Ciro Terranova

Ciro Terranova
Ciro Terranova

Alias: The Arti­choke King

Born: 1888

Nation­al­i­ty: Sicilian

Died: Feb­ru­ary 20th 1938

Where: New York

Cause: Nat­ur­al Causes

In 1892, Ciro Ter­ra­no­va arrived in New York from Cor­leone with his fam­i­ly includ­ing his moth­er, father, four sis­ters, and his broth­ers Vin­cent and Nico­la. They were join­ing their broth­er Giuseppe, who had arrived six months ear­li­er. The fam­i­ly stayed in New York for around a year, but suf­fered from the lack of avail­able work.

They trav­elled to Louisiana, the father and Giuseppe worked for about a year plant­i­ng sugar cane before mov­ing on to Bryan, Texas. They fam­i­ly worked in Texas as cot­ton pick­ers, but left after two years when the fam­i­ly was hit with Malar­ia. In 1896 they arrived back in New York.

Ciro, and his broth­er Vin­cent, went to a New York school and helped the fam­i­ly plas­ter­ing busi­ness. Giuseppe Morel­lo opened a restau­rant at the rear of a Prince Street saloon, where Ciro later worked. In April 1903, the ‘Bar­rel Mur­der’ case began. After the trial had fin­ished in June 1903, the whole Morel­lo fam­i­ly were searched and hound­ed on a reg­u­lar basis. One night, Ciro was trav­el­ling home from work with his broth­er Vin­cent, nephew Charles, and Nick Sylvester when they were all arrest­ed and kept overnight. On anoth­er occa­sion Ciro and Nico­la Ter­ra­no­va were arrest­ed whilst try­ing to locate a doc­tor for Giuseppe’s son, Charles.

Ciro Ter­ra­no­va was tried for com­plic­i­ty in June 1918, in con­nec­tion with the 1916 DeMar­co killing. He was acquit­ted due to lack of cor­rob­o­ra­tion when it was ten­u­ous­ly proved that main wit­ness and Ter­ra­no­va were part of the same gang.