In the early 1960s, there was a young Puerto Rican boy in the Village named Tano who may have worked as a beautician. He was described as “masculine” and good-looking, and was known for wearing polka dot shirts. He caught the eye of mob boss Ed “The Skull” Murphy, who worked as a bouncer at multiple gay bars and used the job to cover a large gay extortion ring that included kidnapping and forced sex work. In the mid-1960s, the FBI and NYPD worked together to take down the multi-million dollar operation, which had victimized thousands. For perhaps the first time, law enforcement worked to protect gay men. However, Tano was never heard from again and disappears from the historical narrative after his kidnapping.
The Chickens and the Bulls: The rise and incredible fall of a vicious extortion ring that preyed on prominent gay men in the 1960s.
LAW 'N HISTORY: Edward "The Skull" Murphy