Fortunato Lomonte

by Jon Black

Alias: Charles Lomonte

Born:

Nationality:

Died: May 23rd 1914

Where: E108th St

Cause: Shot

Killer: Unknown Gunman

Fortunato Lomonte, a cousin of the Morello family, ran a hay and grain office with his brother Tomasso. The business was located at 2103 1st Avenue, on the junction of E108th Street – just a few doors away was the infamous‘Murder Stable’.

The police were surprised to learn of Lomonte’s murder on May 23rd, 1914. Fortunato, who had just left his business premises on the Saturday morning, was walking along E108th Street when he was shot in the back with three bullets. The killer had appeared from the hallway of a tenement, then escaped by returning to the hallway and vaulting a fence at the rear of the building. Lomonte’s friends drove him to Harlem Hospital where he was revived. Detective John Cassetti pushed Lomonte for the killers name, but he refused to talk before he fell unconscious and died.

Physicians at the hospital said that the visiting Tomasso Lomonte swore revenge for his brother. The family house at 213 E107th Street was later besieged by friends and family, everyone who entered the house was questioned by the police about their business before being allowed entry.

According to Nicola Gentile, the killers were Umberto Valenti and Accursio Dimino, sent by “Toto” D’Aquila who was looking to remove the power of Lomonte. Gentile described Lomonte as having “the absolute predominance in the quarter around 106th Street”, but the killing may have also been for the recent killing of D’Aquila’s friend Giuseppe Fontana, a long time Morello associate who had defected from the weakening gang.