Ciro Terranova

Ciro Terranova

Alias: The Artichoke King

Born: 1888

Nationality: Sicilian

Died: February 20th 1938

Where: New York

Cause: Natural Causes

In 1892, Ciro Terranova arrived in New York from Corleone with his family including his mother, father, four sisters, and his brothers Vincent and Nicola. They were joining their brother Giuseppe, who had arrived six months earlier. The family stayed in New York for around a year, but suffered from the lack of available work.

They travelled to Louisiana, the father and Giuseppe worked for about a year planting sugar cane before moving on to Bryan, Texas. They family worked in Texas as cotton pickers, but left after two years when the family was hit with Malaria. In 1896 they arrived back in New York.

Ciro, and his brother Vincent, went to a New York school and helped the family plastering business. Giuseppe Morello opened a restaurant at the rear of a Prince Street saloon, where Ciro later worked. In April 1903, the ‘Barrel Murder’ case began. After the trial had finished in June 1903, the whole Morello family were searched and hounded on a regular basis. One night, Ciro was travelling home from work with his brother Vincent, nephew Charles, and Nick Sylvester when they were all arrested and kept overnight. On another occasion Ciro and Nicola Terranova were arrested whilst trying to locate a doctor for Giuseppe’s son, Charles.

Ciro Terranova was tried for complicity in June 1918, in connection with the 1916 DeMarco killing. He was acquitted due to lack of corroboration when it was tenuously proved that main witness and Terranova were part of the same gang.