Sunday, May 13, 2012
The Steele brothers- born to raise hell
Growing up in South Buffalo, I remember hearing stories from friends and relatives about the legendary Steele brothers. They lived in my neighborhood behind the old Mahogany Bar on Abbott Rd. and Bailey Ave. The clientele at the Mahogany resembled those from the bar scene in the beginning of Star Wars...
Like the Beatles- everyone knew the Steele brothers by their first names. There was Howard, Albert, Merle, Michael, and David. The last two always cracked me up because I have a younger brother named David and we lived three blocks from them(and Michael and David were the youngest of the Steele family). To this day, I've never heard of anyone else in WNY with the name Merle, except Merle Steele's son, the aptly named Merle Jr.
The Steele brothers were hardcore thieves. They were like the Manning brothers of their chosen profession-criminality. In fact, as a kid, I always thought they spelled their name Steal, which would have made more sense. My favorite comment underneath the attached Buffalo News article has to be from my sister Teresa, "Hey Albert, I want my bike back!"
Mr. Demolition Man
Rumor has it that Albert did in fact steal her bike from our driveway on Spaulding St. He also escaped from the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden an astonishing four times in one 13 month time period. One time, he held onto the bottom of a baked goods truck to gain his freedom. (They don't mention in the article whether he stole any cookies off of it before he fled.)
These days, Albert is doing pretty well for himself. He is in charge of demolishing all the vacant houses in Buffalo. I'm glad he has turned his life around, and I hear he does very good work. However, he's one millionaire you probably won't see hanging around with Bob Rich or Terry Pegula any time soon. Move over Warren Spahn, Tim Russert, and Patrick Kane. There are more stories going around South Buffalo involving the Steele brothers than those three guys combined...
Although never named as a suspect, Michael Steele was dating Patricia Scinta-Rodriguez, a 21 year old woman who was savagely stabbed 108 times and murdered in Lackawanna's Holy Cross Cemetery in 1979. According to this story from WKBW, Lackawanna Police do have a suspect and are hoping new DNA evidence will eventually lead to the killer. Dana Britton, a high ranking Lackawanna police official, believes Scinta-Rodriguez was murdered by her estranged husband, Michael Rodriguez...
A murder most brutal: by whom?
Some highlights from the Bflo News article:
-Jan. 14, 1978 — David Steele and three companions are charged by Buffalo Police with beating a South Buffalo man with shovels, guns and a police "billy club."
-July 7, 1994- Years later, Steele's companion, John Jacobson, testifies in a federal trial that the car, driven by Michael Steele, reached speeds of 115 miles per hour. Jacobson says the car nearly hit a bus, a truck and two police cars.
Steele testifies that he took off from police because he didn't have a license and didn't want to get caught. He claims he is a "good driver."
"What lane were you using?" an attorney asks Steele.
"All of them," Steele answers.
Criminal History — a look at the Steele Brothers