One of the coolest to be buried in Mount Hebron cemetery is the legend, Nathan "Kid Dropper" Caplin, an American gangster who controlled labor racketeering and extortion in New York City during the post-World War I period into the early years of Prohibition in the early 1920s. Born one of seven children in New York's tuff Lower East Side,
Kaplan had to commit petty theft at an early age and became skilled as a sneak thief and pushcart extortionist, known for the "drop swindle". He had formed his own jolly gang who were associated with the Five Points Gang feuding with rival gang member Johnny Spanish until his arrest for robbery and sentenced to seven years in Sing Sing prison.
Upon his release in 1918 Kaplan became involved in "labor slugging", providing muscle to either side in the strikes common in New York in that era. Kaplan quickly filled the void left by "Dopey" Benny Fein and Joe "The Greaser" Rosenzweig in the aftermath of the internecine battles between gangsters, organizing former Five Points members, including Johnny Spanish. Kaplan and Spanish, who had previously reconciled from an argument over a woman from their days in the Five Points Gang, soon began feuding again as Spanish split from Kaplan's gang.
A violent war between the two soon began; fighting, particularly in the garment district, continued until Johnny Spanish was killed while leaving a Manhattan restaurant located at 19 2 avenue (near the 2 Avenue Deli were Abe Lebewohl owner of the 2nd Avenue Deli would be killed in March 1996), by three men, most likely including Kaplan.
After Johnny Spanish's death Kaplan controlled all of labor slugging operations in New York. While Kaplan worked primarily for labor unions, he occasionally provided services for employers.
By the beginning of 1923, Kaplan began to face increasing competition from rival newcomers Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen, Jack "Legs" Diamond, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, and Gurrah Shapiro. Kaplan and Orgen soon began fighting over protection of wet wash laundry workers in violent shootouts around New York. On August 28, 1923, Kaplan was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and arraigned at Essex Market Court. News of the arrest attracted a large crowd of reporters and bystanders. As Kaplan was being transferred to another court, led by a police escort, he was shot and killed by Orgen gunman Louis (Cohen) Kerzner just after he entered a police car. Orgen gained control of Kaplan's operations until his death in 1927, possibly by Buchalter and Shapiro.
Kerzner requested a cigarette from officers after killing Kid Dropper which was not good for his health but during 1923 the dangers of smoking cigarettes was still unknown to the public due to the lack of research on the topic.
It wasn't till 1965 that The FEDERAL CIGARETTE LABELING AND ADVERTISING ACT is passed, requiring health warnings on cigarette packages only.
In 1969 Congress enacted the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, which amended the 1965 Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act to require the following warning: "The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health." The 1969 act also includes the phrase: "(b) No requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health shall be imposed under State law with respect to the advertising or promotion of any cigarettes the packages of which are labeled in conformity with the provisions of this Act."
However in 1937, Little Louie Krezner, should have kept smoking which would have kept his mouth shut when he was released to parole and began yapping to investigators to testify against Lepke Buchalter, which got him gunned down on January 28, 1939, shortly before his scheduled testimony.