Harold "Hooky" Rothman

Harold "Hooky" Rothman (Born 1910 - Died August 18, 1948) also known as "Harry", was a Jewish mobster, enforcer, and right-hand man to Mickey Cohen during "The Battle of Sunset Strip" for control of illegal activities in Los Angeles, California.


Rothman was a Jewish-American mobster and trusted lieutenant of Mickey Cohen, he had served in the Army during world War II and was honorably discharged. Upon his arrival home he resided in Los Angeles and became a gunman for the Cohen syndicate and at the worst time possible. Rothman had a lengthy criminal career and in 1938 served a term of imprisonment in New York State.

In 1946, Rothman allegedly killed rival bookies Benny Gamson and George Levinson in their Los Angeles apartment on the orders of Cohen. Cohen operated in a consortium of illegal activities including extortion, prostitution, narcotics and around this time was also consolidating his grip on Los Angeles' gambling rackets. Rothman would later complain to Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno, that he had not been paid for these "hits". Fratianno considered Rothman to be Cohen's toughest and smartest henchman.


In June of 1947, Bugsy Siegel, an east coast mobster and Cohen's boss, was murdered and hapless Los Angeles Mafia boss Jack Dragna attempted to take over the local gambling operations. He ran into a road block in the form of Mickey Cohen, one of Siegel's top henchmen who was not willing to relinquish any of the rackets and the war was on.

On August 18, 1948, members of the Los Angeles crime family were trying to eliminate Jewish mobster Mickey Cohen. Early that evening Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno used his wife and daughter to help set Cohen up at his haberdashery office. Fortunately for Cohen he was in the bathroom washing his hands, a bizarre fetish he had of germs, after shaking hands with Fratianno. As the Weasel left he signaled gang members who closed in and rushed the haberdashery. Frank Bompensiero, wearing sunglasses and a white Panama hat pulled low over his forehead, stuck a sawed-off shotgun in Rothman's face and ordered him back into the shop. As the other two gunmen ran past him, Rothman swung at the shotgun causing it to go off obliterating his face and killing him instantly.

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