‘The man the mob couldn’t kill’ Danny Greene had four attempts on his life

Elizabeth Misson, NewsNet5

CLEVELAND - Nov. 14, 1933: Danny Greene is born in Cleveland to Irish immigrants, John Greene and Irene Fallon. Danny Greene's mother died three days after his birth. Not long after, Greene is placed into the care of Parmadale orphanage.

1940s: Greene is enrolled in Saint Ignatius High School, from where he was later expelled, and enrolled in Collinwood High School.

1951: Greene leaves high school and enlists in the United States Marines. He is honorably discharged in 1953.

1960s: Greene earned himself steady work as a longshoreman at the Cleveland docks, where he would eventually head the longshoreman's union.

1960s: Greene found employment with the Cleveland Solid Waste Trade Guild. The Cleveland mafia family brought in Greene and other gangsters of Irish heritage to act as errand boys and muscle to enforce the mafia's influence. Greene was in charge of enforcing the mob's control over the garbage hauling contracts and other mob-influenced rackets.

1968: Greene's slightly botched attempt at an ordered bombing began the separation between Greene and the Cleveland mafia family, as well as the end of the Cleveland Solid Waste Trade Guild.

1971: Greene formed his own crew of young Irish-American gangsters called "The Celtic Club." He also became friends with John Nardi, a Cleveland family labor racketeer who wanted to overthrow the Cleveland family leadership.

May 12, 1975: An explosion rocked Greene's Collinwood home office. The building was destroyed, but Greene suffered only minor injuries. Reports indicate that a second, and more powerful, bomb had failed to explode, which may have killed Greene. After the explosion, Greene had the rubble cleared and defiantly moved into trailers he brought onto the property. Today, a mural stands near the place where Greene's office once stood—a bright orange mural that reads "kaboom!" marking the site of the historic murder attempt.

Sept. 1976: A Cleveland mafia family makes an unsuccessful attempt on Nardi's life in Little Italy with a high powered rifle. A few days later they tried again, unsuccessfully, with a shotgun.

March 1977: U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott receives a tip call that plans were in the works to kill Danny Greene. Elliott would later be placed in charge of witness security for the U.S. Marshalls' office.

March 1977: Danny Greene and John Nardi escape a murder attempt when the individuals who tried to detonate the bomb under their car were too far away for the remote detonator to work.

May 17, 1977: Teamsters Union boss John Nardi is killed in an explosion outside of his Teamsters office downtown at 2070 East 22nd St. A bomb was placed in a car next to his and was set off by a remote detonator. According to the book To Kill the Irishman by Rick Porrello, Nardi whispered "It didn't hurt" as he was pulled from the wreckage.

Sept. 1977: Danny Greene's home and hangouts are wire-tapped. A phone call made by Greene's girlfriend scheduling his dentist appointment for October 6 is recorded sometime afterward.

Oct. 6, 1977: Danny Greene is killed by a car bomb, which was placed in a car parked next to him, after visiting his dentist at Brainard Place Medical Center in Lyndhurst.

Reference: "To Kill the Irishman" by Rick Porrello