Calogero Costantino

by Jon Black

Alias: Carlo Costantino

Born: January 20 1874

Nationality: Sicilian


Where: Mental hospital

Cause: VD

Killer: Syphilis

Carlo Costantino, was born during 1874 in Partinico, a town in the province of Palermo, Sicily.

He arrived in New York around 1905. Agent Flynn, of the Secret Service, claimed that Costantino ran a business along with Antonino Passananti, called the ‘Roma Contruction Company’.

Costantino and Passananti sailed to Sicily around the same time as Lieutenant Petrosino in 1909. Upon his arrival, Costantino sent a telegram to Giuseppe Morello in New York: “I LoBaido work Fontana”. Shortly after, Petrosino was murdered in Palermo.

Baldassare Ceola, the police commissioner of Palermo, drew a list of suspects connected with the killing. He eventually narrowed this list down to his prime suspects: Vito Cascioferro, Giovanni Pecoraro, and Carlo Costantino.

In a later report Baldassare Ceola spoke of the questioning of Carlo Costantino and Antonino Passananti. The report referred to the cable message, sent upon their return to Sicily, to Giuseppe Morello in New York: “I LoBaido work Fontana”. Ceola claimed that LoBaido was a fictitious name used by Passananti. Costantino had been found with photographs of a New York shop under the name “PECORARO-LOBAIDO”. The report concluded that Carlo Costantino and Antonino Passananti were the likely perpetrators of the crime, with Vito Cascioferro the mastermind.

According to the book, “The Origin of Organized Crime in America” by David Critchely, which studied the Sicilian documentation on this case, Costantino and Passananti were seen together in the vicinity of the killing. They both gave contradictory accounts to the police, and Passananti disappeared soon after the killing.

Costantino was deported from Sicily in 1932 to Lampedusa, an island where the facists sent political and criminal prisoners. On his return to Parlermo he opened a feed warehouse, but died soon afterward in a mental hospital riddled with syphilis.