Raffaele Daniello

by Jon Black

Alias: Ralph the Barber

Born: 1886

Nationality: Italian

Died: 1925

Where: New Jersey

Cause: Shot

Killer:

Originally named Alphonso Pepe, Ralph Daniello fled from Italy in 1906. He had been arrested for attacking a woman, and was suspected of a recent murder.

In May 1917, Ralph ‘The Barber’ Daniello, of 1926 Pacific St, Brooklyn, a member of the Brooklyn based Navy St gang, had been in court charged with robbery and abduction. He was released before eloping to Reno with his new love, Ms Amelia Valve. Daniello sent letters to his former Navy St crew asking for money, but his requests were ignored. The police tracked Daniello down in Reno, and brought him back to Brooklyn to face a new murder charge.

Indictments were brought against Daniello on the charge of murder, grand larceny and perjury. He began to tell the police everything he knew about the Navy Street crew and a recent string of murders in New York. When the police realised the extent of Daniello’s confessions he was sent to the office of DA Edward Swann.

On November 27th Daniello was arraigned with John Esposito, Allesandro Vollero and Alphonso Sgroia, and other members of the Navy St gang who had been arrested on Daniello’s confessions.

According to the testimony by Daniello, Sicilians and Neapolitans were formed loosely in three main bands and controlled the rackets across New York. The bands were based in Harlem, downtown Mulberry bend with the last band covering Brooklyn and Coney Island. He went on to confess to his gangs involvement in the killings of both the DeMarco brothers, Nicholas Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco, and the ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro killing in Yonkers.

Ralph Daniello was moved to a different prison due the abuse he received after he testified at the trial of Vollero, he also received a suspended sentence in view of his testimony. His freedom was short lived when he was later arrested for assaulting a man in Coney Island, Daniello claimed he had shot the victim thinking that he had been sent from the Navy Street gang on a vendetta. Daniello was sentenced to five years in prison.

After his release in 1925 he was shot in his saloon, near Metuchen, New Jersey.