The Struggle for Control

1910-1918. A long running battle between New York’s gangs to control the city’s lucrative rackets.

The Navy Street gang

Giosue Gallucci & East Harlem

The scene in East Harlem, since the incarceration of the Morello leadership in 1910, was a volatile one. Sicilian immigrants were still strong in numbers on E107th Street, whereas Neapolitan gangs were living close by along E109th Street. Much of the fighting between these two groups, and further Neapolitan groups in Brooklyn, was a struggle to control the city’s rackets of drugs, gambling, food, and basic utilities.

A Neopolitan named Giosue Gallucci was based at 318 E109th. The building was a three storey brick house, a bakery shop on the ground floor and apartments situated above. Gallucci had emigrated from Naples in 1891, and had since built various businesses based around Harlem. Gallucci was described in police records as ‘The Mayor of Little Italy’, he held strict control over other the policy games in the area, nobody ran numbers without paying tribute to Gallucci. He used his image and wealth to become politically powerful, and was noted to be ‘very active’ during political campaigns.

DA notes on Giosue Gallucci

Antonio Zaraca, a prize fighter, known as ‘Young Sharkey’, had been working as a bodyguard to the powerful Gallucci. On September 2nd, 1912, he was shot and killed in a cafe belonging to Giuseppe Jacko at 336 E109th. Zaraca had been playing cards with Jacko when an onlooker drew a pistol and shot him. Passing policeman William Carrol heard the shooting, he called for assistance and detained all fourteen men found inside the cafe. The feared Harlem gangster Aniello ‘Zopo’ Prisco, who had been arrested in connection with killing Pasquarella Spinelli in the ‘murder stables’, was taken to court but eventually acquitted.

It had been a busy year for Aniello Prisco, he had been arrested in connection with four murders, but each time his case came to court he was acquitted, usually due to missing witnesses. On December 15th, 1912, Prisco himself was shot and killed at the age of 37. A meeting had been arranged between Giosue Gallucci and Prisco at a barber shop belonging to the Neapolitan Del Gaudio brothers on E104th Street. However when the meeting drew close, Gallucci feigned illness and sent one of his men, Capalongo, with a message that Prisco would have to travel to see Gallucci at his bakery on E109th.

Prisco agreed and travelled to E109th, he was killed by two bullets to the head from Gallucci’s nephew John Russomano. Gallucci told the police that Prisco had been shot in self defence, and that Prisco had been trying to blackmail him at the time of the killing. John Russomano was later released free of charge.

A few months later, Russomano and Capalongo were shot while standing in the doorway of Russomano’s home, 329 E109th Street. Capalongo died instantly, Russomano was shot in the arm, breaking the bone. Giosue Gallucci, had seen the shooting and called the police, the block was surrounded but the killers had got away. Russomano later told police that he had not heard the shots, the police suspected the killers had used silencers to help them escape easily. Although no one was arrested for the killing, it was thought that the shooting was arranged by Amadio Buonomo, who had been a partner of the late Aniello ‘Zopo’ Prisco.

In April 1913, The New York Herald, which had been following the New York feud closely printed a conversation between one of its reporters and Amadio Buonomo (brother of “Chicago Joe” Buonomo – a known gangster and pimp):

They are after me very strong. I have been warned not go East of 3rd Av. They have openly accused me of hiring men to kill Russomano and these men killed Russomano’s guard. I have not been at my coffee saloon (331 E114th) for two weeks. I very seldom leave my flat, and then I am closely guarded. The men who are to kill me are always near the house. I see them, but with my guard they are afraid to attack me

Buonomo died on April 9th, 1913. He was attacked on Saturday 5th April near Jefferson Park. Buonomo, who was well know for wearing a protective chain mail vest that he purchased in China town, left his home on 1,758 Madison Av on the Saturday morning for a walk. He had left his chain mail vest at home. Three men approached him and shot him at close range. At Harlem Hospital he was quoted as saying:

I knew they would get me, but my friends will get them and this feud will go on until all of them are wiped out of existence. The killed my friend Prisco, the cripple …”.

An anonymous letter to the DA claimed that Buonomo was murdered by Giosue Gallucci’s order, with police intelligence putting ‘Diamond’ Joe ‘Pepe’ Viserti as the killer.

Following the recent spate of killings, bombings and black-mailings, 2nd Deputy Police Commissioner Dougherty and Assistant DA Deacon Murphy ordered a clean up of the New York gangs. Over forty Italians were arrested in late July 1913. Most were charged with aiding and abetting policy shops and some were charged under the Sullivan law. Giosue Gallucci was arrested along with his nephew John Russomano and Joseph ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro of 339 E108th, all were charged with carrying concealed weapons.

Gallucci and Russomano both posted bail, but Nazzaro was left behind and jailed for ten months. Russomano managed to delay his trial until March 27th, 1914, when the General Sessions court would find him guilty and send him to Sing Sing for seven years. The real reason of the arrests was speculated to be to try and smash Galucci’s vice ring. Gallucci was well known for his dealings with prostitution and was nicknamed in the press as ‘King of the White Slavers’.

The Neapolitan Del Gaudio brothers were involved in gambling in East Harlem, but also had connections with the Brooklyn based Navy Street gang. Nicola Del Gaudio, brother to Gaetano and owner of a barber shop on E104th, was killed in October 1914. He had been lured down to the East River and 114th Street. As he passed an empty lot he was killed with a shotgun fired from behind a fence. The killing was attributed to the powerful Giosue Gallucci, after Del Gaudio had become displeased with his share of the East Harlem graft and demanded more. However, later during the trial of Allesandro Vollero it was noted that Vollero wanted the Morello gang killed for their part in the Del Gaudio murder.

Following the killing, Nicola’s brother, Gaetano Del Gaudio, acquired a bodyguard named George Esposito, who had previously been a bodyguard to Gallucci.

Around the beginning of May 1915, Joseph ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro, the man arrested with Gallucci for carrying a gun in 1913, was released. To help him raise some money a ‘racket’ was held on his return. Joe Nazzaro sold his cafe in E108th Street to Carmine Mollica, shortly after the sale Mollica was ambushed and killed. Nazzaro was arrested but later released.

Several attempts had been made on his life, but Giosue Gallucci was finally killed on May 17th 1915. Gallucci, and his son Luca, left the family bakery and walked over to the coffee shop Gallucci had recently purchased. Four men entered the shop and began shooting. Giosue was hit in the neck and stomach, his son Luca was shot in the stomach. Fifteen men were in the coffee shop at the time, mostly friends of Gallucci, some returned fire but the shooters escaped. More than seven shots were fired in total.

When the police arrived they arrested everyone in the coffee shop, they then found Luca, who had managed to stagger back across to the family home. Luca died the following evening in hospital. His funeral was given three days later, 800 carriages left the ‘Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’, 22 carriages were for flowers alone. The precession went along E115th Street heading for the cemetery, carrying the $500 coffin. That evening Giosue Gallucci died in hospital. He had still been on $10,000 bail for carrying a concealed weapon, a case that dated back to 1913 and had not yet reached court, a fact that many attributed to his political connections.

The killing of Gallucci was formulated by the Morello family and Brooklyn Neopolitan gangs, partly in revenge for the killing of Prisco and Buonomo, a nephew of the Coney Island boss, Pelligrino Morano. But mostly in an attempt to take control of his business empire. The supposed killers were Joe ‘Chuck’ Nazzarro, Andrea Ricci and Tony Romano. The lucrative gambling rackets left behind by Gallucci were now free for the taking, and they soon passed over to the Morello gang.

The Gangs of New York

The five largest Italian gangs in New York around this time were the Sicilian Morello gang in Harlem, the Neapolitan Navy Street gang headed by Leopoldo Lauritano and Allesandro Vollero, the Neapolitan Coney Island gang headed by Pelligrino Morano. A Sicilian gang lead by Cola Schiro in Brooklyn, mainly comprised of Castellammare Del Golfo immigrants. Another Brooklyn gang was headed by Manfredi Mineo, and the final gang was based in Harlem, in the same territory as the Morellos, headed by a Salvatore ‘Toto’ D’Aquila.

The writings of Nicola Gentile, describe D’Aquila as more feared than respected, exceedingly ferocious, crafty and ambitious. Gentile went on to note that since Morello’s 25 year sentence ‘ his position had been entrusted by The General Assembly to Toto D’Aquila’. Amongst the Italian gangs of New York, D’Aquila was now considered the boss.

Salvatore Clementi, a Secret Service informant, explained the situation.

there are four gangs, that three of them are working together: the Manfredi gang, the gang headed by Nicola Schiro, both of Brooklyn, and the Lomonti gang of Harlem; that the fourth gang, led by D’Aquila of Harlem, is opposed by the other three gangs; that men have been shot on account of the feud between these gangs in all probability; that no doubt there will be more shooting soon.

With Giuseppe Morello behind bars, and his case for appeal rejected, leadership of the Morello gang needed to be resolved. The Terranova brothers, Ciro, Vincent and Nicholas were aged 23, 25 and 21, respectively, at the time of the 1911 appeal hearing. Other possible candidates were the Lomonte brothers, Fortunato and Tomasso, cousins of Giuseppe Morello. They held a hay and feed business at 2103 1st Avenue, on the junction of E108th Street and also had connections with Giosue Gallucci.

Fortunato Lomonte was killed on May 23rd 1914. He left his business premises on the Saturday morning and was walking along E108th Street when he was shot in the back with three bullets. The killer had appeared from the hallway of a tenement, then escaped by returning to the hallway and vaulting a fence at the rear of the building. Lomonte’s friends drove him to Harlem Hospital where he was revived. Detective John Cassetti pushed Lomonte for the killers name, but Lomonte refused to name his killer before he fell unconscious and died.

According to Nicola Gentile, the killers were Umberto Valenti and Accursio Dimino, sent by ‘Toto’ D’Aquila who was looking to remove the power of Lomonte. Gentile described Lomonte as having “the absolute predominance in the quarter around 106th Street”, but the killing may have also been for the recent killing of D’Aquila’s friend Giuseppe Fontana, a long time Morello associate who had defected from the weakening gang.

Tomasso Lomonte, Fortunato’s brother, was shot and killed a year later. The newspapers reported Tomasso giving the following statement to Acting
Capt. Jones of the Third Branch Detective Bureau before his death:

I don’t know who got my brother and the boss [Gallucci], but I am not taking any chances.

Sicilians & Neapolitans

Joseph DeMarco was a Harlem gangster with known connections in the gambling world. Described in records as “5ft6, medium build, very dark complexion, wears a blue suit with a scarf pin made of a sapphire surrounded with diamonds.”

He was originally an ally of the Morello family, this was shown when they had worked together to plan a murder in July 1912. DeMarco had previously killed a doctor in New York for becoming involved with his girlfriend, an Italian actress. He then worked with Nick Terranova and Fortunato Lomonte to plan the girls murder.

His relationship with the Morello gang faded after he had arranged the killing of a ‘De Martini’ on E108th Street. DeMarco attempted to kill Nick Terranova in Harlem, but his effort failed. Two separate attempts were then made on his own life: he had been walking past 112th St and 1st Av in April 1913, when he was shot in the neck from behind a fence. DeMarco almost died from his wounds but surgeons in Harlem Hospital were able to save his life. The second attempt, in July 1914, was made when he was being shaved in a barbers on E106th near 3rd Av, when two men fired at him with sawn off shotguns. More than a dozen slugs entered his body, but he later recovered.

DeMarco left Harlem and moved downtown. In November 1915, he opened a restaurant at 163 W 49th Street, and later opened several gambling rooms in Mulberry Street and one located at 54 James Street.

On June 24th 1916, a meeting took place at Coney Island between the Sicilian Morello gang, the Neapolitan Navy Street gang and the Neapolitan Coney Island gang. The idea of the meeting was to discuss the expansion of gambling dens in lower Manhattan. Pelligrino Morano, from Coney Island, began talking about the lucrative Italian zicchinetta card games. Nick Terranova, now heading the Morello family, and Steve LaSalle explained that Joe DeMarco would have to be killed before they could expand in the area. The Brooklyn gang also had an interest in killing DeMarco as he had recently taken over one their games on Mullberry Street.

Around three weeks later Nick Terranova, Steve LaSalle, Ciro Terranova and Giuseppe Verizzano travelled to Navy Street to discuss the plan to kill DeMarco. Verizzano, who worked with DeMarco, was introduced as the man who would be able to help kill him. The Morellos were too well known for them to use their own gunmen. So together they created a plan where Verizzano would get the Navy Street gunmen in to the James Street gambling den, where he would then secretly identify DeMarco as the man to be shot.

John ‘The Painter’ Fetto was originally chosen as the gunman for the job, but he was slow to arrive at James Street at the correct time, DeMarco had already left the building. The gangs then planned the killing for a second time.

On the morning of July 20th 1916, Louis the Wop, Nick Sassi, Steve LaSalle and Ciro Terranova all travelled from Harlem to the Navy Street cafe. They were worried that a friend of DeMarco, called Joe ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro, might be present at James Street which would cause a problem for the gunmen. So Leopoldo Lauritano arranged for Lefty Esposito, another Navy Street gunman, to go along on the job.

That afternoon, the Navy Street gunmen, Pagano, Esposito and Fetto, made their way to a saloon on Elizabeth Street to await their signal to move. At around five o’clock, Verizzano arrived at the saloon and notified them that Demarco had arrived at James Street. Nick Sassi, an employee of Demarco, but also friend of the Navy Street gang, got the gunmen inside. They made their way through a kitchen and in to a back room. Joe DeMarco and Charles Lombardi were sat next to each other playing cards with several other men, numerous spectators sat around watching the card game.

Verizzano sat down opposite DeMarco to help identify him to the gunmen who were now standing watching the game. Nick Sassi and Rocco Valenti from Navy Street waited outside to help aid their escape. Esposito and Pagano misread the signals from Verizzano and shot and killed Charles Lombardi by mistake, but Verizzano managed to kill DeMarco himself. The gunmen made their escape through the bedroom window into Oliver Street.

That evening Nick, Ciro and Vincent Terranova, Steve LaSalle and Verizzano all travelled to Navy Street. They congratulated Lauritano on the news that DeMarco had finally been killed, and gave him $50 to pass on to the Navy Street gunmen.

Sketch of DeMarco killing

After the removal of DeMarco, the Camorra devised a plan to kill the Morellos. Even though the two gangs had worked alongside each other for sometime, Morano wanted them dead. Morano had been running a policy game in Harlem, the realm of the Morello family, but could not make it pay enough to cover the tribute that the Morellos demanded, another factor was the killing of Nicola Del Gaudio, in 1914, had angered Allesandro Vollero. The Neopolitans believed they could taken over the Harlem rackets if they could eliminate the Morello gang. They hatched a plan where they would try and lure the entire Morello leadership down to Brooklyn and ambush them.

On September 7th 1916, Nicholas Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco travelled downtown to meet with the Navy Street gang. Ralph Daniello served the men drinks before Pagano arrived to take them to a coffee house where Lauritano and Morano were waiting. The men walked together towards Myrtle Avenue when they were ambushed at the junction of Johnson Street and Hudson Avenue. Nicholas Terranova was shot dead by Tom Pagano, and Ubriaco was slain by Thomas Carillo and Lefty Esposito.

After the police arrived they searched Morello’s body, and found a bank book for New York Produce Exchange Bank, Harlem, showing a balance of $1,865. Detectives from the Sixth Branch bureau then arrived, including Michael Mealli, who had been under the pay of the Navy Street gang. Mealli arrested Rocco Valente, after he had been found in a local pool hall with a loaded pistol. Later that evening Ciro Terranova was called to identify his brothers body. The Neapolitans were disappointed that more members of the Morello gang had not travelled down from Harlem, Steve LaSalle had been under arrest at the time of the ambush, otherwise he would have been another likely casualty of the attack.

Scene after the Terranova/Ubriaco killing.

Allesandro Vollero was arrested the following day and put in police lineup. Witnesses to the murder were asked to identify him but he was released nineteen days later.

Giuseppe Verrazano, who already had his own card games in Kenmare St, began to contemplate opening a new gambling house, this news did not sit well with the Navy Street gang who began to plot his death. One day Verizzano spotted Lorenzo Liccari, from the Coney Island gang, sitting inside Frank Ferrara’s cafe on Grand Street. He began to sneak around the side of the cafe to kill Liccari, but he was spotted before he managed to shoot.

On October 5th 1916, Andrea Ricci surrendered himself to the police for questioning, but this was also to provide himself with an alibi for the events about to occur the following day.

On October 6th 1916, Charles Giordano from Staten Island, a policy man, saloon owner and friend of the Neapolitans made plans for the killing of Verizzano. Alphonso Sgroia, Mike Notaro, Ralph Daniello and John Mancini travelled to Manhattan where Giordano located Verizzano in the Italian Gardens restaurant in the Occidental Hotel, Broome Street. Sgroia and Notaro stood by the door shooting into the establishment. Verizzano was hit and killed. The Navy Street gunmen escaped, one into the Bowery and one into Broome Street.

Salvatore DeMarco, brother to the slain Joseph DeMarco, was found dead in a clump of weeds in a lot in Washington Avenue, near William St, Astoria. His body was discovered on Friday 13th October 1916. His skull had been smashed sometime before the body was dropped, and his throat was cut once he had been dumped. He had been living above his brothers restaurant at 163 W 49th Street, however he had sold the restaurant at auction on October 11th a few days before his murder. Newspapers claimed that he was about to tell the police all he knew about his brothers killers and the latest shootings, and this was the reason for his violent death.

The Morello gang and the Brooklyn Camorra were at all out war. The Camorra hatched various plans to wipe out the remains of the Morello leadership, but they were either foiled or were never completed, however four associates of the Morello gang were murdered by the Camorra in Philadelphia.

The Navy Street gang prospered by taking over the Morello businesses for a short period. This was proved later in 1918 by a Harlem gambler, who testified that for a short period he had to travel to Brooklyn each week to have his books checked. The Camorra tried to move in on the artichoke business, but the wholesale dealers refused to give in to their threats, eventually a deal was struck where a ‘tax’ of twenty five dollars was paid on every car load of artichokes that were delivered. Coal and ice merchants also proved hard to threaten, and the Camorra’s business gains were not as large as they had expected.

George Esposito, bodyguard to Gaetano Del Gaudio was killed whilst he walked down E108th Street on 8th November, 1916. Later that month, at 3am November 30th Gaetano Del Gaudio was shot and killed. He had been serving coffee to two men in his restaurant at 2031 1st Av, when he was blasted by a shotgun that been placed against the his restaurant window. He was taken to the Flower Hospital where he claimed to know the identity of his killer, but refused to name him.

Anthony ‘The Shoemaker’ Paretti told the Navy Street gang that he had seen DeMarco’s old friend Joseph ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro talking to the Morello gang. As a result of this, Nazzaro was shot and killed in Yonkers, on March 16th 1917. Fevrola, Sgroia, and the Paretti brothers, all from the Navy Street gang, lured Nazzaro out to Yonkers under the pretence of killing Fevrola for giving the police information about the gang. The men then shot Nazzaro and left his body on the trolley tracks.

Joe ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro

In May 1917, a very important event took place that would begin the breakdown and unraveling of the long feud between the Morellos and the Camorra. Ralph ‘The Barber’ Daniello, a member of the Navy Street gang, had been in court charged with robbery and abduction, he was released before eloping to Reno with his new love, Ms Amelia Valve from Prospect Street, South Brooklyn. He sent letters to his former Camorra gang asking for money to be sent to him, but his requests were ignored. The police eventually tracked Daniello down in Reno and brought him back to Brooklyn.

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 the recent murders in New York. When the police realised the extent of Daniello’s confessions he was sent to the office of DA Edward Swann.

For the next ten days, Daniello told his story of the murders spanning the last ten years. He went on to confess to his gangs involvement in the killings of both the DeMarco brothers, Nicholas Terranova and the ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro killing in Yonkers.

On November 27th, Daniello was arraigned with John Esposito, Allesandro Vollero and Alphonso Sgroia, and other members of the Navy Street gang who had been arrested based on information from Daniello’s confessions. Also arraigned as material witnesses were Ciro Terranova, Vincent Terranova and Nicholas Arra, all were held on $15,000 bail.

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 and the last band covering Brooklyn and Coney Island.

On November 30th 1917, the Grand Jury under Judge Nott handed out twelve indictments against the killing of Joseph DeMarco and Charles Lombardi. Five indictments had already been handed out against the murder of Salvatore DeMarco, and another four in the case of ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro. Since the beginning of Daniello’s confessions the police had been watching New York’s ports to make sure no gang members escaped conviction.

Edward Swann sent Henry Renaud, head of homicide, off to Chicago to arrest some of the indicted. Swann also began working with Harry Lewis, the Kings County DA, to secure further convictions in Brooklyn. The trials that followed in 1918 completely smashed the Navy Street gang, the protection that they enjoyed was demolished from the testimonies of their own men. It was the end of the Camorra in New York and the sway of power fell back to the Mafia.

The Trials

Rocco Valenti was arrested on January 26th 1918, in Troy New York for complicity in the DeMarco/Lombardi killing. He was jailed for ten months, before being discharged in November 1918. He later appeared in court to testify in the appeal of Charles Giordano in March 1919.

Allesandro Vollero, was tried for first degree murder in on February 15th 1918, in the case of Nicholas Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco. Ralph Daniello testified against Vollero, and stated that the gang paid money to a Detective named Michael Mealli. Mealli was reduced in rank and assigned to patrol duty. Judge Kapper was taken ill on February 18th, causing a mistrial to be declared. Vollero was retried on March 4th and was sentenced to life at Sing Sing prison.

Pelligrino Morano, leader of the Coney Island faction, was convicted of murder in the second degree, and sentenced to Sing Sing from twenty years to life.

Leopoldo Lauritano, received a twenty one year sentence for manslaughter in 1918. On 12th January 1926, after serving only seven and a half years, Lauritano was paroled from Sing Sing. He was immediately rearrested under an indictment that had been served in 1918 in connection with the murder of Verizzano. On Thursday 14th, Judge Selah B. Strong, discharged Lauritano on a writ of habeas corpus. An action that caused an open argument between the Kings County DA, Charles Dodd, and Judge Strong.

Lauritano returned to court in February 1927, he was tried at the Brooklyn Supreme Court under Judge James Cropsey. He was charged with perjury during the trial of Anthony Paretti, where he had stated he did not know the defendant or his associates. The ADA, James Cuff, managed to produce a photo of Lauritano in the Navy Street cafe with fellow gang members, thus proving his testimony false. Lauritano received five years in Sing Sing.

Charles Giordano, the saloon keeper from Tompkinsville S.I. was put on trial on April 27th, 1918. He was charged with plotting the killing of Giuseppe Verrazano in October 1916. Antonio Notaro and Ralph Daniello, from the Navy Street gang, testified against Giordano. Notaro was quoted as saying “Giordano told us that Verizzano had to be killed that night. When I said that I did not want to kill a man without orders from my boss, Giordano said he would do the job himself but that I would die the next day for refusing, then I changed my mind”.

Alphonso Sgroia, from the Navy Street gang, was sentenced on June 17th 1918, he received twelve years in Dannemora for manslaughter in the case of Nicholas Terranova. Sgroia went on to testify against his fellow gunmen Paretti and Fevrola, he was rewarded with a shorter sentence and deportation to Italy.

John Esposito and Antonio Notaro were sentenced in June 1918, from 6 to 10 years each in the case of Nicholas Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco.

Ciro Terranova was tried for complicity in June 1918, in connection with the DeMarco/Lombardi killing. Johnny Esposito, the killer of Lombardi, testified against Terranova, but he was acquitted due to lack of corroboration when it was tenuously proved that Esposito and Terranova were part of the same gang.

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.

Frank Fevrola, on April 18th 1921, was tried for the murder of Joe ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro in 1917. Judge Tompkins found Fevrola guilty and sentenced him to the death house at Sing Sing. His conviction was largely due to his wife’s testimony against him. On April 14th 1922, a notice was served on DA Weeks, that a motion would be made to grant a retrial on the case of Fevrola. His wife had withdrawn all her previous statements made against him, saying she had been threatened and bribed by the police. DA Weeks tried to oppose the retrial by rubbishing Tessie Fevrola’s new affidavit. On May 23rd 1922, Justice Tompkins denied any motion for a retrial. On May 29th 1923, lawyer Thomas O’Neil made a last minute attempt to save Fevrola from execution. His request for a retrial was again put before Supreme Court Justice Tompkins. On Thursday 28th June 1923, with seven hours left until his execution and in a state of collapse, Fevrola received a reprieve, sparing his life until October 7th. The death sentence was eventually commuted.

Aniellio Paretti of 23 Sherman Av, Brooklyn, was tried for the murder of Joe ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro in 1917. In November 1921, Aniellio was sentenced to the death house in Sing Sing. His lawyer immediately appealed against the decision, and on January 3rd 1923 the Court of Appeals ordered a retrial. DA Weeks then had the indictment dropped, and Paretti was a free man. He was released from Sing Sing in July 1923.

Paretti note

Anthony Paretti, of 23 Skillman Av, Brooklyn, was sentenced to Sing Sing death house for his part in the slaying of Nicholas Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco. Paretti originally fled to Italy to escape capture. He returned to New York in March 1926, thinking that most of the witnesses against him would be gone. However, he was tried and convicted of murder in the first degree. His brother Aniellio Paretti, who had been released from Sing Sing in July 1923, came to visit several times. On the six weeks leading up to his execution, Warden Lawes ordered the prison front guarded 24 hours a day, rather than the usual 16 hours. On February 9th, 1927 Paretti was examined, declared sane and fit for execution. He was reported to be exerting powerful pressure upon politicians to get his sentence commuted to life imprisonment. On the day of execution, the usual electrocardiogram was not given due to lack of arrangements. He was electrocuted at the age of 35 on 17th February 1927. One of the last men to visit Paretti before his death was a young Vito Genovese.