Danny Greene was no stranger to danger. As one of Cleveland’s most infamous mobsters (if not the most infamous), it came with the territory. At 3:50 a.m. on May 12, 1975, Greene was woken by a bomb thrown through his apartment window, the second such attempt on his life in seven years. The first came on March 12, 1968, when the convertible Greene was driving was wrecked by an explosion, forever damaging his hearing.
“There are three reasons why somebody bombs somebody,” then-police Lt. Edward P. Kovacic told The Plain Dealer in May. “Either it’s to make someone start doing something, make someone stop doing something or to kill someone. This was to wipe out Danny Greene.”
Greene escaped the explosion with minor cuts and bruises, though the explosion destroyed his 1975 Lincoln, pictured above, along with an apartment he was using as a consulting firm. Pieces of stationery with “Emerald Enterprises Inc.” were found in the rubble. Greene’s two pet cats were killed in the explosion. “Greene got out like a cat,” Kovacic said. “He was even luckier than his own cats.”
At the time, police believed the bombing could have been linked to the March 29 car bombing death of Alex Birns, who was known for his many disagreements with Greene.
Greene died Oct. 6, 1977, in Lyndhurst when a bomb placed in a car next to his late-model Continental was detonated remotely after he finished an appointment with his dentist. His remains were cremated Oct. 8, 1977, and are buried at Calvary Cemetery. Mobster Jimmy Fratianno later pled guilty to Greene’s murder.