You are fighting a monster that reaches from Millionaires' Mile all the way down to Mulberry Street, and if you're not careful, it will devour you long before you find your child killer.
— Paul Kelly to Dr.Kreizler[src]

Paul Kelly is a New York City gangster, and co-owner of the Paresis Hall, an infamous brothel for homosexuals, and associate of Biff Ellison.

He is a guest-starring character in ʼThe Alienistʼ portrayed by Antonio Magro.[1]

Backstory Edit

Paul Kelly is an Italian-American immigrant who has climbed the hierarchies of organized crime, becoming the leader of the Five Points, as well as one of the most respected men of the New York criminal underworld, able to raise riots as he likes, having on his payroll dangerous henchmen, police officers as well as owning a large part of the buildings of the slums.

Story Edit

New York City Police Department, March 4th, 1896. [2] Paul Kelly had been invited together with his partner Biff Ellison in the office of Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, in order to discuss recent events. Elegantly dressed and with a clean-shaven face, both men introduced themselves as businessmen. As Ellison ranted about having been called to the police station as "a couple of two-bit sneak thieves" when the commissioner "already got the throat slitter behind bars", Kelly offered his pen to the Commissioner since he wasn't able to find his own among the papers of his messy desk. Ellison went on with veiled threats and sneaky remarks about how they had the police officers on their payroll, but Kelly intervened, trying to mitigate the conversation. He claimed that they had an agreement with the police officers, but Roosevelt did not seem to be intimidated or complicit in this. As the commissioner ordered the Paresis Hall to be shut down, Ellison almost lost his temper but Kelly agreed, exchanging a glance with the partner before the two left the office.

Afterward, Kelly paid Captain Connor's silence, taking out a ten-spot to cover the inconvenience of closin' down from the Captain's bribe. In the meantime, Ellison led a group of young boys dressed in petticoats and lingerie under dirty coats across the street, each carrying their belongings. In fact, the two gangsters simply moved their business into the building opposite the newly shut down Paresis Hall. [3]

When John Moore came to the Paresis Hall to inquire about Gloria, the name taken by Giorgio Santorelli when he was a prostitute at the brothel, Paul Kelly instructed some of the Paresis Hall boys to take care of Moore in one of the upstairs rooms, after he had been drugged by Biff Ellison at the counter. [4]

Paul Kelly had a meeting with former chief Thomas Byrnes and Captain Connor at O'Rouke tavern, where they discussed how they could hamper Theodore Roosevelt's investigations into the ongoing killing of young prostitutes, especially now that Dr. Kreizler and his associates were involved. Kelly reassured Byrnes that Moore would not talk to anyone about what he had discovered about "Gloria" at the Paresis Hall because by revealing it, he would compromise himself in the eyes of high society for attending a brothel for homosexuals. Kelly gave a death-stare to Captain Connor when he made some homophobic jokes. [5]

Following the umpteenth murder, an angry mob gathered in front of the police department, making it difficult for Dr. Kreizler and John Moore to find a way out. Paul Kelly then sent one of his henchmen to their rescue and offered to give them a ride in his carriage. The two accepted, saying that they were headed to the Museum of Natural Sciences. Once comfortable on their seats, Kelly stated he once read a monograph written by Kreizler and that he even understood some of it. Kelly referred to the monograph's title – The Harm We Do To Our Children Is Revisited On Ourselves – as catchy. Kreizler asked him if he had children, and Kelly replied that he count all the poor of the Five Points as his own. Externalizing his dissatisfaction with the gap between social classes and pointing out the corruption and organized crime born of popular discontent, Kelly shut Moore up with a sneaky remark when the illustrator accused him of being a mobster. Kreizler changed the subject, hoping to quell the debate and asked Kelly what they could do to repay him for his courtesy, besides being grateful. Kelly, at that point, suggested them they could deliver a gentle word in the ear of their friend, Mr. Roosevelt since he was going to keep his brothels shut down any longer, he will have Hell to pay. When Kreizler said that it was his idea to shut down the brothels for the safekeeping of the young prostitutes, Kelly asserted that the rioting in front of the police department that day was just a taster. He also advised the alienist to be very careful because with their investigations they were antagonizing many men in the high society, referring to them as a much fearful monster than the child killer he was hunting down. Once they arrived at their destination, the men took their leave. [6]

Appearance and Personality Edit

Paul Kelly is a self-made man who seeks to advance himself into society. Despite coming from a poor and criminal background, Kelly fully reflects the ongoing change in organized crime; his taste in clothing is accompanied by a way of speaking and behaving more refined than that of most criminals. Tall, with broad shoulders, black hair and hazel eyes and a naturally tanned complexion, Paul Kelly is a handsome man who uses his appearance as a red herring. Interested in politics and culture, he agrees with some socialist precepts that he uses for carrying out his activities, albeit in an illegal way. Although Kelly is in league with former Chief Thomas Byrnes and has most of the policemen on his payroll, Kelly is also a shrewd observer and double-crosser, primarily interested in his self-interest.

Memorable Quotes Edit

Paul Kelly: "I think what Mr. Ellison is trying to say here, Commissioner, is that we are businessmen. In fact, we have enjoyed an understanding with the police over the years."
Commissioner Roosevelt: "And after all the profit from your pandering, gambling, and intimidation, how much do you make from this understanding?"
Paul Kelly: "A great deal."
Paul Kelly (about Connor's bribe): "I took out a ten-spot to cover the inconvenience of closin' down."
Captain Connor: "But you're only shiftin' 'em across the street..."
The Boy on the Bridge

Dr.Kreizler: "Have you children, Mr. Kelly?"
Paul Kelly: "I count all the poor of the Five Points as mine. Abused by their betters, swindled by Wall Street, shunned by the swells on Millionaires' Row. I was proud of my people back there. They've gotten off their knees for once. But you know how mobs can be..."
Paul Kelly (to John Moore): "Oh. You're looking a little more chipper than the last time we met. Where was that again?"
Paul Kelly (to Dr. Kreizler): "You are fighting a monster. One that reaches from Millionaires' Mile all the way down to Mulberry Street, and if you're not careful, it will devour you long before you find your child killer."
Many Sainted Men

Gallery Edit

Photo by Kata Vermes and Jesse Giddings. [Courtesy of TNT Pressroom]

Notes Edit

  • A photo taken behind the scenes has appeared on Antonio Magro's Twitter account, sharing his new look for his role as gangster Paul Kelly, with Falk Hentschel seen behind playing Biff Ellison. [1]
  • Paul Kelly is an in-universe depiction of Paul Kelly, an Italian immigrant who founded the Five Points Gang in New York City after starting some brothels with prize money earned in boxing in the early 20th century.
  • Throughout the series, there have been several hints about his homosexuality.

Episode Appearance Edit

The Alienist

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Antonio Magro revealing gangster roles on Twitter
  2. Paul Kelly was summoned to Roosevelt's office the day after Giorgio Santorelli's murder, revealed to have happened on March 3rd, 1896 in Hildebrandt’s Starling.
  3. Hossein Amini (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 22, 2018); "The Boy on the Bridge". Episode 1. The Alienist. TNT
  4. Hossein Amini & E. Max Frye (writers) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 29, 2018); "A Fruitful Partnership". Episode 2.The Alienist. TNT
  5. Gina Gionfriddo (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (February 5, 2018); "Silver Smile". Episode 3.The Alienist. TNT
  6. John Sayles (writer) & Paco Cabezas (director); (March 5, 2018); "Many Sainted Men". Episode 7.The Alienist. TNT