Giuseppe Catania

by Jon Black

Alias: Joseph Catania

Born: 1872 est.

Nationality: Sicilian

Died: July 23rd 1902

Where: Bay Bridge, 73rd Street.

Cause: Throat Cut

Killer: Morello gang

Giuseppe Catania, a Brooklyn grocer, was found murdered on July 23rd, 1902. At around 8pm, four boys went swimming at the Bay Bridge, 73rd Street. One of the boys spotted a potato sack a few yards from the bank. Inside they discovered a badly bruised corpse with the throat cut from ear to ear.

Detectives later found another sack close by that contained the victim’s blood soaked clothes, they believed that the body had been tossed from a moving cart down onto the river bank.

The police first thought that Catania had been the victim of a twenty year vendetta. He had been a witness at a murder trial in Sicily, resulting with the imprisonment of two defendants. The police arrested one of the men, Lavori Liborio, but no charges were filed and he was deported back to Italy.

The Secret Service believed that Catania had been a member of the Morello gang. They suspected the gang had disposed of him due to his habit of drinking and talking too much. Ignazio Lupo was one of the last men seen with Catania, they had travelled to Manhattan together to get some stock out of bond from the importers office. The police never gained enough evidence to warrant any arrests in the case.

Salvatore Clemente, of the Frauto gang, later revealed that Giuseppe Morello and Dominico Pecoraro were behind the slaying. Catania’s nephew, Nicolo Testa, was arrested in 1903 as a witness to the ‘Barrel Murder‘ trial.