish hit man and mob associate who was sentenced to life in prison for murder. Konigsberg's colorful mob life was chronicled by his nephew Eric Konigsberg in an article in The New Yorker and a book entitled "Blood Relation".
Konigsberg first became involved in organized crime working for New Jersey mob boss Abner "Longy" Zwillman, he became one of the crew's most prolific hit men. Konigsberg was described as a troublemaker from the beginning, "a malevolently wild creature in a house full of Sabbath-keepers". After being taken under the wing of Zwillman — the so-called "Al Capone of New Jersey" — Konigsberg became a violent and feared racketeer in Jersey City and Manhattan. He earned a reputation as a major loanshark who pummeled deadbeats with a lead-lined rubber hose. Konigsberg also stole, ran numbers, hijacked, assaulted, extorted and murdered. He was known to be charming - "adorable" even, according to one of his many lawyers - but at the bottom, a sociopath.
During his years as a mob hitman, Konigsberg was suspected by police in more than 20 mafia hits. Retired NYPD detective and veteran mob buster Joseph Coffey said of Konigsber, "I knew him well and he was the worst of the worst", "He enjoyed killing and enjoyed getting paid for it." Coffey said it was very unusual for the Mafia to use non-Italians to do their hits, but Konigsberg was an exception because of his ruthlessness.
Conviction, Release, and Death
In 1982, Konisberg was finally convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years to life for the contract killing of Teamster Treasurer, Anthony Castellito, on the orders of Anthony Provenzano, who was also convicted and died in prison. Konigsberg reportedly used a cord from venetian blinds to strangle Anthony "Three Fingers" Castellito in his upstate New York home and later buried his remains in a mob graveyard in New Jersey, which have never been recovered.
In 2012, after being jailed for nearly 50 years, Konigsberg was released on parole at the age of 86. Konigsberg reportedly convinced the parole board that he was not insane and to let him live out the rest of his days in freedom (he had always maintained his innocence), but one source recalled that Konigsberg once represented himself at an extortion trial in Manhattan Supreme Court and claimed he was crazy:
"He sat in a wheelchair and (defecated) in his pants right in front of the judge," Coffey said. "I was there and he grossed out everyone and cleared the courtroom, but he was convicted anyway. I remember it like it was yesterday". Konigsberg had previously been denied parole seven times since 1998, but had been housed in a prison hospital for nearly two years with an unspecified illnesses that may have been a factor in his release.
He reportedly threatened to kill his great-nephew for publishing a book and article on his life and was living with his daughter at a gated community in Florida before being checked into an exclusive nursing home in the same state, where he eventually passed away.
Death of Konigsberg
Killer Harold Konigsberg died at the age of 89, on November 23, 2014 according to the Florida and New York State Departments of Corrections. He is buried at the Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7701 Bailey Road, North Lauderdale, FL 33068. He now resides buried in the Garden of Netanya section at the above Cemetery, in Lot 402, Grave 12. More information on his death can be found at:http://jerrywolkoff.blogspot.com/2014/12/harold-konigsberg-animal-is-dead.html