Calogero Costantino

by Jon Black

Alias: Carlo Costantino

Born: January 20 1874

Nationality: Sicilian


Where: Mental hospital

Cause: VD

Killer: Syphilis

Carlo Costantino, was born dur­ing 1874 in Partinico, a town in the province of Palermo, Sicily.

He arrived in New York around 1905. Agent Flynn, of the Secret Service, claimed that Costantino ran a busi­ness along with Antonino Passananti, called the ‘Roma Contruction Company’.

Costantino and Passananti sailed to Sicily around the same time as Lieutenant Petrosino in 1909. Upon his arrival, Costantino sent a telegram to Giuseppe Morello in New York: ‘I LoBaido work Fontana’. Shortly after, Petrosino was mur­dered in Palermo.

Baldassare Ceola, the police com­mis­sion­er of Palermo, drew a list of sus­pects con­nect­ed with the killing. He even­tu­al­ly nar­rowed this list down to his prime sus­pects: Vito Cascioferro, Giovanni Pecoraro, and Carlo Costantino.

In a lat­er report Baldassare Ceola spoke of the ques­tion­ing of Carlo Costantino and Antonino Passananti. The report referred to the cable mes­sage, sent upon their return to Sicily, to Giuseppe Morello in New York: “I LoBaido work Fontana”. Ceola claimed that LoBaido was a fic­ti­tious name used by Passananti. Costantino had been found with pho­tographs of a New York shop under the name “PECORARO-LOBAIDO”. The report con­clud­ed that Carlo Costantino and Antonino Passananti were the like­ly per­pe­tra­tors of the crime, with Vito Cascioferro the mastermind.

According to the book, “The Origin of Organized Crime in America” by David Critchely, which stud­ied the Sicilian doc­u­men­ta­tion on this case, Costantino and Passananti were seen togeth­er in the vicin­i­ty of the killing. They both gave con­tra­dic­to­ry accounts to the police, and Passananti dis­ap­peared soon after the killing.

Costantino was deport­ed from Sicily in 1932 to Lampedusa, an island where the facists sent polit­i­cal and crim­i­nal pris­on­ers. On his return to Parlermo he opened a feed ware­house, but died soon after­ward in a men­tal hos­pi­tal rid­dled with syphilis.