Giosue Gallucci

Giosue Gallucci
Giosue Gallucci


Born: 10th Decem­ber 1865

Nation­al­i­ty: Neapolitan

Died: May 17th 1915

Where: 318 E109th St

Cause: Shot


Gio­sue Gal­luc­ci emi­grat­ed from Naples in 1891. He was arrest­ed in New York in 1898, along with two of his broth­ers, in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of  ‘Josephine Insel­ma’. The papers noted his pre­vi­ous nine con­vic­tions of ‘theft and black­mail’ in Italy.

Gal­luc­ci was based at 318 E109th, where his broth­er Gen­naro had been killed in 1909. The build­ing was a three storey brick house, the lower floor had a bak­ery shop at the front with liv­ing apart­ments above.  He had 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. His sta­tus and wealth was always huge­ly exag­ger­at­ed in the press. Titles such as ‘King’, ‘Leader’ and ‘Mil­lion­aire’ were always com­mon when his name hit the headlines.

In July 1913, Assis­tant DA Mur­phy and Deputy Police Com­mis­sion­er Dougher­ty began to attack the Ital­ian ring of pol­i­cy shop pro­pri­etors. Over 40 arrests were made around Mul­ber­ry Bend and upper Harlem. Among those cap­tured was Gio­sue Gal­luc­ci, the police described him as ‘The leader of the Ital­ian crim­i­nals in Harlem’ and that ‘his con­sent was con­sent was nec­es­sary before any­thing out of the way could be done in Harlem’s Lit­tle Italy’. 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’.

Sev­er­al let­ters were received by the Dis­trict Attor­ney after the arrest of Gallucci:

On last Sat­ur­day a big num­ber of the worst men belong to the worst gang of the world were arrest­ed. The head of this gang that was also arrest­ed the name is Gesule Lugariel­lo, alias Gal­luc­ci. He is the head of the Ital­ian Lot­tery. He is the man who gives the order to his men to kill.

Last Sat­ur­day night or Sun­day morn­ing the Ital­ian Squad suc­ceed­ed in arrest­ing one of the worst crim­i­nals of our day, and the charge against him is car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons. The name of this man is Gesue Gal­luc­ci, held in $5000 bail for the Grand Jury. He is an ex-convict in Italy and is respon­si­ble for over a dozen mur­ders. He killed his own broth­er in his place of busi­ness at 318 East 109th Street’

Sev­er­al attempts had been made on his life, but 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 E 115th 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, 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.