Alias: Vito Laduca
Died: February 1908
Vito Laduca was a member of the Morello gang heavily involved in counterfeiting. He arrived in New York on February 25th 1902, onboard the S.S. Citta di Milano.
He was arrested in Pittsburgh in March 1903 whilst trying to pass the gangs fake Morristown currency. After Laduca’s release due to lack of evidence, Benedetto Madonia was sent to Pittsburgh to try and secure the release of the other gang members. Madonia’s complaints about his mission led to a chain of events resulting in his death months later in New York, an case that became known as the Barrel Murder. Laduca was arrested in connection with the killing, but was eventually released due to lack of evidence.
Laduca started a business in Brooklyn during August 1904. He had a shop at Bridge and Johnson Streets, where his business name was Vito Longo. His home was at 360 Hudson Avenue, where he lived with his wife.
In 1904, Laduca was wanted by the police in connection with the kidnapping of a rich contractors son, Antonio Mannino, from Brooklyn. The father of the kidnapped boy had given generously to the collection that was made to support the Morello gang during the Barrel trial in 1903.
The police staked out the butchers shop at 16 Stanton Street but were informed that Laduca had travelled to Pittsburgh. The police then visited Laduca’s home in Brooklyn, they questioned the owner of the building who claimed he had seen a man waiting for Laduca on two occasions. The description matched that of Tommaso Petto who had been arrested in connection with the Barrel murder.
The kidnapped boy was eventually returned to his family. The police took him on a tour of the city to retrace his steps, but he failed to locate the exact house he was held in. The closest he could narrow the area down to was East Harlem around 106th and 107th Streets. The police then learnt that the boy had an Uncle living in Harlem at 238 E108th called Colagero Costantino, he also happened to fit the description of the kidnappers.
On October 3rd, 1905, Laduca was arrested in Baltimore by Mealli and Vachris of the Brooklyn Italian Squad, he was charged with the abduction of Antonio Mannino.
Laduca was later killed when he returned to Italy.