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"Baby Shacks" or "Baby Shanks"?

 

[image from thebrothersbulger.com]

During Colonel Brendan Doherty's appearance this morning on Newsmakers, I was surprised when he responded to a question about Louis "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, the reputed head of organized crime in Rhode Island, by referring to him as "Baby Shanks."

It had been my impression that "Baby Shanks" was a mistaken derivation of the actual nickname.

The sometimes-authoritative Wikipedia goes with "Baby Shanks."

But a number of Internet references employ "Baby Shacks."

Tim White, who is continuing his esteemed father's work in reporting on organized crime, later explained that both nicknames have their adherents (as reflected by Doherty's response). As he wrote on Channel 12's Web site:

The two most popular theories: he got the "Baby Shank" moniker from working in a restaurant (presumably "shank" of meat), and "Baby Shacks" for being rather successful with the ladies (as in "shack" up). Baby, is a bit of a mystery.

One high level law enforcement source says the confusion on the nickname isn't the media's alone.

"Wiseguys call him Louie Shacks or Baby Shanks," the source says. Noting Shanks has nothing to do with a cut of meat. "God no. Baby Shanks... it's a small knife."

You will also come up with Luigi over Louis, often. But Manocchio is listed with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles as Louis. And since they're never wrong... (incidentally, the DMV has not officially decided on Shanks or Shacks).

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