Giuseppe Fanaro

by Jon Black

Alias: Joseph Fanaro

Born: 1876

Nationality: Sicilian

Died: November 1913

Where: Brooklyn

Cause: Shot


Giuseppe Fanaro was a known member of the Morello gang, arriving in New York in February 1902. He claimed to be a wine and oil merchant based in Rivington Street, and had charges for counterfeiting in the Winter of 1902. Fanaro was arrested on the night of the Barrel Murder in 1903.  He had been involved in an argument outside the saloon at 8 Prince Street, when the police intervened he produced a firearms license to explain the pistol he was carrying, but was arrested for disorderly conduct. About fifteen minutes after Fanaro was locked up he was bailed out, and fined $10 the following morning in the police court.

On Monday 20th April, 1903, Fanaro was dismissed from the Barrel Murder trial due to lack of evidence, he was then called as a witness. He was dismissed from court and arrested again for perjury. He had claimed in court to not know the victim, but the Secret Service had been trailing Fanaro and had records of him with Madonia on the days leading up to the killing. He was granted bail at $3000.

On 20th February, 1908, a body was discovered in Brooklyn. Salvatore Marchinne was found with his nose removed, tongue cut out and his body covered in stab wounds. In his pocket was found a note addressed to Antonio Ganci saying ‘ Times are hard here now in Palermo. Give my regards to Fanaro. And remember one thing – caution !’ – the note was from a man named Cantaldo in Sicily.

Antonio Ganci, a counterfeiter, was arrested when he presented himself to Hamilton Avenue police station on Saturday 22nd February. He explained the presence of his letter in the dead mans pocket by saying he was unable to read, and often helped Marchinne to read his mail. The police also arrested Fanaro, Ganci’s brother-in-law, at 158 Ninth Street. Fanaro described himself as a longshoreman working in Brooklyn for a fruit importing company. No charges were filed. It was thought that Marchinne was killed by the Mafia in relation to a murder case in Sicily.

In November 1913, Fanaro was walking home early one morning when he was shot by four men. He was taken to hospital where he later died.