Giosue Gallucci

by Jon Black


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.