Thomas E. Dewey's staff of District Attorneys convinced twenty-eight women to testify in open court against Lucky Luciano. They told these street women that they would "serve seven years" if they did not cooperate. They were held in the Women's House of Detention, and paid $3.00 a day for "room and board."
Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey staged mass raids on the night of February 1, 1936. Vice policeman arrested over 100 prostitutes and madams. They were sent to the Women's House of Detention, as material witnesses against the Bonding Combination racketeers. Out of these, 28 women later testified.
The prostitutes and madams were held in the Women's House of Detention, built in 1934. There, some kicked heroin "cold turkey" while others prepared to testify before Dewey's Extraordinary Grand Jury and later, as material witnesses in open court against the Mott Street Mob and Lucky Luciano.
Women arrested in the raids of Feb. 1st were taken first to the Woolworth Building, downtown. There, Judge Philip McCook arraigned the women in an impomptu, middle-of-the-night action to
ensure they would remain in custody.
The Celebrity Madam of the 1920s and 1930s, steadfastly denied that Luciano was involved with the Bonding Combination. Dewey failed to arrest her and as a result, she was able to avoid the trauma of being held as a witnesses.
Polly Adler - A Synopsis of her Life and Times
From the New York Daily News,
Thursday, May 25, 1936:
"Herewith, for the first time, is reproduced in facsimile the notorious "white ticket" issued by the vice syndicate to its army of prostitutes. The slip was an accounting device and corresponded roughly to a factory worker's time clock card, except that its units, from 1 to 100, represented
dollars, instead of hours and minutes."
"Cokey Flo later recanted her oath, claiming that she had testified under duress by the District Attorney's office. At the time of her recantment, the actual duress was administered by people under order of the imprisoned Luciano. In this segment of her recantment affidavit, she claims that a fight in the Women's House of Detention with madam Joan Martin, was a "set-up" that brought her into the hands of the D.A. in the first place. Within this statement, she states that Luciano had already been identified by prostitute Mildred Curtis when the latter went before the grand jury."