Vito Laduca

by Jon Black

Alias: Vito Laduca

Born: Carini

Nationality: Sicilian

Died: February 1908

Where: Carini

Cause: Shot


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.

Vito Laduca & Petto Laduca arrest 1903