Pickles Leighton – Character in Divide the Dawn
“It’s all about the Leighton brothers. As long as Pickles sits in Sing Sing and Darby’s eighty-sixt, Lovett’ll never get wit’ us. Even after givin’ it to McGowen like they did.”
Pickles Leighton (b. 1889) is a murderer and prisoner in Sing Sing. He does not appear in Divide the Dawn, but is often spoken of. In 1900, he and his brother Darby Leighton were abandoned. By 1908, Pickles clashed with Dinny Meehan and joined upstart Wild Bill Lovett‘s Jay Street gang. In a show of solidarity, Lovett allowed Pickles to go with Meehan to murder Christie Maroney, the king of Irishtown in 1912. But Pickles was the only one convicted. Meehan grew concerned over controlling the inside of Sing Sing and the many convicts that could support an uprising against him, so he had his righthand McGowan plead guilty to a small charge in order to kill Pickles in Sing Sing. In the War for the Inside, many battles occurred that maimed Pickles, including losing an eye, but in the end Lovett paid a screw (prison guard) to beat McGowan to death. Now that Lovett has returned from the Great War alive, Pickles’ release could provide him a great many paroled soldiers in the gang war against Meehan and the White Hand.